October 13, 2016

A Rich Reward

Ruth 2:1-12

[Ruth] went out, entered a field and began to glean behind the harvesters.

—  Ruth 2:3

Many of us can identify seemingly chance events that change the course of our future. Perhaps an unexpected encounter led you to meet your husband or wife, or a casual comment led you to the career you now have. Maybe a friendship developed because you and a stranger were placed in the same study group, or your faith grew stronger because of a book you picked up or a conversation you just happened to have.

God provides for our needs in many ways. In today’s story God uses the provisions of Israelite law (Deuteronomy 24:19-21) and the generosity of a farmer to feed Ruth and Naomi. Boaz treats Ruth as family, though she is at best a distant relative. Through Boaz, God’s care for Naomi and Ruth takes on a name and a face.

As God gives a harvest, we have the opportunity to share with people around us. But God does more than provide for physical needs. Through such encounters, God reminds us that Jesus came into our midst as a human being, a “near relative,” to save us from sin. He gives rain and sunshine so that we might come to him for all that we need for life and godliness (2 Peter 1:3).

When provision comes in surprising ways, remember the great Giver who provides what we need for this life and for eternity.

Gracious Father, not only do you provide for our needs, but you also reveal yourself as the provider!

Open our eyes to the ways in which you are at work in Jesus for our salvation. Amen.

About the author — Joel Vande Werken

Joel Vande Werken has been a pastor since 2007, serving churches in Sussex, New Jersey, and in Whitinsville, Massachusetts. He and his wife, Brandie, have five young children.

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