Sunday, October 18, 2009
1 Now it came to pass, in the days when the judges ruled, that there was a famine in the land. And a certain man of Bethlehem, Judah, went to dwell in the country of Moab, he and his wife and his two sons. 2 The name of the man was Elimelech, the name of his wife was Naomi, and the names of his two sons were Mahlon and Chilion—Ephrathites of Bethlehem, Judah. And they went to the country of Moab and remained there. 3 Then Elimelech, Naomi’s husband, died; and she was left, and her two sons. 4 Now they took wives of the women of Moab: the name of the one was Orpah, and the name of the other Ruth. And they dwelt there about ten years. 5 Then both Mahlon and Chilion also died; so the woman survived her two sons and her husband.
(Ruth 1:1-5, New King James Version)
I am going to take a break from our "What is in a Word" devotions, and go through the Old Testament book of Ruth. Did you know that all of the books of the Bible point to Christ? That is certainly true of the book of Ruth. Not only do we see that Satan sought to destroy the Jews, but in so doing he was also trying to prevent the birth of Christ, who would come through the line of Ruth. It is an amazing story, and best of all, it all really happened. As we go through this book, remember that this is the same God we serve today! What an amazing God we have!
The first five verses of the book of Ruth give us background history of Ruth and her mother-in-law, Naomi. From verse one, we discover that Ruth lived in the time period covered by the book of Judges.
Now it came to pass, in the days when the judges ruled, that there was a famine in the land.
We have often noted in our devotions that God uses things we consider bad, or in this case devastating, to bring about His will. The famine in Israel was so bad that Naomi and her husband, Elimelech, were forced to move to the neighboring country of Moab in order to survive. Little did they know that this move was foreordained by God in order to preserve the line of Christ. In the process of time, Elimelech died, leaving Ruth with her two sons, Mahlon and Chilion.
Mahlon and Chilion both married Moabite women, and in the course of time, both Mahon and Chilion died leaving Naomi with only her two daughters-in-law, Orpah and Ruth. It has been ten years since Naomi left her home in Bethlehem, and what a sorrowful time it has been. How could God use such circumstances for His own glory?
How often do we question God when He allows bad things to happen in our lives? We are creatures of the here and now, but God views the entire course of human history from the time of Adam and Eve until the end of time when Christ will return for his saints. We cannot even fathom the power of God as He works in the lives of all people to bring about the plans which He has made before our time began!
Remember this as you view your own circumstances and those of others around you. How can bad things happen, and yet you are able to maintain a peaceful countenance? Certainly, it is not in our own power to do so. Only in Christ can we find peace and joy, even when things about us seem to come tumbling down.
Go to Christ today, who is the only source of true peace and joy.
God Bless You,