The story continues with the development of the relationship between Ruth and Boaz as we learn more of each of the three main characters: Ruth, Naomi, and Boaz.
14 Now Boaz said to her at mealtime, “Come here, and eat of the bread, and dip your piece of bread in the vinegar.” So she sat beside the reapers, and he passed parched grain to her; and she ate and was satisfied, and kept some back. 15 And when she rose up to glean, Boaz commanded his young men, saying, “Let her glean even among the sheaves, and do not reproach her. 16 Also let grain from the bundles fall purposely for her; leave it that she may glean, and do not rebuke her.”
17 So she gleaned in the field until evening, and beat out what she had gleaned, and it was about an ephah of barley. 18 Then she took it up and went into the city, and her mother-in-law saw what she had gleaned.
So she brought out and gave to her what she had kept back after she had been satisfied.
19 And her mother-in-law said to her, “Where have you gleaned today? And where did you work? Blessed be the one who took notice of you.”
So she told her mother-in-law with whom she had worked, and said, “The man’s name with whom I worked today is Boaz.”
20 Then Naomi said to her daughter-in-law, “Blessed be he of the Lord, who has not forsaken His kindness to the living and the dead!” And Naomi said to her, “This man is a relation of ours, one of our close relatives.”
21 Ruth the Moabitess said, “He also said to me, ‘You shall stay close by my young men until they have finished all my harvest.’”
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.
Ruth 2:14-23, NKJV
The story continues. We consider these verses to be the development of the story as we learn more of each of the three main characters: Ruth, Naomi, and Boaz. Not only did Ruth continue to glean during the rest of barley harvest and then wheat harvest, but she had the opportunity to get to know Boaz and the other workers during the mealtimes. At the end of each day, she would take what she had gleaned back to the home of her mother-in-law, where she lived.
Knowing that Boaz was not only a man of good character, but that he was also a near relative, Naomi encouaged Ruth to continue working in his fields. We are told in verse 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.
As the story continues, we see what a comfort and blessing Ruth was to Naomi. Ruth could have chosen to return to the land of her birth as did Orpah, but not only did she remain with Naomi, but she also determined to provide food for both of them by gleaning in the fields after the workers had gathered in the harvest. Boaz, not only encouraged Ruth to continue gleaning in his fields, but he also told his workers to purposely let some of the grain fall from their blundles for Ruth.
The grim realities of being poor in a foreign land where a woman was not allowed to work for pay did not deter Ruth from doing what she was able to do to help provide sustenance for her and Naomi. Though not stated directly, it is implied that Ruth already knew and understood who God was and already, like Naomi, trusted in Him for her safe keeping.
As we consider this devotion, "The Story Continues," let us ask ourselves how well do we trust the Lord? Are we guilty of assuming that we are doing well because we are providing for ourselves? Do we trust in our station in life, our advanced knowledge, or in the people who employ us? As believers, let us look to God, alone, for our provisions. Yes, we should do everything we are able to do with the abilities and opportunities that have been given to us, but let us clearly understand that those very abilities and opportunities have been given to us by God Himself.
In a moment, everything we hold dear on this life could be taken from us. However, our relationship to Christ is eternal. It can never be taken away. Let us take comfort in the words of Paul from Romans 8:38 and 39:
For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
This is the God we love and serve. Go, today, in the peace and confidence of the Lord Jesus Christ. It is He who saves us, it is He who keeps us, and it is He who will bring us home to be with Him, forever!
What an amazing God we serve!