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Handfuls of Purpose

Ruth 2:16 KJV

[16] And let fall also some of the handfuls of purpose for her, and leave them, that she may glean them, and rebuke her not.

Suffice it here to say that her return and its supplies astonish her mother-in-law. "Where hast thou gleaned today? and where wroughtest thou?" The blessing of Jehovah it maketh rich, and He addeth no sorrow with it.

Naomi looks for more for all. "Blessed be he that did take knowledge of thee. And she showed her mother in law with whom she had wrought, and said, The man's name with whom I wrought to day is Boaz. And Naomi said unto her daughter in law, Blessed be he of Jehovah who hath not left off his kindness to the living and to the dead. And Naomi said unto her, The man is near of kin unto us, one of our next kinsmen. And Ruth the Moabitess said, He said unto me also, Thou shalt keep fast by my young men, until they have ended all my harvest. And Naomi said unto Ruth her daughter in law, It is good, my daughter, that thou go out with his maidens, that they meet thee not in any other field."


Nothing can be more genuinely charming than the artlessness of Ruth's character; nothing more in keeping with the mother-in-law than the looking out for her daughter, and such a daughter. At the same time faith gives a sense of propriety which, in my opinion, we none of us can afford to neglect. By this I do not mean the human prudence which seeks its own objects and in its own way. Not so; but that strong sense of what is comely in the sight of God and man, which assuredly shines here in both mother and daughter.


"So she kept fast by the maidens of Boaz to glean unto the end of barley harvest and of wheat harvest; and dwelt with her mother-in-law."

Now gradually comes to view a purpose which faith seizes deeper than the apron full of corn from day to day. "Then Naomi her mother-in-law said unto her, My daughter, shall I not seek rest for thee, that it may be well with thee? And now is not Boaz of our kindred, with whose maidens thou wast? Behold, he winnoweth barley to night in the threshing floor." (Ruth 3:1-2) Thus she gives directions, and Ruth acts on them. We need not pursue the minute history of all. No doubt it is familiar to almost every hearer in this room.


Suffice it to say that God was with the course suggested by Naomi. It might have seemed bold to some, it was really a believing one with love to Ruth also; but when God is with us, if there be on the one hand the attractive grace of a chaste conversation, coupled with fear, there is also on the other the boldness of faith, which is just as remarkably blessed of God. Ruth 2:1-23 shows us the one as the third chapter does the other.


It was possible that the course that Naomi directed her daughter-in-law to take might have turned away completely the heart of the great man from the Moabitess; but God ordered otherwise according to faith, and therefore difficulties disappeared one after another. God would have us confide in Him, dear brethren; for He is not more mighty than simple in His ways. It is we who are not, and how much blessing do we not lose from the lack of it? Let none doubt that the place of finding His blessing is in what some despise ignorantly, the path of duty. This is always right, though grace gives us occasions in that path which leave room for higher things, suffering not only for righteousness' but for Christ's sake.


In such cases faith does not fail to see that which suits His name, and is not a mere question of duty. In short righteousness is in itself good, but grace is better; only it is not grace where righteousness is either sacrificed or not respected. Grace therefore will not fail to honour righteousness whilst rising above it. Thus, in Ruth 2:1-23, Ruth is in the path of what we may call righteousness; certainly of relative comeliness and propriety, which was not forgotten of God. In Ruth 3:1-18 we find her taking a bolder flight by faith, wherein God led and honoured it too.

- Kelly Commentary (Public Domain)


May we “glean” some important principles from the story of Ruth. Hence, SingforJoyPh creates this initiative to edify the saints thru blogs and magnify some "handfuls of purpose” of music and the Bible. Thus, we will begin its transition to Facebook page in order to reach more readers. SingforJoyPh will migrate to a new name,"SingforJoyMinistries" in FB. Maintaining a website demands funds for this ministry. Please continue to pray for this ministry in transition as the Lord provides.


Where hast thou glean’d today? Thus does the Master say To you—to me; Come, tell Him, one by one, All we have said and done, Whate’er it be.

In the great field of prayer, Have we been gleaning there— Abroad—at home— Blessings, for His dear sake, On all who strive to make His kingdom come?

From God’s own Scripture field Glean we some precious yield Of golden grain— Promise, and plan, and will For this great world, until Christ comes again?

Glean we from fields afar News of the holy war Of God’s dear Son, Of progress towards the goal, Of many a heathen soul For Jesus won?

Or in the fields around Have we no gleanings found Of gifts or gold, To God’s great treasure store, Brought in by rich or poor, By young or old?

And, gleanings richer still, Those who, the Father’s will Longing to do, Bring to Him heart and hand, Joining our Gleaner-Band— Co-workers true?

So grant us, Lord, we pray, To glean while it is day, That ours may be At last the blest reward— To bring our sheaves, dear Lord, With joy to Thee!

Where Hast Thou Gleaned Today? Author: William John Limmer Sheppard Tune: NAOMI (Forrest)

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