Boaz’s Cog in the Wheel

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May 5, 2013 by Chris French

When Ruth busted onto the scene in Bethlehem she carried sacrifice with her.

Her wealthy father-in-law has died along with her husband and brother-in-law. Now it’s just Naomi, Ruth and Orpah. Naomi is headed home because she’s broke and is possibly thinking that someone back home might take care of her if she can get back. She tells her two daughters-in-law to go back to their father’s house, remarry and have children. Eventually Orpah goes, but Ruth refuses to leave Naomi’s side so they head to Bethlehem together.

There’s something you should know about Ruth. She’s a Moabite, which is only important for our purposes because it means she’s not a Jew. More than likely as Naomi and Ruth walked back into town people ran out to greet Naomi, but when they saw Ruth they gave her a dirty look and turned their nose up at her. If you weren’t a Jew the Jews didn’t want anything to do with you. In fact, if you happened to brush up against them in the marketplace they were unclean for a week and couldn’t go to the Temple to worship. Long story short – people may have been excited to see Naomi, but they all wished Ruth wasn’t with her. Everyone except one, that is.

Naomi and Ruth don’t have money to buy food with, so they rely on the ancient law of gleaning. Say
I own a field of corn and we’re gathering it in one day and a couple of ears fall out of the wagon. We couldn’t stop and get them. We also had to leave the edges of the corn field unharvested. They were for the people too poor to feed themselves to eat (Lev. 19.9-10). We don’t know how many fields Ruth tried before she found Boaz’s, but I’m betting there were a couple. Most likely she met with hostility because of her Moabite status. Maybe they cursed her or threw rocks to make her leave. However many fields she tried first she ended up at Boaz’s and started at the edges getting the grain his workers had left. Eventually Boaz comes to this field to see how the work was going and he saw Ruth. She’s staying away from his workers so it’s a long walk out to her, but he makes it. He tells her to get as much grain as she can glean (she walks away that day with about bushel), feeds her lunch, she gets a to go box, tells the young men not to touch her, brings her in to work among his young women so she’s safer and the crop is fresh, and even tells his guys to intentionally drop some grain for her to pick up!

Boaz has been incredibly generous to Ruth and he even tells you why he did it. He felt like God should bless her for the sacrifices she’s made for Naomi so he takes it upon himself o be generous to her. Eventually at the end of the story Boaz and Ruth marry and have a child. You can even find him in the New Testament. His name is Obed and he’s Jesus’ great great great grandfather. So, if Boaz hadn’t of been so kind to Ruth would Jesus ever have been born? Of course, He would have! The Father has been planning Jesus’ entrance into the world since the beginning. His plans aren’t going to be destroyed or thrown off track for any reason. Had Boaz not treated Ruth in a Godly way Jesus would still have been born, but Boaz wouldn’t have gotten to play a part in God’s plan.

God’s plan for redeeming the lost is going to happen. He will bring glory to Himself thru the church. Make sure you’re a part of the plan!

 

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