This week you and I are reading the entire book of Ruth together, and today we’re going to meet Boaz. He is a man who is going to walk into Ruth’s life and change everything. We’re also going to see the parallel of how just as Boaz walked into Ruth’s life, Jesus wants to walk into your life, and change everything for the better.
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You always can tell when the leading man shows up in the Hallmark movie. Usually he’s wearing a suit or flannel. It just depends on the story. And today on the Bible for Busy People, as you and I continue to study the love story of Ruth in the Bible, we are going to meet her leading man. Hi, I’m Erica, your host, and I can’t wait to dive into Ruth chapter two with you. Yes. This week you and I are going to read a whole entire book of the Bible together. We’re already one chapter in, and today we’re going to meet Boaz. He is a man who is going to walk into Ruth’s life and change everything. And we’re going to see another parallel, because just as Boaz walked into Ruth’s life, Jesus wants to walk into your life, and my life, and change everything for the better.
Now, before we get started, I want to define a phrase you’re going to hear in this story, family redeemer. That’s the role that Boaz is going to play in this story. And here’s what it means, A kinsman redeemer, or a family redeemer, is a male relative who had the privilege or responsibility to act on behalf of a relative who is in trouble, danger, or need. So now you know.
Alright, so last time you and I got together, we met two widows. Naomi was the mother-in-law. Ruth was the daughter-in-law. Years before they had moved with their husbands to a foreign country away from Bethlehem and Israel, to Moab, which was Ruth’s homeland. And now they’re going back, they’ve lost their husbands. They are pretty much destitute and they are returning home. So keep that in mind as we pick up Ruth’s love story out of left field in Ruth chapter two.
Now there was a wealthy and influential man in Bethlehem named Boaz, who was a relative of Naomi’s husband, Elimelech. 2 One day Ruth the Moabite said to Naomi, “Let me go out into the harvest fields to pick up the stalks of grain left behind by anyone who is kind enough to let me do it.”Naomi replied, “All right, my daughter, go ahead.” 3 So Ruth went out to gather grain behind the harvesters. And as it happened, she found herself working in a field that belonged to Boaz, the relative of her father-in-law, Elimelech.
I want to pitch a small tent here and say this was not coincidence. It was another word: Providence, verse four now.
While she was there, Boaz arrived from Bethlehem and greeted the harvesters. “The Lord be with you!” he said. “The Lord bless you!” the harvesters replied. 5 Then Boaz asked his foreman, “Who is that young woman over there? Who does she belong to?” 6 And the foreman replied, “She is the young woman from Moab who came back with Naomi. 7 She asked me this morning if she could gather grain behind the harvesters. She has been hard at work ever since, except for a few minutes’ rest in the shelter.” 8 Boaz went over and said to Ruth, “Listen, my daughter. Stay right here with us when you gather grain; don’t go to any other fields. Stay right behind the young women working in my field. 9 See which part of the field they are harvesting, and then follow them. I have warned the young men not to treat you roughly. And when you are thirsty, help yourself to the water they have drawn from the well.” 10 Ruth fell at his feet and thanked him warmly. “What have I done to deserve such kindness?” she asked. “I am only a foreigner.” 11 “Yes, I know,” Boaz replied. “But I also know about everything you have done for your mother-in-law since the death of your husband. I have heard how you left your father and mother and your own land to live here among complete strangers. 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.” 13 “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.” 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.
What does that remind you of? Remember when Jesus came and he fed the 5,000 with just a few fishes and a few loaves of bread? Oh, and the people after they had had their fill, 5,000 people, plus they still had leftovers. God is generously providing for Ruth. This is who he is. This is what he does. Verse 15 now.
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!” 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. 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.” 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.” 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.” 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.
When you come to Jesus, as Ruth went to Boaz, you need bring nothing but your very self, and you know what you’re going to find? You are going to find refuge and shelter and provision beneath the shadow of his wings. Until next time, you are really loved.
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