Wednesday, April 12, 2017

"I Got Noticed!"

Ruth 2.10 NKJV

“So she fell on her face, bowed down to the ground, and said to him, ‘Why have I found favor in your eyes, that you should take notice of me, since I am a foreigner?’ 


The Bible says Boaz noticed Ruth when she “just happened to end up in… the field belonging to Boaz” (Ruth 2.3). The literal Hebrew reads: “her chance chanced upon” his field. According to The NET Bible study notes:

“The text is written from Ruth's limited perspective. As far as she was concerned, she randomly picked a spot in the field. But God was providentially at work and led her to the portion of the field belonging to Boaz, who, as a near relative of Elimelech, was a potential benefactor.”[1]

It was no accident that Ruth found herself gleaning in the field of Boaz and it was not accidental that Boaz noticed Ruth. We romanticize the text but the book of Ruth is not primarily a love story between an rich man and a lovely Moabitess virgin. If Ruth’s beauty was so captivating that Boaz couldn’t help but to notice her, then Ruth’s relative closer than Boaz may have claimed her for himself (see Ruth, chapter 4).
 
Let’s examine the historical context. There was a famine. The immigrants from Moab were verging on starvation. Ruth was probably horribly skinny with sunken eyes, weather-beaten skin, and baggy, torn clothes. She couldn’t afford expensive, guaranteed-to-attract-a-man make-up. Limited sexual electricity there. Gleaning was hard work. Ruth was a foreigner, impoverished, homely, dirty, and covered in sweat. 

There was no good reason for an upstanding wealthy Israelite like Boaz to notice Ruth. Yet notice her he did. Boaz noticed Ruth for the same reason she chose to glean in his field… God was orchestrating the entire story. It was no accident. It was providential.
 
I’m like Ruth. No great catch. Nothing special to look at, but Jesus noticed me. I caught His eye. It was no accident I became a child of God. I did not stumble into this divine relationship. I was part of His plan. He directed my steps. He conceived and wrote the story of Ruth and the story of Dave. He redeemed me. I was and still am under the watchful eye and providential care of Jesus.

“A man's steps are directed by the Lord.”
Proverbs 20.24 NIV

“…no one can come to Me unless it has been granted him from the Father”
Jesus, John 6.65 NASU

I didn’t make it happen, God did. I was on a journey gleaning my way through life when I “just happened” to land in Christ’s barley field. For reasons I will never fully understand, He noticed me and chose to have me as His own.
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[1] The New English Translation (NET Bible) ®, Copyright © 1996-2006 by Biblical Studies Press, L.L.C., Dallas, Texas, www.bible.org. All rights reserved. Used by permission.

The painting at upper right is titled Les Glaneuses (The Gleaners, 1857) by Jean-François Millet who was part of the Realism Movement that began in France in the 1850's.

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