You have led in your steadfast love the people whom you have redeemed; you have guided them (sovereign guidance)by your strength to your holy abode. (Exodus 15:13, ESV, parenthesis added)

God’s loving, sovereign guidance steers His children to the individually unique plans for their lives. He orchestrates every detail.

Are you currently going through seemingly random negative circumstances or events that are confusing, frustrating, and unexplainable? Does everything seem to be falling apart at the same time for no apparent reason? Do you feel like you’re riding an out-of-control vehicle that is headed for disaster?

In looking at Naomi’s life, we would incorrectly surmise there must have been a black cloud following her around. Famine drove her family from their homeland to Moab. Her husband subsequently died, abandoning her with her two sons in that alien land. Ten years later, both her sons died, leaving her with two foreign, childless daughters-in-law. Abandoned, alone, and distressed, she decides to return home hoping to improve her situation in a familiar setting.  Talk about a string of bad days! Yet, through all this visible misfortune, God’s invisible hand is lovingly weaving the sovereign events of His ultimate purpose.

God Orchestrates the Details

This is the unfavorable setting where we find Ruth – one of Naomi’s widowed daughters-in-law. These negative circumstances helped develop her strong faith, enabling her to leave her homeland, choosing rather to return with Naomi and place her full trust in God. Her commitment stands firm: “Your people shall be my people, and your God my God” (Ruth 1:16).

We know the story – Ruth works in the fields to provide for her and Naomi’s needs, is noticed by Boaz, eventually marries him, and later has a son named Obed. Interestingly enough, Obed would have a son named Jesse, who had a son named David, from whose lineage Christ Jesus would be born. None of this could have happened if life had been perfectly wonderful and as planned in Moab. Sometimes God disrupts our lives so His will and purpose can proceed. Though it may be questionable at the time, eventually it is revealed as perfect.

God uses the seemingly pointless tragedies of life to instill us with strong faith and an unshakeable sense of His presence. He also uses our catastrophic circumstances to reach and bless others. In “Then Sings My Soul” author Robert Morgan reveals that many songwriters of our favorite hymns experienced tragic illnesses, disabilities, and/or deaths of loved ones. Yet, in complete reliance on God’s sovereign will, the words and melodies they so masterfully and painstakingly created have sustained millions in their moments of personal adversity.

When life appears randomly chaotic and/or tragic, wholeheartedly trust God’s sovereign love, leading, and purpose.

Discussion Questions
  1. When things in your life go terribly wrong, how do you respond?
  2. Do you fully trust God’s sovereignty in the details of your life?
  3. How has God’s sovereignty been revealed in past events of your life?
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