The Book of Ruth
In Ruth 2, we see how as Christian women, we might go about meeting the right one.
Now that we’re out of Moab, and in the promised land, let’s look at how Ruth transitions from leaving everything behind in Chapter 1, to go with her mother in law. I think it’s important to see how she handles being a social outcast in a strange land.
Ok, I’m going to walk you through this chapter verse by verse because there’s just so much here that will help you through your own personal challenges.
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At the beginning of Chapter 2 of the book of Ruth, we, the reader are introduced to the beloved Boaz.
A relative of Naomi’s husband, a man of great wealth, of the family of Elimelech.Ruth 2:1
The name Boaz means -in him is strength
He is the hero of the story.
And, he’s a mighty man because he has both righteousness and wealthy. This is what makes him special because if he lacked in either of these areas, he wouldn’t be able to fulfill his God-given role as the kinsmen redeemer.
Now, I wanted to suggest to you that Ruth intentionally set out to go to the field of Boaz. That she was being strategic in her decision to glean in his field in hopes of finding favor. But I couldn’t find any evidence to back that up.
In fact, it’s the opposite.
The next line tells us that more about the huge difference between Ruth and Boaz.
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 favor.”
Gleaning is basically begging.
Look, Ruth was not brought up to be a beggar. When she got to Bethlehem, she could have looked around and asked Naomi, “Ok, where’s the bread?” Who do you know here that can take care of us? I thought you said there would be bread. But there’s nothing for us to eat.And Ruth was not brought up to be a beggar. When she got to Bethlehem, she could have looked around and asked Naomi, "Ok, where's the bread?" Click To Tweet
In fact, Ruth could have felt betrayed and deceived by her mother in law, because no one invited them for dinner, no one welcomed them in. They were there together as beggars.
But Ruth has a good attitude.
Instead of getting upset, she asks her mother in law for permission to go out and glean. She shows Naomi respect. Ruth recognizes the situation for what it is. If they don’t do something, they will starve. But she respectful asks for permission to go and beg, considering the fact that she doesn’t want to embarrass her Naomi. And Naomi agrees to allow Ruth to go.
Ruth Goes To Work
Somewhere down the line, Christian women have got it into their heads that women shouldn’t have to work. And this has led to a lot of women avoiding work or being bitter about the fact that they have to do it.
I find this notion ridiculous!
I’ve heard some theories from various religious groups but this one got my attention because it’s so destructive.
“When women have careers, they know that they have the freedom to divorce their husbands since they aren’t dependent upon their husbands forThe Transformed wife
And it’s called being a gold digger.
You need to have a healthy attitude towards work and Ruth demonstrates that she has one. When she looks at the situation, she asks how can I help.
And in this world, it’s very hard to raise a family on a single income. While I do agree that every couple should prepare to make sacrifices to allow a mother to be at home with young babies, I don’t think that she should plan to be at home for life- unless she wants to be.
In today’s world being a helpmate to your husband often involves helping him to support the family financial. There are a lot of ways to do that. And it’s your responsibility to prayerfully consider what’s right in your relationship.
Don’t be afraid of work!
So please, don’t be afraid of honest work.
You’re not blaspheming God by having an education or a career.
I honestly can’t believe I have to say this, but here we go.
Especially for those who think that a woman’s place is limited to the kitchen.
So here’s the plan, Ruth goes out into the fields to work. It’s hard manual labor and she does it with a good spirit. She even talks to the men while she is out in the fields.
And it was in that productive work that she “just happened” to be noticed by Boaz.
Satan loves to use fear to control women by making them feel guilty. Guilt is never from God. Mom Guilt isn’t from God. That’s satan! God will convict us to change our behavior and move us away from sin, but a guilt trip is from the pit of hell!.
Boaz Notices Ruth.
“Now behold, Boaz came from Bethlehem, and said to the reapers, “The Lord be with you!”
And they answered him, “The Lord bless you!”Ruth 2:4
Right from the beginning, we see that Boaz knows and honors God. The very first words out of his mouth are blessings. He acknowledges his workers and they respond by blessing him.
