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Beating Out the Grain

"So she gleaned in the field until even, and beat out that she had gleaned" (Ruth 2:17).

Ruth threshed the barley she had collected. Some more hard work. There are many things that cannot be purchased with money; no one else can do or make them for you. A millionaire, should he want to play the piano, has to practice the same as a pauper. This is true in spiritual life, too. Do you want to know more of God's Word; do you want to know Christ better? Then you must work at it. First there is the laborious gleaning; then the no less strenuous beating out what you have gleaned. No one else can do it for you; you must sweat at it yourself.

Ruth beat out the grain. She did not lug all that straw home, but reduced her load to where she could carry it conveniently. Alas, many believers carry the straw home as well; in fact, many carry home nothing else but the straw. The only thing they remember about a message is something they did not agree with or did not like. I think brother Spurgeon said that some believers have less sense than a chicken. A hen will pick over a whole bushel of chaff to find one grain of wheat, while those critics will pick over a bushel of wheat to find a little bit of chaff. Listen, my brother, don't bother about the chaff; look for the real food and enjoy it.

One may hear much, both from listening to preaching or from reading books, that is largely useless, even if true. We must reduce the bulk to the small amount of the real thing. Only when the grain is threshed can we eat it, or show it, or share it.

—Condensed from Boaz and Ruth by August VanRyn.