1 Now Naomi had a relative on her husband’s side. He was a prominent man of noble character from Elimelech’s family. His name was Boaz. 2 Ruth the Moabitess asked Naomi, “Will you let me go into the fields and gather fallen grain behind someone with whom I find favor?” Naomi answered her, “Go ahead, my daughter.” 3 So Ruth left and entered the field to gather grain behind the harvesters. She happened to be in the portion of the field belonging to Boaz, who was from Elimelech’s family.
Take a moment to think about small and big impactful moments in your life, such as the day you met your soulmate, the day you lost a loved one, the sequence of connections that led you to a doctor who knew exactly how to heal you, the sequence of connections that led to an important job, or a time when you moved to a new community. Where do you think God was in these moments of your life? Do you acknowledge His presence and providence?
In the Book of Ruth, we learn of many impactful moments in Naomi’s life through her passages from fullness to emptiness back to fullness. We see how through it all she acknowledged her relationship with the Lord. She moved to a foreign land where she lost her husband and her two married sons. She told her two widowed daughters-in-law to leave her so they could find new husbands while they were still young. Naomi was emptied. Then one of her daughters-in-law, Ruth, in a selfless act, pledged she would always stay with Naomi until the day she died, that her people would be her people and her God would be her God.
In today’s passage we find Naomi and Ruth in Bethlehem, where Ruth is an outsider as a Moabitess. Naomi knows of only one relative in Bethlehem on her husband’s side from the clan of Elimelech, a man named Boaz. Ruth takes a good will initiative to provide for them by going to one of many fields in the area to pick up leftover grain following behind the field’s harvesters. Guess who owned the field Ruth happens to be gleaning in? None other than Boaz!
A minister in my life often said, “God’s will is good, and it’s up to us to do the rest.” Our lives will ebb and flow with emptiness and fullness, but God’s presence and provision are always with us. There are times when we can serve and provide for others, and there are times when we need to be served and to be provided for by others. When we act and trust in God’s will and not our own, we know God’s provision is working in our lives according to His plan and purpose.
Questions to ask yourself:
- Do you acknowledge God in the details of your daily life?
- Have you ever felt the wonderful feeling of being a vehicle of God’s good will?
- Think about how God’s provision has been evident in your life during times of both fullness and emptiness.
Pray for global workers in our church family this week as they transition to summer in their countries. Pray for creativity and energy as they seek ways to reach people around them across language and cultural challenges.