Scripture: Ruth 2:4-9.
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We have entered upon the second half of the story of Ruth. Her conversion and journey to Judah was the first part of her story but now, in chapter 2 onward, we come the second part, that of her meeting and marriage to Boaz and the birth of her son, Obed, a forebear of the Lord Jesus Christ.
In the verses 4-9, we have the first meeting between Boaz and Ruth.
I. HERE IS FURTHER EVIDENCE OF THE PROVIDENCE OF GOD TOWARD RUTH
We have noted in verse 3, how that Ruth, by the grace of God, has been led to the field of Boaz. Now we note how that her arrival there coincides with a visit by Boaz, verse 4.
I want us to bear in mind that Boaz is a type of Christ and in his encounters with Ruth we have pictures of Christ’s dealings with His people and the spiritually fruitful union that ought to develop between the Saviour and His people.
1. Note from where Boaz came. Bethlehem. “But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting,” Micah 5:2. Jesus, the “Bread of Life” came from the “House of Bread” to feed His people that they might never die. John 6:48-51.
2. Note the happiness of his household. “And, behold, Boaz came from Bethlehem, and said unto the reapers, The LORD be with you. And they answered him, The LORD bless thee,” verse 4. What a consciousness of Jehovah there was amongst his servants. It was uppermost. If there is one place Christians are tempted to forget God it is in the workplace. It ought not to be. The harvest field ought always to put us in mind of the bountiful goodness of God. Boaz was a gracious man to hold such fellowwship with his workers. He was a mighty man of wealth after all. As such, one might expect of him what was more common amongst such. “The poor useth intreaties; but the rich answereth roughly,” Proverbs 18:23.
3. Boaz was a man concerned about the wellbeing of his servants. “The LORD be with you.” This was an expression of the highest concern. He had a concern for their souls as well as their bodies. Such a greeting was common in NT times as is seen from the commencement and close of the epistles. It is the last word in the Bible, Rev 22:21.
4. What a privilege to have believing workmates. The greeting of the workers was an echo of His gracious greeting. There was unity amongst them. There was no murmuring amongst them. Though different in rank they were one with Boaz in spirit.
II. BOAZ IMMEDIATELY NOTICES RUTH IN THE FIELD
1. Boaz knew all his servants. Likely he could call them by name. “He calleth his own sheep by name,” John 10:3.
2. The answer his chief servant gives. Here are lessons for us to note. He spoke kindly and courteously of Ruth. This ought to be expected of the leaders of God’s house. Please note that Ruth was invited to share in the refreshments by the workers. — “ . . . she tarried a little in the house,” verse 7. This was likely a tent to give shade to the workers when they took a break. How welcome we ought to make strangers in our midst!
3. The chief servant showed the same spirit as Boaz manifested. His attitude and actions had anticipated the kindness of Boaz. Ruth had not been chased but, in a field where the Law of God pertained, (Lev 19:9-10) she was allowed to glean. Indeed, all of the workers acted graciously toward the “stranger” within their midst.
In all our dealings with others may we show the grace of our Lord Jesus.
III. THE INSTRUCTIONS BOAZ GAVE TO RUTH
It should be noted that the term Boaz employs when speaking of Ruth changes from “damsel” in verse 4 to “daughter” in verse 8. The term daughter was an affectionate term. “Their heart cried unto the Lord, O wall of the daughter of Zion, let tears run down like a river day and night: give thyself no rest; let not the apple of thine eye cease,” Lam 2:18.
1. In his affection, Boaz tells Ruth to stay in his field. Dear Christian, there are fields in which we may find all our souls desire and from which we must not stray. There was danger for Ruth outside of his fields. Note how he requests her careful attention to his words. “Hearest thou not, my daughter?” This is an important matter, John 17:14-16. Note “abide here fast.”
2. There was good company for her in his fields. “ . . . abide here fast by my maidens,” verse 8. Ruth was not even to look at another field. “Let thine eyes be on the field that they do reap, and go thou after them,” V. 9.
3. There was plentiful provision for her in the fields of Boaz. “Have I not charged the young men that they shall not touch thee? and when thou art athirst, go unto the vessels, and drink of that which the young men have drawn,” verse 9. The water was there to drink and that without any labour on her part. It was there just whenever she desired it.
Christian, listen to our heavenly Boaz today and heed His instructions and you shall find all your soul desires.