Archive for the ‘Personal Growth’ Category


Under Gods Command 

Proverbs 25:13 Like the coolness of snow at harvest time is a trustworthy messenger to those who send him, he refreshes the spirit of his masters. 

Are you a breath of fresh air to all who trust you? Do you refresh the spirits of those who depend on you, like a cool drink on a hot fall day? Are you especially a source of joy to your employer? Faithfulness is a great thing, but it is a rare thing today. There are people trusting you and depending on you, and you are a relief and pleasure to them based on the degree of your faithfulness. The lesson of the proverb is the joy created by a faithful man.

Harvest occurred in the fall in Israel. After a hot summer and all the hard work of bringing a harvest into the barns and garners, the reapers, threshers, and other workers were parched and weary. The arrival of cool weather was a wonderful relief and pleasure, and so was a drink cooled by snow preserved from nearby mountains (Pr 25:25). Snow itself in harvest was not good; it was the cool weather or cooling effect of snow that was good. Solomon used this refreshing effect of cool weather or a cool drink for his simile.

Solomon used a messenger, or ambassador, for the lesson, though it applies to all jobs and duties. Rather than working under constant supervision, a messenger would be sent with news, covenants, or ultimatums to other places. It would be easy to delay departure, linger on the way, get sidetracked, forget details of the message, present it in the wrong way, say more than needed, misperceive the response, or fail in other ways (Pr 13:17).

Faithfulness is a great measure of a man’s character (Pr 11:13; 14:5; 27:6; 28:20). Most men claim to be faithful. Just read their resumes or listen to them talk! But there are only a few truly faithful men in any generation (Pr 20:6). A faithful man meticulously fulfills every duty to equal or exceed the expectations of those trusting or depending on him.

How faithful are you? Are you early to work and appointments? Are you known for punctuality? Do you pace yourself on projects? Do you procrastinate? Do you always hit deadlines? Are you easily sidetracked? Are you distracted quickly? Do you always finish projects? Do you get the details others need? Are you a great communicator so that all parties know all that is needed? Are your quality and quantity greater than expected?

Faithful men are rare. You can separate yourself from the crowd by faithfulness in your assignments (Pr 22:29; Luke 2:52). Do your duties in such a way that those trusting you and depending on you are filled with excitement at your outstanding performance. And this applies from President of the United States to being a great student in kindergarten!

God’s messengers should be the most faithful men. Only very faithful men tested by real duties should ever be ordained (I Tim 3:1-7). He should be the most diligent and faithful man in the church and focused on his God-given duties without distraction (Phil 2:19-22; I Tim 4:12-16; II Tim 2:3-4; Titus 1:5-11). It is a disgusting shame when the ministry is referred to as a “nonprofit profession” due to the dereliction of duty of most ministers.

The rest of your life begins now. Who is trusting you and depending on you that needs a refreshing drink of cool water or the relief of a cool breeze? Get to your duties and fulfill each one better than expected. Child, make your bed and clean your room perfectly. Wife, have a real meal for your family tonight. Husband, do not relax or sleep tonight without training your family. Mr. President, provide fully for our national success.


Under Gods Command (More on Ruth)

Ruth2:17-23 17So Ruth gleaned in the field until evening. Then she threshed the barley she had gathered, and it amounted to about an ephah. 18She carried it back to town, and her mother-in-law saw how much she had gathered. Ruth also brought out and gave her what she had left over after she had eaten enough. 19Her mother-in-law asked her, “Where did you glean today? Where did you work? Blessed be the man who took notice of you!” Then Ruth told her mother-in-law about the one at whose place she had been working. “The name of the man I worked with today is Boaz,” she said. 20“The LORD bless him!” Naomi said to her daughter-in-law. “He has not stopped showing his kindness to the living and the dead.” She added, “That man is our close relative; he is one of our guardian-redeemers.”  21Then Ruth the Moabite said, “He even said to me, ‘Stay with my workers until they finish harvesting all my grain.’ ” 22Naomi said to Ruth her daughter-in-law, “It will be good for you, my daughter, to go with the women who work for him, because in someone else’s field you might be harmed.”  23So Ruth stayed close to the women of Boaz to glean until the barley and wheat harvests were finished. And she lived with her mother-in-law.

