Then Boaz said to Ruth, “You will listen, my daughter, will you not? Do not go to glean in another field, nor go from here, but stay close by my young women.”
Nebraska, where I live, has a lot of cattle ranches, and every once in a while a cow wanders off and gets lost. If you were to ask a rancher how a cow gets lost, chances are he would reply, “Well, the cow starts nibbling on a tuft of green grass, and when it finishes, it looks ahead to the next tuft of green grass. After it finishes that one, it looks ahead and starts nibbling on the next one, and then it nibbles on some grass right next to a hole in the fence. When it sees another tuft of green grass on the other side of the fence, it nibbles on that one and then another one-and the next thing you know, the cow has nibbled itself lost.”
Boaz knew how easy it was to drift into danger. His fear for Ruth was that she might wander into the field of some unscrupulous person who would take advantage of her. Therefore he admonished her, “Stay close by my young women.” In other words, don’t stray from the company of my female workers and you’ll be safe.
Sin works on the same principle. Seldom does Satan open a big hole in the fence for us to dash through into sin. He always begins by tempting us with a little “tuft of sin,” and that’s followed by a bit bigger one, and another one, until we lift our heads and realize we have nibbled ourselves far from God. Bite by bite, we have wandered away until we’re lost.
If you find yourself in that situation today, do two things. Stop right were you are and look around to see where God is. Then, take comfort. The One who loves you more than anything else in the world has come to “seek and to save that which was lost” (Luke 19:10). Admit that you have wandered and confess that you have sinned, and He will help you find your way home again.
BE CAREFUL WHERE YOU TAKE THE NEXT BITE.