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Bible Commentaries

Bell's Commentary on the Bible

Ruth 2

Verses 1-23

  1. Intro:
    1. Last week - 1:19 “excited” = stirred, better translation.
      1. םוּה – “Pertaining to being in a surprised state, possibly implyingdismay over a situation, with a relatively large group of people not fully understanding a situation and so make inquiries about it.” (Swanson, J. (1997). Dictionary of Biblical Languages with Semantic Domains : Hebrew (Old Testament)(electronic ed.) (HGK2101). Oak Harbor: Logos Research Systems, Inc.)
    2. Boaz wasn’t even mentioned in ch.1, & Ruth doesn’t even know he exists. But once he is introduced things move swiftly.
      1. In ch.2 Ruth is in his field.
      2. In ch.3 Ruth is at his feet.
      3. In ch.4 Ruth is in his family. (Vance Havner)
    3. OUTLINE: Living in Faith; Living in Grace; Living in Hope.
  2. BRINGING IN THE SHEAVES!
    1. LIVING IN FAITH! (1-3)
    2. (1:23) Barley Harvest(March/April - 7 weeks) It always precedes Wheat Harvest (3rd week of April to 2nd week of June).
    3. (1) Kind of a general comment on it all.
    4. Boaz is finally introduced –
      1. He loves God; loves his fellow man; wealthy; kind; & single!
      2. Folks he’s “the most eligible Bachelor in Bethlehem!”
    5. (2) Though grieving, Naomi & Ruth knew life had to go on.
    6. Ruth, though a young believer knew she was permitted to glean in the fields during the harvest.
      1. Read - Lev.19:9,10.
      2. She trusted the God who is concerned about widows & the poor.
      3. Deut.10:18 “He defends the cause of the fatherless and the widow, and loves the alien, giving him food and clothing.”
        1. And God did not fail her!
    7. Ruth isn’t afraid of work…even menial work.
      1. This was Israel’s welfare program & a good one, it made those who could work, work for their food.
        1. There is nothing wrong with using a welfare program, that’s what they are there for, but a shame on those who abuse it.
      2. Her new job was menial, tiring, & probably degrading, yet it was done faithfully & diligently.
      3. Q: What’s your attitude when it comes to doing menial tasks?
    8. I don’t’ see anywhere in Scripture that God rewards lazy people! – He seems to guide, bless, use, & give direction to, those diligent in life’s business.
      1. Proverbs 12:24 “The hand of the diligent will rule, But the lazy man will be put to forced labor.”
      2. Proverbs 13:4 “The soul of a lazy man desires, and has nothing; But the soul of the diligent shall be made rich.”
      3. Be faithful to the “task at hand” & you will find direction.
    9. (3) She happened to come - “Is it fate or is it providence?” “Is it luck or is it God?”
      1. Not, “the Lord showed me this field.”
        1. Interesting, it seems so natural. – Yet, if she’s “1 field off” tell the shepherds in the field at Christ’s birth they might as well stay out in field!
      2. It seems that Ruth prefers not to make such a distinction.
      3. Yet Naomi immediately blesses the Lord for His Kindness in it(20).
      4. Apparent “chance happening” was overruled by God for blessing.
      5. Q: Can you think of similar experiences in your life?
    10. LIVING IN GRACE! (4-16)
    11. (4) Old world politeness - In modern civilization often times employer/employee relationship is a little different.
      1. Often the relationship is usually a financial & selfish relationship.
        1. Ex: Safeway in produce; “Piece Work” in the trades.
        2. Q: Are your numbers up or down?
      2. Bosses – how is your relationship with your employees?
        1. Q: What’s your greeting?
    12. (5) Then he noticed the stranger!
      1. Boaz handled himself as such the gentleman.
      2. It would have been improper for him to address her directly.
      3. He doesn’t want to infringe on the rights of any man in her life.
      4. He wants to seek information on her husband, or her father, or her master, for a girl would never be independent.
      5. Only when he finds there is no man responsible for her, only Naomi, whom he presumably knows to be a kinswoman, does he address Ruth directly.
    13. (6,7) Great work ethic – early starter.
      1. Maybe Teddy Roosevelt summed it up when he said, “I am on average man, but I work harder at it than the average man!”
    14. Determination –
      1. Jan Paderewski was asked by a fellow pianist if he could be ready to play a recital on short notice. The famous musician replied, “I am always ready. I have practiced 8 hours daily for 40 years.” The other pianist said, “I wish I had been born with such determination.” Paderewski replied, “We are all born with it. I just used mine.”
        1. And so, Ruth used hers!
    15. (8,9) Finding out who she is he immediately goes into protection mode.
      1. An unprotected young widow would be “fair game”.
    16. (10) I guess you could say “here was a Foreigner, who Fell on her Face, because she Found Favor From a Favored Farmer!”
