Summary: Ruth displayed her sacrificial love and service to her mother in law, Naomi by her willingness to glean in the field of Boaz even in the heat of the sun. Such godly character produced a blessing that transformed Naomi's bitterness into hope and joy.
We are continuing our study in the book of Ruth.
Last week, we studied chapter one concerning a man from Judah named Elimelech relocating his entire family to Moab, the land of pagan idol worshipers.
Elimelech lived during the time of the Judges, was married to Naomi and they had two sons, named Mahlon and Kilion.
However, after some time, Elimelek died, and Naomi was left with her two sons.
They however married Moabite women, one named Orpah and the other named Ruth.
After they had lived there in Moab for about ten years, another unfortunate thing happened, both Mahlon and Kilion also died.
They were left as three poor widows in the land of famine who had to take care of themselves the hard way.
Considering the very difficult situation they were facing, Naomi heard some good news regarding their homeland.
There was food in the land where they came from.
She then decided to venture and go back to Judah and bring with her her two daughters in law from Moab.
But along the way, Naomi thought that her two daughters-in-law might have difficulty in that new place and so, she bid them to go back into their mother’s home.
She even prayed for them that the Lord will show kindness to them and that God will grant each of them another husband.
Then she kissed them goodbye and they wept aloud.
And so, Orpah kissed her mother in-law goodbye, but the Bible says that Ruth clung to her.
That means she decided to go back to Judah with Naomi.
Her words were powerful: "Don’t urge me to leave you or to turn back from you.
Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay.
Your people will be my people and your God my God.
Where you die I will die, and there I will be buried.
May the Lord deal with me, be it ever so severely, if even death separates you and me.”
She broke all her old loyalties of the past life of sin and embrace a life of worship to the true God of Israel.
After some time, they arrived in Judah, but created a lot of sensation to the community and the women said, "Can this be Naomi?"
They could not believe how Naomi has changed completely in her physical appearance.
And worse, even the attitude of Naomi also changed into bitterness and resentment.
When she left Judah, she was sweet and smiling, now, she came home sour and bitter.
She even blamed God for her poverty and told them, "Call me Naomi for the Lord has afflicted me and
the Almighty has brought misfortune upon me.”
Hence, Naomi chose resentment towards God for the failures she went through and it was a big mistake.
The burdens she carried were so overwhelming as she faced the future in Judah.
But it was Ruth who had maintained her good attitude in spite of the setbacks she received.
They did not know that God is unfolding for them a great plan for their lives in their new found home.
Today, we will look at chapter two of the Book of Ruth and see God's providence upon them.
In here, we are being introduced with a man named Boaz.
He was a wealthy relative of Naomi's deceased husband, Elimelek.
It was during this time of wheat harvest that Ruth told Naomi that she wanted to go to the field to pick up the leftover grains of the workers.
It turned out that the field that she entered and worked was the field belonging to Boaz.
God's providential hand was already at work.
When Boaz arrived, he greeted the harvesters, he saw Ruth and inquired about her background who was already working in his field.
He was told good things about Ruth because she asked for permission to glean and gather the sheaves behind the harvesters in his field.
They also told Boaz how she worked diligently to gather enough harvest from morning till afternoon except for a short rest in the shelter.
After hearing this, Boaz was pleased with what he heard and invited Ruth to stay in his field rather than to work elsewhere.
He knew that she was a relative and even promised protection for Ruth and provision of water when thirsty.
It was a great surprise for Ruth to receive such kind treatment considering that she is a foreigner in the land of Judah.
But Boaz reiterated his admiration for the character of Ruth in taking care of her mother in law and her sacrifice in leaving behind her homeland to live with a people she did not know before.
Boaz then invited her to a fellowship meal and offered her some roasted grain where she ate and was fully satisfied.