This week we started to continue our series earlier this year in which we studied the lives of six Biblical characters and how they followed God through different circumstances of their lives. The continuation of the series looks at the same six people and how their willingness to follow God through circumstance gave them the ability to lead others to God’s presence and character. I believe that true leadership comes from faithful following and each of these six people show how God uses us to reveal Himself to those around us when we follow Him closely.
Ruth’s life was marked with tragedy. First the loss of her father-in-law, then her brother-in-law and her own husband. Her mother-in-law Naomi, was desperate and overcome with grief and chose to send Ruth away to start a new life. While Naomi’s choice was probably made out of kindness, Ruth refused, she was confident that she was supposed to stay with Noami, to follow her wherever she went and to spend her life with her no matter what it cost. Many times in life we get consumed with our destinations. We must know where we are going so we can chart out how to get there. What Ruth teaches us is that the destination is not to be the focus of our lives, but it is a product of proper relationships and a willigness to follow God and those that He binds us to. Ruth was free to stay in her home country of Moab, to find a new husband and live a life that was comfortable and familiar. Instaed she chose to leave everything and everyone she knew, to follow her mother-in-law to a foreign land and to live as a widow with no protection, provision or idea of if much less how the circumstances would change.
By being obedient and following Naomi Ruth was found by Boaz who became her “kinsman redeemer.” He married her, took Naomi in, loved and cared for them and eventually had a son with Ruth that would become a part of the lineage of King David, even more importantly, the lineage of Jesus the Messiah. I think it is safe to say that when Ruth left Moab to follow Naomi she had no idea of how eternally God was going to use her obedience. Even more, she had no idea of how God was going to use her to lead Naomi, Boaz, eventually Israel and the entire earth to the Prince of Peace. It was her decision to follow that God used to make her a leader. I don’t believe that we choose leadership but instead we are chosen for it by the way we follow. Follow hard after God and He will use you to lead others to Him as well.