Life-Study of Joshua, Judges & Ruthby Witness Lee
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
After Ruth’s husband died, she had two choices: remain in Moab or go with Naomi to be a foreigner in Israel. Ruth chose to go to the land of Israel because she probably had heard a great deal concerning God, God’s promise, and the good land. She had heard the good news sufficiently for her to make a wonderful choice. After arriving in the land of Israel with Naomi, Ruth exercised her right. This matter is covered in chapter two.
God’s commandment concerning the reaping of the harvest was that Jehovah would bless the children of Israel if they left the corners of their fields and the gleanings for the poor, the sojourners, the orphans, and the widows. Concerning this, Leviticus 23:22 says, “When you reap the harvest of your land, you shall not completely reap the corners of your field, neither shall you gather the gleanings of your harvest; you shall leave them for the poor and for the alien.” A similar word is found in Leviticus 19:9-10. Deuteronomy 24:19 says, “When you reap your harvest in your field and you forget a sheaf in the field, you shall not turn back to gather it; it shall be for the sojourner, the orphan, and the widow, in order that Jehovah your God may bless you in all your undertakings.” This shows not only the lovingkindness of God and how great, fine, and detailed He is, but shows also the rich produce of the good land.
God wanted to bless the harvest of the Israelites in the good land, but this blessing had a condition—that something would be left for the poor. The people would not be allowed to reap completely the corners of their field. However, in the ordinance of the law given by God through Moses regarding reaping, the size of the corners of the field was not specified. The size depended on the landlord’s faith in Jehovah. The larger one’s faith in Jehovah was, the larger the corners of the field would be. I believe that it was the practice of Boaz to obey this ordinance. He must have had great faith in Jehovah. Under God’s sovereignty this ordinance seems to have been written for one person—Ruth.
Naomi returned to Bethlehem with her daughter-in-law Ruth at the beginning of the barley harvest (Ruth 1:22b). Barley, which ripens earlier than other grains, typifies the resurrected Christ (John 6:9-10, 56-58).
“Now Naomi had a relative of her husband’s, a man of great wealth, from Elimelech’s family; and his name was Boaz” (Ruth 2:1). God is sovereign, and in His sovereignty He brought Ruth from Moab to the city of Bethlehem. Before she arrived there, He had prepared a rich, generous man by the name of Boaz.
Ruth gained Naomi’s permission to go gleaning (vv. 2-3). Ruth asked Naomi to let her go to the field and glean among the ears of grain after him in whose sight Ruth had found favor. Naomi told Ruth to go, and she went and gleaned in the field after the reapers, happening to glean in a portion of the field belonging to Boaz.
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