Brief Notes

God Gives
the Growth (11):
A Hidden
Result for the
Kingdom

23 April 2024

In the end, our living
for Christ is much more
important, and will have a
more lasting effect, than
what we seek to do for Him

I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth.
— 1 Corinthians 3:6

One of the things that makes the book of Ruth so sweet it that it is so hidden. First of all, and very practically, it can even be hard to find in the Bible! That’s because it is by far the shortest of all the books of history, with only four chapters. And even once you do find it, you can read through it in just a few minutes.

Second, and more importantly, it seems very little happens in this book, compared with the great things that happen in the other books of history, which tell us of such things as God’s creation, the flood, the exodus of the children of Israel from Egypt, the conquering of the Good Land, and so on.

In fact, the story in Ruth takes place during the time of the Judges, who were performing so many exploits to deliver Israel. Yet, while those judges did such great things, the end result of it all was nothing but degradation and chaos among God’s people. In contrast, the only thing we find in the book of Ruth is the very sweet, though very mundane, story of a foreign-born woman who came to Israel and got married.

Nonetheless, this short, hidden, and seemingly unimportant book is a turning point in the Old Testament, for the mundane events it speaks of eventually made a way for God’s kingdom to come to the earth.

We see this at the end of the book, though once again, only in a very hidden way. This is in the telling of another mundane event, the birth of a baby boy:

So Boaz took Ruth and she became his wife; and when he went in to her, the LORD made her conceive, and she bore a son.
— Ruth 4:13

Only in the very last verse of the entire book do we find out that this boy, Obed, was the grandfather of David, the future king:

Obed begot Jesse, and Jesse begot David.
— Ruth 4:22

How wonderful is this! The book never even mentions that this David would become the king, just that he was the offspring, the great-grandson, that came forth from the union of Boaz and Ruth.

In all of this we can see a very great lesson for our own Christian life today: our living for Christ, even though it is something hidden, is much more important, and will have a much more lasting effect, than whatever work we may seek to do for Christ.

This is true even though we may never realize it, just as Boaz and Ruth probably never knew of David’s great career, and certainly had no thought the Lord would use them in such a way. Ruth simply determined to join herself to God’s people, while Boaz, as we see in the book of Ruth, was a truly God-fearing and righteous man in Israel, even while so much around him was corrupt.

But while they did not know what the result of their union would be, God valued their stand for Him, and so He eventually used them to bring in His kingdom.

In the same way, if we live before the Lord in a pure way, giving ourselves to Him without any motive, He may eventually do through us “far, far beyond all we ask or understand” (Eph. 3:20) for the sake of bringing His kingdom to the earth.

Truly, the Lord is the only One who “gives the growth!”

Lord, grant so many to live before You today in such a way, that You may give us the growth we need to bring in Your kingdom to the earth!

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— 24 April 2024 —