February 10

God Blesses Ruth

Ruth 2-4

KEY VERSE: May the Lord repay you for what you have done. May you be richly rewarded by the Lord, the God of Israel, under whose wings you have come to take refuge.

-- Ruth 2:12

Somehow I had forgotten this beautiful verse! So today I am "tagging" Ruth 2:12 as a verse I plan to use often in the future when I want to express my gratitude for the kindness of a friend. Most of the time we cannot "repay" the kindnesses of others, but we can let them know that we are trusting that the Lord will reward them for what they have done for us. This verse says exactly what many times I want to say to my friends.

Recently Dean and I had lunch with our longtime friend, Roy Jordan. As we parted Roy gave us a small bag containing four small sweet potatoes and two lush persimmons. His dear mother, Janie, had sent us the persimmons. The sweet potatoes came from his wife, Becky, who wanted us to know that these were "biblical" potatoes. They were some of the "gleanings," the potatoes "picked up" after the larger ones had been harvested on a family sweet potato farm.

I thought immediately of Ruth going into the barley fields of Boaz to "glean" some of the leftover grain. This was possible because of Godís "welfare" plan, which may have been better than our modern plan. Old Testament law proscribed that harvesters leave some grain in the fields for the poor to find. The grain was not given to them; it was made available to them, and they had to "work" to obtain it. Not a bad plan.

This story reveals how God often works in our circumstances. Boaz had gone to the fields to speak kindly to his reapers and to ask God to bless them. But God had something else in mind! He planned for Boaz to meet Ruth that day. Observe that Godís will became known to Boaz as he was practicing kindness to others. That is just like God!

To bless his children in the midst of their godly living. Thus acts of kindness can have eternal results!

Perhaps that is why Christ is our Immanuel, because God is "with us," always at work for our good, guiding, blessing, redeeming, restoring, and using us to accomplish his mission in the world!

Surely Boaz for the rest of his life kept whispering a prayer of thanksgiving to God for leading him to the fields that wonderful day when he met his dear Ruth!