When you pray for God’s intervention and nothing seems to be happening, have you ever wondered about His timing? I think this episode in the life of Ruth will help you understand that God times things perfectly.
Let’s start with a riddle. Israel was told to not allow a Moabite into their congregation.
No Ammonite or Moabite or any of their descendants for ten generations may be admitted to the assembly of the Lord (Deuteronomy 23:3).
Ruth was just that, a Moabitess, yet she not only went with Naomi to live in Israel, but she married an Israelite of high standing. What’s more, her great- grandson became the mighty and much-loved King David and she was a forebear of Jesus. How could this be?
Firstly let’s understand why the Moabites were excluded from Israel in the first place.
Abraham had been called by God to leave the place of his birth and go to live in a land that God would show him. His nephew, Lot, went with him. In time the herdsmen of Lot and Abraham started fighting because of a lack of food so Lot chose to take his flocks onto the well-watered plain of Jordan, near Sodom, and Abraham stayed behind in the rocky ridge running down the centre of Canaan.
The city of Sodom was so wicked that God planned to destroy it after taking Lot and his family to safety. Lot’s sons in law thought the idea that destruction was coming was a huge joke and stayed in Sodom. They perished in the fires ignited by combustible gases released in earthquake activity and thermobaric-hydrothermal explosions engulfing the city.
Lot’s daughters, realising that they would now be childless, resolved to get their father drunk on consecutive nights and have sex with their father. They bore 2 sons, Moab and Ammon.
The descendants of Moab and Ammon were so wicked that God commanded that they couldn’t join the congregation of Israel for 10 generations.
When we look at the genealogy of Jesus in both Luke and Matthew we see it clearly spelled out that Salmon, the father of Boaz, was 10 generations from Abraham. Since Boaz was the 11th generation he was at liberty to marry the Moabitess, Ruth. God had kept his word and shown the power of his words in the timing of events in Ruth’s life and ultimately in Jesus’ life.
If God can be trusted to keep His word after 10 generations, then we also can trust what God has spoken and be assured that what He said will happen, certainly will happen. Just be patient and wait.
All quotations are from the NLT.