Once again I am reminded that God is the same, yesterday and forevermore. In the Old Testament Abraham sent his servant to another region to find a wife for his beloved Isaac.
As a result of unforeseen circumstances, Jacob “visits” his uncle in another city and falls in love with Rachel.
Moses, a Hebrew raised in Egyptian culture, was led to Midian after a murder charge, where he met & married his 1st wife and gained a very wise father-in-law.
Rahab, a prostitute in Jericho, perhaps a woman with very few choices in life (I so wish I could find out more of her story), was given another chance for a better life when she risked hers to hide Hebrew spies in Jericho. That risk ultimately led to the safety of her family (mother, father, bros and sisters!). In the Israelite camp she was known as the harlot who helped save Israel which may be why Salmon from the tribe of Judah married her. (There are some disputes about two Rahabs.) Salmon had to have seen something more than her being a harlot. God blessed them with a son named……Boaz. While Salmon may have overlooked Rahab’s “employment history” you know how people will talk. I wonder if Boaz was ever given flack for being the child of a harlot or being half Hebrew. You know how rude people can be. Perhaps Boaz feeling like an outsider made him feel the need to earn the respect of the community, becoming prosperous, employing a number of laborers, gaining their admiration of him. Being somewhat of an outsider perhaps would’ve softened his heart towards the young widow, Ruth, of Moab.
Moab, which can be translated as “seed of the father”, making perfect sense. Remember Lot and the account of Sodom and Gomorrah? His wife turned into a pillar of salt as they fled the destruction. Hiding in the hills with their dad, his two daughters in desperation, got Lot drunk (did they pack wine when they fled or did they get so stressed out in the hills they decided to crush a few grapes???) and had sex with him to continue the family line, becoming the mothers to two nations of people that would terrorize the Hebrews (Moabites and Ammonites). This is Ruth’s heritage. But God changed that through her declaration that Naomi’s God will also be hers. Ruth followed her mother-in-law to a new city and found her Boaz.
There are plenty of biblical accounts of people with tarnished pasts, who encountered unexpected bends in the road of life and situations far beyond their control. We see people who took matters into their own hands and often suffered for it.
Not much different than today. Sometimes in wanting to “make things happen” we botch things up worse than they were. We try to make God’s promise come to pass like Abraham sleeping with Hagar, or Tamar posing as a prostitute to get pregnant by her father-in-law. Craziness but when we allow strong emotions like desperation to effect our decisions we have similar outcomes and call out to the same God to save us.
This is where God has not changed. He is faithful.
He continues to take the ashes of our lives, miraculously turning it into something beautiful.
You might be at one of those in-between moments right now. Like Isaac working in his inherited fields, perhaps seeing the families of his laborers and desiring the same for himself. Like Jacob when he fled his home after stealing the birthright. Like Rahab going through the motions of seeing another “client”. Or like Ruth, encountering grief and desperation at a crossroads of great decision. The solution to the dilemma didn’t exactly come easily for these folks. There was a time of waiting. There was a time of seeing the same options before them but perhaps feeling there was more available than what they were currently seeing in front of them.
Be encouraged. Your story is far from over. Keep laboring. Your Rebekah is coming. Don’t let go of His promises. Your Rachel is coming. Don’t settle for what the world says is your lot in life because of the hand life gave you. You are not used. You are worth so much more. He’s coming. Your life isn’t over. Honor and bless those around you and make a commitment to truly follow and serve the Lord.
As you love and serve, Boaz will come.