So Naomi returned from Moab accompanied by Ruth the Moabitess, her daughter-in-law, arriving in Bethlehem as the barley harvest was beginning (Ruth 1:22 NIV).
“Bethlehem” means “house of bread.” Yet this account in the Bible tells us that even in this “house of bread” a famine can occur. As a result Naomi and her husband and two sons had gone to Moab. Her husband and two sons had died in that land. She was left with her two daughters-in-law, one of whom decided to go with her back to Bethlehem. Naomi had decided to go back to Bethlehem because she heard that God had provided food for His children.
This provision of food by God was just the beginning of a greater provision for His people. Naomi’s and Ruth’s arrival in Bethlehem was perfectly timed by God. They arrived there “as the barley harvest was beginning.” This is important.
As we read the Book of Ruth it is amazing to see how the barley harvest plays such a huge role in bringing together Ruth and Boaz. They give birth to a child named Obed who became the grandfather of David. Thus Bethlehem became the town of David. And after a thousand years, Joseph, who belonged to the house of David, along with Mary his wife, came to Bethlehem where Jesus, the Son of David, was born. The “bread that came down from heaven” was then born in Bethlehem, the “house of bread.” Isn’t that amazing!
All this was possible because God arranged the arrival of Naomi and Ruth to Bethlehem “as the barley harvest was beginning.” Yes, God will bring you to a place of blessing just when the harvest is beginning. The famine and destruction shall yield to provision of bread at the perfect timing of a chain of events planned by God!