Book of Ruth
Chapter 2: Ruth Meets Boaz
Yesterday, we left Ruth and Naomi with a sense of hope. The crops were about to be harvested, and this signified hope in their lives. We are told that Naomi has a relative on her husband’s side named Boaz, who is a person of importance locally. Ruth, not knowing that Boaz owns the fields, asks Naomi for permission to work in those fields.
Working in someone else’s fields might seem like stealing to us. But… remember the book of Deuteronomy? The law given to Moses was more than the Ten Commandments, and gave provision for the welfare of the poor, widow, orphans and aliens. One provision was that sheaves of wheat, olives and grapes would be left in the fields to be taken by these people.
Boaz goes beyond this Mosaic law and tells Ruth that he has asked that none of the men should touch her, and that these men should get her a drink when she needs it. Boaz goes beyond the requirement of the law.
Boaz is described as a guardian-redeemer. The word “guardian” appears six times in these four short chapters. (2:1; 2:20; 3:9; 3:12; 4:6; 4:14). The word redemption is found 23 times! A guardian-redeemer is a member of the family who is responsible for protecting the needy members of the extended family. God is always concerned about the poor, the needy, and the forgotten. This law is described in Deut. 25: 5-10 and Lev 25:25-28. Some of the duties of the guardian-redeemer were to redeem family land, redeem enslaved family members, provide an heir for a widow, avenge the death of murdered family members, and act as a trustee for family business.
Of course to “redeem” means to “buy back.” As we have said, all scripture points to Jesus, who bought us back after we fell into sin. Jesus has redeemed us with His blood. As 1 Peter 1:18-19 says “For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you… , but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect.”
All of Ruth is a marvelous picture of the power of Jesus to buy back our freedom, our lives and our hearts. God does not leave us in the hands of Satan, to be poor and needy. Just like Boaz is Ruth’s guardian-redeemer, Jesus is our redeemer.
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 2:12
- How can you go beyond the “requirements of the law” in your life?
- Ruth is said to be under the wings of God. What does that mean to you?
- Ruth’s commitment to care for her mother-in-law is at the center of this book. Have you ever felt committed to care for someone? What made it hard? Easy?
- How is Boaz like Jesus?