Naomi had felt bitter (1:20-21), but her faith in God was still alive, and she praised God for Boaz’s kindness to Ruth. In her sorrows, she still trusted God and acknowledged his goodness. We may feel bitter about a situation, but we must never despair. Today is always a new opportunity for experiencing God’s care.

Though Ruth may not have always recognized God’s guidance; he had been with her every step of the way. She went to glean and “just happened” to end up in the field owned by Boaz who “just happened” to be a close relative. This was more than mere coincidence.

Lets Bring it Home: As you go about your daily tasks, God is working in your life in ways you may not even notice. We must not close the door on what God can do. Events do not occur by luck or coincidence. We should have faith that God is directing our lives for his purpose.

  A guardian-redeemer was a close relative who volunteered to take responsibility for the extended family. When a woman’s husband died, the law (Deuteronomy 25:5-10) provided that she could marry a brother of her dead husband. But Naomi had no more sons. In such a case, the nearest relative to the deceased husband could become a guardian-redeemer and marry the widow. The nearest relative did not have to marry the widow. If he chose not to, the next nearest relative could take his place. If no one chose to help the widow, she would probably live in poverty the rest of her life, because in Israelite culture the inheritance was passed on to the son or nearest male relative, not to the wife. To take the sting out of these inheritance rules, there were laws for gleaning and guardian-redeemers.     We have a guardian-redeemer in Jesus Christ, who, though he was God, came to earth as a man in order to save us. By his death on the cross, he has redeemed us from sin and hopelessness and thereby purchased us to be his own possession (1 Peter 1:18-19). This guarantees our eternal inheritance.

 


Under Gods Command

Proverbs 24:28 Do not testify against your neighbor without cause, or use your lips to deceive. 

You can hurt others by words. Or you can protect them by guarding your speech. It is easy to harm another person by gossip or slander. By hurting his reputation or testimony, you may inflict great pain or disadvantage on him. Part of godliness and wisdom is to rule your mouth, so you do not injure another person through malice or indiscretion.

Legal situations occur where you might be called as a witness for an accident, crime, or a person’s character. Your duty before God and men is to not testify against anyone without cause – there must be a righteous reason to disclose anything about another person, especially something negative. And you should never lie about him, which is bearing false witness, the ninth commandment of God’s ten to Moses (Ex 20:1-17).

Who is your neighbor? Your neighbor intends many more than just the few who live near you. It includes anyone you meet during your life, even those you might dislike and consider enemies by culture or race (Luke 10:29-37). It includes fellow employees, church members, relatives, fellow students, citizens, your doctor’s staff, and all like them.

A call to court as a witness is rare, but supervisors or managers asking you about fellow employees is not. Are you ready for such an event? You should tell only the truth needed, if confronted. But you should never use the opportunity to damage another employee to advance yourself, either with true events or lies. Solomon condemned it (Pr 30:10).

Never tell negative things about another person, unless necessary for some authority to rightly exercise their office. Even if events are true, it is wrong to spread secrets to others, for you damage their reputation, which can be like murder (Pr 18:8,21; 26:22). What some call gossip – the Bible condemns as sins of backbiting, talebearing, and whispering.

If you know private information about a person, keep it to yourself. Private things you know about others are secrets. Talebearers go around revealing secrets, but faithful men conceal them (Pr 11:13; 20:19). Are you a talebearer or faithful? Talebearers are very destructive (Pr 18:8; 26:20,22). God hates them and their sin (Pr 6:16-19; Lev 19:16).

