Continuing into Ruth Chapter 2, we see Ruth quickly realizes that she needs to do something or her and her mother in law’s practical needs won’t be met. In that day and time she knew that one right of the poor was to gather grain in fields after harvesters had come through. But instead of gleaning in any field, Ruth chooses to glean in a field of a distant relative of her mother in law’s, a man whose name was Boaz.
We see pretty quickly that God’s providence led Ruth to this particular field. For one, we see this man Boaz is a man of God. He tells his reapers “The Lord be with you!”, and his workers answer “The Lord bless you”. We also see several times that Boaz is of the clan of Elimelech, which will be significant in the unfolding of events.
As Ruth works in this field, Boaz takes notice and treats her kindly – inviting her to reap with his other servant girls, giving her food while working, and even setting it up so that others would drop barley so she would reap even more.
At first when I read this story, I thought that Boaz just had a thing for Ruth and gave her special treatment. However, it’s more likely that Boaz extended kindness because he knew who Ruth was and how she was helping Naomi, who was actually closer to his age than Ruth was. In the mind of Boaz, he only viewed Ruth as “my daughter”, and her situation gave him even more reason to give more than her fair share.
The conclusion of this chapter shows Ruth returning home with 30 lbs of food, more than enough food for many days. Naomi is blown away. When she asked where Ruth was, she realizes that Ruth has been in the field of Boaz. This is more significant to Naomi, because she realizes that this man is not only a close relative, but he is a kinsman-redeemer. Back in those days, a kinsman-redeemer could take property and persons and act as a brother-in-law of sorts. Since the law required a brother of a deceased man to marry his widow, Naomi viewed Boaz as a potential means of permanent security for her and Ruth if he were to fulfill his duty as kinsman-redeemer. So she advised Ruth to not go into the other fields, and to remain harvesting with Boaz.
I love this chapter because it really highlights God’s handiwork. It’s amazing to me how God is at work for Ruth, Boaz, and Naomi and is creating a plan for the three of them that at this point they all are completely unaware of.
Oftentimes I hear people unsure about directions they should take or where they should move or what God wants them to do. In fact, I’ve been in those situations when I wish a voice would come down from heaven and tell me what I should do. But this isn’t how it played out for Ruth did it?
This passage reminds us that although we should always trust and pray for the directions we take, but we should have overwhelming peace knowing God is so sovereign that he can guide and direct us even without us always knowing where we will end up or what he is trying to do.