Promise of Harvest
And they came to Bethlehem at the beginning of barley harvest. Ruth 1:22b
Just as the prodigal son returned to his father during a time of plenty, Naomi and Ruth returned to Israel at the beginning of the barley harvest. Can we embrace the wayward when we have been toiling?
Naomi arrived home during Pesach after Passover, which is the Jewish Festival at the beginning of the barley harvest. It occurs at the end of Winter and the start of Spring. Naomi and her now deceased husband, Elimelech, left Israel during a famine. Isn’t it interesting that she gets home just in time for a harvest? She took no part in working the fields. While the people were planting, she was grieving her losses. I wonder if her old neighbors looked at her sideways. Maybe some of them didn’t think she had a right to benefit from Israel’s bounty.
Don’t we do the same thing sometimes when a disobedient brother or sister returns in a spirit of true repentance? We say to ourselves, “Why should they benefit from all of our hard work?” Instead of reaching out a kind hand, we want to make our brother or sister earn back the right to eat. I heard about something like this happening recently and it just grieved my heart. This is why when Jesus showed us how to pray, He said, “Forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors.” It is so easy for us to forget that we have all been in Naomi’s shoes. We are all sinners. We get in trouble when we lose sight of that fact. None of us have the ability to pay the debt we owe. Only Jesus can do that. That is why the end of Ruth chapter one is so beautiful. Harvest brought with it a promise. There would be redemption at the end.
Forgive my sins as I forgive those who have sinned against me. Help me to be able to spot true repentance and not withhold out of pride.
In Jesus Name