This sin of talebearing, or tattling (I Tim 5:13), which some call gossip, is backbiting in the Bible. It is backbiting, for you bite a person in the back when you tell secrets about them in their absence (Pr 25:23; Rom 1:30; II Cor 12:20). Faithful men protect those not present by avoiding critical or negative speech about them (Ps 15:3; Pr 25:23).

Talking about others is also called whispering in the Bible, for it is the private sharing of secrets with others through hushed conversation or insinuation (Rom 1:29; II Cor 12:20). Whispering is destructive, as it turns men’s minds against even their friends (Pr 16:28; 17:9). Faithful men are protective and kind – they hate whispering and choose praise instead. They love their neighbors, which is the second greatest commandment of all.

Thus far, the lesson forbids speaking against your neighbor without a good reason. Even true events should be kept secret unless you must reveal them for a righteous cause (Matt 5:22). Telling the truth that hurts a reputation is talebearing, backbiting, and whispering. Though such sins are ignored due to the moral decline everywhere, you can despise them.

But the proverb here also condemns deceiving speech. This is slander – telling lies to get another person in trouble or to damage their character. This is bearing false witness, for you deceive and lie to injure him. Fools slander others (Pr 10:18; 25:18). God will punish false witnesses (Pr 19:5,9; 21:28). Good men will not slander (Pr 14:5; I Tim 3:11).

As the next proverb indicates (Pr 24:29), revenge should never be part of conversation about others. You must not reveal secrets about them or slander them by lies, even if they have mistreated you in the past. God will repay them, if they have wronged you, and He commands you to leave the matter to Him (Lev 19:18; Rom 12:17-21). He will repay.

Though not included here directly, flattery is also sinful speech that harms others, for it feigns and pretends either affection or praise for deceitful purposes. Whores use it to seduce young men (Pr 2:16; 5:3; 6:24; 7:5). It also is destructive (Pr 20:19; 26:28; 29:5). It is another form of lying and bearing false witness, for the praise is not sincere at all.

Consider the proverb’s wisdom! Your tongue – your words – can cut and hurt others, or they can be health and joy (Pr 12:18; 10:20-21; 16:24). God hears or reads your every word, knowing all the intents of your heart, so beware (Ps 139:4; Pr 18:21). It has been well said, if you cannot say something nice about another person, then say nothing at all!

Since men sin so many ways with their mouths, what will you do to stop talkers from injuring others? You should get angry against backbiters and cut them off from their violent game (Pr 25:23). Since men often lie to either injure or seduce, do not be affected by everything you hear, whether against you (Eccl 7:21-22) or for you (Pr 26:24-25).

Words come from the heart, so think only kindly about others, and then only kind words will pass your lips (Luke 6:45). Keep your heart diligently toward this goal (Pr 4:23). Always tell the truth (Pr 12:19,22). Only be critical when necessary for those in authority or for the profit of the hearer or the named (Pr 21:28; 29:24; 9:8; II Tim 4:14-15).

There is one witness always faithful and true and named accordingly (Rev 1:5; 3:14; 19:11). In a day very soon, Jesus Christ will be the only advocate or mediator before God the Judge of all (I Tim 2:5; Rev 20:11-15). He will tell the truth – fully and honestly. He will condemn the wicked (Matt 7:21-23). He will justify the righteous (Heb 2:10-13). Do you know Him? Or much more importantly, does He know you (Gal 4:9; II Tim 2:19)?


Under Gods Command 

Ruth 2:13-16“May I continue to find favor in your eyes, my lord,” she said. “You have put me at ease by speaking kindly to your servant—though I do not have the standing of one of your servants.”  14At mealtime Boaz said to her, “Come over here. Have some bread and dip it in the wine vinegar.” When she sat down with the harvesters, he offered her some roasted grain. She ate all she wanted and had some left over. 15As she got up to glean, Boaz gave orders to his men, “Let her gather among the sheaves and don’t reprimand her. 16Even pull out some stalks for her from the bundles and leave them for her to pick up, and don’t rebuke her.”

