As we jump back into the study of Ruth and start Chapter 2 we meet Boaz. As it turns out, Boaz is a relative of Naomi's late husband. On this day, Boaz has returned from Bethlehem (his fields were outside the city gates). As he walks thru his fields and greets the harvesters, he notices Ruth. He immediately asks who she is... his exact words being "To whom does she belong?" (Remember in last week's post we looked at the custom in those times of a woman "belonging" to either her father or her husband? Yep.. that applies here. Boaz wasn't being demeaning to Ruth at all. For this time period, it was perfectly natural to ask the question in this manner. )
One thing about Boaz that struck me almost immediately was this.... he must of been a kind and Godly man. Look at how he greeted his workers as he walked thru the fields.... "May the Lord be with you!" and "May the Lord bless you!" were the words he said to them all (wouldn't it be great to be greeted in such a manner in our workplaces today?). Also, I read his words of inquiry about Ruth as concern for the young woman working in the fields alone.
Do you, like me, find it interesting that Ruth just happened to wind up gathering grain in the field of Boaz? And, how about the fact that Boaz just happened to walk thru the fields while Ruth was there gathering grain?
If you have read the book of Ruth, you know where this is leading. Even here, in the beginning of the story, we can see God's hand leading Ruth and Naomi. All along (even in the heartache and grief they both have suffered) God had a plan, a very special plan, for each of these women.
What a beautiful story we have right here for us to remember whenever we just don't understand why we are experiencing the difficulties or burdens in our lives. We can be assured that God's hand is always there.... regardless of what is going on in our lives. He is there walking beside us, always loving, and always guiding as long as we are willing to follow.
How exciting it will be to read more of the story of Ruth and Naomi and how it begins to include Boaz in the scriptures ahead. I love to look back and see how God worked to lead me or my family to the point we are currently. And, though I already know the outcome of Ruth and Noami's story, I'm looking forward to paying closer attention to the paths God leads them down in the verses ahead.