Daily Devotion for August 3, 2010
Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come; Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.
For Thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever and ever.
Prayer of Thanks for God's Creation
O Lord God of Israel and God of the nations, you are the only God in heaven above or the earth below. I walk before you with all my heart. I bless your name in the morning when I rise and in the evening when I sleep, and all the day when your creation fills my eye. Bless me to remember you this day; when I see and hear the thousand miracles of your creation, let me see them anew, recalling that you have made them, and no other; that I may live in your presence among the common miracles I take for granted. Through Christ I pray,
For our restful sleep at night,For the rain and sunshine bright,
For the love that Thou dost send,
For our homes and for each friend
For the day and all its pleasures,
Grateful thanks we render now.
May our lives pass on the blessings,
None can give to us, but Thou.
Eternal God, heavenly Father, you have graciously accepted me as a living member of your Son our Savior Jesus Christ, and you have fed me with the spiritual food of his Body and Blood. Send me now into the world in peace, and grant me strength and courage to love and serve you with gladness and singleness of heart; through Christ our Lord
(Additional prayers may be found at Prayers for All Occasions.)
God be with you 'til we meet again.
The Story of Ruth (part 4)
[If you have not been following along, you might want to read Ruth 1 before reading today's selection.]
Naomi had a relative on her husband's side, a man of standing, whose name was Boaz. Ruth (who was from Moab) said to Naomi, "Let me go to the fields and pick up the leftover grain behind anyone in whose eyes I find favor."
Naomi said to her, "Go ahead, my daughter." So she went out and began to glean in the fields behind the harvesters. As it turned out, she found herself working in a field belonging to Boaz, who was from the clan of Naomi's dead husband.
Just then Boaz arrived from Bethlehem and greeted the harvesters, "The Lord be with you!" "The Lord bless you!" they called back. Boaz asked the foreman of his harvesters, "Whose young woman is that?"
The foreman replied, "She is the Moabitess who came back from Moab with Naomi. She said, 'Please let me glean and gather among the sheaves behind the harvesters.' She went into the field and has worked steadily from morning till now, except for a short rest in the shelter."
So Boaz said to Ruth, "My daughter, listen to me. Don't go and glean in another field and don't go away from here. Stay here with my servant girls. Watch the field where the men are harvesting, and follow along after the girls. I have told the men not to touch you. And whenever you are thirsty, go and get a drink from the water jars the men have filled."
At this, she bowed down with her face to the ground. She exclaimed, "Why have I found such favor in your eyes that you notice me—a foreigner?"
Boaz replied, "I've been told all about what you have done for your mother-in-law since the death of your husband—how you left your father and mother and your homeland and came to live with a people you did not know before. May the Lord repay you for what you have done. May you be richly rewarded by the Lord, the God of Israel, under whose wings you have come to take refuge."
Notes on the Scripture
In Hebrew custom, widows were given the right of gleaning the fields. When grain is harvested, some of it falls on the ground and is wasted; going behind the harvesters and picking up this fallen grain is called "gleaning". It is hard work and yields only a little grain, but it was enough to keep a good worker and one or two other people alive for a day.
Boaz shows special consideration for Ruth. He ensures that she will be protected from harassment by the male workers and lets her drink from his water jars. As a relative of Naomi's husband, he has a special duty towards her; but even more important, he has heard of Ruth's dedication to her mother-in-law and is moved by it.