8 So Boaz said to Ruth, “My daughter, listen to me. Don’t go and glean in another field and don’t go away from here. Stay here with the women who work for me. 9 Watch the field where the men are harvesting, and follow along after the women. I have told the men not to lay a hand on you. And whenever you are thirsty, go and get a drink from the water jars the men have filled.”
Gleaning was a part of Jewish law mentioned several places in the Old Testament. One is Deuteronomy 24:19-22…
When you reap your harvest in your field and forget a sheaf in the field, you shall not go back to get it; it shall be left for the alien, the orphan, and the widow, so that the Lord your God may bless you in all your undertakings. When you beat your olive trees, do not strip what is left; it shall be for the alien, the orphan, and the widow. When you gather the grapes of your vineyard, do not glean what is left; it shall be for the alien, the orphan, and the widow. Remember that you were a slave in the land of Egypt; therefore I am commanding you to do this.
God made a way for the poor to support themselves and the more fortunate to be generous to those in need. It was an opportunity for dignity and productive work for those who otherwise would have to depend on begging, slavery, or other forms of exploitation. God put laws in place to protect and provide for His people.
Are there times in your life when you were really in need (financially, socially, physically, emotionally) and someone came along side you and helped make things better?
Where in your life do you have abundance that you can share with someone in desperate need? Think outside of the financial needs. Have you gotten through a rough experience that you can share with someone in the middle of it now? Have you overcome obstacles in areas you can help others in the midst of them? Are you a good listener and can sit and just listen to someone who is hurting? Are you a natural encourager who can provide that extra bit of support someone may be needing?
God intended us to share our gifts. And God sends people to come alongside us to share their gifts with us. Sometimes we will be the ones in need and sometimes we will be the ones with abundance to share.
Let’s always have the courage and conviction to step into these roles when the opportunities present themselves.