Fish Out of Water

My life group is going through the book of Ruth currently. I’ve read the book a few times and have heard a number of sermons about it, but I never really thought about how the main character as being a fish out of water.

Think about it. She married one of Naomi’s sons and into a Jewish family. But after Naomi’s husband and both sons died, you would expect Ruth to go back to the old familiar life she knew. But she gave up everything she had ever known for a mother-in-law and a God she knew very little about. She gave up her homeland to go to a land where she was an outcast and a foreigner. Worse, she was a Moabite, one of Israel’s enemies.

She clearly didn’t understand everything about God, but she followed what she knew. She was faithfully obedient to what revelation of God she had. She knew to take care of Naomi and earn her own keep. And God blessed her for it. God brought her into the field of Boaz, who just so happened to be one of her closest relations through Naomi. No one else would have been as protective and kind to her as Boaz was. God saw to that.

Sometimes, we find ourselves in unfamiliar territory. Everything we’ve ever known gets ripped away and what’s left is unknown and a bit scary. The lesson of Ruth is that we don’t have to have a theology degree or a comprehensive knowledge of the Bible to trust and follow God in the midst of uncertainty. We don’t even need to have good grammar or people skills. All we need is the faith of a child.

The more Ruth trusted in the revelation of God she had, the more she saw of God. The more she followed and obeyed what she knew, the more God revealed His plan to her. The same goes for us. If we are faithful where we are, God will move us through the wilderness of uncertainty into a land of plenty. Better, He will be with us the whole way there.

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