“‘When you reap the harvest of your land, do not reap to the very edges of your field or gather the gleanings of your harvest. Leave them for the poor and for the foreigner residing among you. I am the LORD your God.’” —Leviticus 23:22 NIV

When I was barely an adult, I interviewed for an office job, even though I was unqualified. The conversation included a typical list of questions like, “Do you know how to type?” to all of which I answered “no.”

“Great! When can you start?”

“I’m sorry, what?”

“When can you start? We can teach you what you need to know. We’d like to hire you.”

Thankfully, I took the job even though I knew I had little to offer. Today, I realize it was God laying blessing at my feet, but, at the time, I was a bit confused and overwhelmed. “Why are they being so nice to me?” I wondered. And yet, I was extremely grateful and particularly loyal to the company. For seven years, I was trained in the art of writing, office management, and a lot of editing. I even learned how to use a computer! Now, I give back by writing about our great God and how He loves to give good gifts to His children.

Currently, I am immersed in the book of Ruth and noticed a remarkable relationship between it and Leviticus 23:22 (above). In fact, Ruth was the exact type of person God was providing for when He inspired the writing of this passage. Ruth was unarguably poor. She was also a foreigner residing among the Jewish people. Hundreds of years after Leviticus was written, Ruth gleaned in a field in Bethlehem owned by a man named Boaz. After a brief encounter with him, Ruth followed his servants, gathering the stalks they conspicuously left behind.

While Boaz certainly knew about Leviticus 23:22, he went above and beyond the “law,” leaving a bountiful trail before Ruth’s feet. Whether Ruth knew Boaz had instructed his servants to do this for her or not we can’t be sure. Yet, I think she did recognize it as a blessing from God. You see, Ruth was aware she didn’t deserve favor. She was a Moabite after all. But she was willing to work, even to suffer, to help provide for her mother-in-law, Naomi, and for herself. And God saw her need and provided for her through Boaz. (If you don’t know the ending, I encourage you to read this true love story.)

Am I as aware of my shortcomings, inadequacies, and poverty as Ruth was? Do I really understand that, no matter how hard I work, all good things are from the Lord? Am I willing to harvest those blessings from God? Ruth did, and she was grateful. In fact, gratitude—along with obedience, faithfulness, reverence, love, and humility—defines Ruth’s character. Moreover, Ruth exemplified faith in a God she claimed as her own and her willingness to go where God led her and do whatever He required is evidence of her faith. Nevertheless, even though the book is called Ruth, she is not the hero. No, the hero is not Boaz, either. The true hero of this story is the LORD your God.

“The LORD your God is with you,
the Mighty Warrior who saves.
He will take great delight in you;
in his love he will no longer rebuke you,
but will rejoice over you with singing.”
—Zephaniah 3:17 NIV

Furthermore, also in Leviticus 23, it’s noteworthy that God commanded two times of harvest celebration—when the first fruits of the barley harvest and then the wheat harvest were to be presented to Him (see verses 10-11). These were thanksgiving offerings to God. The barley harvest celebration was the day after Passover Sabbath, and the wheat harvest celebration, called Shavuot, was fifty days after the barley celebration. Traditionally to this day, the book of Ruth is read during Shavuot.

Therefore, the reaping of blessing and giving thanks went hand in hand, as it should be for you and me. We are all Ruth in this story. None of us have anything to offer except what God has already given us—our lives. The blessings and abundance are all His. But God’s one desire, above all else, is to have our hearts fully apprehended by His amazing love in the same way Ruth was enamored by Boaz’s love for her. In short, the harvest we reap is God’s amazing, unconditional, satisfying love, and, the thanksgiving we give back, it’s love too! In fact, the very lives we live are to be marked by LOVE.

Father, as I go through the day gathering up Your blessings, remind me to allow Your love to overflow to others so they too can taste and see that You are good.

Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and
peace in believing, that you may abound in hope
by the power of the Holy Spirit (Romans 15:13 NJKV).

Marlene McKenna



Sweet Selah Ministries

To inspire a movement away from the belief that “busy is better”
and toward the truth of God’s Word that stillness and knowing
Him matter most—and will be reflected in more effective work and service

To offer biblical resources and retreats that help women pause (Selah)
and love God more deeply as they know Him more intimately (Sweet)

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6 Comments. Leave new

  • Thank you for such encouragement. I love how this goes hand in hand with the message yesterday morning!

    October 10, 2022 1:33 pm

    Thank you Marlene, a beautiful love story, a reminder of the many blessings we receive day by day. God truly gives us a harvest of blessings, so thankful for God’s amazing love. God bless you.

  • Marlene, loved your musing today—especially your question, “Do I really understand that no matter how hard I work, all good things are from the Lord?” It is so easy to fall into the trap of thinking that our good job, financial security or our wonderful and successful children are a result of our hard work, wise investments, paying off our credit card each month or our great parenting skills instead of realizing that all of this bounty comes from God. AND even the tough times in life (as Ruth certainly experienced) are designed by God to teach and mature us, a further demonstration of his love for us.


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