Judges 21:25 – In those days Israel had no king; everyone did as he saw fit. (NIV)
Rules structure our lives. If we don't have enough laws of the land to police ourselves, we make more rules — for our homeowner associations, for example. It seems like we cannot do anything correctly without some governing organization directing our lives. Yet, if there are too many rules, we find ourselves leaving an association, disliking the iron that hammers out our ways. In games, rules are part of the course of winning. If anything goes, one person may take the edge, the fun is lost, and the game is abandoned.
In the days of the Judges, the Israelites had freedom from governing authorities. Everyone did what was right in their own eyes. The last chapter of Judges is a rather gruesome story. People are mutilated. Murder is a common means for settling a dispute. It sounds like the Wild West days of early America! Such a scenario could be found in the history of any nation. The country described in Judges does not sound like an inviting place to call home.
Yet it was in these wilds that the love story of Ruth and Boaz unfolds.
Ruth 2:4 – Boaz arrived from Bethlehem and greeted the harvesters, "The Lord be with you!" "The Lord bless you!" they called back. (NIV)
In a land of chaotic actions without accountability, Boaz stood righteous — in the eyes of God, in the eyes of his labourers, and in the eyes of the gleaners in his fields. Ruth found integrity in this man, who turned out to be her kinsman-redeemer, and then her husband, and then the great-grandfather of David, in the lineage of our Lord Jesus.
We can choose to be part of the unrighteousness around us, or like Boaz, we can stand above the chaos and cling to God's rules: the simple ten, the simple ten that are designed to bring blessing. With Jesus as our Redeemer, we can be blessed as Ruth and Boaz were. God redeems us and makes good things come from our lives.
Romans 8:28 – We know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose. (NIV)
Loving God is following His ways, regardless of the world around us.
Prayer: Father God, Your ways are perfect. You have designed our lives to be lived uprightly according to Your statutes. We ask for wisdom, integrity, and Your strength to live as You directed. Bless our hearts as we desire to follow Your ways. Amen.