“. . . the Lord be with you. . . .” Ruth 2:4
A picture is worth a thousand words. An image has the power to cause us to see things differently. An image can impact emotions and move us toward a change in thinking. We are to use the eyes of our heart and the ears of faith, engaging our redemptive imagination to roll the stories of the Bible around in our mind.
We are given a detailed picture of the ancient harvest scene. The field is thick with waving barley. The reapers cut their way into it with sickles, grasping the ears until their arms are full. Behind them the women gather up the armfuls and bind them into sheaves. Farther behind the reapers and the gatherers, there follow the widows and the stranger, who, according to Hebrew law, have the right to glean after the reapers.
The overseer is busy urging on the reapers. The vessels stand filled to the brim with local wine available so the sweaty and thirsty workers can refresh themselves. On the horizon, near the edge of the field, stands the house with its barns, threshing floors and various places of shade where the weary can rest when the heat of the day proves to be too much.
Here, under the shade of the spreading spring trees, men and women gather at meal time and are served cornbread which they dip into a strengthening mixture of vinegar, oil and water. The workers find refreshment to finish the work.
As the day advances, the master of the estate comes to see how the work is progressing. He warmly and sincerely extends a blessing to all the workers, “God be with you,” gracefully reminding them the work does not go unnoticed by God Himself. And they reply, “God bless you,” acknowledging that God is the God of blessing.
Amidst the fresh harvest, the farmer asked a blessing on the workers. A living reverence for God was present in the field and in the harvest. Their dependence on God permeated every part of life and work.
Are you acknowledging God in all your ways? Does God have a place in your work? Does all your work and rest begin and end with God?