Scripture: 16 But Ruth replied, “Don’t urge me to leave you or to turn back from you. Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God. 17 Where you die I will die, and there I will be buried. May the LORD deal with me, be it ever so severely, if even death separates you and me.” 18 When Naomi realized that Ruth was determined to go with her, she stopped urging her.
Observation: Our relationships are ordained and orchestrated by God.
Application: Ruth was a woman who was a foreigner, a person who would normally have been shunned in the Israelite community, and that’s what makes the story such an uncommon thing. I can only surmise that it was God who gave Ruth such a love for Naomi, because it was a love that went beyond reason and common social norms. Couples often ask for these words to be read at their wedding ceremony because they are some of the greatest words of devotion in the whole Bible, but they are not spoken from a man to a woman, nor from a woman to a man, but from a woman to her Mother-in-law. Another thing that makes it clear that the relationship between these two women was ordained and strengthened by God is the results in the long term. Its something that Ruth and Naomi would never be aware of during their earthly lives, but I know they are singing God’s praises in heaven today because Ruth – the Moabite ends up being one of the Grandparents of Jesus Christ.
Think about this – they had both been through such difficult times, Naomi had lost a husband and two sons, and Ruth was a young woman who was now a widow. But what happened to them HAD to happen just as it did, the circumstances had to be just right for Ruth to be noticed by Boaz and the long ladder of events unfolded perfectly according to God’s plan.
This is an example for us today my friends. Every relationship that you have, is set in place by God. I know that its not always easy to see that, especially when we consider the negative relationships we’ve had, but those too play out their parts in the long run, maybe in ways we’ll never be able to see until like Naomi and Ruth we are rejoicing in Heaven for them.
I’ve often said, and heard it said that Christianity isn’t about religion, it’s about relationship, and that is so true. We are able to be the recipients of a right standing relationship with God because of the sacrifice of Jesus His Son on the Cross at Calvary. But lets not stop at the cross, let us continue on to the empty tomb beyond it – because there is the victory over the enemy of death. And because of that victory our relationship with God is secure and eternal.
But be thankful for your relationships for it is often through them that God’s work is realized. God is orchestrating each and every one of them, just as He is guiding you now as you read these words, He – not me – but God is whispering his message into your ear in a still small voice. Are you listening to that voice? Your relationships are a major part of what God is doing for you, and an instrument of His blessings. The interconnections that you have with the people God has placed in your life are also gifts for you, and you are to be a good steward of them, don’t forsake them and don’t doubt their value.
Prayer: Heavenly Father,
I thank you and praise you for my family and friends. I thank you for the relationships which you have blessed me with, for my family which is my lifeline and my strength, for the friends I see daily, those who I don’t see near enough and for those who I have never met face to face, those Internet friendships that are a signature of our times. I even thank you for those relationships which have been painful for me, those which I have cried and yelled and been kept up at night about – they too are blessings from you and I know they are part of your plan. Help me to do my part even in the hard relationships to accomplish Your Will and help me to be accepting of your omnipotence in all things.
Yield: I realzie God that you are in control of all the relationships in my life, and I give up any regret on my part for any of them.