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Ruth meets Boaz

When she got up to glean, Boaz instructed his young men, “Let her glean even among the standing sheaves, and do not reproach her. You must also pull out some handfuls for her from the bundles, and leave them for her to glean, and do not rebuke her.” (Ruth 2:15-16, NRSV)

And not only did Boaz invite this outsider, this foreigner into the group and feed her and give her water, he told his men to leave some of the best for her, and to protect her and not send her away.

When have we done this for the outsider?

When have we protected the vulnerable?

When have we included the stranger?

 

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Ruth Meets Boaz

Now Naomi had a kinsman on her husband’s side, a prominent rich man, of the family of Elimelech, whose name was Boaz. And Ruth the Moabite said to Naomi, “Let me go to the field and glean among the ears of grain, behind someone in whose sight I may find favor.” She said to her, “Go, my daughter.” So she went. She came and gleaned in the field behind the reapers. As it happened, she came to the part of the field belonging to Boaz, who was of the family of Elimelech. Just then Boaz came from Bethlehem. He said to the reapers, “The Lord be with you.” They answered, “The Lord bless you.” Then Boaz said to his servant who was in charge of the reapers, “To whom does this young woman belong?” The servant who was in charge of the reapers answered, “She is the Moabite who came back with Naomi from the country of Moab. She said, ‘Please, let me glean and gather among the sheaves behind the reapers.’ So she came, and she has been on her feet from early this morning until now, without resting even for a moment.” Then Boaz said to Ruth, “Now listen, my daughter, do not go to glean in another field or leave this one, but keep close to my young women. Keep your eyes on the field that is being reaped, and follow behind them. I have ordered the young men not to bother you. If you get thirsty, go to the vessels and drink from what the young men have drawn.” Then she fell prostrate, with her face to the ground, and said to him, “Why have I found favor in your sight, that you should take notice of me, when I am a foreigner?” But Boaz answered her, “All that you have done for your mother-in-law since the death of your husband has been fully told me, and how you left your father and mother and your native land and came to a people that you did not know before. May the Lord reward you for your deeds, and may you have a full reward from the Lord, the God of Israel, under whose wings you have come for refuge!” Then she said, “May I continue to find favor in your sight, my lord, for you have comforted me and spoken kindly to your servant, even though I am not one of your servants.” At mealtime Boaz said to her, “Come here, and eat some of this bread, and dip your morsel in the sour wine.” So she sat beside the reapers, and he heaped up for her some parched grain. She ate until she was satisfied, and she had some left over. When she got up to glean, Boaz instructed his young men, “Let her glean even among the standing sheaves, and do not reproach her. You must also pull out some handfuls for her from the bundles, and leave them for her to glean, and do not rebuke her.” So she gleaned in the field until evening. Then she beat out what she had gleaned, and it was about an ephah of barley. She picked it up and came into the town, and her mother-in-law saw how much she had gleaned. Then she took out and gave her what was left over after she herself had been satisfied. Her mother-in-law said to her, “Where did you glean today? And where have you worked? Blessed be the man who took notice of you.” So she told her mother-in-law with whom she had worked, and said, “The name of the man with whom I worked today is Boaz.” Then Naomi said to her daughter-in-law, “Blessed be he by the Lord, whose kindness has not forsaken the living or the dead!” Naomi also said to her, “The man is a relative of ours, one of our nearest kin.” Then Ruth the Moabite said, “He even said to me, ‘Stay close by my servants, until they have finished all my harvest.’” Naomi said to Ruth, her daughter-in-law, “It is better, my daughter, that you go out with his young women, otherwise you might be bothered in another field.” So she stayed close to the young women of Boaz, gleaning until the end of the barley and wheat harvests; and she lived with her mother-in-law. (Ruth 2:1-23, NRSV)

Ruth happened on a field that belonged to a relative of Elimelech. Seems like a huge coincidence. That is if you believe in coincidence. I think this was not by chance but was actually a Godincidence.

You see Ruth saw the hope that was in Naomi’s God and clung to Naomi when she should have returned home. She gave up everything to help a woman she had only know for ten years. Because of the love they shared. Ruth was devoted to helping her mother-in-law. She knew that there was hope in following after these things.

So she found a field of a Godly man named Boaz who was a relative of Naomi’s. And when Boaz heard the woman gleaning in his field was Ruth, the woman who was taking care of his relative, he decided to take care of her. Ruth gleaned with Boaz’s women until the harvest was done and supported her mother-in-law through that. And by Boaz allowing her to be there and protecting her, he provided for Ruth and Naomi.

