Daily Thought for: 25th January

THE ALMIGHTY

Ruth 1. 1-22

When God appeared to Abram in Gen. 17.1, He revealed Himself for the first time as El Shaddai, the Almighty God. In the previous context, Hagar had described Him as El Roi, the God who sees, and the combination of these two characteristics should be an encouragement to His people. The God who said, ‘I have surely seen the affliction of my people’, had the power to ‘come down to deliver them’, Exod. 3. 7-8. The One who ‘saw them toiling in rowing’, had the power to come to them, ‘walking upon the sea’, Mark 6. 48. El Roi is El Shaddai.

The Almighty’s ‘eternal power’ was evidenced in the work of creation, Rom. 1. 20. The ‘exceeding greatness of his power’ has been expressed ‘to us-ward who believe’ in effecting our spiritual quickening, that power being equal to the power that raised Christ up from the dead, Eph. 1.19-20! We are ‘kept’ by the same divine power pending our ultimate blessing, 1 Pet. 1. 5. At the last, it will be apparent to all that ‘the Lord God omnipotent reigneth’, Rev. 19. 6.

Naomi’s experience teaches us that the power of the Almighty can be expressed in the chastening of His people. The book of Ruth is a sparkling jewel wedged between the dismal history of Judges and the early part of 1 Samuel. Sadly, the first chapter makes sorry reading. Naomi was the only survivor of a tragic defection to Moab, and, after a ten-year absence, the Lord brought her back to Bethlehem. In His character as Jehovah, the covenant keeping God, He had brought her home, v. 21. He does want His people to enjoy their inheritance! In His character as the Almighty, He exercised His power to effect that purpose, circumstances that Naomi found to be bitter, v. 20. The Almighty can ‘break bones’, Ps. 51. 8, and bring low, Ps. 116. 6, in order to achieve His desire for His people. ‘Despise not thou the chastening of the Almighty’, Job 5.17.

On a happier note, the believer’s security and shelter is in abiding’under the shadow of the Almighty’, Ps. 91.1. The word ‘abide’ is translated lodge in Ruth 1. 16. Naomi again lodged under the shadow of the Almighty, and Ruth too found her refuge under His wings, Ruth 2. 12.

 

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