In HER Shoes – Ruth (Week 4)
Good Morning Mummy Meditators!
How is it being a mummy in your world this week? Are you on countdown to half term week? Or are you surviving endless night feeds? What is your biggest fear and what dangers lurk around the corner in your life? Well Ruth had some dangers that were lurking around her that we were looking at this week, through meditating on the following verse:
“So Boaz said to Ruth, “My daughter, listen to me. Don’t go and glean in another field and don’t go away from here. Stay here with the women who work for me. Watch the field where the men are harvesting, and follow along after the women. I have told the men not to lay a hand on you. And whenever you are thirsty, go and get a drink from the water jars the men have filled.” Ruth 2:8-9
The Dangers of Gleaning
Last week we saw Ruth being a woman of gumption and taking it upon herself to provide for her and Naomi by gleaning. However, it’s not until this week that I have truly understood how dangerous that activity would have been for her as a single woman. Boaz makes it abundantly clear in this conversation. She was a foreigner. Poor. On her own. He knew his men would take advantage. And everyone else would probably turn the other way as it was happening (remember the story of the Good Samaritan….). This to me makes the decision to go out and glean even more brave. Ruth was certainly a risk taker, not afraid to step out to do what was right or for her family.
Not only was she at danger of rape or attack, but also the physicality of labouring in the hot sun would be a danger, especially if she had no access to shade, water or food whilst doing it. She could easily become dehydrated and die out in the fields too.
The Relief of Protection
Even though Ruth was brave, I am sure the dangers would be niggling in the back of her mind as she gleaned. Perhaps she was praying as she went, keeping up a constant conversation with God as her protection. But God knew that she needed that protection to be more public and visible. Boaz provides that protection, and I can imagine the relief flowing through Ruth, perhaps she wept with joy and thankfulness. I can picture her running over to the jars of water as she was parched from gleaning and drinking as much as she could to quench her thirst.
I wonder how the men and women who worked for Boaz felt about this? Did they welcome her happily, or were they frosty to her? After all, she wasn’t a hired worker but she was given the same rights and privileges. How do we feel about it when those we dislike become Christians? Do we feel pushed out or do we celebrate with them and welcome them into to the family and protection of God?
God Chose The Right Man
I had totally forgotten who Boaz’s family was, until one of the Mum’s mentioned that perhaps he was inclined to help Ruth because his mum had been a foreigner brought in to Israel too. Boaz’s mum was Rahab, the prostitute who helped save the spies in Jericho and was saved when the city eventually fell. Boaz would have known what it would have felt like to be the outsider, he would have seen the ways in which Rahab wasn’t fully accepted, or had to work harder to be seen on the same footing as everyone else. Or maybe he knew the joy of being included in the people of God, and wanted that for others outside of Israel too! Whatever his motivations, he has a real affinity with Ruth. It’s no coincidence that she ends up in his field and that he acts in this way. God set that passion for the outsider into his heart from birth. Once again Ruth is called “my daughter”. She is accepted here, just as she is with Naomi.
What passions has God put into your heart? Have you ever thought that maybe that’s not a coincidence? Maybe they have been put there for a specific time or reason? The thing that you want to tell others about or that moves you when you see it on the news, that is your passion. Run with it. Let God use it in you to reach and impact others. Boaz did.
The story between Boaz and Ruth takes an interesting turn next week – I do hope you will all join me in meditating on the following verse:
“When Boaz had finished eating and drinking and was in good spirits, he went over to lie down at the far end of the grain pile. Ruth approached quietly, uncovered his feet and lay down. In the middle of the night something startled the man; he turned-and there was a woman lying at his feet!” Ruth 3:7-8
I’ll be going live at 8pm tomorrow night to start the discussion with you all over on the Facebook Group. See you there!