Peace and Quiet
Generous God, on this Thanksgiving Day I lift up grateful praise. Your gracious provision has seen me though another year.
Read Ruth 2:17-23
Scripture taken from the THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION
“He makes me lie down in green pastures; he leads me beside quiet waters” (Psa. 23:2). Naomi and Ruth must have felt the Lord’s hand upon them.
Chapter 2 covers one day, possibly Naomi and Ruth’s first day back in Bethlehem, since food would have been their priority. Ruth returns home, after a day of back-breaking work, with plenty of food (including grain already roasted) and a story. Naomi’s spirits start to lighten when she learns that all this bounty came from Boaz, her husband’s kin. She blesses him, honoring his kindness, suggesting that, in showing kindness to the two widows, he is therefore honoring his dead kinsmen who were not there to look after them. Indeed, she may have already begun to think that this man may be the “kinsman redeemer” who would buy back their land, perhaps even marry Ruth and restore the family name. As Ruth had promised back in Moab (1:16), she and Naomi stay together through the weeks of harvest, protected by Boaz’s watchful authority over his fields and employees.
All through this book there is an interweaving of prayer and human agency. Look back over the first two chapters and see how Naomi (1:8,9), Ruth (1:17) and Boaz (2:12) all pray for the Lord’s blessing in the ordinary speech of everyday life. The prayers voiced here are not dramatic, but involve a living cooperation with the blessings of God. “May the Lord show you kindness” and “May the Lord be with you” are the spoken prayers. The prayers are answered through those who, knowing the Lord’s covenant lovingkindness themselves, express his love in practical ways to neighbor and kin. As well as praying for his blessing on others, we need to be active participants in God’s acts of lovingkindness. Ruth, even though a widow and a foreigner, has taken the initiative, both to come to Bethlehem and to go out gleaning. Naomi now, in her turn, decides to make things happen.
“In every thing, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God” (Phil. 4:6). And then ask him if he can use you to answer them!
Lord, I ask that today You will give me an opportunity to show lovingkindness to someone in need.
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