By Os Hillman
“So Ruth gleaned in the field until evening. Then she threshed the barley she had gathered, and it amounted to about an ephah” (Ruth 2:17-18).
The story of Ruth provides an excellent illustration of the connection between spending time in the presence of God and receiving physical provision. Naomi was married to Elimelech. They had two married sons. Elimelech died and ten years later both of the sons also died. Ruth was married to one of the sons.
The other daughter-in-law moved back to her family, but Ruth, in spite of Naomi’s encouragement, insisted on staying with Naomi. The only way for the family line to continue would have been for Ruth to marry another son or direct relative. Now, through a custom known as the kinsman redeemer, Ruth could be married to a relative in the family line. Times were tough and most people made a living by farming. Naomi had a relative named Boaz who was a prominent land owner and farmer. She sent Ruth to glean in the fields of Boaz all day in hopes of picking up excess grain left behind by the harvesters.
Ruth stayed in the fields all day and yielded just one ephah of grain. It is a picture of sweat and toil for very little return. However, something happens later in the story. Naomi realized the only way Ruth was going to have any kind of future is if a kinsman redeemer came to her rescue. She instructed Ruth to go to the threshing floor where Boaz would be and to quietly sit at the feet of Boaz all night. This would be a sign of submitting her life to Boaz. He would have to exercise his right to be her kinsmen redeemer.
Later, Boaz sends Ruth home and takes the necessary steps to become her redeemer. But before he sends her home, he gives her six ephahs of barley – six times what she got spending all day in the fields.
Friend, if we are going to succeed in fulfilling God’s destiny for our lives, we must have a life of intimate worship and devotion to Jesus. Why not start spending more time at the feet of Jesus.
UP CHRISTIAN YOUTH MOVEMENT
University of the Philippines, Diliman Campus, QC