In Ruth 2, we find Ruth engaged in a variety of activities, each of which emphasizes an important aspect of the believer’s life.
First, we see Ruth bowing. She had a humble and contrite spirit. She was willing to take the low place and glean in the fields of another, even Boaz. Ruth said to Naomi, “Let me now go to the field, and glean ears of corn after him in whose sight I shall find grace” (v 2). And again, “She fell on her face, and bowed herself to the ground, and said unto him, Why have I found grace in thine eyes?” (v 10).
Lovely to see in a child of God the spirit of meekness and humility. Isaiah wrote, “But to this man will look, even to him that is poor and of a contrite spirit, and trembleth at my word” (Isa 66:2). “For God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble” (1 Pet 5:5).
Secondly, we find Ruth bending. She was not afraid of much hard work. She didn’t give up during the heat of the day, but kept at her task of gathering food for herself and Naomi. In verse 7, the nameless servant, a picture of the Holy Spirit, says concerning her, “So she came and hath continued even from the morning until now.” It is easy, isn’t it, to become discouraged? We can maintain attendance at meetings and yet lack the fervent exercise which ought to be found in us. Ruth kept at it, we should as well. We read in I Corinthians 15:58, “Be ye steadfast unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord. Romans 12:11 reads, “Not slothful in business”; a better translation would be “unflagging in zeal”, or not becoming slack like a bowstring in our lives before the Lord.
Ruth Beating out
In verse 17, Ruth is found Beating out what she had gleaned. Wonderful lesson for the believer desiring to understand the truths contained in the Word of God! Speaking of the believers at Berea, Luke says, “These were more noble than those at Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so” (Acts 17:11). Do we satisfy ourselves with cursory readings of the Scripture, or do we not rest until we have got at the heart of the passage and understood the meaning of it in its proper context?
Verse 18 shows Ruth Bringing of what she had gleaned to Naomi. Those who feed and meditate on Scripture will have something to share for the encouragement, edification and enrichment of their fellow saints.
And what an encouragement it is to have fellowship with another believer who is enjoying the Word of God in freshness and power! It is like the dew of Hermon.
As we move towards the close of this lovely chapter, we next discover Ruth Beaming. Naomi asks her where she has wrought this day, but Ruth has thoughts, not of where, but of whom. She is taken up alone with Boaz, a type of the glorious Lord, our Mighty Man of wealth and so replies, “The man’s name with whom I wrought today is Boaz” (v 19). The hymn says,
“My heart is full of Christ,
And longs His glorious matters to declare;
Of Him we make our loftier songs,
And cannot from His praise forbear”
David exulted, “My heart is inditing a good matter: I speak of the things which I have made touching the King: my tongue is the pen of a ready writer” (Psa 45.1).
Once she has experienced the Blessedness of the grace and kindness of Boaz, her heart is fully satisfied, and we find Ruth Abiding. “So she kept fast by the maidens of Boaz to glean unto the end of barley harvest and of wheat harvest; and dwelt with her mother-in-law” (v 23). Ruth’s thoughts of her beloved remind us of the spouse’s words, “I sat down under his shadow with great delight, And his fruit was sweet to my taste. He brought me to the banqueting house, And his banner over me was love” (Songs 2:3).
Why would the heart that has tasted of His love want to be with any other company than the place that owns His Name alone? Ruth had found her place with the people of God. Nothing could stay her devotion to Naomi and gleaning in the field of Boaz. Shouldn’t we feel the same attractive force to the place where His honor dwells?
Gathered to Thy Name Lord Jesus,
Losing sight of all but Thee.
Oh what joy Thy presence brings us,
Calling up our hearts to Thee.
May God use these few simple thoughts to keep us cleaving to Him!