Scripture Reading: Ruth 2
When Ruth and Naomi went back to Bethlehem, they realized they would need to get work. Ruth asked her mother in law about going to the fields to glean the grain. It was harvest time, and sometimes people would go behind the workers that were harvesting the grain, and get what was left over. Naomi agreed with her that she should go. We can see the hand of the Lord taking care of Naomi and Ruth. Without knowing who he was, Ruth went to the fields of Boaz and asked the workers if she could glean there. She didn’t know at that time that Boaz was a near kinsman of Elimelech. God was watching over Ruth and Naomi, and worked it all out for Ruth to meet Boaz.
When Boaz came and saw Ruth, he asked about her and the workers told him who she was. He was very kind, and told the workers to leave some grain on purpose—not just what accidentally fell. He also talked with Ruth and told her not to go to other fields, but stay there because she could glean with the other maidens and be safe. He also had told the workers to be kind to her. He made it possible for her to get grain, and at the same time was protecting her. She asked why he was being so kind. He told her he had heard how good she was to her mother-in-law, and how she had chosen to come live there leaving her own country.
We can see some things about the good character of Boaz, in the way he greeted the workers. In verse 4 of this second chapter, he greeted them with “the Lord be with you.” He was a man that worshipped the true God of Israel, and wasn’t ashamed to witness for Him. He showed his kindness to all the workers, and he especially showed kindness to Ruth. He was making it possible that she glean abundantly; protected her, and offered her water and food. Boaz said to Ruth (in verse 12),
“The Lord recompense thy work, and a full reward be given thee of the Lord God of Israel, under whose wings thou art come to trust.” He was quick to see that even though Ruth was a foreigner, she now believed in the true God of Israel, and was living the life of a good Israelite. Ruth also showed her testimony by saying in verse 13, “Let me find favour in thy sight, my lord; for that thou hast comforted me, and that thou hast spoken friendly unto thine handmaid, though I be not like unto one of thy handmaidens.” So, Ruth worked all day until the evening. Then she beat out the grain and took it to Naomi. When her mother in law saw how much grain Ruth brought home, she began to question where she had worked. Ruth told her about the man, Boaz, on whose land she worked, and Naomi knew it was a kinsman. Ruth told her mother-in-law about how kind Boaz was to her, and what a good man he was.
Naomi told Ruth in verse 20, “…Blessed be he of the Lord, who has not left off his kindness to the living and to the dead—the man is near of kin unto us, one of our next kinsmen.” Ruth worked each day providing the needs for herself and Naomi all through the barley and wheat harvest.
Ruth probably didn’t know all the customs and laws of the Jews, but knew it was important that Boaz was a near kinsman. We see that the Lord is working all things out for good for Ruth and Naomi and for Boaz.