The characters in the book of Ruth are classic examples of good people in action. Boaz went far beyond the intent of the gleaners’ law in demonstrating his kindness and generosity. Not only did he let Ruth glean in his field, he also told his workers to let some of the grain fall in her path. Out of his abundance, he provided for the needy.   Boaz told his workers to provide handfuls of grain on purpose; God has a way of providing hand fills for each and every one of us if we just trust him.

Lets Bring it Home: How often do you go beyond the accepted patterns of providing for those less fortunate? Do more than the minimum for others.


Under Gods Command (More on Ruth)

Ruth 2:8-12 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. 9Watch 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.”   10At this, she bowed down with her face to the ground. She asked him, “Why have I found such favor in your eyes that you notice me—a foreigner?” 11Boaz replied, “I’ve been told all about what you have done for your mother-in-law since the death of your husband-how you left your father and mother and your homeland and came to live with a people you not know before. 12May the LORD repay you for what you have done. May you be richly rewarded by the LORD, the God of Israel, under whose wings you have come to take refuge.

Now Ruth had to be beautiful for Boaz to recognize her, and to tell her not go glean in another field. He wanted her right there in his field. Then he told the young men not to touch her. When God singles you out and puts his hand on your life He will order His divine protection around you.

Boaz could have said “She is all mind”, but did not. He was more impress of the fact that she stuck next to Naomi and came back under the care of the God of Israel.

Ruth’s life exhibited admirable qualities: she was hard working, loving, kind, faithful, and brave. These qualities gained for her a good reputation, but only because she displayed them consistently in all areas of her life. Wherever Ruth went or whatever she did, her character remained the same.

Lets Bring it Home: Your reputation is formed by the people who watch you at work, in town, at home, in church. A good reputation comes by consistently living out the qualities you believe in, no matter what group of people or surroundings you are in.


Under Gods Command

Proverbs 23:17 Do not let your heart envy sinners, but always be zealous for the fear of the LORD.

How easy it is to envy those who get ahead unhampered by Christian responsibility or God’s laws. For a time they do seem to get ahead without paying any attention to what God wants. But to those who follow him, God promises a hope and a wonderful future even if we don’t achieve it in this life.

The world exalts and promotes sinners. Movie stars, athletes, performing artists, business tycoons, royalty, politicians, and other rich and famous sinners are pushed at you every day. Solomon, with wise parental love, warned his son against envying worldly sinners (Pr 24:1,19). He knew the fear of God instead should be his only ambition (Ec 12:13-14).

Every generation, of every nation, has had heroes and stars; but only recently can the images and words of these popular sinners be thrown at you all the time. If this warning was important in Solomon’s day, it is much more important today. These sinners are all going down, and every Christian must believe it and live like it (Pr 23:18; Ps 37:1-3).

There are 10,000 sinners to envy in this generation and world. Every age, both male and female, and all temperaments, find certain sinners to be temptations. They imagine how wonderful life could be, if they had the abilities, looks, success, spouse, or circumstances of their idol. He might be a product of Hollywood; she might be a classmate or neighbor.

The fear of the Lord is far better. Every sinner, no matter how rich or famous, will die and go to hell (Ps 49:6-20). So fearing the Lord is man’s whole duty (Ec 12:13-14). With God’s blessing and favor, even obscurity and poverty are better than the dysfunctional, hopeless lives and eternal suffering of the wicked (Pr 15:16; Ps 37:16). Believe it, reader!

Moses did not envy Pharaoh or his rising peers; he chose the reproach of Jesus Christ to be of much greater value, for he saw his and their eternal future (Heb 11:24-26). Asaph described in wonderful terms the wisdom of looking past the glitter to the grave (Ps 73:1-28). While Demas loved this present world, Paul loved a future world (II Tim 4:7-8,10).

A morgue teaches the future of glamour girls. Yesterday’s goddesses are feeding today’s worms. Better yet, visit a cancer ward. Before they rot in the grave, they take on a ghastly and ghostly look. And then comes hell. Young girls envying models is one thing; adult women envying models is twice as vain. But the virtuous woman, shunning this world’s enticements to seek Christ, will live in pleasant splendor forever (Pr 23:18; I Tim 2:15).

