God Has A Plan Ruth Chapter 1
Don’t call me Naomi; call me Bitter. The Strong One has dealt me a bitter blow. I left here full of life, and God has brought me back with nothing but the clothes on my back. Why would you call me Naomi? God certainly doesn’t. The Strong One ruined me. (Ruth Chapter 1 :20-21 The Message)
God has a plan for your life. Even when things seem darkest, He is at work. By the time we see her in Ruth Chapter 1, Naomi has come back from Moab, where she had gone with her husband and two sons during a famine in Bethlehem. During Naomi’s time in Moab her two sons had married Moabite women and subsequently both her sons and her husband died. When she heard that the famine in her home town was over, she planned to return.
During the journey, she told her two daughters-in-law to remain in Moab so as to find other husbands and be with their own families. While one daughter-in-law stayed, the second, Ruth, pleaded with Naomi to allow her to continue to Bethlehem so as not to be parted from her mother-in-law. Naomi acquiesced and they traveled on together. Naomi is very bitter at the loss of her husband and sons. She believes God is against her.
Once back in Bethlehem, at the end of Ruth Chapter 1, Ruth goes out to work. It was common for the harvesters of grain to leave gleanings for the poor, which is the practice prescribed in the Old Testament Torah of leaving the corners of the field unharvested as well as not returning to gather any grain left behind. Ruth went to the fields to glean food for her and Naomi. She ends up in a field owned by one of her deceased father-in-law’s relatives, a man named Boaz.
In time Boaz married Ruth and they had a son, Obed, who had a son, Jesse. Jesse was the father of David, and all are part of the lineage of Jesus. Although Naomi thought her life was ruined at the end of Ruth Chapter 1, and blamed God for her trouble, in retrospect we see that everything that happened was all part of God’s plan. God used the famine to take Naomi and her family to Moab so that Ruth might become part of their family. God used the death of Naomi’s husband and sons to bring her, along with Ruth, back to Bethlehem so that Ruth might meet and marry Boaz. (Ruth Chapter 1)
Their story is but one small part of the larger plan of God to fulfill the prophesies about Jesus and, ultimately, to fulfill the plan of salvation set in motion from the “foundation of the world” (1 Peter 1:20). It was through this family, living in Bethlehem, that God brought Mary and Joseph to Bethlehem at the time of the birth of Jesus for the census.
God’s plans never fail. He graciously allows us to be part of them and uses our circumstances to advance those plans in some cases, as He did with Naomi in Ruth Chapter 1. If Naomi or Ruth had made different choices, God’s plan would still have gone forth, but they would have missed their chance to be part of it. I think when we meet them in Heaven we will find that they would make the same choices knowing the outcome.
Think of the others that would have missed being part of the story if all had not commenced as t did in Naomi and Ruth’s lives – Mary and Joseph and David, just to name a few. We are all part of God’s story. There are no minor players. Naomi suffered much heart break. She lost her mate and her children, but received much joy through Ruth and Obed.
Boaz married Ruth. She became his wife. Boaz slept with her. By God’s gracious gift she conceived and had a son. The town women said to Naomi, “Blessed be God! He didn’t leave you without family to carry on your life. May this baby grow up to be famous in Israel! He’ll make you young again! He’ll take care of you in old age. And this daughter-in-law who has brought him into the world and loves you so much, why, she’s worth more to you than seven sons!” (Ruth 4:13-15)
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