One look at our society today and many believers may feel all hope is lost. Does anyone remember God? Has He abandoned us altogether because of our sin?
Naomi must have felt that way. Severe famine drove her and her husband, Mahlon, and their two sons out of Israel to neighboring Moab for food. Settling in among a heathen culture, the Hebrew immigrates took wives for their sons and sought whatever normalcy they could find. But sickness and death came instead, claiming first Naomi’s husband, then her two sons. With only two widowed daughter-in-laws left, Orpah headed back home. Only one remained, determined to stay with Naomi and the God of Israel at any cost.
Back in Bethlehem, Naomi wept the bitter tears of one who felt utterly forgotten and all alone. Where was God and why did He hate her? She moaned to the women who tried to console her. The pain had poisoned her vision, harsh circumstances severing her faith. Focusing on all her shattered dreams, she failed to see the one wonder God was working through Ruth, the one whose loyalty never faltered.
In time, Naomi watched God provide in ways she could never have dreamed. Boaz, a kinsman-redeemer, received the Moabitess into his fields, shielding her under his protection. Acquiring the right, he made her his wife and ushered Naomi back into hope. Through Boaz and Ruth’s love and loyalty, God birthed a line of descendants leading to King David and eventually Jesus, himself.
Ruth is God’s story of life and purpose in a world consumed by death and sadness. When God’s people yield to His lead, He uses every moment in our lives to make an outcome designed for His glory and our good. Though the people around us lose sight of hope, we know the One who never leaves or forsakes us. He is at work through His body of believers, loving and leading us in mysterious ways to marvel at His grand plan and incredible greatness.