God’s Hand in Our Luck


There is no room for the concept of luck in the providence of God.

 “So she set out and went and gleaned in the field after the reapers, and she happened to come to the part of the field belonging to Boaz, who was of the clan of Elimelech.” Ruth 2:3

Reading this, many think that the single, poor Ruth luckily chose to glean (an ancient form of the food bank) in the field that belonged to a single, rich man who happened to find her attractive. This couldn’t be further from the truth. There is no room for the concept of luck in the providence of God. And, the Scriptures use a bit of irony to say that it just so happened to emphasize the point of God’s providence in Ruth’s life. 

Talking about an ancient form of craps, Solomon wrote the following about the outcome of such games, “The lot is cast into the lap, but its every decision is from the LORD” (Prov. 16:33).

While things—both good and bad—that happen in our life appear to be the result of good or bad luck, the truth is that God’s providence governs everything in our life and the world. Providence means God is both sovereign and good. Practically, this means that God is in the details of our life and always working for the good of his people. 

Ruth made a choice to glean from Boaz’s field. God didn’t tell her to do it, but nonetheless he did direct her path.

God directs the details of our lives in the same way that he did Ruth’s life. We may not see, feel, or hear him in our day-to-day activities, but in some mysterious way God is in the background of our life guiding and leading us in the everyday decisions we make. Often, we don’t see God’s providence in our windshield, but rather in our rear-view mirror. Every day we walk by faith, not by sight, trusting in the providence of God. As events unfold and time passes by, we look back to only then see all that God was doing and all the events he was arranging in our life for his glory and our good. 

Though God will never fully reveal the entirety of his will for our life, such as whom we should marry or what job we should take, he has provided us in the Bible a path to help us along the way. We read in Deuteronomy 29:29, “The secret things belong to the LORD our God, but the things that are revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may do all the words of this law.” By God’s grace follow him with the path that he has provided you in the Bible and trust him with the outcomes of your everyday decisions.

Adapted from the sermon “God’s Hand in Our Luck,” part 2 in the Redeeming Ruth sermon series from 2007.


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