God WILL use US to MEET the NEEDS of other PEOPLE: "There was a relative of Naomi's husband, a man of great wealth, of the family of Elimelech. His name was Boaz. So Ruth the Moabitess said to Naomi, 'Please let me go to the field, and glean heads of grain after him in whose sight I may find favor.' And she said to her, 'Go, my daughter.' Then she left, and went and gleaned in the field after the reapers. And she happened to come to the part of the field belonging to Boaz, who was of the family of Elimelech." (Ruth 2:1-3)
This story is primarily built around a beautiful Moabitess by the name of Ruth, who had married a Jewish man called Mahlon (4:10) when their family had immigrated to the land of Moab as a result of a severe famine in the land of Israel (1: 1-4). During their ten years’ stay in Moab, the father Elimelech along with his two sons Mahlon and Chilion passed away and left three widows alive in the family. By now, the mother-in-law Naomi had enough of Moab, and decided to move back to her hometown Bethlehem as she had heard that the famine was over there (1:6). At that time, she gave an option to her daughter-in-laws to return back to their parent’s homes so that they can seek out other husbands from Moab itself (1:7-9).
This was the point when Ruth chose to remain with her mother-in-law and adopt the Israelites as her own people and Jehovah God as her own God (1:16-17). This momentous decision would have long lasting impact in her future, and would propel her into the lineage and ancestry of King David as well as our Lord Jesus Christ (Matt. 1:5) after she would marry a man called Boaz, who was a relative of Naomi’s husband Elimelech. The interesting part of this story is how God used Boaz to meet the needs of these two destitute widows Ruth and Naomi:
- God initially put a desire in Ruth’s heart to go to the field of Boaz, and glean the grains after the reapers in his field. God actually orchestrated this move, which is so aptly described in the following words: “And she happened to come to the part of the field belonging to Boaz…” (2:3).
- When Boaz initially saw her gleaning in his field, he inquired about her from his servant who was in charge of the reapers (2:5). He then came to know about her real situation, and how desperate she was for food provisions for herself and Naomi (2:6-7).
- Boaz also saw her need for security and protection, and told her that she need not go to any other field from that time (2:8). In fact, she could stay close to the other young women, and drink the water from their vessels as well (2:9)
- Boaz further warned his harvesters to leave her alone and that no one should even touch her (2:9).
- Thereafter, Boaz addressed Ruth’s emotional needs by speaking to her words of comfort (2:11-12)
- Boaz further supplied Ruth with extra food, and instructed his reapers to let the grain fall down purposely for her to gather (2:15-16).
- When Ruth reached out to Boaz to take her under his refuge, he agreed without any hesitation fully aware that she was a widow from a foreign descent (3:9-11).
- Finally, Boaz redeemed Ruth from the other closer relative by doing everything that was needed as part of the Levitical law (4:1-10).