Read: Ruth 2
Today we begin to really see God’s providence and plan at work as Ruth begins her new life in Bethlehem. Can you imagine being her? She was a widow from a foreign country that was not respected. She was a recent believer. Everything was new and unfamiliar to her. I’m sure she was still experiencing grief at the loss of her husband. But through it all and despite every emotion, she held tightly to the confidence she had in God.
In the beginning of chapter 2, Ruth takes the initiative to go to a field and glean in order to put food on the table. According to Levitical law (Leviticus 19), harvesters were commanded not to glean the entire field, but to leave the corners for the poor. Not only was Ruth stepping out to do the hard labor of gathering scraps, but it was humbling.
Enter Boaz, the redeemer! Boaz symbolizes throughout this book Jesus Christ, our Redeemer. A beautiful picture of Jesus taking the sinner into his loving arms. So who is this man named Boaz? We know he is related by marriage to Naomi. We know that he is an older man of standing and wealth in the community. His name literally means “strength.” We know he treats his employees well and strangers kindly. Most importantly, we know he is a man of God.
After Boaz spots Ruth in his field and inquires about her, he tells her to stay in his field and he will be sure she is taken care of. At such a kind offer, Ruth drops to the ground and asks why Boaz has shown her such kindness. Remember, Ruth was a Moabite, yet Boaz went above and beyond leaving scraps for her.
At her question of kindness, Boaz makes a beautiful statement. Not only does Boaz recognize Ruth’s inner beauty and character, he also says a blessing over her.
God desires to take all of us – the foreigner, the poor, the lonely, the broken, the bitter, all of us – under His wings. He desires to protect and shelter YOU. To bring you comfort and joy. Boaz’s desire for Ruth is a picture of God’s desire for us. That we would all find rest and shelter under His wings. God wants to protect you and allow you to grow into the person He has designed you to be.
When Ruth returned home to Naomi, she returned with more food than she could have imagined. Some scholars believe Ruth walked away with enough food for a year! Friend, today you may be looking for scraps of hope or healing, but God wants to give you so much more! Anticipate God to provide for you above and beyond what you could hope for or imagine!