– Inyang Okutinyang
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Boaz takes to Ruth and has her eat in his company at mealtime. When she leaves to go home for the day, he measures out a generous quantity of grain for her to take home for herself and Naomi. He instructs the reapers to deliberate let some sheaves fall on her path so she would glean from them. Did you notice something Boaz said to Ruth? “The Lord repay your work, and a full reward be given you by the Lord God of Israel, under whose wings you have come for refuge.” Any time anyone sets their heart to seek the Lord, such a person will be richly rewarded and the Lord will be the protector and provider for that person.
10 So she fell on her face, bowed down to the ground, and said to him, “Why have I found favor in your eyes, that you should take notice of me, since I am a foreigner?”
11 And Boaz answered and said to her, “It has been fully reported to me, all that you have done for your mother-in-law since the death of your husband, and how you have left your father and your mother and the land of your birth, and have come to a people whom you did not know before.
12 The Lord repay your work, and a full reward be given you by the Lord God of Israel, under whose wings you have come for refuge.”
13 Then she said, “Let me find favor in your sight, my lord; for you have comforted me, and have spoken kindly to your maidservant, though I am not like one of your maidservants.”
33 But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.
On getting back home, Ruth narrates to Naomi how the Lord had ordered her steps and shown her favour with Boaz. Naomi advises her to stay in Boaz’s field and not be seen elsewhere gleaning grain.
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 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.
If Ruth didn’t have such good cordial relationship with her mother-in-law, there is no way she could have received such good, destiny-guiding advice from her. She would have cut her off. That is why the devil attacks relationships like this, because it serves his purpose of making people live in such a way that they avoid their destinies unknowingly.
When the winnowing season came along, Naomi once again advises Ruth on what to do in securing a good future for her daughter-in-law. She instructs her on the stipulation in God’s law, where a near-kinsman would take up the responsibility of a dead relative, purchase his estate which could include marrying his widow. Here is Ruth’s response to Naomi.
5 And she said to her, “All that you say to me I will do.”
Evidently Elimelech had mortgaged his estate including land, and Naomi had advised Ruth to approach Boaz – a wealthy land owner – to ask him to redeem her late father-in-law’s estate. The estate would then devolve to Ruth the surviving daughter-in-law. Think of what Orpah has missed out on for not following God whole-heartedly all the way. Who knows what she would have gained had she done what Ruth did?
When Ruth approaches Boaz about this proposal, it becomes obvious that God had already been dealing with him about it. He does not question her or tell her, “Let me go and think about it” or “Let me pray about it”. When God is working, He deals with both of the parties, not one side trying to convince the other about God’s will.
Boaz hatches out a strategy to approach the men in his clan about acquiring Elimelech’s estate, as well as marrying Ruth, and everything falls into place. God is a Master Planner, Designer and Actualizer.
Ruth is more than restored, rewarded and compensated for the tragedies and troubles of the past. That is our God. He is still the same today!