Saturday, October 31, 2009
17 So she gleaned in the field until evening, and beat out what she had gleaned, and it was about an ephah of barley. 18 Then she took it up and went into the city, and her mother-in-law saw what she had gleaned. So she brought out and gave to her what she had kept back after she had been satisfied.
19 And her mother-in-law said to her, “Where have you gleaned today? And where did you work? Blessed be the one who took notice of you.”
So she told her mother-in-law with whom she had worked, and said, “The man’s name with whom I worked today is Boaz.”
20 Then Naomi said to her daughter-in-law, “Blessed be he of the LORD, who has not forsaken His kindness to the living and the dead!” And Naomi said to her, “This man is a relation of ours, one of our close relatives.”
21 Ruth the Moabitess said, “He also said to me, ‘You shall stay close by my young men until they have finished all my harvest.’”
22 And Naomi said to Ruth her daughter-in-law, “It is good, my daughter, that you go out with his young women, and that people do not meet you in any other field.”
(Ruth 2:17-22, New King James Version)
As we continue to go through the story of Ruth, I was particularly struck by Naomi's words in verse 20.
Then Naomi said to her daughter-in-law, “Blessed be he of the LORD, who has not forsaken His kindness to the living and the dead!” And Naomi said to her, “This man is a relation of ours, one of our close relatives.”
Naomi had come back to her country bitter and discouraged, but now we see a turning point. The Lord has not forsaken her! How often do we feel as though God has forsaken us when everything around us is falling apart. In dark days, we often cannot understand how the Lord is working in our behalf. That was certainly the case for Naomi, but we see her beginning to have a glimmer of hope.
Look at the blessings God is pouring upon Naomi and Ruth. First, He is providing them with sustenance, second, He has shown kindness and protection to Ruth, and third, the man whom God is using to show kindness to Ruth is a close relative.
I am sure that Naomi was concerned about these very things. How would God provide for them? She could see that the diligence of her daughter-in-law was being rewarded when Ruth returned with grain. But, what about safety for Ruth? Knowing the vulnerability of Ruth, a foreigner, I am sure she was very concerned about her. Then, Naomi was overjoyed when she heard that Ruth had gleaned in the field of Boaz, and that he had showed kindness to Ruth. Boaz was a close relative! What significance did that have? We will find that out as we continue through the book of Ruth.
The book of Ruth is encouraging to us, as believers, on so many different levels. Just as God kept Ruth and Naomi in the shelter of His wings, so He does the same for us today. We often take these things for granted, but how do we react when we lose our job, or become ill, or are cast out by family members?
We may forget God or take Him for granted, but He never forgets His own. As children of God, we are not forsaken, but will always be kept in the hands of our God. Faith shines through when we are able to look at everything falling down around us and still say, "I am not forsaken by God!"
God Bless You,