Ruth Meets Boaz
2 Now Naomi had a relative of her husband’s, a worthy man of the clan of Elimelech, whose name was Boaz. And Ruth the Moabite said to Naomi, “Let me go to the field and glean among the ears of grain after him in whose sight I shall find favor.” And she said to her, “Go, my daughter.” So she set out and went and gleaned in the field after the reapers, and she happened to come to the part of the field belonging to Boaz, who was of the clan of Elimelech. And behold, Boaz came from Bethlehem. And he said to the reapers, “The LORD be with you!” And they answered, “The LORD bless you.” Then Boaz said to his young man who was in charge of the reapers, “Whose young woman is this?” And the servant who was in charge of the reapers answered, “She is the young Moabite woman, who came back with Naomi from the country of Moab. She said, ‘Please let me glean and gather among the sheaves after the reapers.’ So she came, and she has continued from early morning until now, except for a short rest.”
Then Boaz said to Ruth, “Now, listen, my daughter, do not go to glean in another field or leave this one, but keep close to my young women. Let your eyes be on the field that they are reaping, and go after them. Have I not charged the young men not to touch you? And when you are thirsty, go to the vessels and drink what the young men have drawn.” Then she fell on her face, bowing to the ground, and said to him, “Why have I found favor in your eyes, that you should take notice of me, since I am a foreigner?” But Boaz answered her, “All that you have done for your mother-in-law since the death of your husband has been fully told to me, and how you left your father and mother and your native land and came to a people that you did not know before. The LORD repay you for what you have done, and a full reward be given you by the LORD, the God of Israel, under whose wings you have come to take refuge!” Then she said, “I have found favor in your eyes, my lord, for you have comforted me and spoken kindly to your servant, though I am not one of your servants.”
And at mealtime Boaz said to her, “Come here and eat some bread and dip your morsel in the wine.” So she sat beside the reapers, and he passed to her roasted grain. And she ate until she was satisfied, and she had some left over. When she rose to glean, Boaz instructed his young men, saying, “Let her glean even among the sheaves, and do not reproach her. And also pull out some from the bundles for her and leave it for her to glean, and do not rebuke her.”
So she gleaned in the field until evening. Then she beat out what she had gleaned, and it was about an ephah of barley. And she took it up and went into the city. Her mother-in-law saw what she had gleaned. She also brought out and gave her what food she had left over after being satisfied. And her mother-in-law said to her, “Where did you glean today? And where have you worked? Blessed be the man who took notice of you.” So she told her mother-in-law with whom she had worked and said, “The man’s name with whom I worked today is Boaz.” And Naomi said to her daughter-in-law, “May he be blessed by the LORD, whose kindness has not forsaken the living or the dead!” Naomi also said to her, “The man is a close relative of ours, one of our redeemers.” And Ruth the Moabite said, “Besides, he said to me, ‘You shall keep close by my young men until they have finished all my harvest.’” And Naomi said to Ruth, her daughter-in-law, “It is good, my daughter, that you go out with his young women, lest in another field you be assaulted.” So she kept close to the young women of Boaz, gleaning until the end of the barley and wheat harvests. And she lived with her mother-in-law.
Ruth 2 Commentary
by Hank Workman
The hand of God is always at work. There are no coincidences. When God is moving among His people, His hand is always leading and working, setting things up for those who follow. It’s always a tremendous thing to look back at circumstances and happenings in our lives when we were at the right place, at the right time and God had orchestrated it all.
Ruth just “happened” to go out and work in Boaz’s field. God was setting the stage for a beautiful story to unfold even though Ruth and yes her mother in law, Naomi were struggling. As both were widows, the harshness of the culture was not favorable. Widows who had no family finned for themselves. They were taken advantage or simply ignored. Most became poverty stricken. Yet, through Ruth’s love for her mother in law, she followed her back to a foreign land. She was willing to take the risk of being severely marginalized the rest of her life. This was God silently working.
As we read, Ruth just happened to show up at Boaz’s field to work and find food. Boaz just happened to be out in the fields that day. He just happened to notice this new worker and took an interest. Once again, God was working and there are no coincidences. God had guided her to a kinsman-redeemer even though she didn’t realize it.
Often as we go about our day, we get caught up in simply the task or monotony. People come and go across our path. But if we are trusting our God in whatever situation we face; if we are acting in faith even when it’s hard; if we are pursuing Him or He is wooing us to which we follow – He has a plan He’s working. His hand is leading. On some levels, this is what it’s like to be walking in the Spirit. We are trusting Him with our situation and living in devotion to Him. The Spirit of God is directing and guiding us even though we don’t see it.
If we were to take this mindset to the meetings we have, the relationships that come across our path, the run ins with people – how would this change our outlook and interaction? What if our eyes were open to the remarkable ways of God even though we don’t see His hand moving? For no matter what is going on currently in our life, He is working. He is moving. He is setting the stage for His next great scene.
Ruth 2 Commentary
by Brad Boyles
It’s important not to overlook the fact that Ruth gave 100% to her work. We know she was given many opportunities by God, however, she also put in the work.
When I coached high school basketball for several years, I always took an interest in the kids who were humble, teachable, and hard workers. As a coach, I would take that type of kid any day over a naturally-talented athlete with an average work ethic. I knew that when they were really “bought in,” they would listen and give full effort for the entirety of the game. Even if they made mistakes, I usually stuck with them because they made those mistakes while trying to execute the game plan with 100% effort. At the end of the game, they could say they gave it all they had.
Ruth was a hard worker. She illustrates for us how a child of God should pursue the Father. That pursuit is accomplished by opportunities and blessings from God, but also, by our own responsible obedience to give 100% effort. Here is what commentator David Guzik writes in regards to Ruth’s work ethic…
We should use Ruth’s example to glean everything we can from the Word of God:David Guzik
• Ruth worked hard.
• Ruth had to stoop to gather every grain.
• Ruth could only pick up one grain at a time.
• Ruth had to hold on to each grain, and not immediately drop it.
• Ruth took the grain home and threshed it.
• Ruth took the threshed grain and winnowed it.
• Ruth was nourished by the grain.
We must ask ourselves, do we pursue God with everything we have? Are we teachable? Are we humble? These are qualities that, when combined with God’s blessing, can produce growth and fruitfulness in our lives.