14 When it was time to eat, Boaz spoke to Ruth again. “Come over here,” he said. “Have some bread. Dip it in the wine vinegar.” She sat down with the workers. Then Boaz offered her some grain that had been cooked. She ate all she wanted. She even had some left over. 15 Ruth got up to pick up more grain. Then Boaz gave orders to his men. He said, “Suppose she takes some stalks from what the women have tied up. If she does, don’t make her look bad. 16 Instead, pull some stalks out for her. Leave them for her to pick up. Don’t tell her she shouldn’t do it.” 17 So Ruth picked up grain in the field until evening. Then she separated the barley from the straw. It amounted to more than half a bushel. 18 She carried it back to town. Her mother-in-law saw how much she had gathered. Ruth also brought out the food that was left over from the lunch Boaz had given her. She gave it to Naomi. 19 Her mother-in-law asked her, “Where did you pick up grain today? Where did you work? May the man who noticed you be blessed!” Then Ruth told her about the man whose field she had worked in. “The name of the man I worked with today is Boaz,” she said. 20 “May the Lord bless him!” Naomi said to her daughter-in-law. “The Lord is still being kind to those who are living and those who are dead.” She continued, “That man is a close relative of ours. He’s one of our family protectors.” 21 Then Ruth, who was from Moab, said, “He told me more. He even said, ‘Stay with my workers until they have finished bringing in all of my grain.’” 22 Naomi replied to her daughter-in-law Ruth. She said, “That will be good for you, my daughter. Go with his female servants. You might be harmed if you go to someone else’s field.” 23 So Ruth stayed close to the female servants of Boaz as she picked up grain. She worked until the time when all of the barley and wheat had been harvested. And she lived with her mother-in-law.
Boaz continues to provide food & opportunity for Ruth to work & harvest from his fields. It is not until the end of the day that Ruth finds out who Boaz is – a relative.
I see in these paragraphs a story of reputation. Ruth’s reputation has gone before her – her faithfulness and loyalty precedes her and has been told to Boaz. Boaz’s responds to Ruth’s reputation and shows kindness, safety and generosity towards her due to her relationship with Naomi. His reputation is now forever recorded.
Kindness, faithfulness, loyalty, generosity & security – I have thought about these character traits and wondered about my reputation, what precedes me to others? Am I showing Christ like character? How do I respond to others … is it in kindness, generosity, do I offer security to others, am I loyal and faithful in my relationships?
Father thank you that you have challenged me through the character of both Ruth and Boaz, that reputation is something to be valued and guarded and more importantly it is to be a reflection of you in my life.
Written by Suzie Hodgson