“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 my servant girls.’” Ruth 2:8
Dads love it when their kids ask, “Can I help?” Even though the job may be too complex, they welcome the chance to let their kids take part in the project.
I can’t help but wonder if it’s like that with God. His work is so far beyond our capabilities; yet, like Monet painting a masterpiece and then handing the brush to a protégé, God wants to combine His sovereign providence with human initiative. He loves it when we want to be involved in His work!
Of course, God is completely sovereign. He is totally in charge of everything—always. Nobody ever checks His hand. As the God of providence, He is moving all of history toward a grand and glorious end to fulfill His divine plan. And, believe it or not, He often uses people in the process. This is where you and I come in. Every day we have a chance to get involved in what God is doing. His providence goes hand in hand with our obedience to Him in every circumstance of our lives.
The story of Ruth and Boaz is a great example of how God uses people to accomplish His plan. Notice that we don’t read: “God provided Boaz to rescue Ruth and Naomi from their plight.” It’s not spelled out for us quite like that, and what God was doing certainly wasn’t obvious to them at the time. But we know the end of the story. We can see that God’s hidden hand was working behind the scenes in Boaz’s choice to help Ruth in her time of need (Ruth 2:8). Boaz, by his righteous and compassionate actions, unknowingly struck a providential partnership that would ultimately fulfill God’s plan to place Ruth in the lineage of Jesus, the ultimate “kinsman redeemer.”
So don’t expect God’s providence to strike you with a flash of lightning. But count on it: He’s at work in your life even when you’re not aware of it. And He’s waiting for you to live by His will and His ways so that He can partner with you to good and glorious ends! How about it? Are you ready for providential partnership? What an honor!
- What is God’s ultimate plan? To bring glory to His name? To reach the lost? To help the poor and disadvantaged? To spread His generous love through you? All of the above?
- Have you ever participated in a providential partnership—unknown to you at the time? What was the outcome?
- Think of a friend who might be going through a hard time right now. Take a moment to pray for him or her, rejoicing that God has a plan in mind for that person. Then ask God if there is anything you can do to help.