Thursday, August 25, 2016
Last time we studied, we noted that Naomi was having a difficult time, and was actually beginning to look for someone to blame for her troubles. She had been strong for so long, and had been an example to Ruth of vibrant faith, but now she was (understandably) tired.
Many people have found that the best way to get over our problems, our depression, our emotional deep-dives is to stop focusing on ourselves, and to look outside of our own issues. To change that focus to others' needs. And then to get involved helping those people.
As Naomi re-enters her home town and picks up the pieces of her life, she is concerned about Ruth's future. She knows this young woman needs a husband. So yes, Naomi fell, but now she is picking herself up and shifting her concern to Ruth. Naomi is thinking about Boaz -- will he be their kinsman redeemer? A kinsman redeemer is a near relative who had the right (and it was also considered a duty) to redeem a deceased man's land and marry his widow if she had no sons. Now, this actually could be applied to Naomi, too, but she is more concerned about Ruth.
Ruth goes out into the fields to glean. This was a way for the poor to be provided for - God instituted this as a part of His instructions to the children of Israel. He gold them in Leviticus that when the time of harvest came, they were not to harvest to the edges -- that was to be left for the poor, who could come into the field behind the harvesters and glean those small amounts to use for themselves. But when Ruth comes back from her day of gleaning, Naomi can tell that she has WAY more than more people would get from gleaning! She realizes that it's not just luck -- she says in verses nineteen and twenty of chapter two that she knows it's the Lord working in their lives to help and restore them.
When we study Ruth herself, we will see more of the story, but for now, our focus is on Naomi. We see that Boaz fulfills his right and duty, and that he and Ruth are married. And we see Naomi holding a precious grandson! The family line would not only continue, but would be in the family tree of Jesus Christ.
Naomi's story tells us again that our God can bring great good out of bad things. He is still in the business of doing that today. We just have to trust Him to know what to do, and when, and even how.
Naomi fell, but she didn't stay down. She's an awesome example for our lives today.