Summary: Reconciliation and Redemption are key subjects for these verses...
Date Written: July 23, 2012
Date Taught: July 25, 2012
Church: OPBC (Wed Night)
Title: A Study in the Book of Ruth
Text: Ruth 2:4-13 NLT (read ALL passage here)
Last week we saw how redemption was happening for Naomi and Ruth & how this wonderful story of God’s redemption and restoration is a great picture of for both the backsliding believer & the lost sinner who has NEVER known God's grace!
So far we have learned that redemption is the plan of God for all of humanity and it will be the theme for this entire book...
Now tonight we are going to continue into this story… Last week we left the story when Ruth asks Naomi to go out into public to gather some grain at the barley harvest through the process of gleaning… a process where field owners allow the poor, widowed and foreigner to ‘harvest’ grain from their fields.
Ruth has left the safety of Naomi’s company and home and has ventured out into the ‘hostile’ world where her identity as a foreign woman would NOT be easily accepted. Every indicator leads us to believe that she would be mistreated and abused because she was a woman and a foreigner in their land…
We left the story with Ruth standing in the field of Boaz, who was a relative of Naomi’s late husband, although Ruth knew nothing about this relationship.
We can see the hand of providence all over this story as Ruth just so happened to end up in the field of the ONE who could redeem her…
Let’s continue our look at this story: Read Ruth 2:4-18NLT (sharing it on the screen as you go…)
Let’s look at the 1st part of this section and see what God has to say… present v.4-7
4While she was there, Boaz arrived from Bethlehem and greeted the harvesters. “The Lord be with you!” he said. “The Lord bless you!” the harvesters replied.
What is happening here? Well the boss/field owner (Boaz) arrives on the scene and in v.4 we can get a glimpse of what sort of boss or field owner that Boaz was…
While Ruth was still standing close to the harvest foreman, the boss arrives and greets his foreman with a greeting of “The Lord be with you…”
This greeting relates an attitude behind the words… it shares with us that Boaz was man who looked to God for blessing and guidance and that he knew that the Lord’s presence in our lives was the most important thing for anyone. He wishes the Lord’s presence to be with ALL his workers!
This attitude of love for those who worked for him is confirmed by the response of the worker… his foreman where he says, ‘…the Lord bless YOU…’ referring to Boaz.
The worker’s response to Boaz’s greeting reveals that Boaz was loved by those who worked for him… and based on his love for them, many responded to Him in love…
Here is a master of the field and the man he has in charge of his workers and they seem to be old friends and/or good friends at that… They greet each other almost as fellow workers and NOT boss/worker bee…
5Then Boaz asked his foreman, “Who is that young woman over there? Who does she belong to?” 6And the foreman replied, “She is the young woman from Moab who came back with Naomi.
Then we see another good character revealed within Boaz… he is an observant boss. He sees what is going on… and knows what is OUT OF PLACE. When he gets to the field, after his greetings, he immediately sees something new and asks about the ‘new’ girl standing around.
Who is she? To whom does she belong? Now before you go jumping to the conclusion that Boaz was a sexist… understand that this can actually mean several things…
YES, it could mean that Ruth was a slave and he wanted to know to whom she belonged, but
It can also mean that Ruth was married and Boaz wanted to know to whom she was married to… in this time, women/wives were actually considered to be property of the husband
Boaz wanted to know WHO this was about to glean and gather grain in his field.
The foreman answers Boaz by telling him the story of Naomi’s return and that this girl was the one they had heard about who had come back with Naomi...
After revealing Ruth’s identity to Boaz the foreman then begins to tell Boaz WHY Ruth was standing in his field…
7She asked me this morning if she could gather grain behind the harvesters. She has been hard at work ever since, except for a few minutes’ rest in the shelter.”
Now v7 reveals several things to us and that is that Ruth followed the proper channels in her search and efforts for obtaining food as a foreigner. She had gone to the foreman and had asked permission as both a widow and a foreigner… could she please gather the gleanings from the ground for food.