Now there was a wealthy and influential man in Bethlehem named Boaz, who was a relative of Naomi’s husband, Elimelech. One day Ruth the Moabite said to Naomi, “Let me go out into the harvest fields to pick up the stalks of grain left behind by anyone who is kind enough to let me do it.” Naomi replied, “All right, my daughter, go ahead.” So Ruth went out to gather grain behind the harvesters. And as it happened, she found herself working in a field that belonged to Boaz, the relative of her father-in-law, Elimelech. While she was there, Boaz arrived from Bethlehem and greeted the harvesters. “The Lord be with you!” he said. “The Lord bless you!” the harvesters replied. Then Boaz asked his foreman, “Who is that young woman over there? Who does she belong to?” And the foreman replied, “She is the young woman from Moab who came back with Naomi. She asked me this morning if she could gather grain behind the harvesters. She has been hard at work ever since, except for a few minutes’ rest in the shelter.” Boaz went over and said to Ruth, “Listen, my daughter. Stay right here with us when you gather grain; don’t go to any other fields. Stay right behind the young women working in my field. See which part of the field they are harvesting, and then follow them. I have warned the young men not to treat you roughly. And when you are thirsty, help yourself to the water they have drawn from the well.”
Devotion by Chris Shiver
We are living in a time where messages from leaders encourage us to hate & refuse hospitality to strangers & foreigners. And yet here in the scriptures we see a prosperous landowner going out of his way to show kindness to a stranger from another land who is obviously in need. And if you read the rest of the Book of Ruth, and the genealogies found in the Gospels and other parts of the Bible we see that the result of the relationship that grows out of this kindness will be a great leader for Israel (King David) and the Savior for all of us. How might history have been changed if Boaz had been more concerned with his own personal wealth & less about others? Who knows when we show kindness to someone who is strange to us if we may be entertaining angels?
Jesus, I pray that I will be open to all I meet, not just those I know & feel comfortable with, but also with those who I may not seem to understand or have any common experience with. May I see at least a little bit of you in each person. Amen.