Ruth Part 4: Wait, Work is a…Blessing?

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Grab your cup, the grace is flowing!

Ruth faced the unknown but knew who was going before her…wow.

I think we’ve all had times in our lives when we’ve been walking down the road but not knowing why or knowing how we’ll manage. I know I have. And I know that the Lord was leading the way, going before me preparing things, my job was to walk by faith, to trust and step out of my comfort zone.  God is a God who cares, loves, goes before, prepares the way, walks beside, comforts, provides, and no matter what, is always faithful.

Back in Bethlehem, Ruth begins her new life. Out of respect for her Naomi, she goes out in search of work, looking to find favor with someone and gather grain. She didn’t wait for Naomi to come up with a plan, she took the initiative to create a better life for not only herself but also her mother-in-law.

Deuteronomy 24:19 explains God’s instructions for providing for the poor. “When you are harvesting in your field and you overlook a sheaf, do not go back to get it. Leave it for the foreigner, the fatherless, and the widow, so that the Lord your God may bless in you in all the work of your hands.” The culture of the day didn’t have jobs that women could apply for, they were completely dependent. But, God provided for them, a plan allowing them to work and have enough.

So, Ruth heads out to a field and arrives at a one belonging to Boaz.  She begins to glean, working hard and steadily, finding favor with Boaz.  In fact, Boaz tells her not to glean in any other field, and assures her of her safety.  What a blessing!   After all, she’s a foreign woman out in a field full of men so the promise of safety would be an answer to prayer!  Not to mention she was allowed to work steadily, to follow along after the girls that worked the field and glean after them.  And as a bonus – he invited her to drink from the water jars as well.  Jackpot!  A safe, secure, and prosperous work environment!

You see, he’d heard of Ruth.  Heard how she wouldn’t leave her mother-in-law, heard about all of her hard work, and her courage in living with an unknown people.

He was impressed with this young woman.  So much so that he even invited her to eat with the harvesters, offering her what everyone else was eating and inviting her to eat until she was satisfied.  And after she ate and returned to gleaning the fields, he gave orders to his workers, “Even if she gathers among the sheaves, don’t embarrass her. Rather, pull out some stalks for her from the bundles and leave them for her to pick up, and don’t rebuke her” (Ruth 2:15,16.)  Not only was Boaz impressed by all that he had heard of her actions, he was also impressed with her in person.

She didn’t whine about how hard she had to work, and how demeaning it was to be the lowliest person there.  She stayed humble and did what needed to be done.  She wasn’t brash or mouthy, she honored her host in her speech.  She was grateful for the opportunity to work and to provide for herself and Naomi.

Alistair Begg puts it this way, ““Everything that God gives us and every opportunity of obtaining what we need is an undeserved expression of God’s favor.”

Work is a blessing. (Even though it doesn’t always feel like it!)

God was honoring her choice to put her faith in Him by supplying for her needs.  How awesome is that!

(Ruth)

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