by Pastor Ola Joseph Kolawole
REFLECTION ON THE BOOK OF RUTH
I thought to reflect on two thoughts that were impressed on my heart from Chapters 1 and 2. For Chapter 1, I will like to stress one point in particular: THE PRIMACY OF DIVINE DIRECTION.
CHAPTER 1 — THE PRIMACY OF DIVINE DIRECTION.
I had read through the 4 chapters from a couple of translations. As I read through the KJV’s account, few phrases jumped at me from the first few verses and those phrases underscore the point I intend to make in this reflection.
Verse 1 says “Now it came to pass in the days when the judges ruled…”
Let’s start from there.
To put this in perspective, all you need to do was to flip your bible back by one page to read the very last verse of the previous book — the Book of Judges. The verse (Judges 21:25) reads: “In those days THERE WAS NO KING in Israel: EVERY MAN DID THAT WHICH WAS RIGHT IN HIS OWN EYES.”
That sets the context for what we find in the book of Ruth. And of course, just about five verses into the book, what we see is the result of living ‘kingless’ and doing whatever seems right in our own eyes.
There’s famine. Is there a righter thing to do than to escape and relocate to where there’s food? Common sense says so. But does God? He has been known to say unto one of His own to remain in a land of famine and sow. And the result? 100-fold harvest!!! That’s what King Jesus is capable of!
Verse 4 says “And they took them wives of the women of Moab . . .” Same rhetoric. Their dad woke up one day and thought it was time to leave Bethlehem (which literally means ‘House of Bread’) because there was a famine — and he ended up dead. In the same way, these young men woke up one day and took wives for themselves in Moab. No mention of God in all of these decisions. And of course, they also ended up dead!
This is not a light matter and I don’t want us to make light of it. The unfortunate reality is that many believers still live like this. We live like we have no ‘King’. We live like it’s okay to do whatever seems right in our eyes. Newsflash: There’s a better option. There’s an option whereby you can live under the leadership of a King — not just any King, mind you, but a King Who is also a Friend and a Brother.
He will instruct you in the midst of famine. While He may lead some of His own from their homeland into other parts of this terrestrial ball, He will keep some to remain just where He wants them — in the very midst of the famine! The keyword is INSTRUCTION. So ask yourself, how frequently are you being instructed by the Father?
It is clear that by the time this book ends, we will see that God perfectly wove all the details of this book together for good — for Naomi, Ruth and Boaz. He wove it together so beautifully that Ruth finds herself in the lineage of Grace from whence cameth our Lord and Personal Saviour. Elimelech’s seeming error and his son’s seeming frivolous marriage all adds up into a beautiful tapestry. However, not without losses. Three men wound up dead. They could have lived AND Boaz could still have married Ruth.
How? Don’t ask me. But we’ve seen even more improbable possibilities become realities! Didn’t He make a donkey speak? Didn’t He ask Moses to stretch a rod to a sea in order to part it? Didn’t he ask Abraham to leave his homeland and head for nowhere in particular? And didn’t He make those seeming outrageous instructions into gigantic miracles? He still speaks through any and every means. He still parts seas. He still moves stones. And He still instructs the children of Abraham. Are you one of them?
Before you relocate, be sure He is the one leading you. Before you ask her to marry you, be double sure you have heard from Him. And before you learn by experience, give an attempt to learning by instructions. God’s got you.
I prophesy to you the prophecy of the psalmist: “I will instruct you (says the Lord) and guide you along the best pathway for your life; I will advise you and watch your progress.” (Psalm 32:8 TLB)
And I admonish you with the admonishment of the psalmist in light of the above prophecy: “Don’t be like a senseless horse or mule that has to have a bit in its mouth to keep it in line!”
God bless you.