Ruth 2: A Cameo of Grace and Goodness

This entry is part 148 of 151 in the series 365 Key Chapters of the Bible

Naomi lost her husband and two sons in the country of Moab and returned empty-handed (except for her daughter-in-law Ruth) to Bethlehem. At the end of Ruth 1, we find Naomi blaming her problems on God. But God had a plan she could not have anticipated.

God’s Providence and Provision

That plan begins to enfold when Ruth goes to glean in the grain fields in Bethlehem. Gleaning was a provision made in the law to ensure that the alien, widow, stranger, and orphan would not go hungry (Leviticus 19:9–10; Deuteronomy 24:19–22).

As she gleans, Ruth happens to come to the field owned by a man named Boaz. When Boaz notices her gleaning in his field, he provides even more than the law required (Ruth 2:8–9). When Ruth asks why he has done this for her, even though she is a foreigner, Boaz explains that he has heard of the risk she took in coming to a land she did not know for the sake of her mother-in-law, Naomi. In other words, he admires her faith in God and her faithfulness to Naomi (vv. 11–12).

In Boaz’s response, we see a parallel between Ruth and Abraham, who also left his home country to go to a land he did not know, simply because God called him to. The provision Ruth experiences is a picture of the truth Jesus expresses in Matthew 6:33. “Seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” In other words, we can count on God to provide for our needs. Our only concern should be faithfulness to His calling.

Boaz took such care of Ruth that, when Ruth returned home that evening, Naomi could tell someone must have treated her favorably (v. 19). In God’s sovereign and providential care, Boaz turned out to be a close relative of Naomi’s. This meant that he could act as a kinsman redeemer (Ruth 2:20–21; see Leviticus 25:25, 27; Deuteronomy 25:5–10). Ultimately, this led to Ruth and Boaz becoming the great grandparents of King David (Ruth 4:17). In the midst of Naomi’s adversity, God was fulfilling His plan not only for her but also for the nation of Israel.

A Cameo of Grace and Goodness

Ruth 2 is a cameo of God’s grace and goodness. In the midst of the wicked period of the judges, Boaz stood out as a shining light, showing God’s grace to the least, last, and lost. God calls us, too, to be agents of light in this present darkness. We should have a different vision and not allow the things of the world to define us.

This is something we cannot do on our own. We must have another agency in our heart. Christ is the indwelling Word within us. By His strength we must become people of the Word, not letting the things of the world dominate our time and thought life, but instead supplanting the things of the world with the things of the Word.

This teaching is based on Ken’s Handbook to Scripture

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