Three and a half years into college, God called me out of my perfectly laid plan for my life and called me into his perfect plan. This plan, probably plan Y in my list of plans from A to Z, required me to leave college without completing my degree. For this ducks-in-a-row kind of gal, it was a bit hard to swallow.
Before I left school degree-less, God had beckoned me with the phrase “blessing follows obedience.” This phrase came across my path so many times that I began creating pseudo scenarios of how I could follow God, one of which was to be a missionary in Zacatecas, Mexico.
At the time, leaving school was one of the hardest things I had ever done. It went against the norm, society’s expectations, family expectations, my hopes and dreams. But it made sense, in the weird way it makes sense when God’s the one directing your path. So I left, having no idea what my blessing would be, and, kinda forgetting about it along the way.
Reading through Ruth 3, you can see a similar pattern arise. God calls Ruth to obey several different commands, coming from two different people. Yet, within those commands lay Ruth’s path of blessing.
In Ruth 3:1-6, Ruth is given specific direction from Naomi. Ruth follows Naomi’s wisdom with total compliance and obedience.
In Ruth 3:7-13, Ruth is given specific direction from Boaz. Ruth gets covered, literally and figuratively by Boaz’s garments, receives a blessing from Boaz, and follows Boaz’s directions.
In Ruth 3:14-18, Ruth continues to carry out Boaz’s directions, receiving a blessing of material provision, six measures of barley.
In each of these divisions of scripture, Ruth was given directions to follow. She chose to obey and blessing certainly followed. Not only did Ruth receive the provision of food, but she was also soon to receive the blessing of a godly husband.
As I read through this, seeing Ruth practicing obedience time and time again, Psalm 34:23-25 came to mind.
The Lord directs the steps of the godly. He delights in every detail of their lives. Though they stumble, they will never fall, for the Lord holds them by the hand.
God certainly directed Ruth’s steps. And within her obedience, Ruth could partake in God’s delight of her. At that time of her life, I’m sure Ruth and Naomi were struggling. Struggling to keep a roof over their heads, struggling to keep food on the table, struggling to keep hoping in a God that didn’t seem to have their best interest in mind. But God did not let them fall. He was holding their hands the entire time, guiding their footsteps. Do you think it was by coincidence Ruth began gleaning wheat from Boaz’s fields?
So, spoiler alert…Ruth marries Boaz. She receives this blessing, but she also partakes in something so much more wonderful. Ruth becomes the great, great, great, great…ok, there’s a lot of greats in here…great grandmother of Jesus! What the what?!?!?! Talk about a blessing that follows obedience!
Oh, and by the way, the blessing that followed my obedience? I found my Boaz, a.k.a. Aaron, too. We started dating a couple weeks after I left school and were married less than a year later.