Summary: Boaz 1) Took the Initiative, 2) Encouraged Ruth 3) Protected & Provided
On Tuesday, Bahia Bakari was left as the only known survivor among the 153 people on the Yemenia Airbus A310 jet which crashed off the Comoros. The obstacles she faced to survive were staggering. She had to overcome: A plane disintegrating at hundreds of kilometres an hour as it hit the water; Being injured as she was "ejected" from the aircraft: she suffered a broken collarbone, burns to her knees and bruising; Waves crashing over her constantly. Yemeni civil aviation deputy chief Mohammed Abdul Qader said the weather was very bad; Thirteen hours in the water when she did not know how to swim: she held on to plane wreckage; A 25-km fuel slick; Any debris or bodies that may also have been in the water; Hypothermia; Severe exhaustion and No life jacket. (http://www.nationalpost.com/news/story.html?id=1754100)
In situations like this we wonder how this girl could survive. Survivors themselves often ask why they survived?
Ruth had suffered many catastrophic events in her life. She lived while her husband died, her sister returned to her homeland and famine gripped her life. Not content to sit around and die, she trusted God and set out to glean in the fields, looking for someone who would show her grace (v. 2, and see vv. 10 and 13). Grace is favor bestowed on someone who doesn’t deserve it and can’t earn it. As a woman, a poor widow, and an alien, Ruth could have no claims on anyone. She was at the lowest rung of the social ladder.
The channel of that grace was Boaz. Boaz who knew the Lord and sought to obey His will. The kindness that Boaz showed Ruth astounded her. He went far beyond the requirements of the law, and lavished amazing grace on Ruth.
IN Ruth 2:8-16 we see the evidences of God’s grace in the way Boaz related to Ruth in how:
(1) Boaz took the initiative and spoke to Ruth (Ruth 2:8). We see the Blessing of Guidance:
Ruth 2:8 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. (ESV)
Boaz was about 45–55 years old as a contemporary of Elimelech and Naomi. He would naturally see Ruth as a daughter (3:10–11), much like Naomi did also (cf. 2:2, 22; 3:1, 16, 18) (MacArthur, John Jr: The MacArthur Study Bible. electronic ed. Nashville : Word Pub., 1997, c1997, S. Ru 2:8).
Boaz not only spoke of his faith in the Lord (2:4); his life positively corresponded with his words. When he told Ruth to continue gleaning in his field, he apparently meant that she should glean there throughout the several weeks of harvesting (cf. v. 23) barley (March-April) and wheat (June-July). Normally the gleaners would move in after the harvesters had left an area. But Ruth was invited to follow along with the young women/servant girls as they worked in the reaping. In these several ways Boaz was providing for Ruth beyond what was required by the Law (cf. v. 16). (Walvoord, John F. ; Zuck, Roy B. ; Dallas Theological Seminary: The Bible Knowledge Commentary : An Exposition of the Scriptures. Wheaton, IL : Victor Books, 1983-c1985, S. 1:422).
Boaz guided Ruth in the way she should go:
Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.
Please turn to Ephesians 2
It is significant that Boaz made the gracious first move towards Ruth. In Grace, God makes the first move to come to our aid, not because we deserve anything, but because He loves us and wants us for Himself.
Ephesians 2:1-10 [2:1]And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience-- among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ--by grace you have been saved-- and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. (ESV)