Do you ever wonder how much life happens by chance, or if the hand of God is leading and guiding every detail? Sometimes I wonder. I mean, there are millions of people on the planet! Those thoughts dance through my mind, but it doesn’t take long for my heart to come back around to the belief that God is in our midst guiding and leading even the everyday details.
As a result, I’ve known without a doubt He’s orchestrated some of the wonderful (and not so wonderful) neighbors we’ve lived near, co-workers and jobs, even grocery store encounters–walking in at the right time to see an old friend or someone who’s been on my heart. I feel His design. His timing. His hand in my everyday.
Hard but Good Destiny
We like the word “destiny.” I think for most of us the word conjures up images of big dreams come true, but destiny isn’t always like that. When my kids were small, and I struggled as a stay-at-home mom, I applied for a job that I didn’t get. The prior year loneliness had filled my days along with spit-up and sleepless nights. I was devastated when I wasn’t hired, but the closed door for the job I so desperately wanted hid as a blessing in disguise.
Days and nights were long and often lonely, but difficult days make me desperate for God’s word. Psalm 37:3-7 became my mantra. I believe He led me to it. I hung it on the wall of my heart, and even today there are seasons when I must take it down, dust it off, and hang it in a prominent place of memory.
Trust in the Lord and do good;Psalm 37:3-7
dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture.
4 Take delight in the Lord,
and he will give you the desires of your heart.
5 Commit your way to the Lord;
trust in him and he will do this:
6 He will make your righteous reward shine like the dawn,
your vindication like the noonday sun.
7 Be still before the Lord
and wait patiently for him;
do not fret when people succeed in their ways,
when they carry out their wicked schemes.
Delight that Changes Us
We all love the verse that promises God will give us the desires of our hearts. That’s a great destiny! But there is more here than our English translates. The word “delight” has been translated from a Hebrew word whose root means to be soft or pliable. Delighting in the Lord, making Him our joy changes our stiff hearts and that changes us. As we delight in Him His leading becomes even sweeter as we trust His faithfulness with our sadness, disappointment, and failures. Actually, we must trust before we can delight.
Ruth Trusted God and Destiny Prevailed
As we ponder God’s faithfulness, we can be encouraged by the book of Ruth and Ruth’s encounter with destiny. This week, as we continue our study on this wonderful story, we watch God guide Ruth into the fields that “just happen” to belong to Boaz, the kinsman-redeemer.
The Hebrew word is miqreh. It means “fate, happened by chance, and destiny.” Don’t forget that though Ruth was from Moab, she had chosen to believe in the one true God–Naomi’s God. She had placed her trust in Him sacrificing her home-country and family to return to Bethlehem to take care of her mother-in-law.
The Bite of Bread reading plan leads us through verses that promise God’s faithfulness as His hand guides our destiny and His presence carries us through.
Bite of Bread Reading Plan . . . Destiny
If you are using The book of Ruth Key-Word Bible study, we are on pages 75-84. But if you don’t have the book, I’ve made this printable for you to download (it’s free) with the same verses we will be studying in the Bible study.
Monday: Ruth 2: 1-3
Now Naomi had a relative on her husband’s side, a man of standing from the clan of Elimelek, whose name was Boaz.2 And Ruth the Moabite said to Naomi, “Let me go to the fields and pick up the leftover grain behind anyone in whose eyes I find favor.”Naomi said to her, “Go ahead, my daughter.” 3 So she went out, entered a field and began to glean behind the harvesters. As it turned out, she was working in a field belonging to Boaz, who was from the clan of Elimelek.
Prompt: “As it turned out” was translated from miqreh (mik-reh’). This Hebrew word means “happened by chance, fate, or destiny.” Ruth was destined to walk into the kinsman- redeemer’s field. Write down a time when God orchestrated or destined something good in your life.
Tuesday: Leviticus 19:9
“‘When you reap the harvest of your land, do not reap to the very edges of your field or gather the gleanings of your harvest. 10 Do not go over your vineyard a second time or pick up the grapes that have fallen. Leave them for the poor and the foreigner. I am the Lord your God.
Prompt: I love this law, don’t you? What does it tell us about the heart of our God? How can we apply this OT principal to our modern lives?
Wednesday: Psalm 37:3-4 (Two translations)
>Trust in the Lord and do good; dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture. Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart. (NIV)
> Trust in Adonai, and do good; settle in the land, and feed on faithfulness. Then you will delight yourself in Adonai, and he will give you your heart’s desire. (CJB)
Prompt: Read both of these translations several times. Let them sink into your soul. Which one speaks to your heart, and which piece of instruction encourages you the most (trust, do good, settle/dwell, feed on faithfulness.) Write down your hearts desires.
Thursday: Isaiah 48:17
This is what the Lord says— your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel: “I am the Lord your God, who teaches you what is best for you, who directs you in the way you should go.
Prompt: I believe God led Ruth into Boaz’s fields on that fateful day. Now, we have Holy Spirit always with us guiding and leading us. Today surrender your plans to God. Ask Him to direct your hourly schedule. Sit still and quiet for a few moments tuning into His guidance then follow in faith.
Friday: 2 Thessalonians 3: 3-5
But the Lord is faithful, and he will strengthen you and protect you from the evil one. We have confidence in the Lord that you are doing and will continue to do the things we command. May the Lord direct your hearts into God’s love and Christ’s perseverance.
Prompt: “Perseverance” was translated from Hupomone. This word does not refer only to long suffering and enduring, but it includes a hopeful strength that doesn’t fold under pressure and difficult circumstances. I want that! Don’t you? Pray, “God lead my heart to hopeful strength, steady-Eddie faith even in the hardest seasons. Make me steadfast as I trust that you love me.”
Join Me This Thursday Evening!
As we continue to dig deep one bite at a time through Ruth, we’ll gather together this Thursday evening via Facebook Live at 7:30 ET. Just follow me on FB, or subscribe to my YouTube channel to watch later. I’ve got hundreds of teachings on YouTube if you need some encouragement and are hungry for the Bread of Life. I’m praying for you my friends! The LORD is with you. Let Him guide you into the right field. :)
Here’s last week’s Teaching on Ruth: