Gleaning, Grace, and Gratitude
We’ve been taking our time working our way through the book of Ruth. We stopped to consider how to deal with disappointment with God and with the issue of bitterness. Now we are ready to get back into the story.
Ruth and Naomi are in Bethlehem. The narrator tells us an important detail: this part of the story happened during the time of the barley harvest (1:22), i.e., in March or April. Poor people like Naomi and Ruth could glean in the fields during the harvest, so it was fortunate for them that they had a means of getting food for themselves.
Remember that the theme of the book is how God demonstrates His faithfulness by loving, superintending, and caring for His people. Chapter 2 begins to show how God is going to provide for Ruth, Naomi, and Boaz. As we see God provide for them, we should be encouraged to believe that God will also provide for us if we are like Ruth and Boaz. The story here emphasizes the good character and faithfulness of these two people. God provides for his people when they are faithful like Ruth and Boaz were. So they serve as good examples for us.
Normally speaking, God provides for us in the same way that we see him providing for Ruth, Naomi, and Boaz—through hard work and through relationships with other people. As we are faithful to God, we can expect him to meet our needs.
Let’s consider some of the ways God providentially provides for his people.