Read Ruth 2
Ruth Meets Boaz in the Grain Field
2 Now Naomi had a relative on her husband’s side, a man of standing from the clan of Elimelek, whose name was Boaz.
2 And Ruth the Moabite said to Naomi, “Let me go to the fields and pick up the leftover grain behind anyone in whose eyes I find favor.”
Naomi said to her, “Go ahead, my daughter.” 3 So she went out, entered a field and began to glean behind the harvesters. As it turned out, she was working in a field belonging to Boaz, who was from the clan of Elimelek.
4 Just then Boaz arrived from Bethlehem and greeted the harvesters, “The Lord be with you!”
“The Lord bless you!” they answered.
5 Boaz asked the overseer of his harvesters, “Who does that young woman belong to?”
6 The overseer replied, “She is the Moabite who came back from Moab with Naomi. 7 She said, ‘Please let me glean and gather among the sheaves behind the harvesters.’ She came into the field and has remained here from morning till now, except for a short rest in the shelter.”
8 So Boaz said to Ruth, “My daughter, listen to me. Don’t go and glean in another field and don’t go away from here. Stay here with the women who work for me. 9 Watch the field where the men are harvesting, and follow along after the women. I have told the men not to lay a hand on you. And whenever you are thirsty, go and get a drink from the water jars the men have filled.”
10 At this, she bowed down with her face to the ground. She asked him, “Why have I found such favor in your eyes that you notice me—a foreigner?”
11 Boaz replied, “I’ve been told all about what you have done for your mother-in-law since the death of your husband—how you left your father and mother and your homeland and came to live with a people you did not know before. 12 May the Lord repay you for what you have done. May you be richly rewarded by the Lord, the God of Israel, under whose wings you have come to take refuge.”
13 “May I continue to find favor in your eyes, my lord,” she said. “You have put me at ease by speaking kindly to your servant—though I do not have the standing of one of your servants.”
14 At mealtime Boaz said to her, “Come over here. Have some bread and dip it in the wine vinegar.”
When she sat down with the harvesters, he offered her some roasted grain. She ate all she wanted and had some left over. 15 As she got up to glean, Boaz gave orders to his men, “Let her gather among the sheaves and don’t reprimand her. 16 Even pull out some stalks for her from the bundles and leave them for her to pick up, and don’t rebuke her.”
17 So Ruth gleaned in the field until evening. Then she threshed the barley she had gathered, and it amounted to about an ephah. 18 She carried it back to town, and her mother-in-law saw how much she had gathered. Ruth also brought out and gave her what she had left over after she had eaten enough.
19 Her mother-in-law asked her, “Where did you glean today? Where did you work? Blessed be the man who took notice of you!”
Then Ruth told her mother-in-law about the one at whose place she had been working. “The name of the man I worked with today is Boaz,” she said.
20 “The Lord bless him!” Naomi said to her daughter-in-law. “He has not stopped showing his kindness to the living and the dead.” She added, “That man is our close relative; he is one of our guardian-redeemers.”
21 Then Ruth the Moabite said, “He even said to me, ‘Stay with my workers until they finish harvesting all my grain.’”
22 Naomi said to Ruth her daughter-in-law, “It will be good for you, my daughter, to go with the women who work for him, because in someone else’s field you might be harmed.”
23 So Ruth stayed close to the women of Boaz to glean until the barley and wheat harvests were finished. And she lived with her mother-in-law.
In today’s reading, we see the Lord’s sovereignty already all over Ruth and Naomi. What was once despair and bitterness as we see in Ruth 1, the Lord has beautifully turned into provision and hope. There is nothing we go through that has not sifted through God’s sovereign hands (Proverbs 16:33). His sovereignty and brilliancy are on display when he leads Ruth not only to the field of Naomi’s relatives, but also to a potential Redeemer for them. Is that so thoughtful or what?!
Boaz allows Ruth to glean extra barley, protects her, and also provides her with water and food “until she was satisfied and had some left over” (vs. 14.) This is what the Lord does with us. He meets our needs and then brilliantly goes beyond what we could ask or imagine so that we are satisfied with some left over. What we can trust about the Lord is not only that He provides, but he provides in abundance. He gives in a way that only He can–in ways that when we look back on our life, we see those creative and thoughtful details in which we say “only God”.
Another thing that stands out about this chapter is that Boaz is clearly a wealthy man. Whereas he could have easily taken all of the harvest that was rightfully owed to him, he opted to let Ruth not only glean the scraps, but also told his men to leave her extra. The Lord blessed Boaz with a fertile field, many workers and plentiful harvest, and in turn, Boaz gives generously. He allows himself to be used by God, the origination of all of his blessings, to bless someone in need. So often in our own lives we harbor what the Lord has given us, whether that be giftings, resources, finances, etc., and we use it for selfish gains. However, when we look at Boaz, we see a man who has been entrusted with much and submits his resources to the Lord to be used by Him. We can observe from the way Boaz treats Ruth (and even his servants) that he understands the weight of what the Lord has blessed him with. May this be true of us as well.
Praise God for His sovereignty, His abundant provision in our lives, and for the ways He has equipped us to bless others. Let us have a heart to acknowledge His sufficiency and the way He sustains us on a daily basis. Let us have eyes to see those around us that the Lord has providentially placed in our path to bless with whatever means that have been entrusted to us.
- How does this chapter reveal the character of God?
- Where do you see the Lord’s provision in your own life?
- In what ways have you been blessed (talents, finances, giftings) by the Lord to be a blessing to others? What is one practical way you can walk in that today (think about who is in your circle of influence that you can impact)?
Did You Know?
This is the first time that we see the term “redeemer” (v. 20) used in this book. This is in reference to a kinsman-redeemer, which is a person who “under the Mosaic Law, was a male relative who had the responsibility to act on behalf of a relative who was in trouble, danger, or need” (for more information, check out this article from GotQuestions.org). This will make more sense as we continue to read Ruth, but already we can see the parallels in this book to Christ being our Redeemer—acting on our behalf when we were desperately in need.
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