Isn’t that how all of us should be? Looking out for those in need? Looking out for those who can not look out for themselves?

 

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whom shall I fear

170128The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid? When evildoers assail me to devour my flesh—my adversaries and foes—they shall stumble and fall. Though an army encamp against me, my heart shall not fear; though war rise up against me, yet I will be confident. One thing I asked of the LORD, that will I seek after: to live in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the LORD, and to inquire in his temple. For he will hide me in his shelter in the day of trouble; he will conceal me under the cover of his tent; he will set me high on a rock. Now my head is lifted up above my enemies all around me, and I will offer in his tent sacrifices with shouts of joy; I will sing and make melody to the LORD. Hear, O LORD, when I cry aloud, be gracious to me and answer me!  “Come,” my heart says, “seek his face!” Your face, LORD, do I seek.  Do not hide your face from me. Do not turn your servant away in anger, you who have been my help. Do not cast me off, do not forsake me, O God of my salvation! (Psalm 27:1-9, NRSV)

What is there to be afraid of?

We all are afraid of something. But do we need to let fear keep us from living?

No. God is our stronghold. He will overcome everything that comes our way.

He will protect us, and encamp around us. He will keep us safe and shelter us.

There is nothing to fear in the light of the Lord!

 

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To the hills…

161017I lift up my eyes to the hills—from where will my help come? My help comes from the LORD, who made heaven and earth. He will not let your foot be moved; he who keeps you will not slumber. He who keeps Israel will neither slumber nor sleep. The LORD is your keeper; the LORD is your shade at your right hand. The sun shall not strike you by day, nor the moon by night. The LORD will keep you from all evil; he will keep your life. The LORD will keep your going out and your coming in from this time on and forevermore. (Psalm 121, NRSV)

I lift my eyes up to the hills…

I look up to see where my help is coming from.

God, the Lord of heaven and earth will be my shelter.

God will be my shade.

God who neither slumbers nor sleeps will watch over me and be my protection.

God will help me and guard me from all evil and harm.

God will always do this.

God will always be my protection.

 

 

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stay

160726I give you thanks, O LORD, with my whole heart; before the gods I sing your praise; I bow down toward your holy temple and give thanks to your name for your steadfast love and your faithfulness; for you have exalted your name and your word above everything. On the day I called, you answered me, you increased my strength of soul. All the kings of the earth shall praise you, O LORD, for they have heard the words of your mouth. They shall sing of the ways of the LORD, for great is the glory of the LORD. For though the LORD is high, he regards the lowly; but the haughty he perceives from far away. Though I walk in the midst of trouble, you preserve me against the wrath of my enemies; you stretch out your hand, and your right hand delivers me. The LORD will fulfill his purpose for me; your steadfast love, O LORD, endures forever. Do not forsake the work of your hands. (Psalm 138, NRSV)

Though I walk in the midst of trouble, you protect me.

Though I walk through uncertain times, you are with me.

Though I know not what is happening to me or around me, you give me shelter.

Though I turn away from you, you stay beside me.

Jesus has promised to always be with us, and the walk with us through everything that comes our way.

He will always be with us, through whatever life deals us.

Stay with Him, and He will never leave you!

 

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Trust

160604But I trust in you, O LORD;
I say, “You are my God.”
My times are in your hand;
deliver me from the hand of my enemies and persecutors.
Let your face shine upon your servant;
save me in your steadfast love.
Do not let me be put to shame, O LORD,
for I call on you;
let the wicked be put to shame;
let them go dumbfounded to Sheol.
Let the lying lips be stilled
that speak insolently against the righteous
with pride and contempt.
O how abundant is your goodness
that you have laid up for those who fear you,
and accomplished for those who take refuge in you,
in the sight of everyone!
In the shelter of your presence you hide them
from human plots;
you hold them safe under your shelter
from contentious tongues.
Blessed be the LORD,
for he has wondrously shown his steadfast love to me
when I was beset as a city under siege.
I had said in my alarm,
“I am driven far from your sight.”
But you heard my supplications
when I cried out to you for help.
Love the LORD, all you his saints.
The LORD preserves the faithful,
but abundantly repays the one who acts haughtily.
Be strong, and let your heart take courage,
all you who wait for the LORD.
(Psalm 31:14-24, NRSV)

Just like a father cares for and looks after his children, so I look to God. My protector.

I trust in God to be there for me.

Not to always stop me from wandering, but always there to lead me back home.

Just like my father protected me, but let me learn, so I believe God is one I can and do put my trust in.

He is always there for me and you.

 

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Protect

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