Ruth 2:17-23

17 So she gleaned in the field until evening, and beat out what she had gleaned, and it was about an ephah of barley. 18 Then she took it up and went into the city, and her mother-in-law saw what she had gleaned. So she brought out and gave to her what she had kept back after she had been satisfied.

19 And her mother-in-law said to her, “Where have you gleaned today? And where did you work? Blessed be the one who took notice of you.”

So she told her mother-in-law with whom she had worked, and said, “The man’s name with whom I worked today is Boaz.”

20 Then Naomi said to her daughter-in-law, “Blessed be he of the Lord, who has not forsaken His kindness to the living and the dead!” And Naomi said to her, “This man is a relation of ours, one of a]our close relatives.”

21 Ruth the Moabitess said, “He also said to me, ‘You shall stay close by my young men until they have finished all my harvest.’ ”

22 And Naomi said to Ruth her daughter-in-law, “It is good, my daughter, that you go out with his young women, and that people do not b]meet you in any other field.” 23 So she stayed close by the young women of Boaz, to glean until the end of barley harvest and wheat harvest; and she dwelt with her mother-in-law.

All day long, Ruth labored with a happy and hopeful heart. How will Naomi relate to her experiences? We last saw Naomi sharing her bitterness with the women of Bethlehem and blaming God for her sorrow and poverty.

In Ruth 2:19-20 we hear a new word from Naomi’s lips: “blessed!” We have moved from bitterness to blessedness. What brought about this change in attitude on the part of Naomi? This change came because she had some new hope in her life and the one who gave that hope was Boaz.

Wiersbe writes about this change: “Naomi had hope because of who Boaz was—a near kinsman who was wealthy and influential. As we shall see, a near kinsman could rescue relatives from poverty and give them a new beginning (Lev. 25:25-34). But she also had hope because of what Boaz did: He showed kindness to Ruth and took a personal interest in her situation.”

When Ruth shared what Boaz had said, Naomi’s hope grew even stronger because the words of Boaz revealed his love for Ruth and his desire to make her happy.”

We who believe in Jesus should rejoice in hope. 2 Peter 1:4 reads: “by which he has granted to us his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire.”

             As the hope of these two widows in Bethlehem was centered in a in Bethlehem person (Boaz), our hope is centered in the Son of God. Through faith in Christ, we have been born into a “living hope” (I Pet. 1:3), and because it is a “living hope, it grows stronger each day and produces fruit because it is rooted in Christ.       We now have Naomi explaining to Ruth the law of “the kinsman-redeemer” (Lev. 25:47-55).

Chuck Missler, in his study notes on Ruth writes about the kinsman-redeemer and the law of Redemption:

“Israel belongs to God. When Joshua entered the land, it was granted to the 12 tribes. That land was to stay in that tribe. You could “sell” your land, which was really more of what we would consider a “lease” (you sold the rights to use the land for a while). In the year of Jubilee, the land would return to the original owners.

When you sold your land, the title deed would also include the rules for title redemption. The law required a procedure so that if your next of kin would show up there was some procedure where he could purchase back the unused years (called “redeeming the land”).

Jeremiah was instructed to buy land right before going into captivity (Jeremiah 25). After captivity, Jeremiah’s descendants will come back and claim the land. The title deed would be a scroll, on the back of which would detail the procedure for redemption.

This whole concept becomes important when you encounter the seven- sealed book, “written within and on the backside and sealed with seven seals” (Rev 5).

Naomi cautioned Ruth to obey the command of Boaz. Ruth was motivated by joyfully anticipating the day of redemption. (See Rom. 8:23 and Eph. 4:30.)

  “And now abide faith, hope, love” (I Cor.13:13 NKJV), and they still abide with us in Christ.


                 Larry Miles is Co-Editor of Word & Work and attends Cherry St. Church of Christ in              

                                                                                                                                New Albany, IN.