Episode 47: Hearing God when we don’t see evidence of God at work in our life.

Episode 47: Hearing God when we don’t see evidence of God at work in our life.

Episode Description:

I don’t want to be known as someone who couldn’t see God’s goodness. Do you? The story of Ruth in the Bible and how she encountered God is a reminder to focus on God’s goodness. The story of Ruth is also full of ‘coincidences’ – times when God chooses to remain anonymous. Join us in this latest episode of ‘Hearing God’ as we unpack all these truths and how Ruth heard and experienced God.

Episode Notes:

Background to Ruth.

  • Chapter 1: Famine in Judah. Elimelek, Naomi & two sons left Bethlehem and went to live in Moab. Elimelek died. The sons married Moabites – Orpah & Ruth. Deuteronomy 7:3 – don’t marry a Moabite. In Deuteronomy 23:3, “No Moabite or any of their descendants may enter the assembly of the LORD, not even in the tenth generation.” It’s weird that the family would choose to go to Moab – it tells something of their attitude and relationship with God. Judges 21:25 (the last verse before Ruth) – Israelites didn’t ask God; they just did what they each thought was right.
  • Both sons then died.
  • Naomi heard that God had come to the aid of His people in Bethlehem by providing food for them.
  • Naomi sets out to return to Bethlehem. Both daughters-in-law go with her. Naomi is extremely bitter about her circumstances and strongly encourages them to return to their mothers. Naomi may also have been a tad embarrassed about having a Moabite Daughter-in-law.
  • Orpah returned home.
  • Ruth has a strong conviction to go with Naomi.
  • Famous verse 1:16 “Where you go, I will go. Your people will be my people. Your God, my God”
  • Verse 20 Naomi says, don’t call me Naomi but Mara because the Almighty has made my life bitter.” She blamed God and accused Him of bringing misfortune upon her. You can’t play with fire, do the wrong thing, and then blame God for the consequences!!
  • A perilous journey fraught with danger.
  • Chapter 2 – barley harvest beginning in the town of bread. Ruth took the initiative and went to glean the leftover grain after the workers had harvested the grain and around the outside of fields for widows/orphans. Leviticus 19:9-10 and Deuteronomy 24:19.
  • “Coincidence’ was Boaz’s field – guardian redeemer, Deuteronomy 25:5-10 widow must marry the nearest relative unless they take off their sandal and say no.
  • 2:8 – Boaz turns up at the exact time she is there and tells her to stay in his fields where she will be safe, otherwise may be violated. Boaz tells his workers to give her food and water and leave more barley for her to pick up.
  • Ruth has an extremely successful day 13 kgs/30 pounds – enough for 7 days for 2 people.
  • Chapter 3, Naomi decides Ruth needs to make a move to let Boaz know she is ready to marry again. Boaz was winnowing barley on the threshing floor, sleeping the night there for an early start. Ruth washed, put on perfume and her best clothes, and lay at his feet and uncovered them. Boaz woke up – spread the corner of your garment over me – ie marry me. Very symbolic.
  • Chapter 4 – Boaz says there’s another man closer in relation than me – 1st dibs at redeeming her. Guardian redeemer. Went to city gate. That man just happened to be there at that particular time (another ‘coincidence’). The man said, I would buy Elimelek’s field, but I don’t want to marry Ruth or Naomi. Took off his sandal and gave it to Boaz, so Boaz could marry Ruth.
  • Boaz and Ruth marry – the Lord opens her womb, and she conceives and has a son. Obed. Family line down to Jesus.

First Principle: Just because we can’t see God doesn’t mean He’s not working / present.

