The word harvest in the Book of Ruth means soul-winning, and all the verses related to harvest allow us to glean a lot concerning soul winning.
One question to always ask ourselves is, ‘Are we winning enough souls for God?’
Ruth 2: 1-3 And Naomi had a kinsman of her husband’s, a mighty man of wealth, of the family of Elimelech; and his name was Boaz. And Ruth the Moabitess said unto Naomi, Let me now go to the field, and glean ears of corn after him in whose sight I shall find grace. And she said unto her, Go, my daughter. And she went, and came, and gleaned in the field after the reapers: and her hap was to light on a part of the field belonging unto Boaz, who was of the kindred of Elimelech.
When we glean the harvest or attempt to win souls for God, a lot of people can become grim about it, which is a wrong spirit or attitude to have. In fact, we should be a glad reaper, not a grim reaper.
Take immediate action, there’s no secret to soul winning – get up and get it done. It takes a simple act of passing tract to people whom we know or even don’t know. The more we do it, the more it becomes habitual and the defeatist attitude in us will just slowly vanish into thin air.
Ruth 2:4-7 And, behold, Boaz came from Bethlehem, and said unto the reapers, The Lord be with you. And they answered him, The Lord bless thee. Then said Boaz unto his servant that was set over the reapers, Whose damsel is this? And the servant that was set over the reapers answered and said, It is the Moabitish damsel that came back with Naomi out of the country of Moab: And she said, I pray you, let me glean and gather after the reapers among the sheaves: so she came, and hath continued even from the morning until now, that she tarried a little in the house.
We can clearly see that Ruth was steady, faithful and consistent. That is exactly the kind of attitude we should have in soul winning. It is about taking things step by step and being consistent in our effort if we truly want to win souls for God. One thing to always keep in mind is that we should also never let one person who rejects the gospel discourage us from the possibilities of winning other hundreds of soul to the Lord Jesus Christ.
The flesh will sometimes crawl upon us, and try to stop us from serving the Lord. But, we can fight through all of that if we are steady! Besides, one ‘spin-off’ that we get from soul winning is that it helps us to avoid sinning or alleviate the unnecessary guilt we have towards our own sin.
Ruth 2:8-9 Then said Boaz unto Ruth, Hearest thou not, my daughter? Go not to glean in another field, neither go from hence, but abide here fast by my maidens: Let thine eyes be on the field that they do reap, and go thou after them: have I not charged the young men that they shall not touch thee? and when thou art athirst, go unto the vessels, and drink of that which the young men have drawn.
Boaz recognized Ruth’s steadiness and decided to bless her to ensure the success of her harvesting process. This indicates that if we are consistent and steady with our effort, God will bless us and help us to succeed in our soul winning. All we have to do is to remain faithful, steady, and consistent.
As mentioned in 2 Peter 3, even though we are longing for the rapture to be here as soon as possible, one reason why God has not made that happen is probably because He wants to give us more time to win more souls.
Ruth 2:10,13 Then she fell on her face, and bowed herself to the ground, and said unto him, Why have I found grace in thine eyes, that thou shouldest take knowledge of me, seeing I am a stranger? Then she said, Let me find favour in thy sight, my lord; for that thou hast comforted me, and for that thou hast spoken friendly unto thine handmaid, though I be not like unto one of thine handmaidens.
Ruth was in awe and surprised at why she was blessed by God. Similarly, we just will never know how God can surprise us with His blessings if we just continue to attempt to win souls for Him. The best thing we can do with soul winning is to do it with wisdom, conviction, and commitment; leaving the outcome to God, trusting completely that He will take care of the outcome for us.
Besides, we will never know the kind of positive impact we can make to someone’s lives in the process of soul-winning as they might be going through some emotional turmoil or chaos with their lives.
Ruth 2:11-12 And Boaz answered and said unto her, It hath fully been shewed me, all that thou hast done unto thy mother in law since the death of thine husband: and how thou hast left thy father and thy mother, and the land of thy nativity, and art come unto a people which thou knewest not heretofore. The Lord recompense thy work, and a full reward be given thee of the Lord God of Israel, under whose wings thou art come to trust.
With this passage, we can be sure that God will spoil us if we go out and win souls for Him with our hearts. God knows our conscience and our hearts: If we truly have the hearts to serve Him, we will be showered with spoils beyond that we can imagine. This comes to show why some Christians get their prayers answered and others don’t. The rationale could simply be because of our hearts and efforts in soul winning.
Ruth 2:14 And Boaz said unto her, At mealtime come thou hither, and eat of the bread, and dip thy morsel in the vinegar. And she sat beside the reapers: and he reached her parched corn, and she did eat, and was sufficed, and left.
Harvesting for the Lord will give us tremendous satisfaction that no worldly rewards can exhilarate. What’s more important is the satisfaction of our conscience knowing that we witness to people who are unsaved, and possibly saving their souls to Christ, instead of living in guilt not doing it for Christ.
Ruth 2:15-17 And when she was risen up to glean, Boaz commanded his young men, saying, Let her glean even among the sheaves, and reproach her not: And let fall also some of the handfuls of purpose for her, and leave them, that she may glean them, and rebuke her not. So she gleaned in the field until even, and beat out that she had gleaned: and it was about an ephah of barley.
Always go back to the basics; the A-B-C of the Bible, and seek to understand people better from their perspectives, not from ours. When it comes to soul-winning, our communication with others needs to be filled with wisdom and grace; to retrieve our knowledge from the Bible.
Ruth 2:18-20 And she took it up, and went into the city: and her mother in law saw what she had gleaned: and she brought forth, and gave to her that she had reserved after she was sufficed. And her mother in law said unto her, Where hast thou gleaned to day? and where wroughtest thou? blessed be he that did take knowledge of thee. And she shewed 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 the Lord, 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.
Do you have a show of your harvest? Imagine if God asks us this question at the judgment seat of Christ.
Ruth 2:21-23 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. 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.
At this point, we can expect our souls to continue to be filled with joy. Soul-winning or even assignments like passing out tracts becomes much easier, more natural, and habituated. All the obstacles we face will discourage us less and less.