Ruth 2:4-17


Verse 4, And, behold, Boaz came from Bethlehem, and said unto the reapers, The LORD be with you. And they answered him, The LORD bless thee.


I.    Boaz is a man of great wealth, and who looked after his material possessions.

A.  Prov. 27:23,24 - Be thou diligent to know the state of thy flocks, and look well to thy herds.  For riches are not for ever: and doth the crown endure to every generation? 

B.   Boaz seems to have the proper balance between looking after material possessions and caring for the things of the God.


II.   A man of great detail, yet looking after a large estate.

A.  He wasn't lazy.

B.   He didn't expect to pay somebody to do the things he ought to do.


III. Came from Bethlehem.

A.  Left his ease to look after his estate.

B.   This is good for men to do.

C.   If we continually leave our overseeing to others, we soon won't have anything to oversee.


IV. Notice his salutation to his workers, and their salutation to him.

A.  This is proper working relationship.

B.   I doubt that they talked about each other differently when they weren't around each other.


Verse 5, Then said Boaz unto his servant that was set over the reapers, Whose damsel is this?


I.    Boaz noticed the stranger working in his field.

A.  Remember that Ruth does not work for Boaz, she is simply gleaning after the reapers.

B.   She is one of the poor of the nation, working for herself.

C.   This reveals the care Boaz has of the people working around him.

D.  Not only does he care about his workers, but also about poor people around him who are trying.


II.   Boaz went through the proper channels in finding out who Ruth is.

A.  If he had gone straight to Ruth, it is possible he would have scared her, since she was strange to the ways of the country.

B.   Notice that Boaz found out all he needed to know about Ruth without asking her.

C.   Things haven't changed very much.  People knew other peoples business then, and they know it now.

D.  When he talked to Ruth, he told her what he wanted her to do.


III. Boaz didn't know Ruth by sight, yet he had heard much about her, 2:11.

A.  When everything is said and done, it seems Boaz was much more impressed with Ruth over what he had heard about her than is indicated here.

B.   When a person is looking for a lifetime mate, it is better to be impressed with their personal characteristics than it is with their personal appearance.

1.   This is a lesson Jacob had to learn.


Verse 6,7, And the servant that was set over the reapers answered and said, It is the Moabitish damsel that came back with Naomi out of the country of Moab: And she said, I pray you, let me glean and gather after the reapers among the sheaves: so she came, and hath continued even from the morning until now, that she tarried a little in the house.


I.    He knew his job and what his boss expected.


II.   He knew about the Moabitess woman.

A.  It was his job to know who was gleaning in his masters field.

B.   Verse 7 - Ruth had asked him for permission to glean.


III. Ruth asked if she could glean in the field.

A.  She didn't take for granted that she would be allowed to glean.

B.   Don't take for granted those things that are supposed to be ours, but be humble and ask.

C.   She was courteous.  This always befits a Christian.


IV. For pastors:

A.  It's necessary to know our church members.

B.   It's necessary to know the visitors in our services.

C.   We may not know everybody in the community, but it's good to know something about the people who visit in our services.

D.  We never know when one of the visitors will become a valuable member of the church we pastor.           


Verse 8,9, Then said Boaz unto Ruth, Hearest thou not, my daughter? Go not to glean in another field, neither go from hence, but abide here fast by my maidens: Let thine eyes be on the field that they do reap, and go thou after them: have I not charged the young men that they shall not touch thee? and when thou art athirst, go unto the vessels, and drink of that which the young men have drawn.


I.    Boaz is very generous.

A.  He provided food for his workers, plus enough for unexpected guests.

B.   James 4:1-5 - Rich men are told to mourn for they have heaped up treasure to their own destruction.

C.   Boaz will not have to worry about judgment day.


II.   Boaz provided for Ruth:

A.  Verse 8,9 - A place for gleaning, as long as harvest lasted.

B.   Verse 8 - female companionship.  She sought a job first, and God gave her friends.

C.   Verse 9, a place for drink.  She was to drink that which others had provided.

D.  Verse 9 - protection from the young men.  (This is still a necessity today!)


Verse 10, Then she fell on her face, and bowed herself to the ground, and said unto him, Why have I found grace in thine eyes, that thou shouldest take knowledge of me, seeing I am a stranger?


I.    Verse 10 - Little does Ruth know that the ground she bows on will soon belong to her and her husband.  What things will God give to us, if we will, like Ruth, forsake our father and mother (verse 11) and follow God???

A.  Ruth receives grace from Boaz because of her good works.

B.   God has given us grace because of His love.


Verse 11, And Boaz answered and said unto her, It hath fully been showed me, all that thou hast done unto thy mother in law since the death of thine husband: and how thou hast left thy father and thy mother, and the land of thy nativity, and art come unto a people which thou knewest not heretofore. The LORD recompense thy work, and a full reward be given thee of the LORD God of Israel, under whose wings thou art come to trust.


