A Chance Encounter

Ruth 2:3
      And her hap was to light on a part of the field belonging unto Boaz.

PHILIP MAURO (1859-1952): As the language of the original Hebrew quaintly expresses it, Ruth “hap happened upon a part of the field belonging to Boaz.” But there are no mere chance happenings in the lives of those who belong to the Lord, and whom He has called according to His purpose. He arranges the incidents which shall serve to the accomplishment of His ends, though at the times there may be nothing whatever to suggest that He has had any hand in them. Frequently it is a seemingly trifling event that determines some action or step which leads eventually to results of great moment.

R. C. CHAPMAN (1803-1902): Be familiar with this precious thought, that God decrees the little as well as the great things of His providence.

ROWLAND HILL (1744-1833): Nothing is by blind chance, all is under the management of infinite wisdom.

JOHN FLAVEL (1630-1691): Providences, like Hebrew letters, must be read backwards.

STEPHEN CHARNOCK (1628-1680): It is not the face, but the back parts of providence which we behold.

J. H. M. d’AUBIGNÉ (1794-1872): Like passengers standing upon the bow of a ship in mid-ocean, to us the sea appears a trackless void. But when we stand upon the stern and look back, we view an equally vast ocean already traversed, and close upon us we see a short white wake that curves away in a half-moon arc—the undeniable evidence that our ship has made a turn in the sea, and we know, without doubt, that the Captain is piloting the ship according to His chart, and in His wisdom, and at the proper time, merely adjusting His course to current and wind. And so it is in history. Only in looking back upon the vast, and infinitely complex ocean of passing events, and only at those rare times when God is pleased to lift a small corner of the veil, may we be privileged to glimpse a trace of His hidden hand, governing and guiding the affairs of men.

OCTAVIUS WINSLOW (1808-1878): Thus, often do the most signal events of our history—those upon which all the future turns as on a pivot—transpire as in a moment, and by a power manifestly beyond ourselves. This were a phenomenon utterly inexplicable, but for the doctrine of a particular Providence, guiding and shaping the minutest as well as the most important events of our life.

 PHILIP MAURO: There is probably not one of God’s children but can look back upon many “hap happenings” which afterward, when viewed in the light of their results, were seen to have been planned in the wisdom of God, in order to bring about His own blessed ends. Over and over again, the seemingly ‘chance’ meeting with someone we were not expecting to see, the ‘chance’ missing of a train or ship we had planned to take, the ‘chance’ turning from the direct path we thought to follow, or some similar incident of the most commonplace order, was the means of bringing about something that changed our whole history, or that of others.

WILLIAM JAY (1769-1853): How much is that man to be pitied who does not connect with all the events of life the providence of that God without Whom a sparrow falleth not to the ground, and by Whom the very hairs of our head are all numbered.

F. W. KRUMMACHER (1796-1868): How few there are who practically believe that the very hairs of our head are all numbered, that God’s providence extends to matters the most minute, and that He is often specially glorified in the “day of small things!” But he who possesses this child-like faith, accounting nothing as really little in God’s sight, realizing his heavenly Father’s gracious presence in his house and garden, under his vine and fig-tree—blessed indeed is that man; he possesses much joy and peace, and Divine delight at all times; wherever he is, he beholds the traces and hears the voice of God.

BASIL (329-379): Never let us say of anything, it happened by chance; there is nothing that has not been fore-arranged, nothing which has not its own special end, by which it forms a link in the chain of appointed order.

JOHN TRAPP (1601-1699): Not a drop of rain falls in vain.

JOHN CALVIN (1509-1564): Whenever we may wander in uncertainty through intricate windings, we must contemplate, with eyes of faith, the secret providence of God which governs us and our affairs, and leads us to unexpected results.

A. W. PINK (1886-1952): None but an infidel believes in things happening by chance, though there are many infidels now wearing the name of “Christian.” There are no accidents in a world which is governed by the living God, “for of Him, and through Him, and to Him, are all things: to whom be glory forever. Amen,” Romans 11:36. Therefore does faith perceive the hand of God in every thing which enters our lives, be it great or small. And it is only as we recognize His hand molding all our circumstances that God is honoured, and our hearts are kept in peace. O for grace to say at all times, It is the Lord: let Him do what seemeth Him good, I Samuel 3:18.

DUTCH PSALTER 383: My life in all its perfect plan,
             (Psalm 139)          Was ordered ere my days began.


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