Derek Smith, Lead Pastor LHBC
Then she arose with her daughters-in-law to return from the country of Moab, for she had heard in the fields of Moab that the Lord had visited his people and given them food. 7 So she set out from the place where she was with her two daughters-in-law, and they went on the way to return to the land of Judah. 8 But Naomi said to her two daughters-in-law, “Go, return each of you to her mother’s house. May the Lord deal kindly with you, as you have dealt with the dead and with me. 9 The Lord grant that you may find rest, each of you in the house of her husband!” Then she kissed them, and they lifted up their voices and wept. 10 And they said to her, “No, we will return with you to your people.” 11 But Naomi said, “Turn back, my daughters; why will you go with me? Have I yet sons in my womb that they may become your husbands? 12 Turn back, my daughters; go your way, for I am too old to have a husband. If I should say I have hope, even if I should have a husband this night and should bear sons, 13 would you therefore wait till they were grown? Would you therefore refrain from marrying? No, my daughters, for it is exceedingly bitter to me for your sake that the hand of the Lord has gone out against me.” 14 Then they lifted up their voices and wept again. And Orpah kissed her mother-in-law, but Ruth clung to her.
15 And she said, “See, your sister-in-law has gone back to her people and to her gods; return after your sister-in-law.” 16 But Ruth said, “Do not urge me to leave you or to return from following you. For where you go I will go, and where you lodge I will lodge. Your people shall be my people, and your God my God. 17 Where you die I will die, and there will I be buried. May the Lord do so to me and more also if anything but death parts me from you.” 18 And when Naomi saw that she was determined to go with her, she said no more.
The story of Ruth is such a beautiful story of God’s redeeming love. Ruth is a broken widow who follows her mother-in-law to the land of God’s people, and while there she is redeemed by a man named Boaz. Through this love relationship God rewrites her story and she gives birth to Obed, the grandfather of King David and forefather to the Messiah. It is such a moving picture of the redeeming love of Christ toward His own Bride, the Church. In love He has drawn us to Himself and redeemed us from our former way of life and set us in a place of prominence for Him.
In chapter 1 we learn that in the land of Moab, where Naomi and Ruth were living, the fields were bare. There was not enough food to provide for their needs, but Naomi learned that there was food in the land of Judah, the land of God’s people Israel. So, Naomi and her two daughters-in-law decide to head to the land of Judah. Along the way Naomi convinces Orpah to go back home to her family, but Ruth would not be denied the opportunity to stay with her mother-in-law. Ruth didn’t want to go back home where they worshipped pagan Moabite gods. She had seen the difference Jesus makes through the life of her mother-in-law and she couldn’t fathom being anywhere else but with the people of the one true living God. She makes that powerful statement of faith that where Naomi would go she would go, and Naomi’s God would be her God. Ruth chose to dwell and work in the harvest fields of God’s people instead of resting in the fruitless country of her heritage.
In famine seasons there is always abundant food in the fields of God’s people. The people of God have a harvest of righteousness that the rest of the world doesn’t possess during hard times. When it’s dry and hopeless, the fields of God’s people are full of peace, joy, and provision. It’s interesting, Judah means praise, so they moved from the land of problems to the land of praise. When you run into problems, just move to the land of praise! Notice also, the land of praise soon became their land of provision. It’s only when I obey God and choose to praise that I receive all I need for today.
Child of God, today if you’re hurting, go where the hope is! Hope lies in the fields of God’s people. Get in church and praise the one who redeemed you from sin, our loving Lord Jesus Christ! Don’t dig for scraps in the fields of this world, seek the Lord and glean from His fields. Turn your problems into praise and soon you will find the spiritual and physical provision you need to sustain you in the Lord.
PRAYER FOR TODAY:
Father God, You are such a good good Father. You provide my every need and have given me a harvest of peace, joy, and love that comes only from Heaven. Lord, there is nothing this world has to offer that compares with You. Help me to glean from your field and work in Your harvest always. In Jesus name I pray, amen.
MEMORY VERSE OF THE WEEK:
There is none like you, O Lord;
you are great, and your name is great in might