Ruth 2 vs 1 - 3
Now Naomi had a relative of her husband's, a worthy man of the clan of Elimelech, whose name was Boaz. 2 And Ruth the Moabite said to Naomi, “Let me go to the field and glean among the ears of grain after him in whose sight I shall find favour.” And she said to her, “Go, my daughter.” 3 So she set out and went and gleaned in the field after the reapers, and she happened to come to the part of the field belonging to Boaz, who was of the clan of Elimelech.
The BBC reported last night that arable farmers in the UK have warned that next year they will be unable to harvest their crops unless the loss of EU workers is made up by local people. The problem however is massive, ninety percent of the work force at present comes from the EU and local people have shown no interest in doing this type of work which one employment agency chief described as hard and physical.
In the case of Naomi and Ruth they could not afford the luxury of choice and in an age before social security if they didn’t work they wouldn’t eat. We could say it was coincidence that they came home at the start of harvest, and that Ruth just happened to glean in a field belonging to Boaz but you just don’t get that impression from reading the story. At the very least there is the strong hint that God’s hand was behind all of this. It was God who brought together the people, at the place, at the time and through this worked his purpose. Naomi, Ruth and now Boaz come together in God’s will.
It is striking that God is at work in what is a very domestic scene, in the lives of very ordinary people; lives and experiences that were probably duplicated in some form all over Israel at the time. This was special though because God drew Ruth and Boaz together in marriage, and in doing so provided for Naomi and brought a child into the life of a woman who had given up hope, a man who was that little bit older and had perhaps given up the hope of marriage, and when you read carefully verse 4:13, to a woman who had perhaps difficulty in conceiving in the past. When we look for signs of God at work we usually look for extraordinary events, great movements of the Spirit, the spectacular growth of the church and dramatic answers to prayer. God does indeed move in these ways but the fact that we think of them as extraordinary events shows that they are less common. Most often God works as he did in the lives of Naomi, Ruth and Boaz. So for you and for me how can we trace God’s hand in the daily events of life? When you see his hand in everyday things, in the rough and tumble of life give thanks for his mercy and for the part he has given you in his kingdom.