Why read magazines glamorizing sinners? Why watch them on television? The world only shows enticing features of them: you do not see them drunk, divorced, depressed, dying, or dead. Why daydream about them? Your deceitful heart dwells on their seducing traits: it lies to you about their present troubles and future judgment, and you believe it. It would be far better to envy the righteous and covet their character and reputations.

Your constant thought must be to fear God, which is to hate evil and keep His commands (Pr 8:13; 14:2; Ps 112:1; 128:1). Fearing the Lord is not a mindset for devotions, for times of trouble, for prayer, for Sunday worship, or the Lord’s Supper – it is the lifestyle, perspective, and worldview that real Christians follow every minute all day long. You cannot allow envy for sinners even a second to get a toehold in your heart or soul!


Under Gods Command (More on Ruth)

Ruth 2:1-7 Now Naomi had a relative on her husband’s side, a man of standing from the clan of Elimelek, whose name was Boaz. 2And Ruth the Moabite said to Naomi, “Let me go to the fields and pick up the leftover grain behind anyone in whose eyes I find favor.” Naomi said to her, “Go ahead, my daughter.” 3So she went out, entered a field and began to glean behind the harvesters. As it turned out, she was working in a field belonging to Boaz, who was from the clan of Elimelek. 4Just then Boaz arrived from Bethlehem and greeted the harvesters, “The LORD be with you!” “The LORD bless you!” they answered. 5Boaz asked the overseer of his harvesters, “Who does that young woman belong to?” 6The overseer replied, “She is the Moabite who came back from Moab with Naomi. 7She said, ‘Please let me glean and gather among the sheaves behind the harvesters.’ She came into the field and has remained here from morning till now, except for a short rest in the shelter.”

Ruth was so excited about God that she told Naomi what was going to happen when she went out to gleam. Ruth was saying that someone is going to find supernatural favor by someone watching me work. Now remember, she was a brand new Christian. Ruth was speaking favor into her life. How many times do we hear or say: I will go look for a job, but they won’t accept me. I will go out to gleam, but I won’t find anything, or I am going to apply for a new car but my credit is so bad they won’t even look at me. Have you ever seen yourself with negatives coming out of your mouth?

So she went out, entered a field and began to glean behind the harvesters. As it turned out, she was working in a field belonging to Boaz, who was from the clan of Elimelek.

Isaiah 45:02 I will go before you and will level the mountains; I will break down gates of bronze and through bars of iron. I will give you the treasures of darkness, riches stored in secret places (God has a God Positioning Satellite in heaven to help you find the way). God will not send you anywhere that he has not already made provisions for you.

Ruth just happen to be out there when Boaz came back and he said who she belong to. God providentially arranges things in our life that we don’t even understand. Ruth was at the right place at the right time for Boaz to show up at the right time and right place.

Now Ruth did not know when she went out to gleam that Boaz was a relative of Elimelek, Naomi’s dead husband. Remember before they left to return to Bethlehem, Ruth said, “ your people will be my people, your God will be my God”. Then the first thing we read when they return there is a wealthy man named Boaz.

Ruth made her home in a foreign land. Instead of depending on Naomi or waiting for good fortune to happen, she took the initiative. She went to work. She was not afraid of admitting her need or working hard to supply it. When Ruth went out to the fields, God provided for her.

Lets Bring it Home: Ruth’s task, though menial, tiring, and perhaps degrading, was done faithfully. What is your attitude when the task you have been given is not up to your true potential? The task at hand may be all you can do, or it may be the work God wants you to do. Or, as in Ruth’s case, it may be a test of your character that can open up new doors of opportunity. If you are waiting for God to provide, consider this: He may be waiting for you to take the first step to demonstrate just how important your need is.


