and she happened to come to the portion of the field belonging to Boaz, (2:3).
A few years before I was saved, I met a very outspoken young lady who happened to be a Christian. Happened to…?
We happened to be taking a communications class together and each week as she entered the classroom she happened to share some kind of news about her life with Christ.
One day she walked in and happened to announce the following, “God answered our prayers and gave us a car!” I remember immediately thinking to myself, “This girl can’t see coincidence when it hits her upside her head.”
How sad is the mentality that views life’s happenings as mere coincidences. Fortunately, I’ve had a change of heart since then, through faith in Jesus, and no longer consider the way of man as a coincidental journey filled with accidental happenings.
The Sovereign Creator of the universe is working all things according to His will; He is all-powerful and nothing is beyond His control. Life is not a random succession of coincidences, co-incidents happening side by side. Almighty God providentially and benevolently cares and directs the course of all mankind through His ceaseless God-Incidents.
Consider His God-Incidents
This tender, sweet, grace-filled chapter of Ruth reveals His providential provisions, His God-Incidents in full swing.
So she departed and went and gleaned in the field after the reapers; and she happened to come to the portion of the field belonging to Boaz, who was of the family of Elimelech, (2:3).
and she happened to…
A skeptic may very well label this as a coincidence; but faith takes notice of what came before and what is promised to follow, and faith sees. Faith sees very clearly. Faith sees His God-Incidents.
When Ruth happened to, it was God directing her steps.
- His God-Incident: He brought Ruth to the place of provision and protection.
- So she departed and went and gleaned in the field after the reapers; and she happened to come to the portion of the field belonging to Boaz, who was of the family of Elimelech… Then Boaz said to Ruth, “Listen carefully, my daughter. Do not go to glean in another field; furthermore, do not go on from this one, but stay here with my maids. 9 Let your eyes be on the field which they reap, and go after them. Indeed, I have commanded the servants not to touch you. When you are thirsty, go to the water jars and drink from what the servants draw,” (2:3, 8-9).
- His God-Incident: He brought a noble woman into the life of the godly Boaz.
- Boaz replied to her, “All that you have done for your mother-in-law after the death of your husband has been fully reported to me, and how you left your father and your mother and the land of your birth, and came to a people that you did not previously know. 12 May the Lord reward your work, and your wages be full from the Lord, the God of Israel, under whose wings you have come to seek refuge,” (2:11-12).
- His God-Incident: He renewed hope in the once hopeless Naomi.
- Naomi said to her daughter-in-law, “May he be blessed of the Lord who has not withdrawn his kindness to the living and to the dead,” (2:20).
- His God-Incident: He was fulfilling His promise to provide One who would be born to save His people from their sins.
- So Boaz took Ruth, and she became his wife, and he went in to her. And the Lord enabled her to conceive, and she gave birth to a son… So they named him Obed. He is the father of Jesse, the father of David, (Ruth 4:13, 17).
- “Has not the Scripture said that the Christ comes from the descendants of David, and from Bethlehem, the village where David was?” (John 7:42).
How do we respond to His God-Incidents?
God brought Ruth to the place of provision and protection. But before this He had brought her through the loss of her husband and her people. His God-Incidents are not always pleasant, but always benevolent.
His God-Incidents in the life of Ruth, Boaz and Naomi were not merely provisions and blessings for these three alone; through them, God was accomplishing His purpose for all of mankind. He was at work to bring His matchless provision and protection through His Son, Jesus Christ, as Ruth and Boaz would become part of the lineage of the Savior.
May the Lord grow our faith to see His God-Incidents in every happening of life. May we be filled with hope as we look back on all He has done and ahead to all His promises, trusting He loves us and perpetually guides us to fulfill His purposes, not for us only but also for others.
Consider the following reading from the book of Psalms that focuses on this truth of His benevolent God-Incidents. He neither slumbers nor sleeps; He is always at work to care and guide, protect and provide.
I will lift up my eyes to the mountains;
From where shall my help come?
2 My help comes from the Lord,
Who made heaven and earth.
3 He will not allow your foot to slip;
He who keeps you will not slumber.
4 Behold, He who keeps Israel
Will neither slumber nor sleep.
5 The Lord is your keeper;
The Lord is your shade on your right hand.
6 The sun will not smite you by day,
Nor the moon by night.
7 The Lord will protect you from all evil;
He will keep your soul.
8 The Lord will guard your going out and your coming in
From this time forth and forever, (Psalm 121).
Let us pray the Lord would grow our faith and gratitude to become like Ruth; may we see His favor upon us in each and every one of His God-Incidents. Though we may endure hardships and trials, may we trust His God-Incidents; He is always at work to accomplish His purposes, that He would be glorified.
Then she fell on her face, bowing to the ground and said to him, “Why have I found favor in your sight that you should take notice of me, since I am a foreigner?”…13 Then she said, “I have found favor in your sight, my lord, for you have comforted me and indeed have spoken kindly to your maidservant…” (2:10, 13).