Circumstantial Evidence -- By Lyn Chaffart

"'Don't call me Naomi,' she told them. 'Call me Mara, because the Almighty has made my life very bitter. I went away full, but the LORD has brought me back empty. Why call me Naomi? The LORD has afflicted me; the Almighty has brought misfortune upon me.'" (Ruth 1:20-21)

Circumstantial Evidence. Evidence based upon circumstances. Concrete facts derived from what is seen and heard.

But just how valid is this kind of evidence?

We all know that the circumstance of the moment may not always be representative of reality! How many innocent people have been convicted of a crime they did not commit, simply because they were seen at the scene of the crime? Or maybe the weapon used in the crime was found in their possession. Or perhaps they were seen arguing with the victim of the crime. They are tried and wrongly convicted by circumstantial evidence – evidence that seems to say they are guilty, when in all reality, they may not be!

Circumstantial evidence. That’s what prompted Naomi’s homecoming speech. After all, she had left Israel with a husband and two sons, only to return from Moab with no one but a foreign daughter-in-law. You can't really blame Naomi for her negative attitude. After all, three bad things happened, and God could have prevented them! I mean, if you were in Naomi's shoes, wouldn't you have felt a bit bitter? Wouldn't you have felt that everything that could possibly have gone wrong had, indeed, done so? Wouldn't you have been tempted to think that God has afflicted you?

But all of this was, indeed, nothing but circumstantial evidence. Evidence based on the circumstance of the moment. Circumstance so broad that it hid the “big” picture.

And just what was the “circumstantial evidence” hiding? That Naomi’s Moabitess daughter-in-law was to become the great-grandmother of King David! That the character traits of Israel's greatest king -- loyalty, conviction, faith in God no matter what the circumstances -- were all characteristic of his great-grandmother, Ruth! If Naomi's husband and sons had never died, Ruth would have never met Boaz, and king David would have never been!

What does the circumstance in YOUR life dictate, my friend? Does it dictate that you are dying? That your marriage is falling apart? That God has abandoned you? Does it dictate that you are doomed to poverty? That your family doesn't know the Lord? That you are a failure? Circumstantial evidence! That's all it is! Look beyond the circumstance, my friend! Look to Jesus, the author and the finisher of our faith! Trust Him to take even the worse circumstance and turn it into something beautiful, in His time!

In His love,

Lyn Chaffart,
Moderator, The Nugget, Scriptural Nuggets (  ), Answers2Prayer Ministries,