READ RUTH TWO & THREE
The Lord honors Ruth’s commitment of faith. Though she steps foot among the people of God husbandless and penniless, the Lord provides for all of her needs. And he does so through His servant Boaz.
What do we learn about Boaz’s character in Ruth 2:1-16?
God provided for the poor among His people by writing provisions into the Law. One such provision was that the poor were allowed to gather the grain that fell to the ground as the harvesters went about their work. As they pulled the grain from the stalks, if some fell out of their hand or equipment, they were to leave it on the ground for the poor. It required faith and generosity for crop owners to obey this law; it insisted that they trust that the Lord would bless their own harvest, and that there would always be enough for them and their families, even as they provided food for the poor.
What does this tell us about God’s character?
Boaz takes notice of Ruth, and he encourages the reapers to leave behind extra grain for her to pick up.
When her first day of reaping is complete, how much barley has she gathered? (verse seventeen)
An ephah of barley was equivalent to three month’s food supply for two women. When God provides, He often provides abundantly.
But Boaz’s generosity is not the only thing that interests Naomi. When Ruth tells her mother-in-law that she has been reaping in Boaz’s field, this excites Naomi. Why? What unique name does Naomi give Boaz?
For Ruth and Naomi, a redeemer was a relative who was able, by God’s provisional law, to marry the widowed Ruth. In doing so, Ruth and Naomi would have a provider, and they would carry on the family line. The hope of having a redeemer was more than putting food on the table, though that was certainly in view. Having a redeemer meant that the family name would not end with them, but would carry on for future generations. In their culture, the shame of not carrying on the family line – by barrenness, widowhood, or simply by not bearing a son – was so great that to have that shame removed was viewed as a salvation. And the man who would remove this burden of shame from them was called a redeemer.
In what ways does this remind us of the Redeemer we have in Christ?
In what ways did Christ save us from our own shame?
Ruth and Boaz are married, and Ruth bears a son. Though she is a foreigner, a widow, and has no inheritance of her own, she is brought into the family of God. More than that, she is grafted directly into the line of Christ. The family line that she continues is the family line that leads us to the cradle of the Messiah.
Why do you think Ruth was included in the lineage of Christ? Make a few notes by Ruth’s name on your printable family tree of Jesus.
PRAY & REFLECT
Consider Ruth’s story. Thank God that from a woman without a husband came the Husband of the people of God.