Snapshots: Day 162
The Snapshot: “in someone else’s field you might be harmed.” (Ruth 2:22) This is Naomi advising Ruth to remain in the field belonging to Boaz – who she knows is a kinsman-redeemer – but she simply does so because it is wise to receive his protection – NOT to manipulate the situation to bring Boaz and Ruth together. Naomi is not a schemer. Later on as the situation develops Naomi will advise Ruth how to act righteously, but for the moment, she is simply looking for Ruth’s safety and well-being. Again we ask ourselves, can we, as the children of God, trust and commit our (trying) circumstances to Him, leaving our future in His secure hands? Even more, are we constantly on the lookout for the welfare and well-being of those around us?
Further Consideration: Feeling insecure in this day is an area that produces a very varied range of responses from people – and that includes Christian people. Throughout the ongoing time of the 2020 Covid-19 Pandemic, the lock-down requirements and the whole fear overshadowing the Pandemic, unnerved many people. Elderly retired people, although being at a higher risk level, often appeared to cope better than younger generations because the amount of limitations were no more than they usually experienced. Others have not coped so well. This is insecurity because of a specific health threat.
Linked to that there are/were many people losing jobs because the effects of the Pandemic and the economic effect for many became severe and the future very uncertain. Insecurity from loss of income.
But the fact is that there are many other causes for people to feel insecure. I have a friend who was physically abused by her spouse before the courts banned him from the family home. Years of abuse leaves her constantly feeling insecure. Insecurity from relationships.
Naomi and Ruth are able to get security from the Law and from the integrity and graciousness of the reputation of Boaz.
What is sad today is that I have had it said to me more than once, “I don’t trust my church, I don’t feel secure there.” Further questioning reveals leaders who talk about safeguarding but fail to teach on no gossip or verbal abuse, and don’t hold people to account when it does occur. This is both lack of grace and lack of integrity. The church should be a place of healing and restoration, of truth and integrity, of grace and mercy. Knowing a number of churches where there have been upsets, it seems this is an area where we are particularly vulnerable to getting it wrong and not working to get it right.
Naomi was able to put Ruth at ease when going to work in the fields belonging to Boaz. Our people – fellow believers – should feel secure in the ‘fields’ belonging to Jesus.