Snapshots: Day 157
The Snapshot: “Just then Boaz arrived.” (Ruth 2:4) He sees her, inquires about her, and then goes over and reassures her about working there and encourages her to keep on. Her heart, her openness to this new people, this willingness to work and provide for Naomi, have brought her to this field that just happens to belong to Boaz and he just happens to turn up to reassure her and confirm her security. There is a beautiful combination of the good heart of a woman and the working of God that is working together to bring a good conclusion. We always have our part to play in the drama of life in the kingdom but it is always in partnership with the One who rules over it. Be aware of both things, play your part and praise and worship Him as He does His.
Further Consideration: We have to continue to pursue this chain of thought about chance, coincidences, call them what you will, for this story is filled with them. But the more we look into the chain of events that seem to flow in this story, the more we come to realize that, if God’s hand was subtly moving in the background, it was because He knew the heart of the people concerned and knew how He could edge them along to a really amazing outcome.
We will overcome the temptation to jump ahead and see how this works out in this way, but let’s just note the chain of events and the people involved that we’ve seen so far.
First there is Naomi, swept along in not good circumstances, by the will of her husband. She has nothing (to our knowledge) to do with her husband dying, her sons getting wives, them not having children and then dying, but we see her grace and concern for the two younger women as she tried to get them to establish new lives back in their country. Yet somehow something of her grace rubs off on Ruth who will not stay and thus returns to Israel with Naomi. Back in the Land Naomi confesses her misfortunes but it is Ruth who makes the first move, when they realize it is harvest time and clearly Naomi has explained the custom, to go out into the fields to collect leftover grain to feed them. Her willingness to work takes her to a field that just happens to belong to a slightly older but kind-hearted relative.
So what do we have? Grace, love, concern that evokes loyalty in response, followed by a willingness to learn the new ways of Naomi’s people, together with a willingness to ‘go out to work’ to provide for them as she understands those cultural ways, and finally the good heart of Boaz. Add to this the timing element of harvest, plus the ‘chance’ of choosing Boaz’s field, plus another timing element of Boaz turning up, and you have a beautiful mix of ingredients, human and divine, that work together to produce a beautiful outcome. Lovely! Awesome!