Boaz having asked his servant concerning Ruth, he approached the damsel and addressed her most kindly.
Boaz’s chief and special reason for doing good to Ruth was that she was a guest in Israel, a dove nestling beneath Jehovah’s wings. Religion was uppermost in his soul, and therefore he rejoiced in the woman who had left all to fallow the living God. Meanwhile Ruth behaved in the most modest and humble manner, never ceasing to be herself. She toiled on happily all day, supported by the love which she felt towards Naomi at home, for whom she esteemed it to be a great pleasure to work. When children are kind to their parents they are in the way of blessing. Little did Ruth imagine that she would one day be married to the owner of the fields in which she gleaned: there are good things in store for those who walk before God aright.
Matthew Henry from this passage has drawn the following lessons. “Ruth finished her day’s work, (verse 17.) She took care not to lose time, for she gleaned until even. We must not be weary of well-doing, because in due season we shall reap. She did not make an excuse to sit still, or go home till the evening. Let us ‘work the works of him that sent us while it is day.’
She scarce used, much less did she abuse the kindness of Boaz, for though he ordered his servants to leave handfuls for her, she continued to glean the scattered ears. She took care not to lose what she had gathered, but threshed it herself that she might the easier carry it home, and might have it ready for use. ‘The slothful man roasteth not that which he look in hunting,’ and so loseth the benefit of it; ‘but the substance of a diligent man is precious.’ Ruth had gathered it ear by ear; but when she had put it all together, it was an ephah of barley, or about four pecks. Many a little makes a great deal. It is encouraging to industry, that ‘in all labour,’ even that of gleaning, ‘there is profit;’ but ‘the talk of the lips lendeth only to penury.’ When she had got her corn into as little compass as she could, she took it up herself, and carried it into the city, though had she asked them, it is likely some of Boaz’s servants would have done that for her. We should study to be as little as possible troublesome to those that are kind to us. She did not think it either too hard or too mean a service, to carry her corn herself into the city; but was pleased with what she had got by her own industry, and careful to secure it. And let us thus take care that ‘we lose not those things which we have wrought,’ or which we have gained.”
O Lord how happy should we be
If we could cast our care on thee,
And glean our portion day by day
In fields where thou dost bid us stay.
O teach us this choice way of life,
Serenely free from anxious strife,
To do our heavenly Father’s will
And trust his love and bounty still.
Jesus, spotless Lamb of God,
Thou hast bought me with thy blood,
I would value nought beside
I am thine, and thine alone,
This I gladly, fully own;
And, in all my works and ways,
Only now would seek thy praise.
Help me to confess thy name,
Bear with joy thy cross and shame,
Only seek to follow thee,
Though reproach my portion be.
Jesus, our Kinsman and our God,
Array’d in majesty and blood,
Thou art our life; our souls in thee
Possess a full felicity.
All our immortal hopes are laid
In thee, our surety and our head;
Thy cross, thy cradle, and thy throne,
Are big with glories yet unknown.
Oh, let my soul for ever lie
Beneath the blessings of thine eye;
‘Tis heaven on earth, ’tis heaven above,
To see thy face, and taste thy love.
Thou, who a tender Parent art,
Regard a parent’s plea;
Our offspring, with an anxious heart,
We now commend to thee.
Our children are our greatest care,
A charge which thou hast given:
In all thy graces let them share,
And all the joys of heaven.