We might look at the book of Ruth as the story of seemingly ordinary people living through extraordinary times. The chaotic, desperate, and destructive time of the judges in Israel was perhaps fading but still present, while the kingdom that was to come to Israel was still well in the future. It is a story that takes place in between these two worlds, in what has been called a “grey zone.”
In this “grey zone” the lives of two very needy widows and the life of a small town farmer come together. The result was an extraordinary display of faithful, enduring, selfless, and committed kindness. In a time when virtually “everyone did what was right in his own eyes” the three principal characters in this story, Naomi, Ruth, and Boaz strove to do what was right in the sight of God, to reflect His faithful covenant love.
It is important to have that “big picture” perspective, but no doubt Naomi was thinking about more immediate, daily issues. For several weeks Ruth has been putting food on the table by gleaning grain from the field of Boaz, but the time of the harvest is coming to an end. What happens now?
Naomi has a plan, and it is a rather surprising one. What is even more amazing is how God’s greater plan unfolds, not just in that time and place, but also for us as we navigate through a “grey zone.” God’s Kingdom – already, not yet!