I.    Boaz was not negligent to tell Ruth what he had heard about her.

A.  It is always good to tell good of people.

B.   Most of the time, it's good not to tell the bad, unless there is danger involved. If we become too involved in telling the bad, we are apt to become gossipers.

C.   There was quite a stir when Naomi and Ruth returned to Bethlehem from Moab.

1.   There is no doubt in my mind that Naomi told her neighbors why Ruth left Moab and came to Israel.

2.   Since Boaz is a near kinsman, he would have heard the story before it went through very many mouths.

D.  Boaz would have been very interested because his mother also left her native country to become an Israelite.


II.   His prayers for her work and well being.

A.  It's amazing how God blesses the work of men's hands, and if men don't work, God doesn't bless!

B.   All the blessings will come from the LORD.

C.   Boaz makes it very plain that Ruth is not trusting in Israel, but in the LORD God of Israel.

D.  The expression "under whose wings thou art come to trust" is the same expression used in Luke 13:34, O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, which killest the prophets, and stonest them that are sent unto thee; how often would I have gathered thy children together, as a hen doth gather her brood under her wings, and ye would not!


Verse 13, Then she said, Let me find favour in thy sight, my lord; for that thou hast comforted me, and for that thou hast spoken friendly unto thine handmaid, though I be not like unto one of thine handmaidens.


Verse 14, And Boaz said unto her, At mealtime come thou hither, and eat of the bread, and dip thy morsel in the vinegar. And she sat beside the reapers: and he reached her parched corn, and she did eat, and was sufficed, and left.


I.    After Boaz met Ruth, he was very impressed with her and offered her additional benefits if she would continue gleaning in his fields.

A.  He would supply her food, so she wouldn't have to worry about bringing a lunch.

B.   A place for the noonday meal, out of the heat of the day.

C.   Ruth took advantage of this situation by sitting beside the reapers during the meal, just like she was a "hired hand".

1.   This is a very elevated position for a "stranger in the land".

2.   Note also that Boaz was there for meals.  Some would say this was strange "courting", but it is good "courting".

3.   Some young people seem to think they must be alone to "court".

4.   My wife's grandparents "courted" almost totally by mail.

5.   I know others who have "courted" long distance and their marriage worked out.

6.   If you have to touch someone to be close to them, there is something lacking in your love.  Most of your married life, you'll be apart from each other, so you'd better get used to it.

D.  When she ate that which Boaz provided, she didn't stuff herself, but had enough, (sufficed herself) then went back to work.  She did not include herself in the "men talk", but retained her femininity.


Verse 15,16, And when she was risen up to glean, Boaz commanded his young men, saying, Let her glean even among the sheaves, and reproach her not: And let fall also some of the handfuls of purpose for her, and leave them, that she may glean them, and rebuke her not.


I.    The "handfuls of purpose" are those additional blessings we receive from God because of past faithfulness.  It is a way God has of providing our needs that we didn't expect.  It is an act totally based on God's grace, not because we earned it.

A.  How many "handfuls of purpose" do we miss because we do not seek them?

1.   God has purposely left them for us, but we refuse to pick them up.

2.   Jesus said, "Ask, and ye shall receive, seek and ye shall find, knock and it shall be opened to you."

B.   Most likely those "handfuls of purpose" we cannot see.  Others can, however, tell that God is watching over us.

1.   Boaz didn't tell Ruth she could glean so close to the reapers.

2.   He told the reapers not to rebuke her.


II.   Boaz says this publicly right after Ruth went back to gleaning.

A.  Do you suppose some of the men caught on to the idea that Boaz admired Ruth?  That he saw in her something very different from the "average" gleaner?

B.   None of the men who heard Boaz would try to abuse Ruth in any way.


III. The handfuls of purpose (of extra grain {that she had to work for.})

A.  Boaz did these things because he knew that Ruth was a good woman.

1.   I doubt that Boaz was in the habit of taking care of every loafer in town.

2.   But he didn't mind helping people that tried to help themselves.

3.   This is a good welfare policy.

4.   Note: he took the word of others about Ruth.  He didn't have to have it proved to him individually.  This is a good policy.


Verse 17, So she gleaned in the field until even, and beat out that she had gleaned: and it was about an ephah of barley.


I.    She worked until even (all she could that day), then took her bushel back to her mother in law.


II.   "beat out that she had gleaned" - refers to the act of separating the husks from the kernel of grain.

A.  An ephah is about 3 pecks and 3 pints.

B.   She got the bushel a grain at a time.

C.   This may be too slow for many, but not for her.

D.  In the end, she had plenty.

E.   The ephah should last two people about 5 days.