Summary: God starts to break through the clouds surrounding Naomi and Ruth, renewing thier hope through the perosn of Boaz. Part of my ongoing series of the story of Naomi and Ruth.
Ruth 2:8-23 – “Never give up on hope”
By James Galbraith
First Baptist Church, Port Alberni.
June 23, 2007
Ru 2:8 So Boaz said to Ruth, “My daughter, listen to me. Don’t go and glean in another field and don’t go away from here. Stay here with my servant girls. 9 Watch the field where the men are harvesting, and follow along after the girls. I have told the men not to touch you. And whenever you are thirsty, go and get a drink from the water jars the men have filled.”
Ru 2:10 At this, she bowed down with her face to the ground. She exclaimed, “Why have I found such favor in your eyes that you notice me—a foreigner?”
Ru 2:11 Boaz replied, “I’ve been told all about what you have done for your mother-in-law since the death of your husband—how you left your father and mother and your homeland and came to live with a people you did not know before. 12 May the LORD repay you for what you have done. May you be richly rewarded by the LORD, the God of Israel, under whose wings you have come to take refuge. ”
Ru 2:13 “May I continue to find favor in your eyes, my lord,” she said. “You have given me comfort and have spoken kindly to your servant—though I do not have the standing of one of your servant girls.”
Ru 2:14 At mealtime Boaz said to her, “Come over here. Have some bread and dip it in the wine vinegar.”
When she sat down with the harvesters, he offered her some roasted grain. She ate all she wanted and had some left over. 15 As she got up to glean, Boaz gave orders to his men, “Even if she gathers among the sheaves, don’t embarrass her. 16 Rather, pull out some stalks for her from the bundles and leave them for her to pick up, and don’t rebuke her.”
Ru 2:17 So Ruth gleaned in the field until evening. Then she threshed the barley she had gathered, and it amounted to about an ephah. 18 She carried it back to town, and her mother-in-law saw how much she had gathered. Ruth also brought out and gave her what she had left over after she had eaten enough.
Ru 2:19 Her mother-in-law asked her, “Where did you glean today? Where did you work? Blessed be the man who took notice of you!”
Then Ruth told her mother-in-law about the one at whose place she had been working. “The name of the man I worked with today is Boaz,” she said.
Ru 2:20 “The LORD bless him!” Naomi said to her daughter-in-law. “He has not stopped showing his kindness to the living and the dead.” She added, “That man is our close relative; he is one of our kinsman-redeemers.”
Ru 2:21 Then Ruth the Moabitess said, “He even said to me, ‘Stay with my workers until they finish harvesting all my grain.’ ”
Ru 2:22 Naomi said to Ruth her daughter-in-law, “It will be good for you, my daughter, to go with his girls, because in someone else’s field you might be harmed.”
Ru 2:23 So Ruth stayed close to the servant girls of Boaz to glean until the barley and wheat harvests were finished. And she lived with her mother-in-law.
We have seen the two women at the heart of this story arrive back in Israel safe and sound, after a journey fraught with danger.
Naomi, the older of the two, has lost hope in anything but simply surviving from day to day. She’s alive and back home, but she sees a sad and empty life ahead.
Ruth, Naomi’s daughter in law, is still hopeful of a better future. She has set out to work, so that the women would not be reduced to begging or worse.
She is out in the fields, gleaning the leftovers of the harvest. It’s brutally hard work, but she has applied herself well and caught the attention of Boaz, the landowner of the field.
When he learns about her hard work and love for Naomi, he’s moved. This was a day and age where people pretty well looked out for themselves, so such love and faithfulness to another stood out. Being a God-fearing man himself, he’s encouraged at the story of this selfless woman.
This is a good thing, because Boaz is also a relative of Naomi,
and as such can play a redeeming role in the lives of both women.
We’ll see in this story what can happen when we don’t lose sight of hope.
An act of Kindness - Verses 8-14
Boaz starts by calling her over to provide what help he can for her.
He first asks her to stay in his field for gleaning, implying that she is a most welcome addition those making a living from his fields.