DAILY WORD 4/12/21
1. Now there was a wealthy and influential man in Bethlehem named Boaz, who was a relative of Naomi’s husband, Elimelech.
2. One day Ruth the Moabite said to Naomi, “Let me go out into the harvest fields to pick up the stalks of grain left behind by anyone who is kind enough to let me do it.”
Naomi replied, “All right, my daughter, go ahead.”
3. So Ruth went out to gather grain behind the harvesters. And as it happened, she found herself working in a field that belonged to Boaz, the relative of her father-in-law, Elimelech.
Ruth 2:1–3 NLT
Today’s Passage continues on with the story of Naomi and Ruth and starts us off with the Second Chapter of the Book of Ruth. The widowed duo has returned from their tragic time in Moab and has returned to Naomi’s Homeland in Israel.
Naomi has told the people that have greeted her upon her return to call her Mara, which translates as, “Bitter” because of the way she believes that God is dealing with her. She has lost her husband, she has lost both of her sons, she has lost her second daughter-in-law, and has traveled back to Bethlehem all but destitute.
However, if we look closely, we can see the beginnings of God’s Hand of Grace and Mercy in His True dealings with Naomi and Ruth in two things that apparently Naomi has overlooked. In order to observe them, we have to look back at Verse 22 of Chapter One of the Book.
It says, “So Naomi returned from Moab, accompanied by her daughter-in-law Ruth, the young Moabite woman. They arrived in Bethlehem in late spring, at the beginning of the barley harvest.” The first thing we can perceive about God’s Hand of Grace is pretty obvious; Ruth has decided to stay with her.
If Naomi believes that God is dealing harshly with her now as she faces all that has come at her in the First Chapter of the Book, imagine how she would feel if Ruth had decided to leave her completely alone, along with her sister-in-law Orpah?
What we are really seeing with Ruth’s selfless choice is not just her decision to leave her own country and completely take herself out of her comfort zone, choosing poverty and uncertainty over a life of relative comfort and security with her own family. What we are really seeing is God’s Grace.
I’m not saying that God forced Ruth to make this choice. What I’m saying is that Naomi would be in dire straights if Ruth had not made it. We can see this in Verse two of Chapter 2 of Today’s Passage.
The Law of Moses dictated that those stricken with poverty in Israel had the right to take leftover grain from the fields when those working in the fields during the harvests were finished with their work. If Naomi had been there by herself, she would have had to be the one out there alone in those fields toiling for her daily grain.
Not only that but it was Ruth that brought up the idea in the first place. She was industrious and willing to put in the work for both of them to be able to eat. On a side note; I find it interesting that certain segments of American Christendom take issue with “socialism” and “welfare” when both of those concepts were literally written into God’s Law for His Chosen people but that’s a subject for another Study.
The point is: God takes care of His people, (and He expects us to take care of them too), especially when they are in direst need. Moving on, there’s another bit of proof that He is Looking out for Naomi even though she can’t currently see it. The second way God is Looking out for Naomi is through Timing.
In Verse 22 of Chapter 1, it says, “They arrived in Bethlehem in late spring, at the beginning of the barley harvest.” Now, many of you may think that this is just random happenstance but if you know anything about God, nothing that He does is random.
What may look like just an arbitrary and fortuitous series of events in our lives, is actually God Working things out for our Benefit. This is exactly what I see when I look at the events surrounding Naomi’s return. It is not unintentional that she has returned when she has.
Alright, maybe she knew when the harvest was but she would not have known how the recent famine had affected the fields. She is stepping out of Faith that she will survive if she returns, leaning on the charity of her countrymen. That is God’s Grace in Action.
What’s more, when she went out to glean grain, Ruth just happened to choose a field that was owned by a relative of Naomi’s late husband Elimelech. There are at least three different, seemingly random aspects of this story that prove God’s Grace is at work on Naomi’s behalf.
God has not forgotten her. He is Fully at Work in her life, she just can’t see it through her grief. I don’t think she can be blamed for her attitude. We are all blindsided by the tragedies that come against us. It is how we are wired.
We see an issue and more often than not, we can only see the worst-case scenario. We can’t see God’s Hand in it. We can’t see how things might work out for the positive. All we can see is the issue and how it looms over us like the other shoe waiting to drop, and that shoe seems to have the weight of a giant steel anvil, and it seems to be poised directly over our heads.
So often, this is how we see our struggles as if God has left us to fend for ourselves. In short, He has not. The enemy just knows how to position our tragedies in our minds in a way that blocks God’s Graceful Engineering from our view. But He has never stopped His Manufacture of Mercy.
The fact that we can’t see it and therefore resort to fatalism; (this is the worst thing that could possibly happen, how can this be happening to me if I’m Faithful to Him, is this how it’s always going to be?), shows just how fickle our Faith can really be. Have we suddenly forgotten His Promise to us? Have we forgotten how He came through for us the last time? And the time before that? And the time before that?
No, we haven’t forgotten. His Blessings are being blocked. Not from coming to pass, they’ve been blocked from our view by the enemy’s deceptive tactics. He knows how to attack our minds and make us believe that God has left us to fend for ourselves but nothing could be further from the Truth!
It takes time to manufacture Grace. It’s not always going to just show up like a bolt from the sky. There is a process to God’s Blessing, to His Handiwork, otherwise, it wouldn’t be called “handiwork”, it would be called magic. A Miracle is just God’s handiwork unrecognized until it smacks us in the face.
If we truly exercised Faith, when these kinds of Engineered Blessings showed up, we wouldn’t be surprised at all. After all, He Said that He would do it! So, why are we always so surprised when it happens? To be blunt, it is our lack of faith. It is the enemy’s hand of obscuring concealment. It is our inability to Trust Him at His Word.
If he can get you to focus on your own pain and not on God’s Grace, he can potentially force you to turn away from Him before His Blessings ever reach you. Then who has abandoned who? It is on us to Trust that God is going to Do what He Said He would and never turn away from Him. Let Him Do the Work. You’ll be happy you did in the end!
Have a Marvelous Monday and Be Patient, Your Miracle is on the Way!