“And Boaz said unto her, ‘At mealtime come thou hither, and eat of the bread, and dip thy morsel in the vinegar.’ And she sat beside the reapers: and he reached her parched corn, and she did eat, and was sufficed, and left.”
King James Version
“A Fruit-Full Time”
When We Hunger
“It is a sure mark of grace to desire more.”
Robert Murray M’Cheyne
When it comes to spiritual things, what do I hunger for?
Have I asked God to “satisfy” my hunger?
“God will fill the hungry because He Himself has stirred up the hunger. As in the case of prayer, when God prepares the heart to pray, He prepares His ear to hear (Psalm 10: 17). So in the case of spiritual hunger, when God prepares the heart to hunger, He will prepare His hand to fill.”
“For He satisfies the longing soul and fills the hungry soul with good.”
Just think what it would have been like had you been born in Moab. You wouldn’t have had a choice. If this was where your parents lived, you would have most likely lived there, too.
And then a couple from Bethlehem moves into your town with their two sons, and one of these young men wants to take your daughter as “his bride.” You agree. Never ever imagining this young husband will die and your daughter will return, with her Israelite mother-in-law, to her home – the House of Bread, in Bethlehem.
I wonder whether Ruth had any idea what the ramifications of her decision were. She left her family and relatives. She gave up her cultural and religious traditions. But what’s more, she moved to a country where the inhabitants were hostile toward “her kind.” Not only did the Israelites dislike the Moabites, they also had their own caste system, where the orphans and widows, who should have been cared for with great loving-kindness, were instead looked upon as society’s cast-offs. Ruth was an immigrant, gleaning off the left-over’s in the field, trying to make ends meet for two empty stomachs – hers and her elderly mother-in-law. Ruth was diligently working to feed two.
Then, one day, the owner of the field walked up to her and said, “Come eat at my table.” I liken this invitation to the one Jesus talked about in Matthew 22 when He described the situation surrounding a wedding. All the invited guests were busy and said they couldn’t come to the wedding, so the Master of the house invited the cast-offs. Those whom others would never invite. This is what Boaz did for Ruth. Think of the shock on the faces of the harvesters when their Master brought a “heathen” to the table. A contaminate. And Boaz didn’t just ask Ruth to come eat some meager morsel she had brought from home. No way! The Bible says she was fed from Boaz’s table until she was, “sufficed,” or as the Hebrew so beautifully states, she was “satisfied.” She ate from the Master’s table until she no longer hungered.
Do you have an unmet hunger in your life? Are you, like Ruth, feeling left on the outside? Then you may be gleaning in the wrong field. Possibly you are like the young son in Luke 15: 16 who was so starved by what the world offered, he finally tried to stop the hunger pangs by “filling his belly with the husks that the swine did eat.” (Luke 15: 16). If you have hungered too long for something that really satisfies, then why not come to lunch with your Master, for His invitation is always open.
In 1975, Clara T. Williams, penned these words to one of my favorite old hymns. I want to share verses two and three with you:
“Feeding on the husks around me,
Till my strength was almost gone,
Longed my soul for something better,
Only still to hunger on.
Poor I was, and sought for riches,
Something that would satisfy,
But the dust I gathered round me
Only mocked my soul’s sad cry.
Hallelujah! I have found Him
Whom my soul so long has craved!
Bread of life so rich and free,
Untold wealth that never faileth
My redeemer is to me!”
And Ruth left Boaz’s table, sufficed. When you and I accept heaven’s invitation to eat at our Master’s table, we are promised that we, too, will be satisfied. Hallelujah!
“Blessed and fortunate and happy and spiritually prosperous (in that state in which the born-again child of God enjoys His favor and salvation) are those who hunger and thirst for (righteousness and right standing with God), for they shall be completely satisfied.”
“So Ruth joined the harvesters. Boaz passed the roasted grain to her. She ate her fill and even had some left over.”
“At His table, all are fed,
And no one turned away.
Thanks be to God.”
Break Thou the Bread of Life
“Break Thou the bread of life,
Dear Lord, to me, as Thou
Didst break the loaves beside the sea;
Beyond the sacred page I seek Thee, Lord;
My spirit pants for Thee, O living Word.
Thou art the Bread of Life,
O Lord, to me;
Thy holy word the truth that saveth me:
Give me to eat and live with Thee above;
Teach me to love Thy truth,
For Thou art love.”
Mary A. Lathbury
Dorothy Valcárcel, Author
When A Woman Meets Jesus
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