So she stayed close by the young women of Boaz, to glean until the end of barley harvest and wheat harvest; and she dwelt with her mother-in-law.
— Ruth 2:23
In this short portion much is conveyed. The barley harvest commenced after the Passover and the feast of unleavened bread. During this time, the firstfruit of barley was offered to the Lord as a wave offering. The wheat harvest was associated with the feast of Pentecost, which took place fifty days after the feast of the firstfruits (Lev. 23:4-21). Barley is associated with resurrection, while wheat is symbolic of the Lord’s death on the cross. In this portion, resurrection is portrayed first, and afterwards death.
We must experience the Lord’s resurrection before we are able to enter into the experience of the Lord’s death. This matches the order in Philippians, where Paul tells us he sought to “know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death” (3:10). The more we experience the Lord’s resurrection, the more we are strengthened to take the pathway of the cross. The more we are enlivened by the Spirit, the more we are enabled to experience the Spirit’s work of termination.
During Pentecost, the firstfruit of wheat was offered to the Lord. This indicates that you have reached another stage in your experience of Christ. You are not merely regenerated; you also experience the Spirit’s leading and filling. You belong to the Spirit. Not only do you reap in resurrection (signified by the Feast of Firstfruits), but you are also filled with the Spirit (signified by the feast of Pentecost—Acts 2:1—œ4). You can then die with Christ. First you experience resurrection, next you are filled in spirit, and then you enter into the experience of Christ’s death and die with Christ. First you experience the barley, and then the wheat.
Adapted from Ruth: Growth Unto Maturity, page 44.
Tomorrow: “A Life within the Tent”