Under Gods Command

Proverbs 20:5 Counsel in the heart of man is like deep water; but a man of understanding will draw it out.

It takes skill to discover what others really think. What wise men think could help you succeed. What fools think could cost you dearly. Only a man of understanding will have the ability and patience to extract personal and secret plans and opinions out of others.

The simile here compares a deep well, where the water lies well below the surface of the ground. In order to obtain the water, significant ingenuity and labor must be put forth to reach so far down and bring the water to the surface. Only the creative and diligent will identify the means and put forth the effort. Most will look elsewhere for easier water.

There are reasons it takes similar skill to draw counsel out of others. First, they may fear letting their opinions be known. Second, they may by godliness and graciousness be modest men, and though gifted, reticent and slow to speak and discuss. Third, they may be planning sinful things, and to admit their thoughts would be to condemn themselves.

There is a positive and negative side to this proverb’s lesson. The positive application is your benefit or need to extract prudent and practical advice from wise counselors for your safety or success. The negative application is your need to discover dangerous plans lurking in the hearts or minds of those that could harm others, themselves, or you.

Good counsel from a multitude of wise advisors is necessary for your success – this is one of the most important rules of wisdom, which Solomon often repeated (Pr 11:14; 12:15; 15:22; 19:20; 20:18; 24:6). It is a very precious thing – like good cologne rejoicing the heart – to get hearty counsel from a friend (Pr 27:9; 24:26; 15:23; 25:11-12).

But obtaining such counsel may be difficult, for true wise men are also godly and sober, not willing to speak until asked properly for the right reasons (Pr 10:19; 15:2,28; 17:27; 29:11). There are also shallow wells and foaming fountains, but they are to be compared to the cackling noise of fools pouring out only folly (Pr 15:28; 29:11,20; Eccl 10:12-14).

If the wise counselor is fearful (it could be for many reasons), you should respectfully assure him that you appreciate any advice he might give, that you will use it discreetly, and that there are no strings attached and no liability or obligation on his part. You should be very cautious to criticize his advice. Let him advise you, not the other way around.

If the wise counselor is modest (it could be either appropriately or excessively), you should remind him that you need him, that he has the years, experience, or reputation for wisdom, and that you are obeying Solomon’s wisdom to ask him. You should provide sufficient background to assist his analysis and thank him well for anything he offers.

A man of understanding will know how to take the elementary advice of the previous two paragraphs and leverage it into a successful interview with either kind of wise counselor – the fearful or the modest. With both counselors, you must be open enough yourself to prove your sincerity. By practicing godly character and holding humble respect for knowledgeable men, you will learn how to draw much pure water from deep wells.

Consider Abigail’s wisdom dealing with her foolish husband and wise David. Her timing, use of gifts, great humility, gentle approach, and prudent conclusions drew water deep from David’s heart to a great victory that day (and a marriage in ten days!). Consider also how the queen of Sheba approached King Solomon to learn his wisdom (I Kgs 10:1-7).

Those in authority must discover the other kind of counsel – the plans of fools or wicked men that they keep hidden for fear of punishment (Pr 25:2; 29:19; Deut 13:12-15; I Cor 1:10-13). This is the work of fathers, masters, husbands, rulers, and pastors. They must create security, plan a wise approach, and explore with wise questions to prime the pump.

Parent, do you often communicate with your children to learn their hearts and minds about the things concerning them most? Do you have the understanding taught in this proverb to draw out their inner fears and thoughts? Can you combine love, knowledge, and authority, in that order, to open your children’s hearts and help them (Pr 23:26)?

Better yet, child, do you go to the well of counsel in your house and get the advice and help you need to succeed? While you may think you know something at 16 or 26, you are in serious need of counsel. Do you know how to draw out sincere and loving instruction from your parents? This is the lesson. Open up to them, and learn from them today.

The Christian God is like no other. His counsel is not hidden away with the ancients, nor buried in endless verbal traditions, nor disguised in obscure hieroglyphics, nor reserved for some priesthood, nor chanted nonsensically in Arabic or Latin. What is needful for you is plainly written in the Bible (Deut 29:29; Ps 19:7-11; 119:128; II Tim 3:16-17).

