The Bible always amazes me, because it tells on itself. I’ve talked about this before, but I’m still caught off guard by it. Today, I read the book of Ruth. If you aren’t familiar with it, go read it instead of reading this. It’s only four chapters, and won’t take long.
The story is a story of faithfulness, grace, hope, and redemption. Ruth is the star of the story. The kicker is, she is not a Hebrew. She is a gentile. It’s not God’s people who do what is right in the story, but someone who doesn’t know God very well. She even calls God “your God” when she talks to her mother in law, who is from Israel. So, we have a story of a girl who is faithful to a God she barely knows.
The whole story happens during the time of the judges, when there was no king, and Israel was running around like a drunk, evil college fraternity house. It was anarchy, and so very, very not God focused during that time.
So, do you see this then? Ruth, not a Hebrew, does what is right, during a time when God’s chosen people who knew better, are not doing what is right. God doesn’t even have a voice in the story. He is mentioned, but doesn’t play a direct role.
So, what do we learn about God? He doesn’t fit in our boxes, He doesn’t play by our rules, and He doesn’t act in the way we think He should. This begs the question, then, when was the last time God surprised you with something He calls you to, or something He does, that doesn’t fit the stereotype you have for Him? If He isn’t surprising you, could it be that you are not actually listening? Could our boxes we keep God in, actually be keeping Him out of our lives?
It’s worth asking.