I used to watch a show called the Bachelor. I loved it... way too much. I didn’t miss an episode and planned my Tuesday mother’s-day-our lunches around friends who wanted to get together and hash out the drama from the night before. Never mind the fact that not a bit of it was realistic or beneficial - it was like an addiction. You may be able to watch it without a struggle, but my weak heart and mind just couldn’t.
I knew I had a problem one evening when the final rose was given - to the girl I did NOT want to be picked - and I fell apart. Literally. I was so sad and heartbroken over the staged drama. I was angry. Ridiculous, I know. God bless my sweet husband who looked me in the eye and told me “enough.” This habit wasn’t good for me or our marriage. I begrudgingly respected his request and quit watching. I dreaded going to Tuesday lunches thinking I had lost any ability to contribute to conversation, and I felt certain that I would lose my friends, too... But the most interesting thing happened.
One by one, several of the other girls also decided to step away from the show following my honest explanation of why I had turned it off. Our Tuesday lunches turned from shallow talk about drama to talk about real life, and my friendships with these girls deepened as a result of our choice to be honorable in our choices. I don’t share this to give myself praise - remember that this wasn’t MY idea! I’m sharing this because I learned that there are big blessings in even small steps of obedience!
As we’re wrapping up this segment of study in the next 2 days, this is exactly how I see Ruth - blessed in her obedience. Chapter 4 is the culmination of unimaginable blessings in her life AND in everyone’s around her. Read Ruth 4:13-17.
1. Why was it so significant that God blessed Ruth and Boaz with a son immediately following their marriage?
2. Use your Bible’s footnotes to discover what the name Obed means. Why is that name the perfect choice for a child of Ruth and Boaz?
3. Why was Naomi essentially “given” this child to raise?
4. How did God redeem each person individually in this story through the birth of Obed? How are you and I redeemed through his birth?
5. How did the selfless actions and individual obedience of Naomi, Ruth, and Naomi all work together in a perfectly orchestrated plan of God?
CONNECT: What do you think that God is calling you to do in obedience to Him right now? Are you willing to do it?
Yes, obedience does lead to blessings but not always how we expect. God’s point of view is bigger. His ways are higher. And His heart is always for the best of everyone involved even when we can’t see what that is.
And the reverse is also true.... Disobedience will lead to the loss of blessings. Maybe not immediately or even directly - but someone will be affected by our unwillingness to listen and obey. Every single time.
I’m going to leave you with a big verse from Luke 16:10 about faithfulness and obedience. Out of the mouth of Jesus,
“One who is faithful in a very little is also faithful in much, and one who is dishonest in a very little is also dishonest in much.” - Luke 16:10
Although Jesus was referring to the use and worship of money, this verse directly applies to how we use our time, our resources, our relationships, our opportunities, and our callings. If He is asking you to listen and obey, don’t turn away. No act of obedience is too small, and Jesus sees right to the root of our decisions. Whether it’s turning off a tv show, changing the radio station, picking our head up off the pillow earlier in the morning, or closing a social media account, there is bigger purpose in faithfully obeying the Lord, and it will certainly lead to the most unexpected blessings!
I love you, friends. Thank you for walking this road with me!