Monday, August 8

Fenced In or Fenced Out?

In the beautiful story of Ruth, we find Boaz, as the lord of the harvest and the dispenser of bounty, saying to Ruth as she gathered grain for her needs, “Listen, my daughter. Stay right here with us when you gather grain; don’t go to any other fields.” (Ruth 2:8a NLT)

Boaz recommended that she stay close to his other servants, those with experience, those who knew the boundaries, so that nothing would happen to her and she would know what to do.

He said to Ruth, “Stay right behind the women working in my field. See which part of the field they are harvesting, and then follow them.” (Ruth 2:8b-9a NLT)

In ancient times, no fences marked the perimeters of fields.
Owners sometimes used rocks to mark boundary lines, which were easily moved and the borders then transgressed. One who moved his neighbor’s landmarks was, by law, cursed.

Solomon said, “Do not move an ancient boundary stone set up by your forefathers.” (Prov. 22:28 NIV)

In some cases, no stones were used and the dividing lines became blurred.

Boaz warned Ruth to keep her eyes on the field of the lord of the harvest and do as his servants did, to walk after them and follow their example. As a newcomer, she was allowed to glean and partake of the harvest with the seasoned workers, within the limit of the boundaries.

After Ruth accepted Boaz’s invitation to join the other workers in a meal, she went back to work. Boaz then commanded his men to let her glean “right among the sheaves without stopping her, and to snap off some heads of barley and drop them on purpose for her to glean.” (Ruth 2:15-16a TLB)

The lord of the harvest prepared special provision for Ruth, and no set boundary within his field limited her search. Her redeemer gave her the right to appropriate the things of his field for her needs. Given access to and allowed to participate in the harvest, she searched the field at will.

As our personal application, fences keep in and fences keep out.
God allows us free reign within the limited boundaries of His field of plenty. Without the clear line of demarcation, to keep us out of the world’s field of play, we will always get into trouble.

If we do not heed those seasoned and experienced workers around us and those who went before us in ages past, we will wander out of God’s field of provision and protection. We will be enticed to succumb to the enemy’s allures and temptations and jump over the fence to that “greener grass” on the other side.

And in jumping over, what do we find?
The pasture of that so-called greener grass not only needs mowing, but it also has weeds and cows! In other words, we will always step into a pasture pile! It is never exactly what we expect!

As the Lord of the Harvest, God tells us, “Here are My borders. It’s easy to cross that line into unknown territory, so watch out. I am your Redeemer. I am the Father of the Field. Stay here with Me and follow My servants.”

Do we fully realize our Redeemer, our Lord of the Harvest, has made a place for us,
“lifted us to take our place with Him,” (Eph. 2:6 Phillips) granting us access to His field of promise, to bring in the sheaves of all that is necessary to fulfill our needs and the needs of others?

Search His field over for the provision of all that you lack. When was the last time you gleaned from the Word, truly searching its pages for a message as a bundle of harvest from the Lord? “When did a needy gleaner ever turn to its pages and not find just the word for himself? How it declares the heart of God, that He has scattered from end to end of His book handfuls of blessing, messages of love and grace.” (Judges and Ruth by Samuel Ridout)

Do we keep our eyes on God’s field, watching where we glean?
Do we follow His “old pickers” as our examples? Whether we are a new Christian or a seasoned one, we may gather nourishment from the Word for all our needs.

Has God not dropped tidbits along the way for you, handfuls pulled from His bundles of grace, those precious golden nuggets of the provision of His Word, as little surprises strewn along the path of your searching, for His “paths drip with abundance” (Ps. 65:11 NKJV)?

Has your boundary between God and the world become blurred? Or do you keep Jesus the Rock as your dividing line?

Oh, that our hearts would remain in the field of God’s grace and provision without jumping the fence and wandering from His borders of protection!

Which would you rather be...fenced in or fenced out?

~~This is part of Peter Pollock’s One Word at a Time Blog Carnival,

Soli deo gloria

Shanda Oakley's On Your Heart Tuesdays...

27 Responses
  1. Wonderful way you've led us from one pastoral scene to another with the Lord of the Harvest as our guide. If the cows are on the other side of the fence; I'll stay on this side with the Good Shepherd. Baaaa!

  2. lynnmosher Says:

    LOL I love your comment! Too funny! Thanks so much, Carol!

  3. Yes, too many times we think we are being fenced out, when instead the fence is to keep out those who would hurt us. I agree with Carol, I stay inside with the Shepherd. Great post, as always, Lynn. Oh, and I love the story of Ruth. It is full of such encouragement and hope.

