Gleaning in the Right Field

Daily Bible Reading – Ruth 1,2; Psalms 53,61; 2 Corinthians 5

Today’s Key Passage – Ruth 2:1-23

Today we began the story of Ruth.  In chapter 1, we read that Ruth was a widow living in Moab with her mother-in-law Naomi.  When Naomi decided to leave Moab and return to Bethlehem, Ruth decided to go with her and care for her even though she was not obligated to do so.  During this time in history, being a widow typically meant living a life of poverty and neglect, and this was true of Naomi and Ruth.  In chapter 2, we learn that since they did not have much money, Ruth decided to find a field in which to glean.  (By Israelite law, when it was time to harvest wheat and barley, landowners were not permitted to harvest the edges of their fields.  In addition, during the harvest anything that fell to the ground was to be left there.  Poor people could then come along and pick up the leftover wheat and barley, which was called gleaning.)  Ruth found a field belonging to Boaz and began to glean there.  She worked hard all day to gather as much as possible to feed herself and Naomi, and Boaz (the landowner) noticed her.  He told Ruth to stay in his field and glean as much as she wanted.  In addition, he told his men to leave some of the prime harvest for her to pick up.  At the end of the day, Ruth had gleaned an ephah of barley (which was about 30 to 50 pounds) which she took back to share with Naomi.

There are many lessons to be learned from the story of Ruth.  We can learn about her character as she lived a life of obedience to God.  We can learn about her positioning herself in a place to receive God’s blessings.  We can also learn a valuable lesson about gleaning.  We may think that gleaning is an unimportant thing of the past that does not apply to us today, but in reality, each of us “gleans” every single day of our lives.  We “glean” from different places as we feed our minds and our spirits with material.  Whether we realize it or not, we are going to “pick up” things all the time, either from what we see, hear, or read.  It is important that, like Ruth, we find the right field in which to glean, and the best field we can find is the Word of God.  In this field, we can gather the spiritual nourishment we need to survive.  Gleaning in God’s Word may not always be the easiest choice, and sometimes it may take work on our part, but once we have found this good “field”, we should stay there and glean as much as we want.  As we search God’s Word, we will be rewarded for our work as He leaves all sorts of “prime harvest” for us to pick up to feed our souls.  It is not enough, though, for us to simply get our fill of God’s harvest.  We must take our “gleanings” and share them with others, just as Ruth shared her gleanings with Naomi.  Take a look today at where you are spending your time.  From what fields are you gleaning?  From what fields are your spouse and children gleaning?  The field of God’s Word is available and waiting for you to come along and start picking up a harvest.

During your Bible reading today, what “key passages” stood out to you?  Leave a comment below to share what God is showing you about His Word today.

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May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with you today.


Posted on April 5, 2014, in 08 - Ruth and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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