- There was a relative of Naomi’s husband, a man of great wealth, of the family of Elimelech. His name was
- So Ruth the Moabitess said to Naomi, “Please let me go to the field, and glean heads of grain after him in whose sight I may find ” And she said to her, “Go, my daughter.”
- Then she left, and went and gleaned in the field after the reapers. And she happened to come to the part of the field belonging to Boaz, who was of the family of
We find in this chapter that Boaz is surprised by love and Ruth is overwhelmed by grace.
Warren Wiersbe writes, “Before God changes our circumstances, He wants to change our hearts. If our circum- stances change for the better, but we remain the same, then we will become worse. God’s purpose in providence is not to make us comfortable, but to make us conformable, ‘conformed to the image of His Son’ (Rom. 8:29). Christlike character is the divine goal for each of His children.”
If we desire that God work in all areas of our lives to fulfill His will and purposes, we must do our part and meet certain Biblical conditions. These are illustrated in chapter 2.
We find Ruth requesting of Naomi to go out and glean in the fields in order that they would have food to eat. According to the Law of Moses, when the people reaped a harvest, they were to consider the poor and leave gleaning for them. (Lev. 19:9-10; Lev. 23:22; Deut. 24:19-22)
Concerning the word “Gleaning,” John MacArthur writes: “The Mosaic law commanded that the harvest should not be reaped to the corners nor the gleaning picked up (Lev. 19:9,10). Gleanings were stalks of grain left after the first cutting (cf. 2:3,7,8,15,17). These were dedicated to the needy, especially widows, orphans, and strangers (Lev. 23:222; Deut. 24:19-21)”
God has always had a concern for the poor among His people and He told them they must care for them.
Wiersbe writes, “Ruth was not only a poor widow, but she was also an alien. Therefore, she had every right to look to God for His help and provision. ‘He defends the cause of the fatherless and widow, and loves the alien, giving him food and clothing’” (Deut. 10:18 NIV).
Do you want to “live by faith?” If so, then you must take God at His Word and then act upon it. James said in James 2:20: “faith without works is dead.”
We see Ruth putting this into practice. She believed that God loved her and would provide for her and Naomi so she set out to glean in the fields in Bethlehem. There is no way she would have known whose field she was gleaning.
It is in this chapter we are introduced to the third major character of the Book of Ruth, Boaz. We are told that he is a relative of Elimelech and according to NIV text “a man of standing.” His name means “in him is strength.”
John MacArthur writes about Boaz: “Possibly as close as a brother of Elimelech (cf. 4:3), but is not, certainly within the tribe or clan.”
As we said earlier, there is no way humanly speaking that Ruth knew she was “gleaning” in the fields of Boaz. That she made it there is what is called “coincidence.”
Instead of that, what we are witnessing is the providence of God. Jewish rabbinical tradition says that “coincidence is not a ‘kosher’ word.”
We cannot always explain the providence of God, but praise the Lord that we can believe it and rely upon it. Prov. 3:5-6: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not unto your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and he make straight your paths.”