  4. Shanda Says:

    Lynn, I love this. I will always think of Ps 55:11 in a new light. I actually pulled out my bible to read the Psalm. My translation says, 'Your carts are overflowing with abundance' and it reinforces the fact that God provides all we need. There is such an abundance and that we need go now where but God. There is no need to step over the fences.

  5. Unknown Says:

    I so desperately cling to the boundary lines - sometimes I wish life was so clearly marked with tangible fences so that there would be no doubt, and yet, if that was so, there wouldn't be such a need for us to be dependent upon Him for every step.

  6. Patti Hanan Says:

    "Oh, that our hearts would remain in the field of God’s grace and provision without jumping the fence and wandering from His borders of protection!" Thank you for these wonderful words of encouragement, Lynn!

  7. Pamela Says:

    I want to keep my heart inside the fence...such provisions from God's Word are full of nutrition.

    I noticed from your profile that you have fibromyalgia. Sometimes it's good to know we're not alone in our pain.

    I hope your day has be crowned with peace.

  8. I love cows . . . And there are wildflowers and butterflies in the unmown grass . . . ;)

    Are newcomers coming to the field safely able to follow us?

  9. lynnmosher Says:

    Oh, amen, Ceci! Amen! If you like the book of Ruth, you will love the second chapter of my book. Truly lots of good stuff! (I know, shameful!) Thanks, sweetie! Bless you!

  10. lynnmosher Says:

    Shanda, don't you love that verse? Thanks so much for commenting, sweetie! Blessings to you!

  11. lynnmosher Says:

    Oh, Jen, I so agree with you. A clear line would be nice but then again, I think the Lord blessed us with an inner warning system when we attempt to step out of bounds...the Holy Spirit! So comforting to know that. Now, if I could rely on Him more! Thanks so much for commenting! Blessings!

  12. lynnmosher Says:

    Hey, Patti-girl! So glad to see you! I've missed you. Thanks so much, sweetie, for stopping by. I appreciate it. Bless you!

  13. lynnmosher Says:

    Oh, Pamela, I so want to stay in those bounds as well. If you have fibro also, I'll be praying for you. Bless you for the visit!

  14. lynnmosher Says:

    LOL You would, Snady! But your question is one that plaques I being an old picker to follow? Hmmm...thanks, sweetie! Blessings to you!

  15. Anonymous Says:

    good words.

  16. Boundaries only marked with a post or a rock! How amazing that no fences were needed or wanted. God's word sets boundaries, yet we are not fenced in because we are free to choose to obey and follow. In a sense there are invisible fences that God has placed within our spirit. If we get too close to the edge a signal goes off, a warning so to speak, to stop and stay.

  17. I do love it that God brings seasoned workers for us to follow.


  18. Thanks for this post Lynn, fenced in or out... I can walk around freely as long as He is by my side.

  19. Debra Weiss Says:

    Love this! One thing I always try to do to make sure I'm within the borders of where God wants me to be is to check in with other, more experienced Christians. These are Christians who I've watched walk with God and whose faith I deeply admire.

    By doing this, I've managed to avoid what could have been so pretty bad situations. God didn't intend for our lives to be solo journeys - that's the whole point of the church! :)

  20. lynnmosher Says:

    Thanks, Nance Marie! So glad to see you. Appreciate the visit. Blessings to you!

  21. lynnmosher Says:

    Amen, Joyful! Amen! Such a great statement. Thank you so much for visiting. Bless you!

  22. lynnmosher Says:

    Oh, Glenda, me, too! Me, too! Having living examples of holy living is such a comfort! Thanks so much for commenting. Bless you!

  23. lynnmosher Says:

    Hey, Marja! Thanks, sweetie! You are so faithful! Love you! And blessings!

  24. I like your thought of fences keep us in and keep us out too....Neat

  25. Rachel Says:

    Hi, wonderful thoughts from that passage. It reminded me of the verses in John 10 - "I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep But a hireling, he who is not the shepherd, one who does not own the sheep, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and flees; and the wolf catches the sheep and scatters them The hireling flees because he is a hireling and does not care about the sheep."

    As you said we are to follow in the paths of the One who went before us the Word, Christ, and be careful we aren't following mere men who can lead us astray.

    Thanks for a wonderful word.


  26. lynnmosher Says:

    Hey, sweet Kim! Thanks so much for stopping by. Hope you are feeling well. Blessings to you!

  27. lynnmosher Says:

    Thank you so much, Rachel, for your kind comment. Thank you for stopping by. I appreciate it. Blessings to you!