Boaz asked the overseer of his harvesters, “Who does that young woman belong to?” The overseer replied, “She is the Moabite who came back from Moab with Naomi. She said, ‘Please let me glean and gather among the sheaves behind the harvesters.’ She came into the field and has remained here from morning till now, except for a short rest in the shelter.” So Boaz said to Ruth, “My daughter, listen to me. Don’t go and glean in another field and don’t go away from here. Stay here with the women who work for me. Watch the field where the men are harvesting, and follow along after the women. I have told the men not to lay a hand on you. And whenever you are thirsty, go and get a drink from the water jars the men have filled.” At this, she bowed down with her face to the ground. She asked him, “Why have I found such favor in your eyes that you notice me—a foreigner?” Boaz replied, “I’ve been told all about what you have done for your mother-in-law since the death of your husband—how you left your father and mother and your homeland and came to live with a people you did not know before. May the Lord repay you for what you have done. May you be richly rewarded by the Lord , the God of Israel, under whose wings you have come to take refuge. – Ruth 2:5-12
Well we survived our sojourn in Judges with the Prodigal People. The last verse of the book of Judges pretty much sums up the whole book “In those days Israel had no king; everyone did as they saw fit (Judges 21:25). We now thankfully move into the book of Ruth.
The main character of the book of Ruth is Naomi and she has had a rough time of it. After moving from her home to Moab she lost her husband and two sons. She is left with her two daughter-in-laws, Orpah and Ruth. My mother’s name was Ruth also. Naomi has decided to return to her home near Jerusalem and Ruth showed amazing loyalty and returned with her.
When Naomi arrives home people barely recognize her. She is even unwilling to have people call her Naomi, but prefers the term Mara, which I believe means bitter. God has certainly provided bitter water for Naomi, but He has not forgotten her.
In many ways Ruth was Naomi’s, and God’s, adopted daughter. In this passage we hear about Boaz, and God, caring for Ruth by providing her water from clay pots when she is thirsty. Ruth showed she was faithful to Naomi, which Boaz rewarded. Ruth is an amazing example of a faithful follower.
The ability to faithfully follow is something that was lacking for most of the book of Judges. It is refreshing to see it here. It is fitting that the son of Boaz and Ruth will become the root of the line of David.
Prayer: God help me to faithfully follow you wherever you may lead me.