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February 24, 2022 - Ruth 1-4

Over the years, folks in the Bible become like old friends. I love hanging out with them, hearing their stories, wondering about them, and just spending time with them. Some of their stories (many?) are troubling, but they are familiar, and in their own way tell me something I need to know. Today, I get to read about Ruth.

There was a famine. And there was a man of Judah who went down to Moab with his wife and two sons. There were two young, recently married wives from Moab. There were the deaths of the father and sons. And then, there were three widows. What a sad beginning!

But Naomi “had heard in the fields of Moab that the Lord had visited his people and given them food” (1:6). And so, there was the return of Naomi to Judah. And there was the loyalty of Ruth. And there was the provision of God, by the way, not only in the grain that was gleaned from the fields by Ruth, and not only in the ensuing marriage of Ruth and Boaz. God had foreseen these sorts of situations, and he had long before, in the days of Moses, made provision by giving the law of the kinsman redeemer (Deuteronomy 25:5-10).

The story of these old friends is a familiar one, and wonderful. And one thing I learn from it is that God knows what I need even before I need it. And even before he opens his hand and gives me what I need, he is already holding it in his hand.

And then, finally, I read that Boaz married this Moabite woman, Ruth, and she conceived and bore a son and “Naomi took the child on her lap and became his nurse. And the women of the neighborhood gave him a name, saying, ‘A son has been born to Naomi.’ They named him Obed. He was the father of Jesse, the father of David” (4:16,17). And a big smile creases my face!

Where my Redeemer leads me,

There will I go,

Taught by the Holy Spirit

His love to know;

If by His hand directed,

Where e’er it be,

Gladly His steps I’ll follow,

O’er land or sea.

Where He may lead me,

I will follow Him;

Where He may lead me,

There will I go. -- Fanny J. Crosby (1896)

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