The last time we had a garden was in Marietta, Georgia. The soil was deep red clay which stained your hands, your clothes and anything else that it came into contact with. We worked hard to grow some vegetables in our little patch of ground.
As we approach Shavuot in just a few days, I think about Ruth and her harvest. As we read the book of Ruth we see her story unfold. Naomi and her husband have left Israel during a famine and gone into the land of Moab. The people of Moab were enemies and oppressors of Israel. They were cursed by God for many reasons, two of which was that they worshipped the deity Chemosh and practiced child sacrifice. All of the men in the family have died so that now Ruth and her mother-in-law, Naomi, are widows without children. Ruth is now left with a huge decision to make which is to be faithful to her mother-in-law (representing the Jewish people) or to go back to her land and her family.
This year as I read the story of Ruth, I noticed a cycle of obtaining a harvest. The first step to obtain a harvest is to break up the fallow ground, then you sow the seed, watering the soil so that the seed can grow, and then wait for the harvest that you can reap. Ruth breaks up her fallow ground by making the difficult decision instead of the more comfortable decision. The turmoil that she faced as she decides to leave her people, her family and her land was tremendous. The seed is sown when Ruth makes the commitment to Naomi and the Jewish people. The commitment that she utters in Ruth 1:16-17, “…”for where you go, I will go, and where you sleep, I will sleep. Your people shall be my people, and your God, my God. Where you die, I will die and there I will be buried. May the Lord do so to me, and worse, if anything but death separates me from you.” The seed of commitment was sown deeply into Ruth’s heart. Next, Ruth waters the soil (with her faithfulness) when each day she is faithful to provide for Naomi and be submitted to her. In every way Ruth blessed her and put her first. Her concern was always for Naomi’s welfare. The harvest comes when it is revealed that Boaz has become her kinsman redeemer! The harvest arrives with plenty, security, dreams fulfilled and a place in the genealogy of Yeshua. She no longer is the cursed one but, the blessed one.
Ruth was steadfast, faithful and submitted to God. Do we demonstrate these qualities? If we utilize these qualities in time, we also will bring in our harvest. May the Lord bless the harvest that you are praying/working for richly!