Scripture Reading:  Ruth 2:1-16

“So she set out and went and gleaned in the field after the reapers, and she happened to come to the part of the field belonging to Boaz, who was of the clan of Elimelech.” (Ruth 2:3)

After Naomi returned to Bethlehem with Ruth from Moab, they were destitute and had no means to earn a living.  So Ruth did what many poor people at that time did — she gleaned in some nearby fields.  This was a very bold move for her because she was a poor Moabite woman who did not know any of the land owners or their workers.

According to the law, land owners could not harvest their crops all the way to the edges.  They had to leave some grain so that the poor could come and glean it.  Ruth was taking her life in her hands because she was a Moabitess who was poor and marginalized.  Ruth “just happened” to go to the field of a man named Boaz (v. 3).  Of all the fields she could have chosen, she came to the field of Boaz.

When Boaz arrived at the field, he “just happened” to notice Ruth (v. 5,).  He asked his foreman who she was and the foreman replied,  “She is the young Moabite woman, who came back with Naomi from the country of Moab” (v. 6).  Boaz realized that she was the daughter-in-law of his relative Naomi.  From that moment on, Boaz protected her.  He told his men not to touch her (v. 9) and he also told Ruth not to venture into any other fields but his (v. 8).  He also made ample provisions of crops for her (vs. 14-16).

Do you see the providential hand of God at work here?  Ruth went to the field that belonged to a man who protected and provided for her.  This man would soon become her husband.  She could have gone to someone else’s field, but God led her to the field of Boaz.  Her plan was to glean with the other poor of the land, but God directed her steps to the field of the one who would redeem her life.

Proverbs 16:9 says, “In his heart a man plans his course, but the Lord determines his steps.”  We may make plans but God sovereignly directs our steps.  God is the God of providence.  He rules and overrules the plans of man.  In Ruth’s case, her plan was to go glean.  However, God directed her steps to the field of the man who would virtually save her life.

God is all wise and all powerful.  He knows what is best for us.  While we may make our plans, our Lord and King will determine our steps.  Often we are unaware of His sovereign hand at work; but there is no question that He determines our steps in order to accomplish His purposes for our lives.

Remember that Jesus is our good Shepherd:  “The sheep hear His voice, and He calls His own sheep by name and leads them out”  (John 10:3).  And when we get to glory, our good Shepherd is there to guide us to the springs of living water (Revelation 7:17b).  We may make our plans, but our King and Shepherd determines our steps.

Lord Jesus, my good Shepherd, You protect, defend, provide and lead me.  You determine my steps in order to bring me into Your perfect will for my life.  Thank You for Your providential hand that protects me, leads me and provides for me.


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