Giving to Know You
And at mealtime Boaz said to her, “Come here and eat some bread and dip your morsel in the wine.” So she sat beside the reapers, and he passed to her roasted grain. And she ate until she was satisfied, and she had some left over. When she rose to glean, Boaz instructed his young men, saying, “Let her glean even among the sheaves, and do not reproach her. And also pull out some from the bundles for her and leave it for her to glean, and do not rebuke her.” Ruth 2:14-16
The story of Ruth and Boaz, which is arguably the greatest human love story in all of Scripture, is incredibly timely even though it is roughly 3,000 years old. Furthermore, their little love story is a part of God’s big love story for his Ruth, the church, which He redeems through our Boaz, Jesus Christ.
In Boaz, we again see that God providentially answered the heart desire of Ruth to be blessed with favor in the eyes of someone (2:2). After being exceedingly gracious and kind to Ruth in both word and deed, Boaz continued to expand on his generosity to her. In so doing, Boaz was the first among God’s people to not only tolerate Ruth the Moabite, but also to elevate her social status to that of a godly and respected member of their society with dignity and honor of the first rank.
Because Ruth had become a new woman in her conversion to God, Boaz saw her not as the daughter of her Moabite father, but rather the daughter of their heavenly Father. Despite the fact that she was a poor immigrant, humbly laboring for her survival, Boaz invited her to feast with him and his employees. Furthermore, Boaz himself served her, which, like Jesus’ example with His disciples, demonstrated an amazing humility and gentlemanly chivalry.
Ruth was blessed to eat until she was full on perhaps the finest meal she had enjoyed in some time and was also given additional food for herself and her mother-in-law, Naomi. In Ruth 1:6, we read that God had blessed His people with food, and in Boaz’s actions, we witness a man who truly understood the grace of God and as a result treated both his employees and Ruth in the gracious manner that God had treated him.
As if his lavish treatment of Ruth wasn’t enough, Boaz again went beyond the letter of the Old Testament law all the way to grace in his treatment of Ruth. In a masculine and noble gesture, Boaz guaranteed the safety of Ruth, and he also assigned her a most advantageous place from which to glean. On top of that he ordered that she be ensured a very generous provision.
There are three kinds of people in the world. Takers have a sense of entitlement, seeing what is yours as theirs. Debtors have a sense of owing, as they expect whatever they give to be given back. But givers have a sense of generosity and give without any hope of receiving. In this way, givers are like God, who is the most generous of all. Understanding the generous nature of God’s grace, Boaz gave to Ruth generously through his words, his works, and his wealth.
- Have you ever experienced overwhelming kindness and generosity?
- What observations* can you make about Boaz’s kindness toward and inclusion of Ruth and Naomi? *Consider social status, background, and what was legally expected of Boaz.