‘Being An Instrument of God’s Blessings’
12 May the Lord, the God of Israel, under whose wings you have come to take refuge, reward you fully for what you have done.” “I hope I continue to please you, sir,” she replied. “You have comforted me by speaking so kindly to me, even though I am not one of your workers.”
- Boaz sees himself as an instrument of God’s blessings / refuge
- Ruth sees herself as being blessed by God by pleasing Boaz
- It’s a big deal what Boaz does for Ruth
14 At mealtime Boaz called to her, “Come over here, and help yourself to some food. You can dip your bread in the sour wine.” So she sat with his harvesters, and Boaz gave her some roasted grain to eat. She ate all she wanted and still had some left over.
- Boaz had done plenty already, yet he extends the kindness…why?
- It is another level of intimacy & acceptance inviting her share their meal
- It may have been a while since Ruth ate all she wanted…
15 When Ruth went back to work again, Boaz ordered his young men, “Let her gather grain right among the sheaves without stopping her. 16 And pull out some heads of barley from the bundles and drop them on purpose for her. Let her pick them up, and don’t give her a hard time!”
- This is beyond the normal ‘gleaning’ situation. Barley heads are the most valuable
- Emphatically he commands them to go way beyond what is customary
17 So Ruth gathered barley there all day, and when she beat out the grain that evening, it filled an entire basket. 18 She carried it back into town and showed it to her mother-in-law. Ruth also gave her the roasted grain that was left over from her meal.
- She is able to glean way more than most, but she is doing it to provide for Namoi
- She didn’t have to share the roasted grain (somewhat of a delicacy)
- What has made Ruth this selfless?
19 “Where did you gather all this grain today?” Naomi asked. “Where did you work? May the Lord bless the one who helped you!” So Ruth told her mother-in-law about the man in whose field she had worked. She said, “The man I worked with today is named Boaz.”
- Namoi sees how much she gathered & asks God’s blessings on who helped her
- She identifies Boaz as the source of her help
20 “May the Lord bless him!” Naomi told her daughter-in-law. “He is showing his kindness to us as well as to your dead husband. That man is one of our closest relatives, one of our family redeemers.”
- Namoi sees the level of blessing
- There was a system of people from the same ‘Tribe’ getting to keep property in the family line
- The family redeemer had an obligation “to buy an object or person from indenture, slavery, or otherwise harsh circumstances.”
- Another obligation of the family redeemer: “to marry his brother’s widow and father a male heir to inherit the estate.”
- The family redeemer had an obligation to “redeem” (buy back) land that had been sold. Naomi and Elimelech had no doubt sold their land when they had moved to Moab, so now the family property was in other hands, and Naomi didn’t have the means to buy it back herself. She needed someone else to buy it back, so that it would remain in the clan. Did she have in mind that Boaz would be the one to buy it back?
- The big Biblical principal this ‘Little Story’ shows is that God bought us all back from the eternal death sin brings. Jesus is our ‘Family Redeemer’
21 Then Ruth said, “What’s more, Boaz even told me to come back and stay with his harvesters until the entire harvest is completed.” 22 “Good!” Naomi exclaimed. “Do as he said, my daughter. Stay with his young women right through the whole harvest. You might be harassed in other fields, but you’ll be safe with him.”
- Ruth relays that that Boaz had made this a long term arrangement
- Namoi believes Ruth (being who she is) will continue to endear herself to Boaz
- Namoi recognizes the protection being provides & has hope for bigger protection
23 So Ruth worked alongside the women in Boaz’s fields and gathered grain with them until the end of the barley harvest. Then she continued working with them through the wheat harvest in early summer. And all the while she lived with her mother-in-law.
- There is a period where Ruth can see Boaz blessing her and she blessing Namoi
- Namoi, Ruth & Boaz continue to ‘Grow where they are Planted’
There are good things we can get out of this passage, one it’s own
We can also start connecting the dots as to the whole book’s lessons and then how those fit into the entirety of Scripture…There is a picture that is starting to emerge…
Boaz had a lifestyle that enabled him to bless others; specifically, how can you do that?
Where in your life can you be God’s instrument of physical and relational blessings?
What is taking up time in your life, keeping you from being a blessing to others?
Who has gone out of their way to bless you? What is the best way to appreciate that?