As It Happened

So Ruth went out to gather grain behind the harvesters. And as it happened, she found herself working in a field that belonged to Boaz, the relative of her father-in-law, Elimelech. Ruth 2:3 NLT


If Ruth had not found herself in Boaz’s field, as it happened, the whole story of Ruth would not have happened.


Sometimes small, seemingly insignificant phrases in the Bible speak volumes. These occurrences are not explainable by cause and effect. We often read over them without notice, but without them, the main events of the Bible would not have occurred. They are the keystones between different segments of God’s mosaic. They speak of God’s sovereign work.


I have always said that God is sovereign, and man is free. When asked how that works, I respond that I am clueless, but God knows. We have been arguing about God’s sovereignty and man’s free will for centuries. I will not explain it in a short devotional, but I am confident that man is part of the equation. An equation may not be the correct term, as each side of an equation must be equal, which is certainly not true with God and man. 


Yet, God has chosen to make man a significant part of his sovereignty. I think the main way man is involved is through prayer. Charles Wesley once said, “God does nothing except in response to believing prayer.” God is sovereign, yet he uses human instruments to accomplish his will. Life is a cooperative effort between God and man. Does that limit God? No, if we do not pray, God will find someone else who will.


The next time you see it written as it happened, remember that God is still in charge. He is big enough to give man his freedom and still keep his sovereignty intact.

The image is used with permission from Microsoft.

Ken Barnes is the author of “Broken Vessels,” published in February 2021, and “The Chicken Farm and Other Sacred Places” published by YWAM Publishing in 2011.

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