The story of Ruth is one of the most touching stories in all the Bible. In it you see real people living through real challenges. Ruth loses her husband and leaves her people to go with her mother-in-law back to the Jews and adopts the Jewish people and their God. Since they had both lost their husbands, they had no one to provide for them. In that culture they were in a very vulnerable and desperate position.
Ruth (a Moabite) made a tremendous step of faith to stay with Naomi as a foreigner. She worked hard at trying to get enough food for her and Naomi. She gleaned the leftovers of the harvest from the fields of Boaz, one of Naomi’s relatives. By God’s gracious work through Boaz, the needs of Ruth and Naomi were met as Ruth worked hard.
It is easy to read that story and not think much of it. Yet God was very active in working through others to meet the needs of this great woman of faith. But, I think we also see another example of God honoring effort. Ruth worked long hours to get just enough food for her and Naomi. If she had not worked hard, they would have gone hungry. Because of the action of Ruth, Boaz commanded his servants to protect her. God’s protection also came from her initiative.
Faith in God should be partnered with effort. As Augustine said, we need to “Pray as though everything depended on God; work as though everything depended on you.”
Father, thank you for you intimate care of me and my family. I often do not see your active role in our lives, but I know through the examples in scripture that you are more involved in the minute details of our lives than I fully realize. Thank you for loving me enough to care about the details and abundantly meet our needs as I work hard and trust in you.
Following Jesus with you,