Evening, October 25, edited from Spurgeon’s Morning and Evening
“So she departed and went and gleaned in the field after the reapers; and she happened to come to the portion of the field belonging to Boaz, who was of the family of Elimelech.” — Ruth 2:3
She happened to… Yes, it seemed nothing but an accident, but how divinely was it directed! Ruth had gone forth with her mother’s blessing, under the care of her mother’s God, to humble but honorable work, and the foreseeing protective care of God was guiding her every step. Little did she know that amid the sheaves she would find a husband, that he should make her the joint owner of all those broad acres, and that she, a poor foreigner, should become one of the progenitors of the great Messiah. God is very good to those who trust in him, and often surprises them with unlooked-for blessings. Little do we know what may happen to us tomorrow, but this precious fact may cheer us, that no good thing shall be withheld. Chance is banished from the faith of Christians, for they see the hand of God in everything. The trivial events of today or tomorrow may involve consequences of the highest importance. O Lord, deal as graciously with your servants as you did with Ruth.
What a blessing it would be, if, in wandering in the field of meditation tonight, we should “happen to” light upon the place where our next Kinsman will reveal himself to us! O Spirit of God, guide us to him. We would sooner glean in his field than carry away the whole harvest from any other. O, guide us in the footsteps of his flock, which may conduct us to the green pastures where he dwells! This is a weary world when Jesus is away–we could better do without sun and moon than without him–but how divinely fair all things become in the glory of his presence! Our souls know the virtue which dwells in Jesus, and can never be content without him. We will wait in prayer this night until we “happen to” light on a part of the field belonging to Jesus where he will reveal himself to us.
Editor’s notes: I awoke from my sleep this morning dreaming of wheat, and tares. In my dream I was managing a wheat processing plant; many bags had been contaminated, and the only viable option was to discard them. (Then I went to my devotional reading and it was about Ruth gleaning in the fields.)
Bitterness and unforgiveness is like contamination in our hearts. Esau became bitter against Jacob, leading to exile. The descendants of Ismael are bitter today against the descendants of his half-brother Issac, leading to millennia of nearly constant war. I’ve been meditating on Hebrews 12 for a while now, where we are told, “See to it that no one comes short of the grace of God; that no root of bitterness springing up causes trouble, and by it many be defiled.”
Do you get angry when remembering wrongs done to you? Love“is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.” (1 Cor. 13:15).
Does that person make no attempt at mending the wounds they’ve caused, so you isolate yourself from them? “If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. If you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners do the same. If you lend to those from whom you expect to receive, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners in order to receive back the same amount. But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High; for He Himself is kind to ungrateful and evil men. Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful. (Luke 6:32-36)
Can you not forgive them? Jesus instructed us always to pray “forgive us our sins, as we have forgiven those who sin against us.” This is perhaps the only condition I see on our receiving forgiveness from God: “But if you do not forgive others, then your Father will not forgive your transgressions.” (Matt. 6:15)
There is no place for “bad seed” in our hearts… Who wants just a little dung in their food, just a little water in the gas in their car…