As a child I used to watch the effect the wind had as it blew through the long eared Wheat and Barley fields causing waves as it went.
Even now whenever it’s breezy I look for the same effect.
Barley has a short growing time and is often the dominant arable crop in the north and west of Britain where growing conditions are most difficult and less favourable.
Like wheat it can be ground to make flour used in the production of bread. Winter Barley is usually used for animal feed whilst the Spring sown variety is used in the production of beer and food.
Barley Harvest in the UK falls in July for winter Barley sown in the preceding Autumn (fall) and August for Spring sowings.
Whenever I think of Harvest I remember the beautiful book of Ruth whose story begins at a time when famine struck and a man named Elimelek from Bethlehem together with his wife (Naomi) and their two sons, Mahlon and Kilion went to live for a while in the country of Moab.
Elimelek, Naomi’s husband, died, and she was left with her two sons who married Moabite women, one named Orpah and the other Ruth. After they had lived there about ten years, both Mahlon and Kilion also died, and Naomi was left alone.
On hearing the famine was over she upped and left with her daughters-in-law to head back home for Judah but on the journey she had a change of heart.
‘Go back’ she said to both girls but Ruth wouldn’t saying those beautiful words ‘Your people will be my people and your God my God’.
don’t you just love it….
When they get back it’s Barley Harvest time and Ruth asks her Mother-in-law if she can go gleaning and it turns out that she goes gleaning in the field of Boaz a close relative of Elimelek.
Listen it gets better.
Boaz sees her and asks his men who she is, they tell him that she asked if she can glean and she’s been there for ages. Well when he hears about the way Ruth has stayed to look after her Ma-in-Law he’s really impressed so he tells his men to drop a few ears here and there and then he says “if she picks from among the sheaves don’t stop her.”
it gets better…..
Boaz says to her kindly like ‘come over here and have some bread and dip it in wine vinegar.’ he even gave her some roasted grain to eat.
Do you think he’s smitten yet?
Well she stays close to the women in Boaz’s fields until the wheat harvest is finished too.
One day Naomi says to her I must find a home for you where you will be well provided for. Boaz is a relative of ours. Tonight he will be winnowing barley on the threshing floor. Wash, put on perfume, and get dressed in your best clothes. Then go down to the threshing floor, but don’t let him know you are there until he has finished eating and drinking. When he lies down, note the place where he is lying. Then go and uncover his feet and lie down. He will tell you what to do.”
She did as she was told and during the night something startles him and he wakes up,
“Who are you?” He asks,
“I am your servant Ruth,” she replies. “Spread the corner of your garment over me, since you are a kinsman-redeemer of our family.”
don’t you just love it….
It turns out that there’s a closer relative than Boaz so he has to sort that out first.
‘Although it is true that I am a Kinsman-redeemer of our family, there is another who is more closely related than I. Stay here for the night, and in the morning if he wants to do his duty as your kinsman-redeemer, good; let him redeem you. But if he is not willing, as surely as the LORD lives I will do it. Lie here until morning.”
well morning comes and Boaz goes up to the town gate and sat down there just as the kinsman-redeemer he had mentioned came along.
Boaz said, “Come over here, my friend, and sit down.” So he did. Boaz took ten of the elders of the town and asked them to sit down too.
Boaz said, “On the day you buy the land from Naomi, you also acquire Ruth the Moabite, the dead man’s widow, in order to maintain the name of the dead with his property.”
So the Kinsman-redeemer said to Boaz, “Buy it yourself.” And he removed his sandal. (old custom)
Then Boaz announced to the elders and all the people, “Today you are witnesses that I have bought from Naomi all the property of Elimelek, Kilion and Mahlon. So Boaz took Ruth and she became his wife. When he made love to her, the LORD enabled her to conceive, and she gave birth to a son named Obed who was the father of Jesse the father of David who defeated the Giant and became King.
isn’t it beautiful?
but there’s more
thirty generations or so later comes another Kinsman-REDEEMER from Bethlehem
His name is Jesus. The Christ.
The book of Ruth is not very long, only four chapters so it doesn’t take that long to read.
be extra blessed as you take time out to read it.