May 19, 2023
“There was a relative of Naomi’s husband, a man of great wealth, of the family of Elimelech. His name was Boaz. So Ruth the Moabitess said to Naomi, 'Please let me go to the field...'”
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“There was a relative of Naomi’s husband, a man of great wealth, of the family of Elimelech. His name was Boaz. So Ruth the Moabitess said to Naomi, ‘Please let me go to the field, and glean heads of grain after him in whose sight I may find favor.’ And she said to her, ‘Go, my daughter.” Then she left and went and gleaned in the field after the reapers. And she happened to come to the part of the field belonging to Boaz, who was of the family of Elimelech.” Ruth 2:1-3 (NKJV)
We live in a “Lottery” culture. I remember when there was no lottery in the US, except the military draft lottery. But today, there are many ways to gamble, from different “ball” lotteries to scratch-off tickets. The lottery is based on the concept of luck. Statistically, there is almost no chance of ever winning a lottery, yet people still play the lotto religiously. You hear them say, “I feel lucky,” or “I’m due for a stretch of good luck about now.”
On the other hand, many people feel they are stuck on the other side of the luck aisle. They superstitiously believe they are cursed with bad luck and that nothing they do can change their circumstances. As the song of old goes, “If it weren’t for bad luck, I’d have no luck at all…born under a bad sign”. If Naomi and Ruth had been superstitious, they might well have blamed luck. Their compounded misfortune had forced them into a hand-to-mouth existence. It also caused Naomi a great deal of embarrassment before her former neighbors when she returned to Bethlehem.
Interestingly, although Naomi does not try to explain her difficulties by the concept of “luck,” the writer of Ruth appears to do so at the beginning of Ruth 2. The writer uses the term: It happened. If we skip through the narrative, it could be assumed that God believes in luck, and He is personally uninvolved in our lives. The verse could be taken to mean: As luck would have it, she happened upon…” But, praise God, we have verse 12!
“The Lord repay your work, and a full reward be given you by the Lord God of Israel, under whose wings you have come for refuge.” Ruth 2:12 (NKJV)
When the dust settles on the story of Ruth (and on our personal stories), we are left with a sobering yet hopeful reminder that God is not a God of “luck.” He is the God of providence! And what seems like unrelated events leading us on is actually the providence of a God in control, despite the decisions of others and in harmony with faithful decisions at the same time. (Romans 8:28) So, make your choice to choose the God who has chosen you! And rest in the knowledge that while He is in control, we are responsible for seeking Him while He unfolds His plan, by His wisdom and in His timing.
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©Steve Wiggins 2021