Boaz approached his men with a smile. He knew nobody had a better crew than his when it came to harvesting barley. “Shalom.”
The foreman stopped swinging his sickle and stood up. “The LORD bless you.”
Boaz did a double-take at the newest member of the gleaners. “Who in the world is that?”
The foreman smiled. “That’s Mahlon’s widow, Ruth, from Moab. She’s a hard worker. Only took one break all morning.”
“There wasn’t anything wrong with Mahlon’s eyesight.”
“Wait til you see her close up.”
Boaz looked at his crew. “If any of you lays one finger on her you’ll have to answer to me directly. Do I make myself clear?”
Every head nodded. “Yes, Sir.”
The closer Boaz got to Ruth the more he agreed with his foreman’s assessment. When they made eye contact he felt like he was 15 again. The dull ache in his back reminded him of reality. “My daughter, don’t go to anybody else’s field to glean. I’ve told my men to leave you alone. Stay with my crew until the end of the harvest.”
Ruth put her face at Boaz’s feet so quickly he thought she’d passed out. “Why have I, a foreigner, found such favor in your eyes?”
Boaz helped her back to her feet. “I’m impressed with all I’ve heard about you. May our LORD bless you for leaving your family to live with your mother-in-law and her people.”
Ruth swallowed. “You are too kind, Sir. This is better than I expected to be treated.”
Boaz left her and helped get lunch ready for everybody. When Ruth came over he motioned for her to come to his table. “Come over here, Ruth. Enjoy some bread dipped in wine vinegar.”
She took the bread from his hand and dipped it. She felt too self-conscious to speak with all the eyes that were staring at her. Boaz cleared his throat loudly. All the man looked away and went back to eating. She took the roasted grain Boaz gave her and sat under a tree alone.
Boaz leaned over to his foreman. “If she takes some heads from stalks still standing don’t say anything to her. As a matter of fact, drop a few extra heads on the ground in front of her to find. That there is a one-of-a-kind woman.”
The foreman smiled. “You thinking about redeeming her? You can you know.”
Boaz chucked. “A woman like that can have any man she wants. She’ll probably move back to Moab before she has to put up with an old goat like me.”
At the end of a long day of winnowing barley Boaz stood and watched the men swirl around the fire. “I’m not as young as you fella’s. Do me a favor and keep the ruckus down so this old man can get some shut-eye on the backside of this grain.”
The foreman looked at him seriously. “You gonna need some help getting back there, Boaz?”
Boaz held up one finger, then, waved it down in front of him. “I’ll see you in the morning.”
The men’s chuckle faded as Boaz walked away from them.
During the night Boaz turn and kicked something with his foot. As he sat up he realized his feet were cold. He heard someone move near his feet and take a breath. “Who are you?”
“I’m Ruth, your servant. Cover me with the edge of your garment since you are my kinsman-redeemer.”
“Ruth, are you sure you know what you’re asking?”
“Yes, Naomi explained it to me. It means you’ll be the father of our children. I want that more than anything. I’ve never met any man as kind as you.”
Boaz took a deep breath. “The problem is there’s one man closer to you than I am. I’ll see if he wants to redeem. If he does there’s nothing I can do, but, if he doesn’t I will most certainly fulfill my duty as your kinsman.”
Is that a love story, or what? It’s actually in the Bible just like I presented it here. Now you see what people are missing by not reading their whole Bible.
Here we have two virtuous people finding each other in the most-unlikeliest place, a barley field.
I don’t know for sure that Boaz was a senior citizen, but, there was enough of an age difference that Boaz referred to Ruth as “daughter.”
They’re at opposite ends of the wealth spectrum. Both are currently unmarried.
We know why Ruth is unmarried. Her husband died in Moab where Naomi’s family moved to get away from a famine.
You’re probably wondering why a wealthy man like Boaz was unmarried. It likely has to do with his recent ancestry. According to Matthew 1:5 Boaz’s mom was a foreigner with a sullied reputation. Who would give their daughter to someone whose mom was the prostitute Rahab from Jericho?”
Now you see why it’s so enticing to dole out back-story in little bits.
God thought enough of these two women that He included their names in the genealogy of Jesus. What made them so special? They both forsook their own people’s gods to follow the One true God.
What about you? Are you willing to walk away from your past and all that entails?
If you do decide to follow the One true God with all your heart there’s a book more special than the Bible God will put your name in.
According to the book of Revelation there’s a book in Heaven called “The Book of Life,” or, “The Lamb’s Book of Life.” Once your name is placed in that book you’re guaranteed a place in Heaven forever.
I don’t understand why anybody would turn that deal down. Not only will you get reserved seating, but, God will also help you change into a better person now.
So, what do you say? Will you take that leap of faith today?
Your future destiny is determined by how you answer that question.
Choose wisely, my friend.
I’ll see you later. Wade