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Wednesday, December 21, 2016

We Remind Each Other: God Provides

Last night we had our family Christmas Program at Life Bridge (You can click here to watch).  It was a lot of fun and everyone did great.  There was music, singing, dancing, acting, sets, props, and everything you would expect from a Christmas Program.  Several families served in the show together in some way, shape, or form and, as I’ve come to love at Life Bridge, we all worked together as family – Christ’s Body.  It was a joy to participate.   More than anything, though, it was all about Jesus Christ being our King and Lord.

Just then Boaz arrived from Bethlehem and greeted the harvesters, "The LORD be with you!" "The LORD bless you!" they answered. (Ruth 2:4 NIV)

I love this line in the book of Ruth.  I guess that’s because I keep remembering the first line of the book of Ruth.  Remember what it said?

In the days when the judges ruled, there was a famine in the land. (Ruth 1:1a NIV)

Notice the setup for the story.  It was the days of the Judges when people did whatever they wanted because Israel had no King.  Yet Boaz arrives from Bethlehem, saying, “The LORD be with you!”  Clearly this isn’t the first time he’s done this because his workers replied, “The LORD bless you!” as if this were a normal part of their workday.  This was a place in Israel where people did what the LORD wanted, not just what they wanted.

Check the first line again.  It says there was a famine in the land.  The land was starving for food and water, yet Boaz arrives from Bethlehem to greet his harvesters.  They have plenty of food.  Why?  Simple. God provides.

Boaz is going to inquire about Ruth, since she is new to his fields.  He will find out about Ruth’s faithfulness to Naomi and the LORD, even though she not an Israelite.  So, he makes sure he helps her see that God provides, too.

So Boaz said to Ruth, "My daughter, listen to me. Don't go and glean in another field and don't go away from here. Stay here with the women who work for me. Watch the field where the men are harvesting, and follow along after the women. I have told the men not to lay a hand on you. And whenever you are thirsty, go and get a drink from the water jars the men have filled." (Ruth 2:8-9 NIV)

Ruth doesn’t completely understand the kindness of this stranger or the faithful provision of his God.  So, she asks and Boaz explains.

At this, she bowed down with her face to the ground. She asked him, "Why have I found such favor in your eyes that you notice me--a foreigner?" Boaz replied, "I've been told all about what you have done for your mother-in-law since the death of your husband--how you left your father and mother and your homeland and came to live with a people you did not know before. May the LORD repay you for what you have done. May you be richly rewarded by the LORD, the God of Israel, under whose wings you have come to take refuge." (Ruth 2:10-12 NIV)

So, how about you?  Do you see God’s provision all around you?  Do you see God providing in a special way to those who love Him and are called according to His purpose?  Do you have friends, family, or relatives to remind you of this?  Do you remind others, too?