So, when you are evaluating a man to determine whether or not he might be marriage material, pay attention to his prayer life. Is he comfortable openly acknowledging God, and does he bless those who are stationed below him?
If you’re on a date, and the man you’re with is rude to the wait staff, that’s a red flag. How people treat those who are serving them says a lot about their character.
Boaz asks about Ruth.
“Then Boaz said to his servant who was in charge of the reapers, “Whose young woman is this?”Ruth 2:5
Now, I wanted to suggest that Ruth planned to be in Boaz’ field but that doesn’t make sense. Because who goes out to get the attention of a wealthy man, by exposing themselves as a beggar?
A fancy dress won’t fix your problems.
If she thought a man was going to fix her problems she should have put on a nice dress, done up her hair and stayed in town (where Boaz was) to meet people.If she thought a man was going to fix her problems she should have put on a nice dress, done up her hair and stayed in town where Boaz was. Click To Tweet
Instead, she recognizes that something must be done immediately to provide food and she takes it upon herself to go and do the work. She has every intention to provide for herself and her mother in law. If this went against the will of God, she would never have walked into divine alignment with Boaz to become the part of the lineage of the Messiah.
But, despite the fact that Ruth is working in a really humiliating position of having to beg for food, Boaz is kind to her. He takes an interest in her story and finds out all he can about her situation.
So, Boaz asks the servant who is overseeing the work who she is, what she’s been doing and then gives him instruction on how Ruth should be treated.
Then Boaz said to Ruth, “You will listen, my daughter, will you not? Do not go to glean in another field, nor go from here, but stay close by my young women. Let your eyes be on the field which they reap, and go after them. Have I not commanded the young men not to touch you? And when you are thirsty, go to the vessels and drink from what the young men have drawn.”Ruth 2: 8-9
Look at this, Boaz is exceptionally kind to Ruth. He treats her with respect and gentleness. And after getting to know her story he encourages her in what she has done.
Then, he basically tells her to keep up the good work.
He lets her know that she is safe in his fields, that she can continue to glean with his women. She doesn’t need to be afraid of sexual harassment, because Boaz doesn’t tolerate that kind of behavior and she can help herself to water.
Boaz gives Ruth work, protection, community and provision.
And, she responds by being very humble.
So she fell on her face, bowed down 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?”Ruth 2:10
She doesn’t say, “oh it’s nothing.” She doesn’t ask him for something more. Instead, she recognizes the difference between the two of them and is grateful.
Gratitude is one of the most attractive qualities that a woman can have. She doesn’t complain about her circumstances. Instead, she expresses appreciation for what she is being given at
Here’s the thing, Ruth never assumes that she will soon be his wife, any authority over the field, by marrying Boaz. Nope, She bows in order to humbly acknowledge who he is and gives him the respect he is worthy of.
Now, that doesn’t mean that you, a modern Christian woman, should start bowing down on your face in front of the men that you respect. That would be inappropriate in most circumstances. But we should be comfortable showing the correct signs of respect that are due to those who hold positions of authority.
But Ruth also asks an important question: WHY?
This question reminds me that Ruth is human.
After all, Every one of us wants to know how we are doing and that we did a good job. “What do you like about me. Why are you being so nice?”
And Boaz answers andRuth 2: 11-12
says to her, “It has been fully reported to me, all that you have done for your mother-in-law since the death of your husband, and how you have left your father and your mother and the land of your birth, and have come to a people whom you did not know before. 12 The Lord repay your work, and a full reward begiven you by the Lord God of Israel, under whose wings you have come for refuge.”
Boaz likes her character.
Look, it’s not about her body or her exotic look. He notices that she is a good person. He admires her character and the choices she has made to help her mother-in-law. And he recognizes that she has given her heart to God. And he prays that The Lord will reward her for tall that she has done.It's not about her body or her exotic look. He notices that she is a good person. He is attracted to her CHARACTER! Click To Tweet
Now, pay attention to verse 12. Especially the end.
