Advent: Dec. 06 // The One Behind Everything

Now faith is the reality of what is hoped for, the proof of what is not seen. 
–Hebrews 11:1

Faith is a biblical concept that is described in scripture but it is not defined. To be defined, faith needs to have evidence that establishes a fact or the truth. We are able to discover the truth only as we review what happened in the past and how it has affected the present and future. To look at faith in regards to Advent, we can look at the Book of Ruth in the Old Testament.

The book of Ruth is a story of the women in Elimelech’s family. Ruth 1:1 says, “A man left Bethlehem in Judah with his wife and two sons to live in the land of Moab for a while.” Tragedy struck the family within the ten years they lived in Moab. Elimelech and his two sons died, leaving his wife, Naomi,  and his daughters-in-law, Orpah and Ruth, in a foreign land with no one to care for them.

Naomi knows that to survive, she will have to return to Bethlehem. Together with her daughters-in-law, she leaves Moab. On the journey, Naomi encourages Orpah and Ruth to return to their Moabite families. Orpah, unwilling at first, decides to return, but Ruth is adamant to continue on this journey with Naomi. Ruth 1:16 says:

Do not persuade me to leave you
or go back and not follow you.
For wherever you go, I will go,
and wherever you live, I will live;
your people will be my people,
and your God will be my God.

Ruth chooses to follow not only Naomi, but also her God (’ĕ·lō·hāy). Her faith is placed in Naomi’s God, whom she has learned to love through living life with Naomi’s family and faith.

God’s hand of guidance is on Naomi as she leads Ruth throughout the circumstances that occur during their time in Bethlehem. Ruth’s obedience to this guidance leads to her being able to meet their physical needs. But it doesn’t end there. Ultimately, Ruth is led to Boaz.

Ruth 4:9-10 says: 
Boaz said to the elders and all the people, “You are witnesses today that I am buying from Naomi everything that belonged to Elimelech, Chilion, and Mahlon. I will also acquire Ruth the Moabitess, Mahlon’s widow, as my wife, to perpetuate the deceased man’s name on his property, so that his name will not disappear among his relatives or from the gate of his home. You are witnesses today.” 

This is a sweet ending by itself, but there is so much more

Boaz and Ruth married, and they had a son they named Obed. This is a
sweet ending by itself, but there is so much more
. In Matthew 1:5, 6
and 16, we read:

Salmon fathered Boaz by Rahab,
Boaz fathered Obed by Ruth,
Obed fathered Jesse,
and Jesse fathered King David.
…and Jacob fathered Joseph the husband of Mary,
who gave birth to Jesus who is called the Messiah.

Naomi and Ruth... two everyday women of faith, whose obedience led to fulfilling lives and to the Advent of the Messiah.

As you prepare your heart for the Advent of the Messiah, where is your faith in God? Do you find yourself questioning where God is leading you in your life, or are you trusting Him to show you what to hope for and believe that He will bring it to pass? God is faithful!

Faith is the indefinable certainty of God behind everything, and is the one thing the Spirit of God makes clearer and clearer as we go on.
–Oswald Chambers
Faith // The One Behind Everything | Barb Barnhart
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