Ruth 1:1-2

Now it came to pass in the days when the judges ruled, that there was a famine in the land. And a certain man of Bethlehemjudah went to sojourn in the country of Moab, he, and his wife, and his two sons. And the name of the man was Elimelech, and the name of his wife Naomi, and the name of his two sons Mahlon and Chilion, Ephrathites of Bethlehemjudah. And they came into the country of Moab, and continued there.”

The Bible has a lot to say about agriculture, both in terms of rules for how His people were to use the land, and also as allegory and type to explain spiritual truths.

Adam was set to working the Garden in Genesis 2, though whether this amounts to agriculture, we do not know. But certainly his son Cain was involved in growing crops.

A brief overview of the importance of food crops can be seen by reading the book of Ruth. It was the failure of the people of Israel to follow God and to acknowledge Him as King that led to the famine described in Ruth chapter 1. Moreover, Elimelech and Naomi lived in Bethlehem, which means House of Bread! There was famine in the House of Bread! And Elimelech’s name underscores the reason for this. His name means “My God is King”. If only that had been true for the people, there would have been no famine in the land flowing with milk and honey, in the House of Bread.

Later, when the widowed Naomi returns, bringing her young widowed daughter-in-law Ruth with her, Ruth is able to glean grain from the edges of Boaz’s field when the harvest was being gathered because that was a law permitted to the poor. God’s law looked after the feeding of the poor with His agricultural rules.

God’s commissioned Adam and Eve in Genesis 1:28 and, therefore, our care of His world is part of our worship of Him.

Prayer: We thank You, Lord, for the wonderful provision of a fertile earth on which we can grow such things as crops for food. Amen.

Author: Paul F. Taylor

Ref: Taylor, P.F. (2019), Chemistry on the Farm (Castle Rock, WA: J6D Publications), pp. 4-5. Image: Adobe Stock Images, licensed to author.

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