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