  • Even though there’s no mention of God in the book of Ruth, Ruth acknowledges the presence of God in 1:16-17 “But Ruth replied, “Don’t urge me to leave you or to turn back from you. Where you go, I will go, and where you stay, I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God. Where you die, I will die, and there I will be buried. May the LORD deal with me, be it ever so severely, if even death separates you and me.”
  • Tragedies don’t mean that God’s given up on you.
  • Ruth kept believing in God despite her circumstances. An encouragement to look to God not at our circumstances.
  • 2 Bible verses: Isaiah 55:8-9 “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the LORD. As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.”
  • Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
  • God opens Ruth’s womb – Matthew 1 – genealogy of Jesus. Ruth had been married to Naomi’s son for 10 years but no children. Married Boaz and had a son Obed, the father of Jesse, the father of King David, the line of Jesus. I love how the Bible puts it in Ruth 4:13 “So Boaz took Ruth and she became his wife. When he made love to her, the LORD enabled her to conceive, and she gave birth to a son.” Only mention of God in Ruth.
  • Story of redemption and God’s provision in so many ways. Ruth was empty, now full. Widow now married. Broken and no future to being in the genealogy of Jesus.
  • Naomi was bitter that God hadn’t helped her, but her family deliberately disobeyed God. Naomi couldn’t see God’s goodness. She was basically self-absorbed due to her painful circumstances, and that meant she was blind to how God was working. I don’t want to be known as someone who couldn’t see God’s goodness.
  • Our lens filter is often that which captivates our heart.
  • God chooses you in His story. You may feel that you don’t fit in, but God specialises in the broken, the hurting, the displaced, those who don’t fit in. God is always working behind the scenes.

Second Principle: God shows up in the everyday, often insignificant things, not just the miraculous.

  • We can have an active relationship with God regardless of whether we see Him.
  • 2 Corinthians 5:7 “For we live by faith, not by sight.”
  • Hope is the practice of believing God’s loyal love is true for my situation. “Faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.” Hebrews 11:1
  • In Ruth 3:18, Naomi encourages Ruth to sit still and wait. In a season of waiting, it is tempting to try and move things along.
  • Psalm 27:13-14 “I remain confident of this: I will see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living. Wait for the LORD; be strong and take heart and wait for the LORD.”

Third Principle: Ruth hears from God through coincidences.

  • Chapter 2:3 “As it happened…” she ended up in Boaz’s field, that field, that day, that particular time. God-incident. Another coincidence at the city gate with the guardian redeemer just happening to come along.
  • Love this statement: A coincidence is when God chooses to remain anonymous.
  • In the story of Ruth, we see God bringing people in and out of her life, directing her life, shaping the course of her life. The same with our lives. Perhaps you’ve never stopped to consider the major role God has had in your life through certain events.
  • Four women are named in Jesus’ genealogy – Tamar, Rahab, Ruth and Bathsheba. Foreigners, tainted pasts, broken women. Testimony of God’s grace, love and acceptance for everyone.


  1. Just because we can’t see God doesn’t mean He’s not working / present.
  2. God shows up in the everyday, often insignificant things, not just the miraculous.
  3. Ruth hears from God through coincidences.

Prophetic activation:

Turn your heart and thoughts to Father God and ask Him –

  • “God, is there an area in my life I feel a victim in or I’m bitter or I’m looking at it through the lens of disappointment?”
  • “What are Your thoughts on that God?”
  • “God, what response would You love me to take in relation to this?”

Time Stamps:

[1:07] – Gary & Jane share briefly how they have heard God this week.

[6:28] – Background to the story of Adam and Eve.

[13:30] – First Principle: Just because we can’t see God doesn’t mean He’s not working / present.

[20:06] – Second Principle: God shows up in the everyday, often insignificant things, not just the miraculous.

[22:08] – Third Principle: Ruth hears from God through coincidences.

[24:09] – Recap the principles.

[24:42] – Prophetic activation.

[25:47] – Gary & Jane both share a prophetic word for a listener.

[28:07] – Gary prays for you.

Resources / Links Mentioned:

Bible Verses Mentioned:

  • Ruth Chapters 1-4
  • Deuteronomy 7:3
  • Deuteronomy 23:3
  • Judges 21:25
  • Leviticus 19:9-10
  • Deuteronomy 24:19
  • Deuteronomy 25:5-10
  • Isaiah 55:8-9
  • Jeremiah 29:11
  • Matthew 1
  • 2 Corinthians 5:7
  • Hebrews 11:1
  • Psalm 27:13-14

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