Ruth

This devotional is written by Rebecca Farrow. Rebecca. Been at St.Mary's for ages. Jesus. Yes.

Ruth 2

Ruth meets Boaz in the cornfield 2 Now Naomi had a relative on her husband's side, a man of standing from the clan of Elimelek, whose name was Boaz.

2 And Ruth the Moabite said to Naomi, 'Let me go to the fields and pick up the leftover grain behind anyone in whose eyes I find favour.'

Naomi said to her, 'Go ahead, my daughter.' 3 So she went out, entered a field and began to glean behind the harvesters. As it turned out, she was working in a field belonging to Boaz, who was from the clan of Elimelek.

4 Just then Boaz arrived from Bethlehem and greeted the harvesters, 'The Lord be with you!'

'The Lord bless you!' they answered.

5 Boaz asked the overseer of his harvesters, 'Who does that young woman belong to?'

6 The overseer replied, 'She is the Moabite who came back from Moab with Naomi. 7 She said, "Please let me glean and gather among the sheaves behind the harvesters." She came into the field and has remained here from morning till now, except for a short rest in the shelter.'

8 So Boaz said to Ruth, 'My daughter, listen to me. Don't go and glean in another field and don't go away from here. Stay here with the women who work for me. 9 Watch the field where the men are harvesting, and follow along after the women. I have told the men not to lay a hand on you. And whenever you are thirsty, go and get a drink from the water jars the men have filled.'

10 At this, she bowed down with her face to the ground. She asked him, 'Why have I found such favour in your eyes that you notice me - a foreigner?'

11 Boaz replied, 'I've been told all about what you have done for your mother-in-law since the death of your husband - how you left your father and mother and your homeland and came to live with a people you did not know before. 12 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.'

13 'May I continue to find favour in your eyes, my lord,' she said. 'You have put me at ease by speaking kindly to your servant - though I do not have the standing of one of your servants.'

14 At mealtime Boaz said to her, 'Come over here. Have some bread and dip it in the wine vinegar.'

When she sat down with the harvesters, he offered her some roasted grain. She ate all she wanted and had some left over. 15 As she got up to glean, Boaz gave orders to his men, 'Let her gather among the sheaves and don't reprimand her. 16 Even pull out some stalks for her from the bundles and leave them for her to pick up, and don't rebuke her.'

17 So Ruth gleaned in the field until evening. Then she threshed the barley she had gathered, and it amounted to about an ephah.[a] 18 She carried it back to town, and her mother-in-law saw how much she had gathered. Ruth also brought out and gave her what she had left over after she had eaten enough.

19 Her mother-in-law asked her, 'Where did you glean today? Where did you work? Blessed be the man who took notice of you!'

Then Ruth told her mother-in-law about the one at whose place she had been working. 'The name of the man I worked with today is Boaz,' she said.

20 'The Lord bless him!' Naomi said to her daughter-in-law. 'He has not stopped showing his kindness to the living and the dead.' She added, 'That man is our close relative; he is one of our guardian-redeemers.'

21 Then Ruth the Moabite said, 'He even said to me, "Stay with my workers until they finish harvesting all my grain."'

22 Naomi said to Ruth her daughter-in-law, 'It will be good for you, my daughter, to go with the women who work for him, because in someone else's field you might be harmed.'

23 So Ruth stayed close to the women of Boaz to glean until the barley and wheat harvests were finished. And she lived with her mother-in-law.

Reflection

My work 

One of my nicknames from students used to be Ruth (I teach teenagers). Many still call me it. It never bothered me because Ruth is such an amazing biblical woman. This passage shows us why. Ruth has been left a widow and is living with her mother-in -law. But despite leaving her without a husband she carries on.

Work

So, it could be said that much of this passage is about how we react to work. In the time this passage is set Israeli farmers listened to Leviticus 19 that commanded that when you harvest fields the edges are not cut. They also told that if they drop anything they have to leave it. This meant that the poor and needy could pick corn for themselves and their family.

So often I think in my own work 'how can I be led to give away what will be a benefit to others?' Mostly The words from Leviticus and the spirit that leads Ruth to work in Boaz's field. Boaz is set up as a man who follows God, greeting his workers with "The LORD be with you!" they then respond with 'The Lord bless you'. A good boss and worker relationship-do you have that? Boaz looks after Ruth well and tells her to stay with the other women and then pick up anything the men in the field have left. Boaz thinks about Ruth's safety and her needs. Has God ever done this for you? Ruth then says after she has this opportunity 'Why have I found favour in your eyes that you notice me--a foreigner?" Ruth never asks about the hard things but looks to the good things. She is conscious that she is not with her people and she didn't belong. But Boaz made her welcome.


For US

 Thank God if you have work. Meditate on this passage and ask God to show you how you can help others at work.


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