The Turning Point

Growing with God: A daily devotional with Tonia Slimm.

Ruth 2:19-20 (NIV)
Her mother-in-law asked her, “Where did you glean today? Where did you work? Blessed be the man who took notice of you!” Then Ruth told her mother-in-law about the one at whose place she had been working. “The name of the man I worked with today is Boaz,” she said. “The Lord bless him!” Naomi said to her daughter-in-law. “He has not stopped showing his kindness to the living and the dead.” She added, “That man is our close relative; he is one of our guardian-redeemers.

Ruth 2:19-20 (MSG)
Naomi asked her, “So where did you glean today? Whose field? God bless whoever it was who took such good care of you!” Ruth told her mother-in-law, “The man with whom I worked today? His name is Boaz.” Naomi said to her daughter-in-law, “Why, God bless that man! God hasn’t quite walked out on us after all! He still loves us, in bad times as well as good!” Naomi went on, “That man, Ruth, is one of our circle of covenant redeemers, a close relative of ours!”
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“Her mother-in-law said to her, “Where did you glean today? Where did you work? 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.” Naomi said to her daughter-in-law, “May he be blessed of the Lord who has not ceased his kindness to the living and to the dead.” Again Naomi said to her, “The man is one of our closest relatives, one who has the right to redeem us.”” -AMPLIFIED

Ruth came home from her day of gleaning at Boaz’s field, having done very well. “Ruth gleaned in the field until evening. When she threshed out what she had gathered, she ended up with nearly a full sack of barley! She gathered up her gleanings, went back to town, and showed her mother-in-law the results of her day’s work; she also gave her the leftovers from her lunch.” -Ruth 2:17-18 (MSG)

Of course Naomi was quite surprised to see how well Ruth had done. Ruth had brought home considerably more than most reapers would gotten from picking up leftovers. Ruth’s hard work and the intake that she had brought home with her had restored a sense of hope to Naomi.

Naomi asks Ruth, “Where did you glean today?” And we find Naomi’s reaction to Ruth’s response to her question was one of excitement and joy. Ruth told Naomi she had worked in Boaz’s field. She told Naomi what Boaz had told her, “Glean only in my field”. Overcome with emotion Naomi’s reaction to this information was, “God bless that man!” Her response shows us the depths of pain that she had been feeling. Now we see her hope being restored; this is her turning point!

I am sure that Naomi could identify with these words that her grandson, David,  wrote many years later, “You have turned my mourning into dancing for me; you have taken off my sackcloth and clothed me with joy, that my soul may sing praise to You and not be silent. O Lord my God, I will give thanks to You forever.” – Psalm 30:11-12 (AMP)

“It is encouraging to see the changes that have taken place in Naomi because of what Ruth did. God used Ruth to turn Naomi’s bitterness into gratitude, her unbelief into faith, and her despair into hope. One person, trusting the Lord and obeying His will, can change a situation from defeat to victory.  Ruth’s faith in God’s Word led her to the field of Boaz. The love of Boaz for Ruth compelled him to pour out his grace upon her and meet her every need. (Grace is love that pays the price to help the undeserving one.) Ruth’s experience of grace gave her new hope as she anticipated what her kinsman redeemer would do. “And now abide faith, hope, love” (1Cor. 13:13), and they still abide with us as we abide in Jesus Christ and trust in Him.”-Warren Wiersbe (Be Committed: An Old Testament Study of Ruth and Esther)

Naomi shares a very important piece of information with Ruth, “That man, Ruth, is one of our circle of covenant redeemers, a close relative of ours!” This is exciting news! Why? Because the Hebrew word for guardian-redeemer is a legal term for one who has the obligation to redeem a relative who was in serious difficulty. We can find God’s instructions on the kinsman redeemer in Leviticus 25:47-55. It basically says this, the kinsman redeemer had the privilege or responsibility to act on behalf of a relative who was in trouble, danger, or need. The kinsman would redeem or validate the relative who was in dire straits. This explains Naomi’s great joy; Boaz would be the answer to her prayers.

Ruth assures Naomi that Boaz has invited her to come and work only in his fields. “Then Ruth the Moabite said, “He even said to me, ‘Stay with my workers until they finish harvesting all my grain.’” -Ruth 2:21 (NIV)

Chapter 2 ends with this bit of information, “Naomi said to Ruth her daughter-in-law, “It will be good for you, my daughter, to go with the women who work for him, because in someone else’s field you might be harmed.” So Ruth stayed close to the women of Boaz to glean until the barley and wheat harvests were finished. And she lived with her mother-in-law.” -Ruth 2:22-23 (NIV)

Do you wonder at the excitement that Naomi was feeling? Can you understand her need to call God’s blessings upon this man, Boaz? Boaz is the answer to her prayers. God had begun something new!

My Prayer:
Father, help me to never give up in those tough times of life. Remind me that you are always with me “Walking through the Valley of the Shadow of Death”. Naomi’s life is a testimony of Your great faithfulness to your children. Thank you that I can always count on you. My weeping may last for the night, but joy comes in the morning! Thank you for your loving care that never fails! You are so good to me, Daddy.

 

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