Have you ever walked into the grocery really fast just to pick up one thing, and out of the blue you ran into someone you’ve been meaning to call? You’ve intended to check on them; they’ve been you mind, but you’ve not gotten to it. Then, all of a sudden there they are standing in front of you at the grocery! God’s timing is perfect.
I love when that happens. It’s like a God wink to me. I feel like He’s ordering my steps and redeeming my days.
Last week we talked about waiting on God and how hard it can be. All of us have spent time in the “waiting room” of life. And it’s safe to say none of us enjoy it. But have you discovered years later why it took sooooo long for God to show up?
The Blessing of Backward Vision
Just the other day, Mike and I visited with a young couple who tried for five years to have a baby. That’s a long time! But now, a few years later and a second baby on the way, circumstances have proven God’s timing was perfect.
We cannot see the future, but God can. When God orders our days and meets us in our needs and desires at just the perfect time, we experience His peace. His care, His love. Backward vision can help us see His hand, His grace. But it’s sure nice when we don’t have to wait long, when we’ve timed it perfectly.
Boaz at the City Gate at Just the Right Time
Just like running into somebody in the grocery store at just the right time, when Boaz sat at the city gate, the other kinsman redeemer happened to be walking by.
Meanwhile Boaz went up to the town gate and sat down there just as the guardian-redeemer[a] he had mentioned came along. Boaz said, “Come over here, my friend, and sit down.” So he went over and sat down.Ruth 4:1
How cool was that? Boaz didn’t have to sit there all day long waiting. Though I believe he would’ve if he had to. Sometimes we don’t have to wait. I also love that Boaz called this guy friend and invited the redeemer to sit by him. I’m glad the other guy wasn’t late for work. And I’m glad they weren’t enemies. But I digress. A decision would soon be made. God’s timing was perfect.
The Power of the Gate
I don’t want us to miss where Boaz went to meet the kinsman redeemer. He didn’t try to find him somewhere walking around town randomly. Boaz met him where decisions were made. Boaz didn’t try to redeem Ruth on his own, nor hurry up the matter by speaking to the other redeemer without the presence and wisdom of the elders. He went to the city gate where all legal proceedings were held.
So, what’s the significance here? How can it apply to us? I think Boaz’s trek to the city gate was symbolic of our sitting in the presence of God waiting on Godly counsel and decision. He surrendered himself to the law, the instruction for living, and He trusted God’s will. Many witnesses would bear his faithfulness and honesty.
Don’t Wait Alone
Wait with fellow believers who will pray with you and wait for you. Spend time in God’s word, His promises of love, faithfulness, and grace. Don’t try to rush procedures or secretly make what you so desperately desire to happen to come to fruition. Surround yourself with people who’ve lived longer and experienced God’s faithfulness. Don’t wait alone.
Join us this week as we continue our study of the book of Ruth. We’re on Day 26 if you’re reading along with us, or use the reading plan below. Connect the power of God’s timing and all He’s done at the city gate.
Ruth 4:1: Meanwhile Boaz went up to the town gate and sat down there just as the guardian-redeemer[a] he had mentioned came along. Boaz said, “Come over here, my friend, and sit down.” So he went over and sat down.
Prompt: Timing is everything, and Boaz timed this just right. Name a time when it seemed God timed something perfectly, like running into someone in the grocery store who ministered to you or you to them. Write a prayer trusting God with your time today and the encounters he has for you.
Ruth 4:2: Boaz took ten of the elders of the town and said, “Sit here,” and they did so.
Prompt: I love how Boaz works. He follows all the rules. Why is it important that he gathered the elders at the gate too? Do you have any “elders” in your life who you trust to help with decisions? If so, let them know you appreciate them. If not, pray for the Lord to put older, wiser people in your life to help you in your journey.
Hebrews 13: 12-14: The high priest carries the blood of animals into the Most Holy Place as a sin offering, but the bodies are burned outside the camp. 12 And so Jesus also suffered outside the city gate to make the people holy through his own blood.
Prompt: It’s painful, isn’t it? Not the most uplifting verse for the day. The symbolism of Jesus’s sacrifice is amazing. It’s hard for us to understand because we did not live during that time, but nonetheless, the atrocity of His death fulfilled the final sacrifice ever to be made for our holiness. God died outside the city gates for us. What does “outside the city gates” symbolize for you. Spend some time in silence, and then write down your thoughts.
John 10: 9-11: I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved.[a] They will come in and go out, and find pasture. 10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.“I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.”
Prompt: This one makes us feel a little better. It’s the promise of safety, wholeness, and full life. The Greek word for life here is zoe which refers to the spirit and eternity. Jesus promised zoe life to the full. He’s everything, the shepherd who lays down His life and the gate we walk through. Write a prayer thanking your good shepherd.
Revelation 22: 14: “Blessed are those who wash their robes, that they may have the right to the tree of life and may go through the gates into the city.
Prompt: Does it make you wonder if we will really get to pluck fruit of the tree of life as we walk toward the gates of heaven? Can you imagine the taste and what it will be like to walk through those gates? No longer will we be plagued with doubt, anger, temptation, pride, disease, death, and grief. We. Will. Be. Home. Today, just close your eyes, envision this scene, and worship your Kinsman Redeemer who redeemed you with His blood outside the city gate. Amen.
At Just the Right Time
Sometimes as we wait, it really helps to take our eyes off what we’re longing for, and place our eyes on God, on Jesus, and worship.
You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. 7 Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die. 8 But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.Romans 5:6-8
He didn’t wait until we cleaned ourselves up. He didn’t wait until we were reading our Bible everyday. Yet, at just the right time God poured Himself into the body of a man and climbed up on a cross to die for us so that we could one day after waiting for many things, would one day know Him fully.
At just the right time He redeemed us.
Maybe waiting rooms aren’t too bad after all if they draw us to Him.
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