Ruth is faithful to her commitment to care for Naomi when she decides to go and gather grain. This was part of the Jewish culture and a practice called “gleaning”. Owners of the fields would leave some of the grain behind so that those in need could come behind the harvesters and gather what was left to provide for their families. It was an honorable system that gave dignity to those in need. Boaz, a wealthy owner who endorsed this practice, was watching the workers when he noticed Ruth. She didn’t know it, but he had already heard about her and her dedication to her mother-in-law. When he took initiative on her behalf, Ruth fell at his feet and thanked him warmly. “What have I done to deserve such kindness?” she asked. “I am only a foreigner.” “Yes, I know,” Boaz replied. “But I also know about everything you have done for your mother-in-law since the death of your husband. I have heard how you left your father and mother and your own land to live here among complete strangers. May the LORD, the God of Israel, under whose wings you have come to take refuge, reward you fully for what you have done.” Ruth 2:10-12 (NLT)
What a surprise to Ruth that she, a poor immigrant widow, was seen as someone of value and appreciation! This is a reminder to us that whenever we are faithful to follow through on the things God assigns, no matter how behind-the-scenes our actions are, He knows and sees them all. Ruth didn’t serve Naomi for notoriety but to love and care for her. And now God is rewarding her faithfulness. She is a great role model for all of us.
Here are some reminders for us:
So, my dear brothers and sisters, be strong and immovable. Always work enthusiastically for the Lord, for you know that nothing you do for the Lord is ever useless. 1 Corinthians 15:58 (NLT)
The eyes of the LORD search the whole earth in order to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him. 2 Chronicles 16:9a (NLT)