Thursday 21 October, 2021

Ruth 2:14-23

14 At mealtime Boaz said to her, “Come over here. Have some bread and dip it in the wine vinegar.” When she sat down with the harvesters, he offered her some roasted grain. She ate all she wanted and had some left over. 15 As she got up to glean, Boaz gave orders to his men, “Let her gather among the sheaves and don’t reprimand her. 16 Even pull out some stalks for her from the bundles and leave them for her to pick up, and don’t rebuke her.” 17 So Ruth gleaned in the field until evening. Then she threshed the barley she had gathered, and it amounted to about an ephah. 18 She carried it back to town, and her mother-in-law saw how much she had gathered. Ruth also brought out and gave her what she had left over after she had eaten enough. 19 Her mother-in-law asked her, “Where did you glean today? Where did you work? Blessed be the man who took notice of you!” Then Ruth told her mother-in-law about the one at whose place she had been working. “The name of the man I worked with today is Boaz,” she said. 20 “The Lord bless him!” Naomi said to her daughter-in-law. “He has not stopped showing his kindness to the living and the dead.” She added, “That man is our close relative; he is one of our guardian-redeemers.” 21 Then Ruth the Moabite said, “He even said to me, ‘Stay with my workers until they finish harvesting all my grain.’” 22 Naomi said to Ruth her daughter-in-law, “It will be good for you, my daughter, to go with the women who work for him, because in someone else’s field you might be harmed.” 23 So Ruth stayed close to the women of Boaz to glean until the barley and wheat harvests were finished. 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 precede 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

3 replies
  1. Justin Ware says:

    What I love about this section of scripture is that even though Boaz was a man of significant wealth and responsibility, he kept part of his attention and intention for those who others would have seen as worthless, or even as a pest and an outsider.

    Lord, may I have eyes to see others as being made in your image. May I see others with Your eyes. Lord help me to be part of the work of redemption of the downtrodden, lost and broken.

  2. Andrew Wilson says:

    Violence against women is OK in 500BC, what about today?
    I refer to the 2nd book of Ruth. In particular Steve Fell’s comments Wednesday 20.10.2021. and Suzie’s 21.10.2021.

    I agree with Steve’s observation on the heart of Boaz, he was a good man and a good boss and as Steve points out he has a good relationship with his workers – who respect him and also seem like good people working for a good boss, doing an honest days work in the fields harvesting grain.
    The thing that jumped out at me several days ago and has bugged me since is – how completely prevalent violence against women must have been:
    Boaz says to his men in Ruth2:9 ”I have told the men not to lay a hand on you.”
    Like — these are good people so why did Boaz have to say “don’t harm her”? And what might have happened to Ruth if Boaz had not said that?

    Thursday 21.10.2021 and Suzie’s great observations: –kindness, faithfulness, loyalty, generosity & security.
    But also note: Boaz says to his men in Ruth 2:15-16 “Let her gather among the sheaves and don’t reprimand her. 16 Even pull out some stalks for her……….., and don’t rebuke her.”
    I understand from sermons on ‘gleaning’ that the poor had a ‘right’ to glean in a field – a form of social safety net. So if Ruth had a right to do this, why does Boaz have to say to his good workers “don’t reprimand” and “don’t rebuke”?
    Then Noami says to Ruth, in Ruth 2: 22 “It will be good for you, my daughter, to go with the women who work for him, because in someone else’s field you might be harmed.”
    How common is it for poor women to be harmed? If you go somewhere else you might be harmed!

    I am thankful that I, and all of the women in our church don’t live in these times, yet only last week ScoMo announced a package of funding to provide additional shelters for women homeless because they are seeking refuge from domestic violence in my current day Australia.

    Dear Lord may violence against women cease to be prevalent in our society, and may we find ways to stop it. Lord father God, may Your Grace and kindness prevail instead.

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