Ruth 2:1-7 - A Continuation - Helping the Poor

|
"Now Naomi had a relative on her husband's side of the family named Boaz. He was a wealthy, prominent man from the clan of Elimelech. One day Ruth the Moabite said to Naomi, "Let me go to the fields so I can gather grain behind whoever permits me to do so." Naomi replied, "You may go, my daughter." So Ruth went and gathered grain in the fields behind the harvesters. Now she just happened to end up in the portion of the field belonging to Boaz, who was from the clan of Elimelech. Now at that very moment, Boaz arrived from Bethlehem and greeted the harvesters, "May the Lord be with you!" They replied, "May the Lord bless you!" Boaz asked his servant in charge of the harvesters, "To whom does this young woman belong?" The servant in charge of the harvesters replied, "She's the young Moabite woman who came back with Naomi from the region of Moab. She asked, "May I follow the harvesters and gather grain among the bundles?" Since she arrived she has been working hard from this morning until now - except for sitting in the resting hut a short time." Ruth 2:1-7


As I studied these scriptures I discovered some other insights that I just had to share with you before we moved along any further.

Do you notice how in verse 7 the servant tells Boaz that Ruth asked, "May I follow the harvesters and gather grain among the bundles?" Any other time I have read this in the past I thought absolutely nothing of it other than it was the "right" thing to do before she just walked out in this man's field and starting gathering up his grain.

However, a look back at Jewish law tells us that Boaz was required to allow Ruth to gather grain in his fields. In Leviticus 19:9-10 we find these words....

"When you gather in the harvest of your land, you must not completely harvest the corner of your field, and you must not gather up the gleanings of your harvest. You must not pick your vineyard bare, and you must not gather up the fallen grapes of your vineyard. You must leave them for the poor and the foreigner. I am the Lord your God."

Then, just a few chapters later we find these words in Leviticus 23:22....

"When you gather in the harvest of your land, you must not completely harvest the corner of your field, and you must not gather up the gleanings of your harvest. You must leave them for the poor and the foreigner. I am the Lord your God. "

With the law presented in these scriptures, the disadvantaged (widows, orphans, poor) were allowed to gather grain from the unharvested parts of the field. They could also go back over areas that had already been harvested and pick up grain that had been missed or had fallen (this was called gleaning).

Since it was mentioned twice in the course of just several chapters, I would say that God took caring for the disadvantaged seriously. Not only was it mentioned twice in Leviticus, but I also found one reference that stated caring for the poor is mentioned 136 times in the Bible. I'd say God places a high priority on this, wouldn't you?

In closing I want to share several of the questions I've been asking myself over the last couple of days as I've been looking at this scripture.....

~ Do I share with the disadvantaged as God would have me to?

~ Do I share appropriately of my time?

~ Do I share appropriately of my money?

~ If not, what steps would God have me take to change and place a higher priority on this in my life and the life of my family?


5 Thoughts Shared:

Tonya said...

Melanie,

What a WONDERFUL post! I'd never thought about to be honest. I just assumed she was being respectful. This is one of my all time FAVORITE "love stories!" I think it's SOOOOO SWEET!

I've MISSED You, Sweet Friend! Thanks so much for checking in on me while I was away. I'm FINALLY getting back on track and hope to be back in full swing soon. ☺

Take care,
LOVE,
Tonya

bp said...

This is such an excellent thought along with this passage Melanie. Thank you.

Cheryl said...

Melanie,

I think that is something I've overlooked also. Our minister at church is preaching on "compassion." He's asked us to do acts of kindness for others. People we don't know. It can be anything that you are able to do. They have set up a website regarding this and anyone who has had been shown compassion or anyone who has been the one giving to other can go to the website and tell about their experience. There have been so many instances where someone has provided something to someone who just happens to need, such as a single mom who only had a few dollars and someone buys their groceries. When we are compassionate in even just the smallest way, God gives us such a blessing.

Thanks for sharing this!

Cheryl

P.S. Thank you for your prayers. They are so very much appreciated!

Love,
Cheryl

Laurie Ann said...

Wow! Great insight here, Melanie! I had never thought of it this way before. Wonderfully thought-provoking questions asked, too!

Tricia said...

Hey Melanie
I agree... some good, thought provoking questions. Often I think we overlook the disadvantaged in our hectic lives and busy schedules... maybe we should pray that God would open our eyes to the disadvantaged He places in our paths so we can share with them...

Blessings!