When you read through the book of Ruth, you can’t help but notice that Ruth was a humble and hardworking woman. Character traits that led her on a journey that would dramatically change her life and, more importantly, her eternal destiny.
She wasn’t content to sit by and beg bread and she certainly didn’t want her mother-in-law to succumb to such shame. So she woke up with work on her mind and requested permission to take on the role as provider. With Naomi’s approval and direction, Ruth made her way to to glean the barley fields.
She may have taken ranks with the poor, but she didn’t expect a handout. Ruth was willing to work. Each step took her closer to Boaz’s field, where she was ready to pull up her sleeves and begin throwing up some chaff.
And then we read…
“So she departed and went and gleaned in the field after the reapers; and she happened to come to the portion of the field belonging to Boaz, who was of the family of Elimelech.” Ruth 2:3
Several years ago someone told me, “There are no coincidences with God. We don’t just “happen” into Boaz’s field. The Bible says, “A man’s heart plans his way, But the LORD directs his steps.” Proverbs 16:9
Ruth may have planned her day, but it was God who ordained her steps and she wound up exactly where she needed to be to begin her journey to redemption – the field belonging to Boaz, who was of the family of Elimelech.
Boaz was clearly the “one in whose sight I may find favor”. (Ruth 2:2)
He saw that she had forsaken everything familiar to take care of her broken hearted mother-in-law. Boaz knew what it cost Ruth to be in Bethlehem.
“May the Lord, the God of Israel, under whose wings you have come to take refuge, reward you fully for what you have done.” Ruth 2:12
Bethlehem may have provided a place of shelter, but Ruth would find her refuge under the wings of the God of Israel.
Theologians often refer to Ruth’s declaration of surrender to God as a beautiful picture of her salvation. (Ruth 1:16)
Ruth’s Redeemer became her Refuge.
But her story was about to become a beautiful parallel of our ultimate Kinsman – Redeemer. When she declared Naomi’s God to be her’s, God redeemed her – soon, Boaz would too.
As we look back on the legacy Ruth leaves behind, let’s do some gleaning of our own and see what we can learn from Ruth:
♥ God rules in the affairs of men (and women) – Proverbs 16:9 Ruth left home in search of food but the Lord directed her to Boaz’s field! We may make our plans, but the Lord certainly ordains our steps. We must pay attention to the fields He places in front of us – to the opportunities to serve Him that are often found in the simple and the ordinary. We may be surprised when God chooses to turn our service into a blessing.
♥ God takes note of what we do for His glory – Hebrews 6:10 We may not realize it, but like Boaz, God sees our labor of love. When we feel like we’re weary, weak and worn out, we need to remember that God sees what we are doing for Him. Nothing escapes the eyes of the Living God…not even that which we do behind the scenes…perhaps, especially that which we do behind the scenes.
♥ We can find rest under His wings of refuge – Psalm 57:1 – Only God can provide the shelter we need for the storms of this life. He is our Refuge and our Redeemer. We can run to Christ and find refuge under the shadow of His wings.
Which legacy left by Ruth speaks to your life today?