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Wednesday, November 6, 2019

2019.11.06 Hopewell @Home ▫ Ruth 1:6-13

Questions from the Scripture text: With whom did Naomi arise in Ruth 1:6? Where was she going? Why? Where were they going in Ruth 1:7? What does she tell them to do in Ruth 1:8? Whose covenant love does she pray for them? To whom does she recognize them as having been faithfully loving? What does she pray Yahweh to grant them in Ruth 1:9? Where does she pray for them to find rest? What do they do at the end of verse 9? What do they say in Ruth 1:10? What does Naomi tell them to do in Ruth 1:11? What reasoning does she give in Ruth 1:11-13? What does she say has happened to her in Ruth 1:13? For whose sake has this grieved her very much? 
Sometimes faith has difficulty resting in the goodness of the Lord in whom it trusts. We often make much of Ruth’s determination to take Naomi’s God as her God, and we will consider this again in the next passage.

But notice that Naomi is also highly prizing having God as her God. If she were willing to accept Moab’s idol-gods, she could remain with her daughters-in-law and their families and have at least some connections to care for her. But, ultimately, Naomi knows that this is in God’s hand.

It is a statement of faith in God’s sovereign providence that she thought of the economic recovery in Ruth 1:6 as “Yahweh had visited His people.” It is a statement of faith in God’s sovereign providence that she says in Ruth 1:8, “Yahweh deal khessed-ly (according to steadfast love) with you” and in Ruth 1:9, “Yahweh grant that you may find rest.” It is even a statement of faith in God’s sovereign providence that she says that “the hand of Yahweh has gone out against me” in Ruth 1:13!

But, I wonder if your faith in the Lord sometimes produces mixed results due to a too-large view of the difficulties of your circumstances. The bulk of this passage is spent on Naomi’s statements. And the bulk of those statements is spent on the impossibility of husbands being found again in Naomi’s womb (Ruth 1:11-13).

Naomi has forgotten that the Lord always does His people the best good, even through the hardest promises. To be fair, at this point she is still saying that it grieves her for her daughters’ sakes that Yahweh has done this. But, shouldn’t she be pointing them to Him who always does good? What good is a husband without the one true God?

The book of Ruth is about the Lord’s turning Naomi’s bitterness sweet, as He weaves her into the line from which our Lord Jesus comes.  And as He does so, He demonstrates patience with real faith that is still really imperfect—faith like each of ours!
What situation has you discouraged? What can you be certain the Lord is doing in it?
Suggested Songs: ARP46 “God Is Our Refuge” or TPH256 “God Moves in a Mysterious Way”

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