When Naomi and Ruth arrived in Bethlehem, the barley harvest was beginning, near the end of April. Ruth went out to glean from the fields, that they might have food to eat, “and she happened to come to the portion of the field belonging to Boaz, who was of the family of Elimelech.” ~ Ruth 2:3b (NASB)*
God was already working His plan for Ruth’s life, guiding her to the field of Boaz.
“Now behold, Boaz came from Bethlehem and said to the reapers, ‘May the LORD be with you.’ And they said to him, ‘May the LORD bless you.'” ~ Ruth 2:4
I love this! He greeted the workers with kindness and respect, with a blessing. And they returned the blessing, and the respect. It shows us what kind of man Boaz was. Though he was “a man of great wealth” (Ruth 2:1), he was also kind and loved God.
Boaz asked about the young woman who was gleaning in the field, and when he found out who she was, he went to speak with her.
“Then Boaz said to Ruth, ‘Listen carefully, my daughter. Do not go to glean in another field; furthermore, do not go on from this one, but stay here with my maids. Let your eyes be on the field which they reap, and go after them. Indeed, I have commanded the servants not to touch you. When you are thirsty, go to the water jars and drink from what the servants draw.'” ~ Ruth 2:8-9
Boaz wanted to make sure Ruth was safe, and the only way he could guarantee that was keeping her amongst his own people. That tells us something else about Boaz- he chose trustworthy people.
“Then she fell on her face, bowing to the ground and said to him, ‘Why have I found favor in your sight that you should take notice of me, since I am a foreigner?'” ~ Ruth 2:10
Good question. And Boaz’s response is wonderful.
“And Boaz answered and said to her, ‘All that you have done for your mother-in-law after the death of your husband has been fully reported to me, and how you left your father and your mother and the land of your birth, and came to a people that you did not previously know. May the LORD reward your work, and your wages be full from the LORD, the God of Israel, under whose wings you have come to seek refuge.'” ~ Ruth 2:11-12
Ruth had left everything that was familiar to follow and serve Naomi, and the God of Israel. Boaz commended her for that, and he asked a blessing upon her from the LORD.
What do people see in our lives? What kind of reputation do we have? I know I have areas I need the LORD to help me with. Oh, that people might see my love for others, and for God, under whose wings I have come to seek refuge!
* Unless I specify otherwise, the passages of Scripture in my blogs are taken from the New American Standard Version of the Bible. 🙂