The Book of Ruth, A Love Story
And Naomi had a kinsman of her husband's, a mighty man of wealth, of the family of Elimelech; and his name was Boaz. And Ruth the Moabitess said unto Naomi, Let me now go to the field, and glean ears of corn after him in whose sight I shall find grace. And she said unto her, Go, my daughter. And she went, and came, and gleaned in the field after the reapers: and her hap was to light on a part of the field belonging unto Boaz, who was of the kindred of Elimelech.
Naomi and Ruth have finally reached Bethlehem––Naomi is now home. We are not sure of the length of the journey from Moab to Bethlehem because the entire trip encompasses one short sentence: So they two went until they came to Beth–lehem (Ruth 1:19.) We are not told how many days they spent on the road to Bethlehem nor are we made aware of any troubles, trials, laughter or tears that may have occurred while making their pilgrimage home. We only know––they came to Bethlehem in the beginning of barley harvest.
The arrival of Ruth and Naomi in Bethlehem came at a most opportune time. It was in the early spring they entered the barley fields of Bethlehem––which were ripe unto harvest. The long, hard winter was now over and the first new fruits of spring showed the celebrated coming of the barley harvest. Do you think that Ruth and Naomi had any idea what the Lord had in store for them when they arrived in Bethlehem? No, they didn’t and neither do we––how exciting it is to know that God has a plan for our lives. This great truth should encourage our hearts and cause us to trust Christ in each life changing experience He brings.
Ruth’s first response, as she entered Bethlehem, was to go out and glean in the fields. She did not wait for Naomi to go to the field to provide for her, but took the responsibility of caring for Naomi upon herself. Through God’s providential care, Ruth begins to glean in the field belonging to Boaz, a close relative to Naomi. Boaz could have been as close as a brother to Elimelech, and if not a brother, certainly within the tribe or clan. He was a wealthy man literally meaning, “a man of valor” one who had unusual ability to obtain and protect his property, and whose name means, “in him is strength.”
Ruth arrived in Bethlehem at barley harvest and immediately went into the harvest field to work. She found that through her hard work and participation in the harvest it would bring her long term benefits and all her needs would be supplied. Grace brought Ruth to Bethlehem, and through this act of obedience, it would give her cause to rejoice and bring her joy unspeakable for all eternity.
Thought: In the book of Matthew chapter thirteen, the Lord gives a series of parables from the sowing of the seed until the end of the age and judgment. Here are some of the truths Jesus taught in these parables––The field is the world...the harvest is the end of the age...he that received seed into the good ground is he that heareth the word, and understandeth it; which also beareth fruit, and bringeth forth, some an hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty. Ruth received God’s grace in her life and is a picture of the believer that realizes there are obligations that follow the gift of grace that has been given. Ruth was involved in the time of the barley harvest, going into the field to glean. We as Christians need to be busy in the field (the world) bringing the Gospel to a lost and dying world––sowing and watering the seed of the Word of God that men may hear the Good News and believe on Him.