Boaz’s Kindness to Ruth
Open Your Bible
Ruth 2:4-17, Leviticus 19:9-10, Psalm 36:7-9, Matthew 25:35-46
I’m grinning as I sit in the coffee shop typing this. Thankfully, there’s no one at the table facing mine.
I can’t help it. This story is why I can’t get enough of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Because do you know who is declared royalty in the eyes of God? A poor Moabite widow gleaning barley. I can’t even stand it; I love this story so much.
Let me back up and explain. Here we have our dear Ruth, busting her tail in the barley fields in an honest effort to keep herself and her mother-in-law alive. She “happened” into the field of Boaz. And he “happened” to take notice of her. And (spoiler alert) all these little happenings will end with Ruth and Boaz at the marriage altar one day, a beautiful ending to an abrupt and terrible life twist.
The thing is, none of this was happenstance. The hand of a gracious God led Naomi back to Bethlehem and led Ruth to go with her. The hand of a gracious God led Ruth to Boaz’s fields that first day and turned Boaz’s heart toward the hard-working widow from a foreign land. What appeared as coincidence was God’s hand continually at work.
In the same upside-down way as the gospel, Ruth’s simple and consistent acts of faithfulness have Kingdom-size ramifications.
Ruth was not some long-time, super-religious believer who earned herself a spot in God’s capital-S Story (and even in the lineage of Christ!). She was just a young woman doing hard things because she believed it was what she was called to do. We don’t hear this in her words, but we see it in her actions. Her faithfulness is not bright and shiny; her work is not award-winning or perfectly planned. She was simply following God’s lead, taking the next right step.
Like Ruth, we cannot see our whole story, let alone His Story. We aren’t meant to. But we can follow God’s lead, knowing that our yeses to Him make a kingdom-sized difference, even when no one sees.
Are you sitting in a quiet apartment this morning, wondering if your next steps matter? Are you driving to an office where you’ll work tirelessly without thanks or appreciation, just like yesterday? Are you settling in for another day at home, serving little hearts in a million unnoticed ways?
Hear these words from Boaz to Ruth as my prayer over you today:
May the LORD reward you for what you have done, and may you receive a full reward from the LORD God of Israel, under whose wings you have come for refuge.
And as you do the work set before you, know this: your small and steady acts of faithfulness are being used in big and beautiful ways in the kingdom of God.