4 And behold, Boaz came from Bethlehem. And he said to the reapers, “The Lord be with you!” And they answered, “The Lord bless you.”
5 Then Boaz said to his young man who was in charge of the reapers, “Whose young woman is this?”
6 And the servant who was in charge of the reapers answered, “She is the young Moabite woman, who came back with Naomi from the country of Moab.
7 She said, ‘Please let me glean and gather among the sheaves after the reapers.’ So she came, and she has continued from early morning until now, except for a short rest.”
8 Then Boaz said to Ruth, “Now, listen, my daughter, do not go to glean in another field or leave this one, but keep close to my young women.
9 Let your eyes be on the field that they are reaping, and go after them. Have I not charged the young men not to touch you? And when you are thirsty, go to the vessels and drink what the young men have drawn.”
10 Then she fell on her face, bowing to the ground, and said to him, “Why have I found favor in your eyes, that you should take notice of me, since I am a foreigner?”
11 But Boaz answered her, “All that you have done for your mother-in-law since the death of your husband has been fully told to me, and how you left your father and mother and your native land and came to a people that you did not know before.
12 The Lord repay you for what you have done, and a full reward be given you by the Lord, the God of Israel, under whose wings you have come to take refuge!”
13 Then she said, “I have found favor in your eyes, my lord, for you have comforted me and spoken kindly to your servant, though I am not one of your servants.”
14 And at mealtime Boaz said to her, “Come here and eat some bread and dip your morsel in the wine.” So she sat beside the reapers, and he passed to her roasted grain. And she ate until she was satisfied, and she had some left over.
15 When she rose to glean, Boaz instructed his young men, saying, “Let her glean even among the sheaves, and do not reproach her.
16 And also pull out some from the bundles for her and leave it for her to glean, and do not rebuke her.
Ruth was seeking someone who could show her favor (grace). Grace is favor bestowed on someone who doesn’t deserve it and can’t earn it. Do you know anyone like that? All of us fit the bill. Ruth was at the lowest rung of the social ladder.
Wiersbe writes, “The channel of that grace was Boaz. How good it is to know that God has good people living in bad times! If you knew only the record of the book of Judges, you might conclude that the righteous had perished from the earth (Ps. 12:1-2; Isa. 57:1; I Kings 19:10; Mic. 7:2). But there were still people like Boaz who knew the Lord and sought to obey His will.”
Let’s notice the evidences of God’s grace in the way Boaz related to Ruth.
Boaz took the initiative (Ruth 2:8). Grace means that God makes the first move to come to our aid, not because we deserve it, but because He loves us and wants us for Himself. I John 4:19 reads: “We love because He first loved us.” Romans 5:8 reads: “but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”
We have every reason to believe Boaz loved Ruth and therefore took the first steps to meet her needs.
Boaz spoke to Ruth (Ruth 2:8). Ruth would not have dared to speak to the ‘lord of the harvest.” She was an alien sinner. But we see Boaz taking time to speak to a poor stranger gleaning in his field
We may never get the chance to speak to a “famous person,” as the world calls famous, but we have and are being spoken to by the God of the Universe. Hebrews 1:1-2 reads: “Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world.”
Wiersbe writes, “In spite of all that a world of sinners has done to the Lord, He still speaks to us in His grace. He not only speaks the word of salvation, but he also gives us the guidance we need for everyday life. Just as Boaz instructed Ruth, so the Lord shares His Word of wisdom to direct our daily lives. He is the ‘Lord of the harvest’ and assigns us our place in His field.”
Boaz promised to protect Ruth and provide for her needs (Ruth 2:9,14-16.)
He called her “my daughter,” because she was younger; it was a term of endearment. He would treat her like a part of the family. He took care of her personal needs and even went over a beyond that.
This is a great picture of the grace of God. Jesus came to this earth as a servant (Phil. 2:1-11) that He might save us and make us a party of His family. Eph. 1:3 says: “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places,”
We, like Ruth, are undeserving “foreigners” and are now members of the family of God and have all of His inheritances at our disposal.
Boaz encouraged Ruth (Ruth 2:10-13). Warren Wiersbe writes on this section: “Ruth’s response to Boaz was one of humility and gratitude. She acknowledged her own unworthiness and accepted his grace. She believed his promises and rejoiced in them. There was no Boaz was need for Ruth to worry, for the wealthy lord of the harvest would care for her and Naomi. How did she know he would care for her? He gave her his promise, and she knew he could be trusted.”
It is the same for us today. We have a Father who loves us, a Savior who died for us and a Holy Spirit who speaks to us through the Word of God. We know that the Lord keeps His Word and can be depended upon to stand by it. The Psalmist said in Psalm 119:89 “Forever, O, Lord Thy Word is settled (established) in heaven.”
The Hebrew writer, in Heb. 12:1-2 tells us “to fix (keep) our eyes on Jesus” at all times. Someone has written the following three lines. Which one describes you? I hope the third one.
- Look at self and be depressed,
- Look at others and be depressed,
- Look at Jesus and you’ll be blessed!”
Boaz saw that she was satisfied. (Ruth 2:14, 18)
All of these things happened to Ruth because while in Moab she decided to put her trust in the True and Living God of Israel. She had abandoned the false idols of her youth and taken refuge in Jehovah.
The word translated “replied or answered” in Ruth 2:11 literally means “raised his voice.” Wiersbe writes:
“Boaz was getting excited! He wanted everybody to hear what he thought about Ruth, and he wasn’t ashamed to be identified with her. She had trusted Jehovah, and she had proved her faith by cleaving to her mother-in-law and becoming a part of the people of Israel in Bethlehem.”
If you listen to the voices of the world, you will be discouraged, but if you listen to the voice of God from His Word you will be encouraged. Song # 243 in Great Songs of the Church is “The World All About Me.” The first verse and the chorus read as follows:
I’ll Put Jesus First in My Life!
“The world all about me has now no allure, its pleasures bring pain, its wisdom is vain.
I seek a foundation that’s steadfast and sure: I’ll put Jesus first in my life!
In all that I say, in all that I do Throughout the world of toil and strife.
By day and by night, through trust in His might I’ll put Jesus First in my life!”
-James DeForrest Murch
We must live by faith, and we must depend on God’s grace. But there is a third condition that must be met.