Redeemer: A Study in Ruth; Ruth 2
Series: Redeemer: A Study in Ruth
In Ruth 2, we are introduced to Boaz. The story clearly shows Boaz to be a man of wealth and influence, and someone who has good standing in the community. More than that, Boaz is a man with integrity and godliness. As Ruth meets Boaz, we will see that God did something for Ruth, in Ruth, and eventually through Ruth. Ruth is referred to as "the Moabite woman", which reminds us that not only is she a poor widow, but an immigrant in Israel's patriarchal society.
Ruth is also a "go-getter". We see that she is courageous, compassionate, humble, loyal, and very hard working. She and Naomi decide that Ruth needs to go and glean in the fields. She "happens" (God's providence) to glean in Boaz's field. Gleaning consisted of gathering dropped grain or grain left standing after the reapers went through the fields. The harvesters were to leave the edges of the field for the poor and not retrieve dropped crops. (See Deut 24:19-22) Remember, this is all taking place during the time of the Judges, where "everyone was doing what was right in their own eyes", which means many would not have left the corners of their fields for the vulnerable.
Boaz was extravagant in his provision for Ruth and did much more than was required by law:
- "keep close to my young women" (v8)
- "Have I not charged the young men not to touch you?" (v9) - offers her protection
- "And when you are thirsty, go to the vessels and drink what the young men have drawn." (v9) Normally, foreigners would draw water for Israelites, and women would draw it for men.
- "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" (v12) - he blesses her for her loyalty and companionship to Naomi
- "Come here and eat some bread" (v14)
- "Let her glean even among the sheaves and do not reproach her." (v14)
- "Pull out from the bundles for her and leave it for her to glean, and do not rebuke her." (v16)
Boaz is speaking and offering dignity, which Ruth realizes and acknowledges his extravagance and kindness. Boaz is showing us what faith is like in the everyday. He is living out Micah 6:8.
Ruth goes back to Naomi with about 30 pounds of grain! Once Naomi realizes who Boaz is, she blesses him (v20).
In this beautiful story of faith and love, we are represented by Ruth because everything we have is a gift from our extravagantly generous Father. We need Jesus to cover and protect us because we are lost and vulnerable without Him.
The men of our community should also embody Boaz to the point where every woman and child feels safe when we are around.
All of us should live extravagantly with what God has given us. We never know the story of the one we encounter...