And her mother in law said to her, Where have you gleaned to day? and where worked you? blessed be he that did take knowledge of you…
Let Naomi ask us this question, and let us answer, as far as we can, out of Ruth's experience. "Where hast thou gleaned?"
1. The first thing I am impressed with is this — if you will allow Ruth to answer the question for us — no matter how dark may have been your past life, no matter through what changes and hardships you may have come, you are not justified in giving in to melancholy, much less to despair. Do not sit still; go on with your round. Cast about, go out and forage somewhere. Do the thing that lies next to your hand; go back to the ordinary common work-a-day world, and you will find relief. "Where hast thou gleaned to-day?"
2. If, in answer to my question, you would say that you are nobody, that you are of no account, and that all life's plans and purposes have come to one swift catastrophe, I rebuke you from Ruth's history. You may be poor and obscure
; so was Ruth; but a new day had dawned. Keep up your heart; greater, if you only thought it, are the things behind the scenes in your favour than all that seems to be against you.
3. Then, when we stand here and ask, and answer, the questions that flew swift as a weaver's, shuttle between Ruth and Naomi — does not this come out? You have not been working in vain, if you will tell the truth. If you look at things aright, and take yet another look, especially those who are down cast, tell me if you are not bound to admit that your history is beginning to show glints of sunshine, here and there, through its darkness and chaos. Somehow you are getting conscious of it that there is an upper light breaking in. Now, think of the man who came into the field, whose presence opened up a new chapter for Ruth, and opened a wonderful chapter in God's purposes for a great while to come. On what small hinges do great doors hang! The world is still God's acre. It is not a field of riot, of chance and haphazard. It is not true that this is a world in which only the fittest survive and the weakest go to the wall. It is not true that the race is to the swift and the battle to the strong. Don't you see how the gospel comes on the scene with the face of that man Boaz? He is always going about the field, this Boaz, this Kinsman, this Redeemer. His eyes are on you, and He knows more about you than you are giving Him credit for. Blessed is He who is taking knowledge of thee. "Where hast thou gleaned to-day? and where wroughtest thou?"
4. Again, looking at this as a fireside gathering, as it were, to-day, at the end of one week, and before the new one, with its activities, is fully upon us, does not this come out of the question and the answer — that, after all, you have had unexpected success? Ruth's story shows us that, when we come across good times, when we come to what is called "good luck," we are in danger then. Now, don't go away and say that that is come to you because you rose early and sat up late, because you were sharper than other people, because your wits are keener, because you have shuffled the per cents., so to speak, more cleverly. Put in God somewhere; give God the credit, give Him the praise, give Him the glory, for, I tell you, it is all His.
Parallel VersesKJV: And her mother in law said unto her, Where hast thou gleaned to day? and where wroughtest thou? blessed be he that did take knowledge of thee. And she shewed her mother in law with whom she had wrought, and said, The man's name with whom I wrought to day is Boaz.
WEB: Her mother-in-law said to her, "Where have you gleaned today? Where have you worked? Blessed be he who noticed you." She showed her mother-in-law with whom she had worked, and said, "The man's name with whom I worked today is Boaz."