Ruth 4: The Backstory of a King

This entry is part 152 of 154 in the series 365 Key Chapters of the Bible

“Does God have my best interests at heart?”

Sometimes it’s the smallest things that bother us and cause us to ask this question. Take technology, for example: lately I installed a software update on my computer, and afterward it crashed about a dozen times. That’s a type of frustration many of us experience, sometimes on a daily basis. Annoyances like that can be really trying, making it difficult to follow the words of 1 Thessalonians 5:16–18: “Rejoice always; pray without ceasing; in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”

Other times, big trials cause us to lose focus of God. But when that happens, we need to keep our perspective focused on Him instead of on our circumstances, continuing to praise Him. This is the hard thanksgiving—remembering that He has our best interests at heart and thanking Him even when we do not understand why we are experiencing difficulty.

This is the lesson Naomi had to learn. She had to move from bitterness at her situation to recognition that God is in control and is at work for the best. In her case, He was writing the backstory not only for King David but also for the true King, the Messiah.

A Matter of Surrender

When we face situations we do not understand, we need to trust God. In the small things and in the large things, we need to commit ourselves to the belief that God loves us, has our best interests at heart, and is in control. This hard thanksgiving is a choice—it is a putting to death of our own desires and ambitions and a surrendering to the will of God.

Naomi learned this in her own situation. Her life certainly did not work out the way she had wanted—she faced a famine, sojourned in a foreign land, and lost her husband and her two sons. But God had a greater plan than she could see, one involving not only a kinsman-redeemer and the eventual king of Israel but the true Redeemer and King of all.

The Backstory of a King

The act of a kinsman-redeemer was others-centered. It involved carrying on the line of another and sacrificing one’s own self-interests. Boaz chose this act of sacrifice through entering into a marriage covenant with Ruth, and his sacrifice had long-lasting effects. Not only did he provide for Ruth and Naomi, but his great-grandson was be David, the king of Israel.

Naomi’s story turned out for good. Although she could not see it, God was providing both for her and for the future of Israel. He had their best interests at heart. Through her Gentile daughter-in-law, God was preparing the way for a King, the Messiah, who would come through the line of David and would provide redemption for both Jews and Gentiles.

This teaching is based on Ken’s Handbook to Scripture

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