Psalm 33:11, "The counsel of the Lord stands forever, The plans of His heart to all generations."
I don't know about you but sometimes it can be fun to hear a couple share how their love story began. Recently I got to hear how my nephew and his fiancés love story began and it made me smile. It was sweet and innocent and here they are now years later ready to get married. 28 years later I still enjoy telling those who will listen, how my hubby and I got together. We definitely had some laughable moments that brought us together.
There is a story in the Bible that many call one of the great love stories. God brought two very different people together and out of this union came the bloodline of Jesus. Their story can be found in the book of Ruth, and we know them as Boaz and Ruth.
Our story begins with our Israelite family, Elimelech, Naomi, and their two sons. They lived in Moab away from many of God's people and the sons fell in love and married Ruth and Orpah. Tragedy strikes the family, and all three women lose their husbands. Over time, Naomi couldn't bear living away from her kin and God's people, so she chooses to move back home.
Her daughters-in-law begin the journey with her but along the way Naomi encourages them to go back to Moab and remarry. She no longer had anything to offer them. Orpah does go back home but Ruth refuses to leave Naomi. She decides that she should accept Naomi’s God into her life and spend her days taking care of Naomi, even if that meant she'd never marry again. The relationship between Ruth and Naomi is its own story of love.
While living at home among her people Naomi realizes she can't take care of herself and Ruth, so Ruth decides to go to work in a field gathering the left-over wheat dropped by the harvesters.
In walks Boaz. A businessman for sure, yet a man of God. One day he is overseeing his field and sees Ruth. We don't know for sure what it was that caught his attention, but as we read their story unfolds and we learn how she captured his heart.
Wise Naomi hatched the plan to bring the two together and through tradition we soon find Boaz committing his love to Ruth. He even went a step further and again followed tradition offering his sandal as trade to be able to marry Ruth. Go ahead and read the story, it's sweet, simple, and full of love.
Ruth’s story is pretty ordinary. She was not famous or came from riches. God's thundering voice doesn't ring through the story dictating their steps. There were no earth-shattering miracles. What we see is a life shaped by faith and guided by her belief in God. From Ruth, God used her to further His plan for our salvation. From Ruth's story we can learn a few simple things.
1. There is hope even in the midst of the most devastating times
2. The past is not our final destination when we trust God
3. We must be people of character even when we think no one is watching
4. God uses unlikely people for His purpose
When we read the book of Ruth, we read a great story about love. Her story resonates to many of us and what is thrown at us - death, love, heartache, falling in love, even compassion toward others. Ruth and Boaz’s story is not just another love story to warm our hearts. Their story reveals how love can truly move mountains and change the course of more than just two people who fall in love. Ruth's passion and struggles can be seen in our own struggles that we may face daily. Everyone can find something relatable in this love story.
Even though we don't see God in the middle of the story we still see God working in their lives. This small story was shared with readers to show us God had and still has a plan. Boaz was the redeemer for Ruth and Naomi in this story, but when we look closer, we see God's love in all He does to protect us. Their story foreshadows Jesus’ coming as our Redeemer and it is through their story God's plan unfolds for our salvation.
God is love and He, over and over, has demonstrated His love for us. If you have found your true love share your story with others so they can find hope. If you are still waiting, have faith in God's plan for your life. In all our celebrating let's remember to love like God and share that love with others.
Well, it's been a journey as we have studied through Hebrews these last few months. I hope you have been able to join me and learned some new things, maybe refreshed your mind on some well known things. More than anything I pray you have deepened your study time with God and have grown in your walk with Him. Today we are going to finish reading Hebrews with chapter 13.
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