“Under whose wings you have come for refuge”
We’re going to see how carefully Ruth listens to Boaz and uses his own words to attract him to her. –
Then she said, “Let me find favor in your sight, my lord; for you have comforted me, and have spoken [a]kindly to your maidservant, though I am not like one of your maidservants.”Ruth 2:13
This is important; all too often women fail to let me know that they’ve really listened and liked what they’re saying. And Ruth is clear, she invites him to keep it coming.
And he does!
“Now Boaz said to her at mealtime, “Come here, and eat of the bread, and dip your piece of bread in the vinegar.” So she sat beside the reapers, and he passed parched grain to her; and she ate and was satisfied, and kept some back.”Ruth 2:14
Then, when lunchtime rolls around he invites her to come and sit with everyone at the table. And he doesn’t just give her enough to get by, he tells her to dip her bread. He doesn’t just take care of her needs, he also addresses her wants.
And, she responds by not being greedy. When the Bible says she kept some back, it means that she didn’t eat as much as possible. She ate enough so that she was fueled to go back to work without being stuffed. And later we see that she saved some of her cooked food for Naomi.
That’s just good manners.
And, because she wasn’t greedy, Boaz is extra generous with her.
And when she rose up to glean, Boaz commanded his young men, saying, “Let her glean even among the sheaves, and do not [creproach her. 16 Also, let grain from the bundles fall purposely for her; leave it that she may glean, and do not rebuke her.”Ruth 2:15
So, Boaz tells his servants to help make her work easier. Let her glean in the good part of the field. And don’t call her a thief. Because Boaz knows that sometimes people can be rude and even cruel to those who are different.Boaz tells them to help Ruth. Let her glean in the good part of the field. And don't call her a thief. Boaz knows that sometimes people can be rude and even cruel to those who are different Click To Tweet
A good man will always protect others from harassment, bullying, and rumors.
Ruth Goes Home
At the end of that first day, Ruth beats out her own grain. She carefully does everything herself to ensure she brings home as much as possible and nothing is wasted.
When Ruth gets home she shares everything with Naomi.
Ruth gives Naomi the little bit of her cooked food and tells her about the day.
And her mother-in-law said to her, “Where have you gleaned today? And where did you work? Blessed be the one who took notice of you.”
So she told her mother-in-law with whom she had worked, and said, “The man’s name with whom I worked today is Boaz.”Ruth 2:19
This news lights Naomi up!
“Blessed be he of the Lord, who has not forsaken His kindness to the living and the dead!” And Naomi said to her, “This man is a relation of ours, one of [dour close relatives.”Ruth 2:20
Noami instantly recognizes that this is a major blessing. And her gratitude results in her blessing Boaz.
And, if that wasn’t good enough, Ruth tells Naomi that Boaz has also invited her to stay in his fields throughout all the harvests.
“He also said to me, ‘You shall stay close by my young men until they have finished all my harvest.’ ”Ruth 2:21
Then, the chapter closes with a decision to receive all these blessings and stick to the course that God has laid out before them
And Naomi said to Ruth her daughter-in-law, “It is good, my daughter, that you go out with his young women, and that people do not [emeet you in any other field.” 23 So she stayed close by the young women of Boaz, to glean until the end of barley harvest and wheat harvest; and she dwelt with her mother-in-law.
Sometimes, when something good happens, or someone comes along, we start wondering what else might be out there. But Ruth and Naomi use a lot of wisdom in choosing not to shop around.
Ruth and Naomi see that there is something here that is working for them and they make the decision to work it.
Ruth remains in Boaz’ fields and works hard every day throughout two harvests. She is committed to doing the work and her faithfulness to Naomi is about to be highly rewarded in Chapter 3.
What about you?
- Have you ever questioned whether or not you should pursue an education or a career?
- We’re you told that a woman’s place is in the kitchen? How did that make you feel?
- Are you still shopping around for alternative options because you’re afraid that you might miss out on something better?
I’d love to hear your stories.
Please share with as much detail as possible in the comments below.
And I will be in the comments with you responding to your ideas, questions and wisdom.
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