In last week’s post in the Book of Ruth series we learned some lessons from Naomi about grief. We also see Ruth hold true to her commitment to her mother-in-law and go to Bethlehem with her. This week we will learn that hard work is rewarded.
Ruth’s Willingness to do Hard Work
Ruth knew that she would have to put forth some hard work in order to take care of herself and Naomi. She decided to go glean the fields behind the reapers. This would provide them with money and food.
And Ruth the Moabite said to Naomi, “Let me go to the fields and pick up the leftover grain behind anyone in whose eyes I find favor. Naomi said to her, “Go ahead, my daughter.”RUTH 2:2
In those days, the reapers were only allowed to harvest the fields once so the poor could glean what was left over. Ruth knew this would be hard work but she was willing to do this because it would meet their needs.
Boaz Sees Ruth
The first sentence in Ruth Chapter 2 tells us that Naomi had a wealthy relative named Boaz. He was related to her deceased husband and Ruth found herself gleaning his fields. When Boaz returned to the fields, he asked the overseer who Ruth was.
When Boaz found out that Ruth was the Moabite woman that returned with his relative Naomi, he was pleased with her. He was told that she had been there all morning and had only taken a short rest.
Boaz approached Ruth and told her not to glean on any other fields but his own. Boaz also offered his protection by telling his men not to lay a hand on her and he instructed her to stay with his women.
So Boaz said to Ruth, “My daughter, listen to me. Don’t go and glean in another field and don’t go away from here. Stay here with the women who work for me.
Watch the field where the men are harvesting, and follow along after the women. I have told the men not to lay a hand on you. And whenever you are thirsty, go and get a drink from the water jars the men have filled.”RUTH 2:8-9
Ruth Questions Boaz
She asked Boaz what she had done to find favor with him since she was a foreigner. His response was that he had heard about how she had loved her mother-in-law and left all that she knew to take care of her. Boaz told Ruth that she hoped that the Lord would repay her for all that she had done. Ruth thanked him for his kindness and started gleaning the fields again.
At this, she bowed down with her face to the ground. She asked him, “Why have I found such favor in your eyes that you notice me—a foreigner?”
Boaz replied, “I’ve been told all about what you have done for your mother-in-law since the death of your husband—how you left your father and mother and your homeland and came to live with a people you did not know before.
May the Lord repay you for what you have done. May you be richly rewarded by the Lord,the God of Israel, under whose wings you have come to take refuge.”
“May I continue to find favor in your eyes, my lord,” she said. “You have put me at ease by speaking kindly to your servant—though I do not have the standing of one of your servants.”RUTH 2:10-13
Boaz Provides for Ruth
When it was time for a meal, Boaz invited Ruth to join him. She ate until she was full and she went back to work. Boaz instructed his harvesters to allow her to in areas that the gleaners would not normally work and to leave stalks for her.
Noami Sees Ruth’s Hard Work
At the end of the day, Naomi asked where she had gleaned that day. As Ruth told Naomi about the kindness of Boaz, Naomi told Ruth that he was a close relative of her deceased husband. Naomi was happy that Boaz had shown his willingness to take care of his relatives. (Ruth 2:19-20)
Ruth told Naomi of the things that Boaz had told her and she gleaned the fields until the Barley and Wheat harvests were finished.
While Ruth Chapter 2 might seem of little consequence to your life today, there are things to be learned from this story that can be applied to daily life.
1. Hard Work will be Rewarded with Blessings
Boaz asked about Ruth because he didn’t recognize her but it is was the information he was given about her hard work that intrigued him. The fact that she had been there all day and had worked with only a short break, spoke volumes about Ruth.
What is to be learned by that? Well, things in life may really be hard right now but if you are willing to work hard, you will be rewarded with blessings. Most gleaners barely got enough each day to feed their family but because of her hard work, Ruth ended the day with more than she needed.
2. Your Reputation will Precede You
Boaz already knew about Ruth and how she left her family to take care of her mother-in-law. The whole town had probably been talking about it and Boaz had heard about her. When the overseer told Boaz that she was the Moabite woman that returned with Naomi, she found his favor.
How you treat people will build a reputation, whether it be good or bad. That reputation will precede your actions. If you have done well by others, as Ruth had done toward Naomi, then your reputation will open doors for you. If you have treated others poorly, then your reputation may make life really difficult.
In today’s lesson from the book of Ruth we learn that hard work with pay off with blessings. At this point in the story, Ruth has no idea how much her hard work will actually pay off! Find out more in the next edition!