A story of redemption, love, hope, and restoration
Throughout our lives we often experience series of events that statistics and probability say should never have happened. These events, chance meetings, or unexpected opportunities are called by the world as coincidence, chance, or really good luck. But as Christians, we should know better. We should know that it is God who moves in the affairs of men, and is the One who orders the timing of the events in our lives.
But sometimes we forget.
Sometimes we get sucked into the lie of the culture that tells us we were created by chance, that random atoms floating in space suddenly collided and created the world as we know it, that our lives our governed by random happenstance, that nothing and no one guides and directs the course of our lives. This is absolute falsehood. The Bible tells us that God is the One who created the universe, and that He guides and directs the affairs and history of man. As the wisest man in the world wrote:
“The LORD works out everything for his own ends—even the wicked for a day of disaster.”
~Proverbs 16:4 (NIV 84)
So why do we so easily forget that God is the orchestrater of our days? Why do we credit chance, luck, or our own craftiness for the great “coincidences” and opportunities that come our way? How can we so quickly ignore God in the equation?
I believe it is because we fail to see and acknowledge God’s hand of direction in the little, small details of our lives. We’ve already touched on this lesson a few posts ago in “The Big Significance of Little Details.” However, as we continue our Ruth study, one of the biggest examples of God’s sovereignty and direction are found in two seemingly small details from chapter two.
“So she set out and went and gleaned in the field after the reapers, and she happened to come to the part of the field belonging to Boaz, who was of the clan of Elimelech. And behold, Boaz came from Bethlehem…”
The entire book of Ruth is centered around the love story between Ruth and Boaz. But as we go through this book we see that Boaz and Ruth might have never met had it not been for two small “coincidences”.
Notice in the text that Ruth went out to glean barley. She wasn’t looking for a husband, nor was she seeking attention or free handouts. Rather, Ruth pursued what was due her both as a widow and as a foreigner, and she worked hard for her lot. Then the text goes on to reveal that Ruth “happened to come to the part of the field belonging to Boaz” and that “behold, Boaz came from Bethlehem.”
Wow! Did you catch what just happened? Ruth happened upon Boaz’s field, and being a foreigner she wouldn’t have known which property belonged to whom. Coincidence? What about Boaz? He just “happened” to journey out from Bethlehem to visit the harvest? The word behold here has the connotation of “what do you know,” “voila,” or “and it happened.”
Now realize that without these two events the meeting and scene in the field between Boaz and Ruth would never have come to pass. So was all this just lucky timing, proper alignment of the stars, or coincidence?
I think not. Remember that chapter two started with an introduction to the person of Boaz. So God was already setting the stage for this event, and as we’ll see later on in the chapter, He has some special plans for Ruth that require her marriage to Boaz. So I think the One who spoke the universe into existence and holds the stars in place can organize and bring about the events leading to the meeting and start of a relationship between two people, don’t you? And if He orchestrated the smallest details of Boaz and Ruth’s lives to bring about His plan and purposes, don’t you think He’ll do the same for you?
There are no coincidences in God’s kingdom. Everything is done and happens for a specific purpose and reason. Even the things that appear to go wrong in our lives or are falling apart at the seams are circumstances that God is using to bring about our good and His purposes. Not that He’s causing them, but rather He is using them to accomplish His perfect working in our lives. So let us never again attribute something to chance or coincidence, but always be ready to recognize the hand of our Almighty Lord in the smallest, most seemingly insignificant details of our lives. And let us remember this reassuring promise from Romans 8:28:
“And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.”