Hey y’all. Happy Friday. So right off the bat I bet you are noticing a few things are different:
- It is Friday, not Thursday.
- I’m not Jessica.
You are right on both accounts. In general, when we blog we do the study portion of the post on Monday and the application portion of the post on Thursday and those are typically done by the same person. But things are different today. On Wednesday, while at our monthly meeting, Jessica received a text and a series of phone calls, that one of the high schooler in her church’s youth group had tragically died in a car accident that morning on her way to school. Jessica personally knew this young women. Jessica was surprising able to make it through the remainder of our meeting, but as the hours wore on the realization of this young women’s life began to really set in for Jessica as well as her church family, things became harder, so I stepped in for Jessica today. As we continue today and discuss the remainder of Monday’s study, please keep the Foster family and the family of Quest Church, especially the youth, in your prayers.
As I reviewed Jessica’s teaching from Monday, at first I was a little taken by surprise why she had chosen to teach about Naomi. On the surface, Naomi seems like an unlikely fit, because she didn’t really seem to do much. It wasn’t until the end of chapter 4 that I began to understand why Jessica chose to teach about her. Read Ruth 4:13-22 for we continue to regain a bit of context from Monday.
Ruth remarried, but was still tied to Naomi. In verse 15, Ruth is still considered her daughter-in-law. Earlier in the book, Naomi discards her given name for a name that symbolizes bitterness, because she said that God had forgotten her. Why would she say that? Maybe because her husband and both of her sons had died and she was left with no family to take care of her? It is easy to see why she might be a little bitter. But Ruth never left her. Ruth seems to be her redeemer in this instance. But is she?
Look again at verse 15, “He shall be to you a restorer of life and a nourisher of your old age, for your daughter-in-law who loves you, who is more to you than seven sons, has given birth to him.” Wait…. who is him? Who is our restorer of life?
Because of Naomi, Ruth was brought to Naomi’s people and because of Naomi and Ruth met Boaz with her encouragement and wisdom. Also, because of Naomi, Jesus will come through the lineage of Boaz and Ruth. But… it’s not actually because of Naomi, is it? It is because of God. All the way, 100%. God uses Naomi, but it is all Him. In what seems to be hopeless, tragic, heart wrenching story about a mother losing her husband and two sons actually turns out to be God’s plan. The whole time it was God’s plan. She wasn’t forgotten or forsaken or as she put it in 1:20 “dealt with bitterly”. All along God was working HIS plan, HIS will. Naomi just didn’t see it at the time.
So friend, no matter the circumstance, no matter how dire it may seem or how confusing it may be or how badly it might hurt…. God is there. Working. In the good, bad, ugly, hard, and heart wrenching… God is there. We only need to wait for Him to reveal himself because we never know in the moment, what part of God’s plan we are in.