Sunday School…Book of Ruth…part 3….
Chap. 2. 1. We are now introduced to the hero of our story, Boaz. The name Boaz means “strength.” Boaz is immediately identified as a kinsman (which is important to note) of Naomi’s husband. A mighty man of Law can also be translated a mighty man of war. He was a mighty man of wealth, law and war. At this point we have to mention that Boaz is a picture of and a type of the Lord Jesus Christ. You and I have a Kinsman also, one who is made like we are, yet sinless. (Heb. 7:26). Vs.2. This is a strange law here because we have nothing like it in our legal system. Let’s read Lev19:9-10. God told His people that they had to take care of the poor. This was His way of doing just that. It is restated again in Lev. 23:22 and again in Deut. 24:19. Ruth acts upon this law. Vs.3. Ruth had no idea where to go, into the field that belonged to Boaz. It was of great importance that she would find the correct field! “Hap” is an old word meaning “perhaps or happens, or happenstance.” Divine providence, God’s Will brought Ruth to the place where she would meet Boaz. Proverbs 3:5-6. Vs.4-5. Boaz sounds like a great guy to work for. He greets his workers and they respond in like manner. Verse 5 starts the really exciting part of the story! Ruth has caught the attention of Boaz. “Whose damsel is this” could be translated as love at first site. This is romance in the fields of Boaz. Vs.6-7. It sounds like his foreman is half way apologizing and assuring Boaz he had nothing to do with her coming into the field. The foreman could not turn down her request, even if she was from Moab. Notice how Boaz reacts in the next verse. Vs.8. Is he interested or not? “ I want you to glean in my field.” says Boaz. Two very important things in verse 9, he invites her to stay in his field and he puts his cloak of protection around her. A widow from Moab would be subject to all sorts of hazards and Boaz knew this. He moved to protect her. His words to Ruth indicate what our God requires, expects and deserves from all of His children. Boaz’s house was something separate and distinct from all the other houses of the land. And he was determined to keep it that way. What does God require of us, see 2 Cor. 6:14-18. Vs.10. After listening to Naomi about how bad things would be for her in Bethelem, she cannot believe how Boaz has treated her. She is startled! Like Ruth, we have to ask why I have found grace in the eyes of God? The grace of God is seen exhibited here in the grace that was manifested to this woman. “While we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” Vs. 11 Boaz was probably out of town when Naomi and Ruth arrived in Bethlehem probably fighting or closing a deal. He was a mighty man of law, war and wealth. But when he returned the town was buzzing about a widow that had accompanied Naomi home. Gossip, just like we do today, but gossip about how good she was. Someone from Moab could be this good to her mother-in-law. Boaz hears all these good things about Ruth, but also see’s her great beauty. He is really blown away! Vs. 12 It was known that Ruth had made a decision in favor of the “Lord God of Israel, under whose wings thou art come to trust” . Remember that Ruth represents us, sinners saved by grace, God’s elect. All of us that are redeemed , converted by the power and grace of God. Ruth had come to trust God. Naomi taught both Ruth and Orpah the things of God. No doubt, Orpah believed Naomi’s words and was prepared to go with her to Bethlehem, until she realized what it would cost her. When she realized that, she went back to Moab. She believed Naomi, but not the Lord. But Ruth had come to trust the Lord God of Israel. Wonder what kind of witness Naomi had? Vs. 13 Ruth is surprised, she had not expected any kindness and fully thought she would be treated as an outsider. She calls attention to the fact that she is not like the handmaidens. This is probably what attracted Boaz to her. There is a reason that he had not married yet. Ruth was different, this drew Boaz to her. Vs. 14 Boaz is in love! He meets her at ten and invites her to lunch. Here are some things for us to ponder over, 1. The minute detail of divine providence in accomplishing the purpose of God is evident. (Eph. 1:11). 2. Once Ruth was in Bethlehem she went out into the fields to work. All who are brought into the family and kingdom of God are born to serve. (Eph. 2:8-10, Titus 2:11-15). 3. The calling of Ruth the Moabitess prefigured the calling of the Gentiles. (Eph 2:11-13, 19). 4. The love of Boaz for Ruth was a picture of the love of Christ for us. (Eph. 3:18-19; 5:25-27). 5. As Boaz’s love to her was a matter of unceasing wonder to Ruth (‘Why have I found favour in your eyes’), so Christ’s love to us, His great grace to us, is an unceasing, wondrous mystery to the believing heart. (Eph. 3: 8-11, 19-21). Vs. 15-16. Boaz wants his workers to show Ruth every courtesy and consideration. He allows her to go where no other gleaner would be allowed. Boaz further tells his men, ‘When you see Ruth is behind you and nobody is looking , you just drop a sheaf back there and keep going and when she tells you about it you just say you have to keep going.’