DAILY WORD 4/13/21
4. While she was there, Boaz arrived from Bethlehem and greeted the harvesters. “The LORD be with you!” he said.
“The LORD bless you!” the harvesters replied.
5. Then Boaz asked his foreman, “Who is that young woman over there? Who does she belong to?”
6. And the foreman replied, “She is the young woman from Moab who came back with Naomi.
7. She asked me this morning if she could gather grain behind the harvesters. She has been hard at work ever since, except for a few minutes’ rest in the shelter.”
Ruth 2:4–7 NLT
Today’s Passage continues on with the Story of Ruth and introduces the “Romantic Lead”, Boaz. Now, as I have indicated before, this story really is about Naomi and Ruth and their journey through God’s Process of Grace and Blessing as they navigate the hardships of life. However, let’s not forget that within that Process, God often uses individuals to affect His Will.
This is the case with Naomi and Ruth as well. In the days of the Judges of Israel when this story takes place, and throughout much of history, women have depended on men to provide for their needs, and without that wherewithal, they were often considered shackled by poverty and lack. Today that is much less the case but back then, Naomi and Ruth were in dire straights without a man to care for them.
This is why the loss of both of their husbands in Moab was such a tragic event. It wasn’t just the sorrow and grief that confronted them, it was the destitution that came along with their loss. Naomi, being well past the typical marriage age, in that she could no longer likely bear children, was in an even worse position than Ruth who was still young. This is probably why she chose to travel back to Israel, to be close to her countrymen who were obliged to care for her.
When Boaz first arrives on the scene, we immediately see a couple of important aspects of his personality. First of all, let’s recall that he is a member of Elimelech’s family and would have been familiar with Naomi and her situation. In addition, immediately upon his arrival, he says, “The Lord be with you.” This is a simple and seemingly innocuous statement but it says a lot about him in this era of Israel’s history.
Remember that Israel has just come out of a terrible famine which is what drove Naomi’s family out of the region in the first place. The reason for this famine was the rampant moral decline of the Children of Israel. Boaz’s simple statement was a clear indication that he was one of the few Israelites that still Believed in, Trusted, and Followed God’s Law.
He is both a wealthy and a just man. But there is another aspect of what Boaz does as he is introduced to this story that speaks to his character. He immediately askes who Ruth is. Now, this may seem like nothing but it tells us that Boaz not only knows his workers but is concerned with understanding who any new individuals are that are gleaning from the harvest of his lands.
His concern is not from greed or any kind of micromanagement. Taking the leftover grain, or gleaning, is not going to impact Boaz’s business or livelihood in the least. As a matter of fact, it was an Israelite tradition to leave some grain during the harvest for those that were poor to feed themselves with. It was a form of social charity that was built into God’s Law.
Additionally, Boaz’s question about Ruth indicates that he is a good boss. How many of us have worked for people that not only didn’t know our names but didn’t even bother to ask? If this is not your experience, consider yourself Blessed. I can tell you from personal experience that having a bad boss can affect you in a lot of negative ways.
This is not the case for Boaz. He is attentive and concerned with the conditions and situations surrounding his holdings and is apparently also concerned with exactly who is on his land and why. He is not only a good boss but a man of God who is trying to emulate the Characteristics of a Leader. Totally the kind of guy you’d want as an employer.
This aspect of the story is just another indication of God’s Graceful Engineering. Boaz’s character is further proof that God is at work in Naomi’s situation and that He has not left her to deal with her tragic situation alone.
It can be forgiven Naomi that she cannot see His Hand at work. To be honest, without moving forward in this story, neither can we. But as we proceed on in this narrative, remember to look at all of the things that it takes for God to Manufacture His Mercies. It is never (or rarely) a “Boom! Here’s a Miracle” kind of affair.
Typically, God’s intervention looks a lot like normal life. He Works out situations to our benefit but He tends to do so in an organic and natural way, a way that if we are not looking for His Grace can seem like it was going to happen all along. He uses what we have around us to Bless us, and sometimes it takes a while to take effect.
But that is the beauty of God’s Handiwork; it Develops. He gives us the time to build up our Faith and Trust in Him as He takes Painstaking Steps to change our situations in ways that will change our lives forever. The process can sometimes be grueling and seemingly painfully slow but that just gives us time to appreciate His Process all the more.
If it was all just handed to us, how would we ever be able to truly appreciate the development and procedure, the True Handiwork of God’s Intervention? It takes time to appreciate True Beauty and God’s Hand of Intercession is Truly Beautiful, even in its Process.
As we continue on through this Book, take the time to look back on His Intercession in your life, and appreciate all that it took to change your situation for the better. It may not have been all at once like you’d have liked but He did come through, and He will again.
When you face tragedy and issues that you cannot see a way out of, remember that God has always come through for you, and rest assured that He will again. He is always Faithful, so be Faithful to Him and place your Trust in Him. He may surprise you with the Intricacy of His Handiwork!
Have a Terrific Tuesday and Bank on God’s Promises, He Will Come Through For You!