The story of Ruth is a beautiful redemption story and shows that God’s sovereignty and plan will always work for our good and for His glory. It is amazing to see the work of God’s hand throughout the entire story – even when it seems like He is not there. The story starts off with Naomi, the matriarch of the family, going through the hardest time of her life. Her husband dies because of famine in the land and then her two sons die and she is left with her two daughters-in-law. Her family line would soon be gone and their name would be no more. Naomi became very bitter towards God and couldn’t understand why this happened to her. She told Ruth and Orpah to go back home to their families so they could remarry and have the security of their homeland.
It is at this point in the story we see the character of Ruth and her faithfulness to Naomi and to God.
She says to Naomi, “Wherever you go, I will go, and wherever you live, I will live; your people will be my people, and your God will be my God.” [vs. 1:16]. Now remember Naomi didn’t want them to come because she didn’t think anyone would want to marry them since they were foreigners in the land. She thought their life would hold more promise if they went back to their homeland. It is merciful providence that brings Ruth to Bethlehem. It was the kindness of God that brought her to the land. He is gracious even when we think he is silent.
So they arrive in Bethlehem and immediately Ruth shows initiative by asking “Will you let me go into the fields and gather fallen grain behind someone who allows me to?” She made a commitment to take care of Naomi and she is going to work to do that! And it just so happens that the field she is blessed to work in is Boaz, who is a part of Naomi’s family. Not a coincidence. The Lord is at work in the life of Naomi and Ruth! Ruth is so humbled that Boaz has shown her favor to work in his field and she doesn’t understand why. Boaz recognized everything she had done.
She took refuge under the wings of God by trusting Him even when she had no idea what she was walking into. She set her heart on what God could give her instead of what her mother, father, and homeland could offer her. By God’s sovereignty, Boaz and Ruth marry and Naomi’s family name can be carried out. This is a beautiful redemption story of God’s grace and sovereignty. We can trust in His perfect timing and even when we don't think we see God at work, He is!
Ruth discovered refuge, joy, and fulfillment by taking refuge under God’s wing that she would not have discovered had she stayed home with her parents.
That was the most comfortable thing she could have done, the option that would have given her the most security (in the worldly sense).
But she stepped in faith and went with Naomi to an unknown land. She went out of her comfort zone and found security in Jesus.
What are the areas of life that you need to trust God and take refuge under His wings?
A lot of you receiving this devo today are new friends to us. (Which is really exciting!) So today marks the official 2 month mark of this whole “devotional blog thing” and I wanted to take the time to recap exactly why we want to do what we are doing. And since we have been doing a So that… word study throughout Scripture this month I thought it would be appropriate to close out this month with some of the So that(s)… of 818 Ministries.
We want to make hats and write encouraging words to patients facing serious illnesses…
So that…we can lead other people to the feet of Jesus.
Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. (Hebrews 12:1-2)
We all have a race to run with endurance – many with a battle far greater than we could imagine. We want to help others fix their eyes on Jesus, the Author and Perfector of our faith – who gave His life so we could have a personal relationship with Him!
So that…we can comfort others facing hardships with the comfort only our Ultimate Comforter can provide.
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort,4who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. (1 Corinthians 1:3-4)
Because God comforts us in our troubles, we have the capacity, compassion and ability to encourage and comfort others! Scripture tells us it is much like a Domino effect. Because WE are comforting those “in any trouble with the comfort we OURSELVES receive from God” (vs. 4). How humbling!
Thank you to those of you who have joined the 818 Ministries community after our Launch Event last weekend. We are still working through getting pictures uploaded and our video converted so you can view Rebecca’s message if you were not able to make it. BUT we are so thankful for those of you who were able to join us!
Story of My Life
And now for some exciting news…our April series is going to be fun. It is called Story of My Life. This month you will hear from our writers on some of their very favorite passages of Scripture and the truths they pull from it. You know that childhood favorite of yours that your Sunday School teacher told with such passion that you still remember the paper cut-outs of the characters? Us too. And we are excited to share our thoughts with you. This new series starts Monday, March 30th!
So that all the peoples of earth may know His hand is mighty.
Joshua 4:23-24 For the Lord your God dried up the waters of the Jordan for you until we passed over, so that all the peoples of the earth may know that the hand of the Lord is mighty, that you may fear the Lord your God forever.
Here in first couple chapters of Joshua, the journey to the Promise Land has finally come to an end. God had made big promises to His people. He had saved them out of slavery in Egypt. Finally, they are there. Across the Jordan River lies the Promise Land. They must only cross over as God once again parts the waters.
In Joshua 3:9, God commands the priests to “stand still” in the waters as all of the people watch God move. Stand still. What anticipation this must have created. Even more so, what an awesome opportunity to reflect on what God saved them from, how He is currently delivering them, and where He is taking them to. When we take the time to stand still we allow ourselves the time to reflect to have our own anticipation of God’s promises and actions grow.
Not only had He taken them to the Promise Land, He had done so with miraculous signs, showing His power all along the way. He brought plagues upon Egypt. He parted the Red Sea. He rained down manna. And, here at the end of their wilderness journey, He parted the Jordan River so once again His people could walk on dry ground. They literally walked in His mercies, in His miracles, in His promises. I can’t help but to think about the excitement they felt crossing that dried up river bed, each step being reminded of God’s great love and power. Each step building anticipation of the Land God had promised.
What incredible testimonies of God’s presence, grace, mercy, love, refuge, power, and salvation the Israelites had to share about their journey!
All of us are on journeys too as we sojourn through this world, this life. Yet, do we take the time stand still to think about how our God continues to deliver us in miraculous ways? Do we take the time to thank Him for it? Do we take the time to tell others of His miraculous works in our life? How He took us through our journey, guiding us by His light, Word, and presence? Do we take the time to tell our stories so that all the peoples of the earth may know that the hand of the Lord is mighty, that you may fear the Lord your God forever? In our own journeys, how often do we take time to stand still? To meditate upon God’s faithfulness? To linger on His Word? To remember what He has saved us from and the promises He is taking us to?
May we continue to look to the grand works of God in our journeys and proclaim them, so that ALL the people of the earth may KNOW His hand is mighty.
Launch Event - THIS Saturday
Please join us for our launch event at Gabby's Big Red Barn on Saturday. Chances are you've seen our announcements on social media. But in case you haven't - we wanted to get it in front of you one more time! We will have an awesome night of worship and will hear from Rebecca as well as the chance to meet some of our writers! It will be an awesome time. We are so thankful to be partnering with The Grove Church for this event. You don't want to miss it!