The Providence of God

Have you ever wondered if things just happen or if  each detail of our life is orchestrated by God? There are many who believe things just happen and life is all a matter of luck or good fortune. I however do not believe this. I do not believe anything just happens, I believe the Lord truly is in control. A great picture of this is found in Ruth 2:1-3 Verse one says,  “Now Naomi had a kinsman of her husband, a man of great wealth, of the family of Elimelech, whose name was Boaz.” Here we find bitter Naomi has returned at the beginning of the barley harvest (providence) and has a kinsman named Boaz who is a man of great wealth (providence).

To grasp how wonderful this is, we have to understand what a kinsman is. The word kinsman means, “a man of the same family, related by blood who according to law had the privilege or responsibility to act for a relative in need. The kinsman had the responsibility to deliver or rescue, to redeem property, or a person, to avenge the murder of a relative and to receive restitution for wrong done to a relative. (Leviticus 25:23-55) To be a kinsman-redeemer, a man had to meet four specific criteria. He had to be a near kinsman, as set forth in Leviticus 25:25 and 48-50. He must, himself, be free. He must be able to perform the redemption. And he must be willing to perform the redemption

So in chapter two we find Naomi has a kinsman redeemer who we later learn is highly respected and kind. The Lord knew that Naomi’s husband and sons would die. He knew she would need to return to Bethlehem. The Lord knew she would return at the beginning of the barley harvest and He had it all worked out for Boaz to be in the right place at just the right time. In verse two we find Ruth willing to work hard. Ruth knows it is barely harvest and she knows the laws concerning gleaning. She isn’t afraid of hard work and in fact sees it as her responsibility to provide for Naomi. In humility she sets out to glean in the fields. Even the fact that Ruth who has such a servant heart has returned with Naomi, is an act of God.

My favorite verse is verse three for the Scripture says, “So she departed and went and gleaned in the field after the reaps and she happened to come to the portion of the field belonging to Boaz, who was of the family of Elimelech.” I’m telling you this was no accident. Ruth didn’t just happen to glean in the fields of Boaz, she was led there by the Mighty hand of God. The Lord knew Ruth would go and glean in the fields and He led her in His providence to the field belonging to no other than her kinsman redeemer!

Nothing happens by accident, for all is under the authority and control of the Lord who holds all things in His hands. It is He who tells the sea how far it can come on shore (Job 38:11). God who stores the winds and tells them where to blow (Ps. 135:7). It is God who calls each star by name (Ps. 147:4) and knows the number of hairs on each head (Lu. 12:7). This same God led Ruth in His great mercy and grace to the field of Boaz.

As children of God He too leads us today. He controls all that happens and uses each circumstance in our lives to mold, shape and direct the plans for our lives. The good works He has planned for us since the foundation of the world (Eph. 2:10). Nothing takes the Lord by surprise. He knows the number of days we will live and where we will live and what we will do.

I take great comfort in the fact that God truly is in control of all things. I can’t imagine believing everything happens by chance or by luck. Struggling to do the right thing all the time in fear of messing up or missing out on whats somehow meant for me.  No, I have great peace believing my God is sovereign, that no matter what happens, He has it all worked out. What a joy we can have today, for  indeed He holds the whole world and our very lives in His hands.


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