Lots of people go to church, pray, even read their Bibles. But to many, obedience is optional. We do have choice and in that sense it is optional! But the result is eventually…
Bearing in mind that bad things do happen to good people (and setting that aside for another time) let’s talk about the people you know who are experiencing some form of chaos in their lives. You probably know at least bits and pieces about why the chaos is there. You might see some obviously unwise choices. This exercise is not to criticize them. It is to recognize the root of chaos. Now look at your own life. Where has much of the chaos come from? Be honest, don’t protect yourself.
Through the love story of Ruth and Boaz, we see order where so often there is immense chaos. If you know the Old Testament, you know how many times the Israelites sinned and caused themselves, and those around them, chaos. Again and again the Bible says something like, “And the Israelites did evil in the eyes of the Lord!”
And yet…and yet…there is Ruth and Boaz. Boaz was simply going about his business, living with integrity, trying to obey God…just…living life. He was a wealthy man and a kind and generous man…going about doing good.
Ruth was a kind a generous lady, very poor but honoring her widowed mother-in-law after her own husband’s death. Ruth was seeking God’s way…going about doing good.
While Ruth and Boaz didn’t know one another, his life reflected what God had in mind for him and her life reflected what God had in mind for her. Neither was twisting themselves into knots trying to make life happen or love happen. They were just doing life in the way God tells us all to do life. They were living life in moment by moment obedience.
One day, she went to the field to pick up a little left over grain for her mother-in-law and herself. To let the poor pick up the leftovers was custom, when the owner allowed it. Boaz owned this field and noticed her. He thought she was kinda cute. He told his people to leave extra grain for her to collect.
In the natural course of doing their lives…without the chaos of doing the wrong things and dating the wrong people…they were brought together.
Her reputation and life of integrity was known and his was known. He didn’t have to wonder (fear) who she was and she didn’t have to fear who he was. Their lives…their reputations had gone before them and told the story. It was a smooth transition to love.
Live your life the way you see God directing you. When you feel yourself wondering or agonizing…cast your cares on Him and obey. Use your gifts and give to others as God gives you opportunity. Obediently develop your relationship with Him and with others he places in your life without expectations of what you will get in return.
He will bless you with what He knows should be yours. You will truly have joy where once you had anxiety and disappointment.
Chaos will not reign. Direction, joy and peace will take its place.
Psalm 37:21-24 (NIV) 21 The wicked borrow and do not repay, but the righteous give generously; 22 those the LORD blesses will inherit the land, but those he curses will be cut off. 23 If the LORD delights in a man’s way, he makes his steps firm; 24 though he stumble, he will not fall, for the LORD upholds him with his hand.