Ruth 2:7-9 – 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. 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.
One of my favorite things is to find truths revealed to me in unexpected places. Even if I have read a passage multiple times, there are often new things for me to discover. In fact this comes as no surprise, because “It is the glory of God to conceal a thing: but the honour of kings is to search out a matter” (Proverbs 25:2). This makes the Bible new everytime I read it.
One such passage is mentioned above. The book of Ruth is a love story from the family of David. Boaz and Ruth are direct ancestors of the great king of Israel and therefore ancestors of Jesus Christ. I am sure tuis account made it into the Bibical canon through David and Solomon. It was surely a sweet and poignant tale shared from generation to generationto illustrate the mercy and grace of God as well as the nobility of the royal family.
As a Moabitess, Ruth’s connection to Israel was through her husband, a Hebrew of the tribe of Judah. She had no express right to any inheritance in Israel. In fact as a woman of Moab, she would have been doubly excluded. Only with a Jewish husband did she have a hope of making a go of it in Israel. Her only resource was her faith in the provision of God for the poor that required that landowners allow the poor access to glean the leftovers from harvested fields. Enter Boaz.
Boaz was a wealthy man of the same tribe and family as Ruth’s deceased husband. He had workers harvesting his fields who mentioned to him that Ruth had come to glean. Instead of telling his laborers to be extra diligent in harvesting the most grain possible to discourage gleaning, he told them to leave extra grain for Ruth. His care and devotion to this impoverished woman was clear as he further encouraged the young widow to follow directly after the maidens working in the fields and to drink of the water supplied for the laborers. She was shown grace and love despite her disgraced status.
Eventually, as Boaz observed Ruth’s diligence and care for her mother-in-law, he grew to love Ruth. Even though she was a Moabitess and a widow, Boaz loved her and took her to be his wife after working through the lawful process of inheritance on her part. In so doing he secured Ruth and her husband’s inheritance for future generations including David. Boaz acts as a Christlike figure in these events showing mercy where it was not owed and devotion to those outside his explicit responsibility.
Jesus Christ has loved the Church in just such a manner. He loved us in our disgrace and poverty and bound Himself to us even though it was not required. Only love motivated the Savior in securing our future with Him in His Kingdom and Heaven beyond. In so doing, Christ has returned us to grace and riches. No husband has ever carried for a bride more than Jesus cares for the Church.
Think on these things today and realize that you are loved with a surpassing love.