So she departed and went and gleaned in the field after the reapers; and she happened to come to the portion of the field belonging to Boaz, who was of the family of Elimelech.Ruth 2:3(NASB)
God took steps to provide for His people from the beginning. He placed Adam and his wife in a beautiful garden. He sent a flood to protect Noah. He provided manna in the wilderness and water from the Rock for His people Israel, and He prepared the Seed of the woman - the promised Son of Abraham, Who would shed His blood as the purchase price for the sin of the whole world.
One measure the Lord took to protect and provide for His people was to give them the Law of Moses. Ten of these Laws are known as the 10 Commandments, but there were many more, which gave the people a hope and a future. One such law, that plays an important role in the lives of Ruth and Naomi, was given to land-owners. "'Now! when you reap the harvest of your land," they were instructed, "you shall not reap to the very corners of your field; nor gather the gleanings of your harvest; nor shall you gather the fallen fruit of your vineyard. You shall leave them for the needy and for the stranger. I am the LORD your God".
Having lost their husbands and returned to Bethlehem, from the famine-struck land of Moab, Naomi, and her daughter-in-law Ruth were destitute. Although widowed and poverty-stricken, Ruth was a woman of virtue and willingly offered to glean in the local fields, alongside the other reapers - as had been established in the Law. She was ready and willing to provide for herself and her elderly mother-in-law. And so, we read, "she departed and went and gleaned in the field after the reapers; and she happened to come to the portion of the field belonging to Boaz, who was of the family of Elimelech.
There are no coincidences in God's economy, for in His grace God works ALL things together for good - even terrible and evil things - even those problems and disappointments that we do not understand. All the things that Satan uses against us, to tempt us and to cause us concern, the Lord uses for our greater good and for His eternal glory.
He used the death of their menfolk and a devastating famine to bring Naomi and Ruth back to the family's hometown. He used their poverty to cause Ruth to look for a field in which to glean the stalks of barley - which God had already established in the Law. In chapter 2 we read that "Ruth just happened to come to the portion of the field belonging to Boaz, who was of the family of Elimelech. What a coincidence, you say? - Oh NO! There are no coincidences in God's plan. We have an amazing God who turns problems into praises, and changes our difficulties into delights - but rarely do they happen in a way we expect!
Little did the young widow know the enormous grace and favour the Lord had prepared to bestow on her, when she wept over the death of her husband, was faced with a devastating famine and had to decide which way to go - Which God to trust.
Little did this widow-woman realise the joy that lay ahead when she said goodbye to her former life and kinsfolk and set out on the long trek to Bethlehem with Naomi. Little did she know the plans God had for her. Little could she imagine what the Lord had prepared for her when she became the sole breadwinner of the household and departed, that morning, to glean the grains of corn and went and into the field after the reapers - and just happened to come to the portion of the field belonging to Boaz, who was of the family of her father-in-law, Elimelech.
Little did Ruth realise that God had ordained that she was to become, the great-grandmother to the great King David and become a matriarch in the royal line of the promised Jewish Messiah. Ruth was a woman who chose the good, rejected the evil and walked humbly before the Lord. She was a virtuous woman who put her trust in the Lord her God.
Ruth was a righteous woman, who chose to turn her back on the pagan ways of her people, in Moab. She completely changed direction, and steadfastly followed the Lord when she cried out to her mother-in-law, "Entreat me not to leave thee, or to return from following after you, for where you go, I will go; and where you lodge, I will lodge. Your people shall be my people, and your God my God - Where you die, will I die, and there will I be buried. The LORD do so to me, and more also, if ought but death part thee and me."
What an example Ruth sets to all of us. She willingly broke all her ties and left all she knew behind to follow the God of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Judah, Elimelek and Naomi. She placed her faith in Him and determined to trust Him despite the difficulties she faced and the distresses that burdened her heart. But God honours those who honour Him. God honours those who trust His word. God honours those who believe that He is, and that He is a Rewarder of those diligently seek Him and search for Him, with all their heart.
The story of Ruth changed when she set her heart to believe on the Lord her God. Her life belonged to Him from that moment. In His omniscience, the Lord knew her from her mother's womb. He knew the choices she would make. He knew the plans HE had for her were for good and not for evil - to give her a future and a hope. And so, on the day she set out to glean - Ruth just happened to come to the portion of the field belonging to Boaz - who just happened to be her future husband, who just happened to be of the family of Elimelech her father-in-law. And together they just happened to have a son called Obed; the father of Jesse; the father of David - the royal line through whom would be born the Messiah.
There were no coincidences in the life of Ruth and Naomi and there are none in our own lives. God gives everyone, Jew and Gentile alike, an opportunity to come to know Him as their Father, through the Word of truth and by faith in the death, burial, and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ. When God is our Father and Christ is our Saviour, there are no coincidences in our lives. Let us trust Him in ALL eventualities of life.
Heavenly Father, how I bless and thank You for the encouragement I have received and the lessons I can learn from reading Your word, trusting Your promises, and knowing You as Father. Thank You that I have become part of Your ever-increasing family through faith in Christ, and I pray that I may grow in grace through an ever-increasing knowledge of Jesus, my Lord, and my God. Thank You that there is no one who is exempt from Your plan of redemption and that there are no coincidences in our lives. I pray that You would use me to make a difference in my corner of the world. Thank You that You did not leave me as a widow or orphan but have raised me up into heavenly places with Christ - my heavenly bridegroom, Who loved me so much that He died for me. Thank You in Jesus' name, AMEN.