As I studied these scriptures I discovered some other insights that I just had to share with you before we moved along any further.
Do you notice how in verse 7 the servant tells Boaz that Ruth asked, "May I follow the harvesters and gather grain among the bundles?" Any other time I have read this in the past I thought absolutely nothing of it other than it was the "right" thing to do before she just walked out in this man's field and starting gathering up his grain.
However, a look back at Jewish law tells us that Boaz was required to allow Ruth to gather grain in his fields. In Leviticus 19:9-10 we find these words....
"When you gather in the harvest of your land, you must not completely harvest the corner of your field, and you must not gather up the gleanings of your harvest. You must not pick your vineyard bare, and you must not gather up the fallen grapes of your vineyard. You must leave them for the poor and the foreigner. I am the Lord your God."
Then, just a few chapters later we find these words in Leviticus 23:22....
"When you gather in the harvest of your land, you must not completely harvest the corner of your field, and you must not gather up the gleanings of your harvest. You must leave them for the poor and the foreigner. I am the Lord your God. "
With the law presented in these scriptures, the disadvantaged (widows, orphans, poor) were allowed to gather grain from the unharvested parts of the field. They could also go back over areas that had already been harvested and pick up grain that had been missed or had fallen (this was called gleaning).
Since it was mentioned twice in the course of just several chapters, I would say that God took caring for the disadvantaged seriously. Not only was it mentioned twice in Leviticus, but I also found one reference that stated caring for the poor is mentioned 136 times in the Bible. I'd say God places a high priority on this, wouldn't you?
In closing I want to share several of the questions I've been asking myself over the last couple of days as I've been looking at this scripture.....
~ Do I share with the disadvantaged as God would have me to?
~ Do I share appropriately of my time?
~ Do I share appropriately of my money?
~ If not, what steps would God have me take to change and place a higher priority on this in my life and the life of my family?