From the archives of Evelyn Roberts
In the book of Ruth, we read about a family who lived in Bethlehem during a time of famine in their country. The father took his wife, Naomi, and two sons into the land of Moab where they could find food.
After they reached Moab, the father died, leaving his wife and their two sons. I’m sure Naomi must have prayed, “Lord, send the right girls for my sons to marry, and I’ll do my best to help them to know the true God.”
These young men married Orpah and Ruth. Then a few years later both sons died. During their years in Moab, I’m sure that Naomi must have told the girls about God and planted good seeds of faith in their lives.
One day Naomi learned that the famine had ended in the land of Israel and they now had plenty of food, so she thought it was time to go home. Orpah and Ruth started with Naomi on her journey back to Bethlehem, but she said to them, “I think you’d better go back to your people.”
The girls loved Naomi, and clung to her. Finally, Orpah decided she would go back home, but Ruth had gotten a glimpse of what God could do in her life, and she wasn’t going to give up what she had found.
After all these years, Naomi must have felt as if she had lost all the seeds of faith that she had planted, except the ones she planted in Ruth. Now, she had lost both of her sons, her husband, and one daughter-in-law. She must have felt she had a very small harvest.
Do you ever feel as if you’ve planted a lot of seeds of faith and you’ve never gotten any harvest back from them? I’ve felt that way. But if we wait long enough, a harvest will come. You never get over the fact that you’ve had the losses, but you can recover the losses by planting other seeds of faith.
When Naomi got back to Israel, she asked Ruth if she could get a job gleaning the fields. When Ruth left, Naomi got on her knees and prayed. “Lord, send Ruth to the field of my kinsman Boaz.” Naomi prayed this because this Boaz could redeem their situation and keep the family name alive. Ruth went straight to the field belonging to Boaz and he allowed Ruth to glean his fields until the end of the harvest.
Later, Boaz married Ruth, and they had a son named Obed. Obed had a son named Jesse, and Jesse had a son who became King David. And down the lineage, you’ll find the name of Jesus, the Messiah.
Naomi’s faith didn’t go astray. She got the harvest for the seeds of faith she had planted. Naomi didn’t see the fulfillment of all of her seeds in her lifetime, and maybe you won’t see the fulfillment of all the seeds you’ve planted right away, but there will be a harvest. You can count on it!