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sharing with the poor
Bible Passage Ruth 2: 2- 8
This content is part of a series Bright Morning Reflections, in topic 2023 & book Ruth.

Sharing with the poor

  • Rev. Bright Mawuena Nfodzo
Date preached September 27, 2023

SCRIPTURE 📖
2 Ruth the Moabite told Naomi, “Please allow me to go out to the fields and glean grain behind anyone who shows me kindness.” So Naomi replied, “Go ahead, my daughter.”

3 So she went out, proceeded to the field, and gleaned behind the harvesters. And it happened that she came to the portion of land belonging to Boaz, of the family of Elimelech.

4 Now when Boaz arrived from Bethlehem, he told the harvesters, “The LORD be with you.” “May the LORD bless you!” they replied.

5 At this point, Boaz asked the foreman of his harvesters, “To whom does this young woman belong?”

6 The foreman of the harvesters answered, “She is the Moabite who came back with Naomi from the country of Moab.

7 She asked us, ‘Please allow me to glean what’s left of the grain behind the harvesters.’ So she came out and has continued working from dawn until now, except for a short time in a shelter.”

8 Boaz then addressed Ruth: “Listen, my daughter! Don’t glean in any other field. Don’t even leave this one, and be sure to stay close to my women servants.

 

BACKGROUND ✝
When a severe famine struck Israel, Elimelech took his wife Naomi and their two sons across the Jordan and south to the land of Moab, in the hope of finding a living there. But Elimelech died, and within ten years his two sons, who had married Moabite wives, died also (Ruth 1:1-5).

When the famine in Israel had passed, Naomi decided to return home. Her daughters-in-law (Orpah and Ruth) decided to go with her to ease her burden. Naomi made it clear that they should feel no obligation to go with her. They were free to remain with their own people to begin new lives by remarrying and having families of their own.

Orpah accepted Naomi’s offer and returned to her family in Moab. The other, Ruth, was determined to go on to Israel with Naomi, trusting in Naomi’s God, whatever the cost.

Back in Israel it soon became clear that God was in control of affairs in the lives of the two widows. Boaz was a relative of Naomi’s husband, Elimelech, and he was a rich and honourable man. It is important for us to know the family connection. In Israel, families owned the land. All the land was a gift from God, so each family cared very much about their part of it. Elimelech had no son to take his responsibilities, but his family tried to help Naomi and Ruth.

Ruth was younger than Naomi was. So she offered to gather grain that the men had left. It was usual to allow widows and foreigners to do this (see Leviticus 19:9-10). This was called gleaning.

According to Israelite law, when a farmer reaped his harvest he was not to send his workers through the field a second time to pick up the odd stalks of grain that the reapers dropped. These were to be left for the poor, who would follow the reapers and glean what grain they could (Lev 23:22; Deut 24:19 ).

Ruth therefore went gleaning, to gather food for Naomi and herself. Unknown to her, the field in which she happened to glean belonged to a relative of Naomi’s late husband, Boaz. Ruth seems to have chosen Boaz’s field by chance. However, we know that God turns the situations of people when we trust Him.

Boaz had heard of Ruth’s kindness to Naomi and looked for ways to reward her. He gave her food and drink, protected her from the local youth, and made sure that the reapers deliberately left extra grain for her to pick up.

LESSONS✍🏽
🔷 Those who trust in God, even though may not know how would experience the power of God’s grace and bountiful supplies

🔷 Masters must build a cordial and friendly relationship with their servants and workers

🔷 We must show love to the poor, foreigners, and all those in need

 

PRAYER POINTS🙏🏽
💥 Pray that you can support the needy at all times
💥 Pray for widows, orphans and the needy

CONCLUSION📙
We must learn to share with those who need it even without any immediate reward or returns. We must be compassionate and merciful to people who request our help. The poor must just be our friends.
AMEN

In series Bright Morning Reflections