The Book of Ruth: more than enough
At the moment I’m reading through the book of Ruth, so I’ll be sharing a few words on Ruth in the weeks to come. These posts are short and unpolished! Let me know your own thoughts on the book of Ruth in the comments; I’d love to hear your encouragements from God’s Word. If you’re looking for a commentary on the book of Ruth, try this great book by Barry Webb, * covering several of my favorite Bible books.
“And she ate until she was satisfied, and she had some left over.”
There’s a theme in these verses of having more than enough. Ruth is blessed to overflowing. There’s nothing stingy about the Lord “under whose wings you have come to take refuge.”
Such an attentive man
Boaz himself comes into sharper focus in these verses. We’ve seen him showing favor to Ruth in the protection he offers her. And now he’s fulfilling his own prayer in verse 12, “The Lord repay you for what you have done, and a full reward be given you by the Lord.”
I love how attentive Boaz is. He makes sure Ruth has a seat, he makes sure she has bread and wine to drink, he makes sure the roasted grain reaches her, he makes sure she has more than enough. And when she finishes her lunch and returns to work, he makes sure there will be more than enough barley to pick up. He goes above and beyond.
In these verses we’re introduced to Boaz as the redeemer, so it’s not jumping too far ahead to see Boaz as a type of Christ. What a richness to his attention! Nothing stingy or impersonal about the Redeemer. He makes sure we have more than enough.
Naomi: no longer empty
So Ruth finished in the fields, and goes home to show Naomi all her barley. Naomi can’t miss it, and it’s repeated so that we don’t miss it either: Ruth “brought out and gave her what food she had left over after being satisfied.”
And I can’t miss the change that comes over Naomi – she is so excited! Where did it come from? Whose hand has blessed us? Naomi isn’t empty any more. She’s able to speak of “the Lord, whose kindness has not forsaken the living or the dead”. She isn’t called Mara now. She’s now the one pronouncing blessings over Boaz.
Boaz: more than just a nice man
The overflowing barley is more than food; it’s hope for the future. Ruth didn’t know it before, but Boaz is a kinsman redeemer – a family member of Elimelech with responsibility for maintaining his inheritance.
The Lord hasn’t forgotten His covenant promises. Elimelech and his sons may have passed away, but the family will continue. Boaz and his children will uphold it. Elimelech’s share in the Promised Land is preserved and the Lord is seen remember the living and the dead.
At the moment it’s just a hope for the future. Ruth keeps gleaning in the fields of Boaz until the end of the barley and wheat harvests. But the whole narrative has turned on the identity of Boaz – he is the redeemer. The kindness he’s showing is rich with promise.
More than enough for every believer
Of course the redeemer will change the fortunes of Ruth and Naomi, but we know the blessing flows a thousand times wider than one family. Through that family, the whole world will be blessed. Everyone who puts themselves under the wings of the Lord will be blessed through the Redeemer.
More than enough. Ruth’s experience of the kindness of the Lord through the kindness of his redeemer is one of overflowing abundance. There is nothing stingy about Him and about His rescue. Nothing matter of fact. Nothing perfunctory.
It’s interesting seeing the eyes and voice of Naomi in these verses. She’s known the Lord a long time; she’s known the hardness of a broken world; she too has put herself under the wings of her covenant God; she has still known a season of suffering.
And here she sees His faithfulness again. She is a woman filled with hope because she knows God has not forgotten the living and the dead. She sees He is more than enough for her family.
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