Summary: In the South, it's "Bo Time" means its time to have your needs for provision met. For Naomi and Ruth it also meant time to have their needs met.
Here in the South we have a chain of restaurants named Bo Jangles. And their commercials end with “It’s Bo Time.” as a way of saying all your hunger cravings can be filled right now by visiting their location. In fact, the time is right now. Today we are going to see that Naomi and Ruth experienced their own “Bo Time.”
Last week we left Naomi a bitter woman by her own design. She had returned from Moab with no husband, no sons, and no grandchildren. All she had was a Moabite woman that came from a people cursed by God and a land that would be destroyed by God. She had left “pleasant” and returned bitter.
They arrived in Bethlehem in late spring which was the beginning of the barley harvest. When Naomi returned to her home town she would not have had any place to stay. Her husband would have sold his land before leaving and not been there to claim his land after seven years according to the law. “But if the original owner cannot afford to buy back the land, it will remain with the new owner until the next Year of Jubilee. In the jubilee year, the land must be returned to the original owners so they can return to their family land.” (Leviticus 25:28) Someone would have allowed her to stay with them or have given her a place to stay. And also the Moabite woman.
One day the Moabite woman asked if she could go out into the harvest fields to pick up stalks of grain that were left behind. That was, if she could find someone kind enough. Naomi basically said “Sure. Go ahead. Give it a shot.”
I love the way the scripture puts the next verse, “So Ruth went out to gather grain behind the harvesters. And as it happened, she found herself working in a field that belonged to Boaz, the relative of her father-in-law, Elimelech.” (Ruth 2:3) The “as it happened” was totally orchestrated by God. Please remember this. Any “as it happened” that takes place in your life is being totally orchestrated by God.
While she’s working in the field Boaz, the owner of the field arrives. He asked the foreman “Who is that young woman over there?” The foreman replied “She is that young woman from Moab who came back with Naomi.” (Ruth 2:5-6)
Boaz had a problem. He knew what the Torah instructed concerning the Moabites. “As long as you live, you must never promote the welfare and prosperity of the Ammonites or Moabites.” (Deut 23:6) So one can imagine the fear of this Moabite woman as Boaz approached her.
What did he say to her? “Stay right here with us. Follow the young women already working in the field. The young men are to treat you with respect. And when you are thirsty, drink from the well.”
She is shocked. She fell at his feet in submission. She reminded him of how undeserving she was because she was a foreigner. She asked “What have I done to deserve such kindness” (Ruth2:10)
“----Boaz replied. “But I also know about everything you have done for your mother-in-law since the death of your husband. I have heard how you left your father and mother and your own land to live here among complete strangers. May the Lord, the God of Israel, under whose wings you have come to take refuge, reward you fully for what you have done.” (Ruth 2:11-12)
Something happened that superseded that commandment. What was it? Was it her kindness? Was it her sacrifice? These things were certainly important. But the thing that over-rode this commandment of God was her willingness to except him as her refuge. “I will also bless the foreigners who commit themselves to the Lord, who serve him and love his name, who worship him and do not desecrate the Sabbath day of rest, and who hold fast to my covenant. I will bring them to my holy mountain of Jerusalem and will fill them with joy in my house of prayer. I will accept their burnt offerings and sacrifices, because my Temple will be called a house of prayer for all nations. For the Sovereign Lord, who brings back the outcasts of Israel, says: I will bring others, too, besides my people Israel.” (Isaiah 56: 6-8) From this point on in scripture she is referred to as Ruth.
Boaz invited Ruth to have dinner with him. When she went back to work Boaz told the young men to purposely drop some of the good grain for her to gather and “keep their hands off.”
When Ruth returned to Naomi it was with a basket filled with grain and the left-overs from her dinner with Boaz. Naomi was amazed. “Where did you get all this?” she asked. Ruth told her about Boaz and how he invited her to come back to gather when she desired to do so. Naomi then explained to her the concept of a kinsman-redeemer.