Religion & Spirituality:Christianity
RUTH 2:1-4 GOD DIRECTS OUR PATHS
Ruth 2:1-4 GOD DIRECTS OUR PATHS
Ruth 2:1 There was a relative of Naomi's husband, a man of great wealth, of the family of Elimelech. His name was Boaz. 2 So Ruth the Moabitess said to Naomi, "Please let me go to the field, and glean heads of grain after him in whose sight I may find favor." And she said to her, "Go, my daughter." 3 Then she left, and went and gleaned in the field after the reapers. And she happened to come to the part of the field belonging to Boaz, who was of the family of Elimelech. 4 Now behold, Boaz came from Bethlehem, and said to the reapers, "The LORD be with you!" And they answered him, "The LORD bless you!"
1. God's providential guidance of Ruth 1:22, 2:1-7
The theme of God's providence, His working out His own plan through the circumstances of life, which runs through the Book of Ruth, is especially strong in this section of scripture
Here, for the first time in the book, a man appears in a major role.
V 1 Boaz was, by virtue of his family relationship, was someone who was eligible to perpetuate Elimelech's line, the larger of Naomi and Ruth's needs. He was also wealthy, so he could provide food and physical protection for Naomi and Ruth, their immediate need (v. 1). The same Hebrew words translated "man of wealth," later described Ruth (3:11) and, earlier, Gideon (Judg. 6:12).
Boaz was a man who stood apart from and above the typical Israelite of his day (as the Book of Ruth indicates), why would we be surprised to read that he was (in military terms) a “mighty man of valor” as well as a man of standing in the community?
V 2 The author again reminded the readers that Ruth was a Moabitess (cf. 1:22), perhaps to highlight the favorable treatment she was to receive from Boaz
Ruth did not wait for Naomi to serve her; she took the initiative. Naomi encouraged Ruth to go.
V 3 To live by faith means to take God at His word and then act upon it, for “faith without works is dead” (James 2:20, NKJV). Since Ruth believed that God loved her and would provide for her, she set out to find a field in which she could glean. This was completely an act of faith because, being a stranger, she didn’t know who owned the various parcels of ground that made up the fields.
Why didn’t Naomi take some initiative, rather than leaving it to Ruth? More than this, why didn’t Naomi go out to the fields, if not to glean, to provide Ruth with some companionship and a measure of security? It seems obvious that she realized the danger of a young widow going out alone into the fields to glean. Boaz certainly understood the risk.
We don’t really know the answer, but Naomi’s passivity does accomplish one thing here – it shows the reader that Ruth’s appearance at the field of Boaz was totally a “God thing,” purely the providential kindness of God in caring for His own.
Ruth qualified for gleaning as an alien and as a widow. She submitted her plans for Naomi's approval and received her blessing.
Again the author stated that Boaz was from the clan of Elimelech (cf. Ruth 2:1). This fact is important to the unfolding of events.
Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the LORD with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; 6 In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths.
She is in the will of God and He leads her to the right place
When you obey the will of God you do know, God will show you more.
Romans 8:28 God can order our steps
Ps 119:105 Your word is a lamp to my feet And a light to my path.
The Child of God in fellowship with God has the providence of God.
Ruth "happened" to glean in Boaz's field, from the human viewpoint (v. 3), but, as the story unfolds, God's hand of blessing obviously guided Ruth's choice to go to that particular field (cf. Prov. 3:5-6; Matt. 2:1-8).
". . . the author's real meaning in 2:3b is actually the opposite of what he says. The labelling of Ruth's meeting with Boaz as 'chance' is nothing more than the author's way of saying that no human intent was involved. For Ruth and Boaz it was an accident, but not for God. The tenor of the whole story makes it clear that the narrator sees God's hand throughout. In fact the very lack of religious expression here is his way of stressing that conviction. It is a kind of make light of for effect. By calling this meeting an accident, the writer enables himself subtly to point out that even the 'accidental' is directed by God."
V 4 Boaz's love for God and other people, those qualities most important in a human being from God's perspective (Deut. 6:5; Lev. 19:18; cf. Matt. 22:37-39), are obvious in this record of his dealing with his employees (v. 4). There was no labor management tension here since Boaz treated his workers with kindness and consideration.
"Significantly, the two greetings form a chiasm (a chiasm is a writing style that uses a unique repetition pattern for clarification and/or emphasis) with the name Yahweh at its beginning and end. Hence, the exchange dropped a subtle hint which followed up the 'luck' of v. 3: in a simple, undramatic way, it affirmed the
presence of Yahweh in this scene. . . . Thus, by this simple device the narrator reminded his audience that, though offstage, Yahweh was nevertheless within earshot"
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