Daily Thought for: 31st March


Ruth 2. 15-20; 3. 1-5; 4. 13-17 

The emphatic word in the second chapter of Ruth is ‘grace’! Debarred by law from being accepted in Israel until the tenth generation, Deut. 23. 3, what possible provision could a penniless widow find for her daily needs? Yet, she requests Naomi’s permission to glean in the field of the one ‘in whose sight I shall find grace’. We might almost say that God was obliged to respond to such simple faith, and He did. She may call it ‘chance’, v. 3, but God directs her to the field of Boaz. She recognizes God’s hand and wonders, ‘Why have I found grace in thine eyes?’ An ephah of barley at the end of the day is evidence of the provision of God. 

The emphatic word in the third chapter of Ruth is ‘rest’! The word implies that for her future in Israel Ruth needed more than supplies of barley. As an alien she needed security. This is implicit in Naomi’s statement, ‘My daughter, shall I not seek rest for thee, that it may be well with thee?’ Three months of harvest have gone and Naomi, recognizing the hand of God, knows that the moment has come for action. On her advice, with no thought of impropriety, Ruth places herself at the feet of a sleeping Boaz on the threshing floor. In cultural tradition she is challenging him to act as a kinsman-redeemer on her behalf. His understanding response sends Ruth home with six measures of barley as a proof of his intentions. Naomi reassures the trembling girl with the words, ‘Sit still, my daughter . . . for the man will not be in rest, until he hath finished the thing this day’. A kinsman was about to take action to give her a permanent place in the nation. She would be brought into the line of the purpose of God. 

The emphatic word in the fourth chapter of Ruth is ‘blessed’. The matter is settled. The kinsman-redeemer has acted to redeem the inheritance and to purchase Ruth to be his wife. Supplies are assured, never again will she have to glean; her standing is secure, never again will she visit the threshing floor and now she holds in her arms her son. She is in the line of the Messiah. The very peace of God reigns. The women of the village who had so pointedly ignored Ruth on her arrival have now to confess, ‘Blessed be the Lord’. 


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