Jesus Christ is called Counselor for the treasures of wisdom and knowledge that are hidden in Him (Is 9:6; Col 2:3). Do you know Him? Do you love Him? He said, “If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him” (John 14:23). And, “But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you” (John 14:26).


Under Gods Command (Ruth)

Ruth 1:22 So Naomi returned from Moab accompanied by Ruth the Moabite, her daughter-in-law, arriving in Bethlehem as the barley harvest was beginning.

Everything that God does and when we circle back to where we began from, God will always bring us back at the right time to the right place for the right purpose. It was also the time of Passover and celebration.

Bethlehem was about five miles southwest of Jerusalem. The town was surrounded by lush fields and olive groves. Its harvests were abundant.   Ruth and Naomi’s return to Bethlehem was certainly part of God’s plan because in this town David would be born (1 Samuel 16:1), and, as predicted by the prophet Micah (Micah 5:2), Jesus Christ would also be born there. This move, then, was more than merely convenient for Ruth and Naomi. It led to the fulfillment of Scripture.

Because Israel’s climate is quite moderate, there are two harvest each year, in the spring and in the fall. The barley harvest took place in the spring, and it was during this time of hope and plenty that Ruth and Naomi returned to Bethlehem. Bethlehem was a farming community, and because it was the time of the harvest, there was plenty of leftover grain in the fields. This grain could be collected, or gleaned, and then made into food.

(Gleaning): When the wheat and barley were ready to be harvested, reapers were hired to cut down the stalks and tie them into bundles. Israelite law demanded that the corners of the fields not be harvested. In addition, any grain that was dropped was to be left for poor people, who picked it up (this was called gleaning) and used it for food (Leviticus 19:9; 23:22; Deuteronomy 24:19). The purpose of this law was to feed the poor and to prevent the landowners from hoarding. This law served as a type of welfare program in Israel. Because she was a widow with no means of providing for herself, Ruth went into the fields to glean the grain.

Remember 1:06 When she heard in Moab that the LORD had come to the aid of his people by providing food for them, Naomi and her daughters-in-law prepared to return home from there.

Lets Bring it Home: God has visited his people, so what is the point? There will be seasons in your life where you feel like you’re in the middle of famine. Have you ever felt dry spiritually, emotionally or financially? When one of these seasons or others comes into your life you keep doing what you always been doing and don’t give up. You don’t stop Praising God. God will always show up.


Under Gods Command (Ruth)

Ruth 1:17-21 Where you die I will die, and there I will be buried. May the LORD deal with me, be it ever so severely, if even death separates you and me.” 18When Naomi realized that Ruth was determined to go with her, she stopped urging her. 19So the two women went on until they came to Bethlehem. When they arrived in Bethlehem, the whole town was stirred because of them, and the women exclaimed, “Can this be Naomi?” 20“Don’t call me Naomi,” she told them. “Call me Mara, because the Almighty has made my life very bitter. 21I went away full, but the LORD has brought me back empty. Why call me Naomi? The LORD has afflicted me; the Almighty has brought misfortune upon me.”  

Naomi had experienced severe hardships. She had left Israel married and secure; she returned widowed and poor. Naomi changed her name to express the bitterness and pain she felt. Naomi was not rejecting God by openly expressing her pain. However, it seems she lost sight of the tremendous resources she had in her relationship with Ruth and with God. Things in the Scripture are truly stated, but there not statements of truth. God does not give and take. God is a giver not a taker. Every good and perfect gift comes down from above from the Father.

Lets Bring it Home: When you face bitter times and filled with frustration, have you ever said why? But deep down inside you know that God is good Good. God welcomes your honest prayers, but be careful not to overlook the love, strength, and resources that he provides in your present relationships. And don’t allow bitterness and disappointment to blind you to your opportunities.