October 14, 2016

God Multiplies the Harvest

Ruth 4:13-22

The women living there said, “Naomi has a son!”

—  Ruth 4:17

Sometimes God has a surprising way of accomplishing his plans for us.

Naomi’s life had not gone the way she had wanted. With her husband and two sons, she had left Israel in search of a better life. They had left in a season of famine, in search of a place where the harvest would be better. But instead of prosperity, she had suffered further loss (Ruth 1:1-5).

Perhaps you feel today like Naomi did then. Every turn, it seems, presents another dead end. A struggling marriage ends in divorce. Strained relationships are severed. A promising job opportunity falls through. It may seem that the day of harvest will never come.

But God uses gleaning—the process of picking up leftover crops—to multiply a great harvest for Naomi. By providential appointment, Ruth marries the man in whose field she gleans. And Naomi, whose family line once seemed dead, now rejoices in the birth of a grandson.

The book of Ruth ends with the further assertion that God would multiply Naomi’s family more than she could possibly imagine. Ruth became the great-grandmother of David, God’s chosen ruler for Israel (1 Samuel 16:1-13). And David became the ancestor of the ultimate King, Jesus, the eternal Redeemer of God’s people.

Who would have known how much God could do to multiply a meager harvest? He can do that in our lives as well.

Father, help us to trust you to do more than we can possibly ask or imagine, in Christ. 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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