    17. A great question for all of us to ask, “why have I found favor in your eyes, that you should take notice of me, since I am a foreigner?”
    18. (11) He’s done his homework on this gal. And praises her for her kindness to Naomi.
    19. Ruth fully faithful to her Mother-in-law, what a testimony!
      1. How is a good reputation formed? – “It is formed by the people who watch us at work/school, in our valley, in church. It comes by consistently living out the qualities you believe in.”
      2. Q: What reputation do you have in our Valley?
    20. (12) Under whose wings you have come –
      1. Could refer to the Angels wingspan on Mercy seat in the Holy of Holies. (Ex.25:17-22)
      2. Or, it could refer to a (Zoa)Zoomorphism? [comparing a part of God to an aspect of an animal]
        1. Ps.91:4 “He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge;”
      3. Being under His wings means to be in the place of security & fellowship with God.
    21. Come for refuge -הָסָח (Hāsâ) seek refuge, flee for protection, and thus figuratively put trust in (God), confide, hope in (God or person). (Harris, R. L., Harris, R. L., Archer, G. L., & Waltke, B. K. (1999, c1980). Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament (electronic ed.) (Page 307). Chicago: Moody Press.)
      1. Its used 154 x’s in the OT. - It’s similar to the NT Faith & belief.
      2. Ps.2:12 “Blessed are all those who put their trust in Him”
    22. (13) Dedication & Determination – “Let me go to the field”(2); “Let me glean & gather”(7); “Let me find favor”(13).
    23. (14) Lunch Date – Boaz: Kind & hospitable now invites her to sit & join them for lunch.
      1. As singles, I think the best & “safest” way to get to know someone of the opposite sex is in a group.
        1. And so he fusses over her at the lunchtime picnic.
    24. Interesting just as Boaz protected & provided for Ruth before they marry, so the Lord did for us.
      1. And when Jesus is the host no guest goes empty from the table!
    25. (15,16) He instructs his reapers to deliberately leave behind some grain for her.
    26. LIVING IN HOPE! (17-23)
    27. (17) What a hard worker! – working morning till evening.
      1. Prov.31:27b she “does not eat the bread of idleness.”
      2. “It is better to wear out than rust out!”
    28. (18) A Naomi doggie bag!
    29. (19) Wow, check you out Ruthy!
    30. (20) All of this comes from God’s favor(2,13) & kindness(20).
    31. Well, it wasn’t the bitterness of Naomi, but the faithfulness of Ruth that changed the picture. But now Naomi is able to see this wasn’t happenstance, chance, an accident, coincidence, a fluke or “the luck of the Irish”, this was the hand of God!!!
      1. Chance is banished from the faith of Christians, for they see the hand of God in everything.
      2. She was led to this field, to come face-to-face w/the one man God had chosen to redeem her & marry her!
        1. Single ladies – Can God do the same today?
          1. You don’t have to strive, engineer, nor manipulate to find the man Gods picked for you.
        2. Just be about your everyday business like Ruth!
      3. “Trivial matters of today & tomorrow may involve consequences of the highest importance.” (Spurgeon)
    32. The kinsman-redeemer was responsible for protecting the interests of needy members of the extended family.
      1. To provide an heir for a brother who had died (Deut 25:5-10)
        To redeem the land that a poor relative had sold outside the family
        (Lev.25:25-28)
        To redeem a relative who had been sold into slavery (Lev.25:47-49)
        To avenge the killing of a relative. (Numb35:19-21)
    33. Naomi once empty & w/o hope, was now beginning to see how God might fill her again.
    34. (21,22) Ruth is a one field woman!
      1. She ran the risk of being rude to this hospitality & kindness.
      2. Our hearts should be to only “glean” the corners in our Fathers field than take the “whole harvest” from any other.
    35. (23) Little did she know that amid the sheaves she would find a husband. That he would make her joint owner of all those acres. That this poor foreigner would become ancestor of the great Messiah!
      1. God is very good to those who trust Him & often surprises us with “unlooked for” blessings.
    36. Instead of living on leftovers, Ruth became a friend of “the lord of the harvest”, who gave her generous gifts.
      1. Can you see in this a picture of what Christ has done for us?
      2. Boaz a type of Christ – Who is kind toward us. Has shown us favor. Protects us, provides for us.
    37. End: Ps.126:5,6
      1. Knowles Shaw(the Singing Evangelist) wrote Bringing in the Sheaves in 1874. (Read story)
    38. Prayer: Lord, be as gracious w/us your servants as you were with Ruth.
Copyright Statement
These files are the property of Brian Bell.
Text Courtesy of Calvary Chapel of Murrieta. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Bell, Brian. "Commentary on Ruth 2". "Bell's Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/cbb/ruth-2.html. 2017.