Ruth: 2:17-23; Naomi starts to awaken from her bitterness.

Class Outline:

Title: Ruth: 2:17-23; Naomi starts to awaken from her bitterness.



RUT 2:17 So she gleaned in the field until evening. Then she beat out what she had gleaned, and it was about an ephah of barley.


RUT 2:18 And she took it up and went into the city, and her mother-in-law saw what she had gleaned. She also took it out and gave Naomi what she had left after she was satisfied.


Ruth brought the leftover from lunch and gave it to Naomi. Naomi would have also recognized that Ruth had far more grain then a normal gleaner would get.


RUT 2:19 Her mother-in-law then said to her, "Where did you glean today and where did you work? May he who took notice of you be blessed." So she told her mother-in-law with whom she had worked and said, "The name of the man with whom I worked today is Boaz."


RUT 2:20 And Naomi said to her daughter-in-law, "May he be blessed of the Lord who has not withdrawn his kindness to the living and to the dead [her husband and sons]." Again Naomi said to her, "The man is our relative, he is one of our closest relatives."


In her weakness, Naomi had murmured; in her unbelief, she had complained; she had deemed herself forsaken of God and afflicted. All the while, however she and hers might have erred and strayed, God had never left off His kindness either to the living or the dead.


God’s kindness and grace continue to surround us and come upon us, even when we’re complaining.


PSA 13:1 How long, O Lord? Wilt Thou forget me forever?

How long wilt Thou hide Thy face from me?


PSA 13:2 How long shall I take counsel in my soul,

Having sorrow in my heart all the day?

How long will my enemy be exalted over me?


David doesn’t write about his deliverance in this psalm, but he doesn’t have to because we know his history.


PSA 13:3 Consider and answer me, O Lord, my God;

Enlighten my eyes, lest I sleep the sleep of death,


PSA 13:4 Lest my enemy say, "I have overcome him,"

Lest my adversaries rejoice when I am shaken.


PSA 13:5 But I have trusted in Thy lovingkindness;

My heart shall rejoice in Thy salvation.


PSA 13:6 I will sing to the Lord,

Because He has dealt bountifully with me.


This doesn’t condone complaining and bitterness, but knowing that God never stops surrounding us with grace and mercy is the quickest way out of complaining and bitterness.  


RUT 2:20 And Naomi said to her daughter-in-law, "May he be blessed of the Lord who has not withdrawn his kindness to the living and to the dead [her husband and sons]." Again Naomi said to her, "The man is our relative, he is one of our closest relatives."


Naomi now uses the word gaal - “closest relatives,” which word is used in the concept of kinsman-redeemer. Naomi gets her first glimpse of God’s providence.


This is not the word that the author uses in verse 1, which refers to a relative not very close. Naomi initially sees that this was not a chance meeting. She had concluded that God had forsaken her, but now a ray of sunlight begins to shine upon her heart. How could the meeting with Boaz and Boaz’s extreme graciousness be only a coincidence? For the first time in a long time, Naomi sees God at work.


RUT 2:21 Then Ruth the Moabitess said, "Furthermore, he said to me, 'You should stay close to my servants until they have finished all my harvest.'"


The author is continuing to stress the fact that Ruth is a foreigner. The author never lets us forget this.


RUT 2:22 And Naomi said to Ruth her daughter-in-law, "It is good, my daughter, that you go out with his maids, lest others fall upon you in another field."


Naomi is glad that Ruth will be protected. Remember that this takes place during the times of the Judges, in which Israelites are not of high moral character.


RUT 2:23 So she stayed close by the maids of Boaz in order to glean until the end of the barley harvest and the wheat harvest. And she lived with her mother-in-law.


This concludes chapter 2.


Ruth gleaned for about 3 months. Each day she and Boaz would see each other and she would return to her home with Naomi.


Ruth gleans for 3 months. All the while, Ruth is teaching Naomi the language of thanksgiving, a language that she had forgotten.


For months Ruth shows no self-conscious way, but only delicate modesty in her daily work from morning to evening, providing for her mother and herself. These rare qualities were noticed by both Naomi and Boaz. As day after day goes by, Naomi sees in Ruth the heart of a true Israelitess, one, perhaps, as she used to be.


She would also know that there is a nearer kinsman that Boaz, and after some time, seeing Ruth return evening after evening and sharing the news of the day’s work and what Boaz said and did, something will stir in Naomi’s mind - Ruth is a fine catch as a wife and Boaz is a fine catch as a husband and their marriage would solve all of her trouble. Could it be possible?


The light of thankfulness and the faith in the workings of God that Ruth restored to Naomi has opened up the thought, driven by faith, that God can and will do the impossible. We don’t know how long it took for Naomi to see the possibility of their marriage, but she doesn’t say anything to Ruth until the end of the barley harvest, which is about a month away from this first night.


God is only just getting warmed up. The generosity of Boaz is just the beginning.


The blessings received by Ruth would be a lot for a poor Israelite, but Ruth is a foreigner, and therefore, this amount of blessing is over and above what would normally be expected.


Ruth the alien is a type of us, God’s enemy. God became a man and died for His enemies.


EPH 2:11 Therefore remember, that formerly you, the Gentiles in the flesh, who are called "Uncircumcision" by the so-called "Circumcision," which is performed in the flesh by human hands — 


EPH 2:12 remember that you were at that time separate from Christ, excluded from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world.


EPH 2:13 But now in Christ Jesus you who formerly were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.


He brought Jew and Gentile together under the New Covenant, which cannot be broken.


EPH 2:19 So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints, and are of God's household,


EPH 2:20 having been built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus Himself being the corner stone


In the NT charis leaps forward an infinite distance, for the Lord Jesus, the righteous, died for His enemies, a thing un­heard of in the human race.


ROM 5:6 For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for [huper: preposition - in behalf of, substitution] the ungodly.


ROM 5:7 For one will hardly die for a righteous man; though perhaps for the good man someone would dare even to die.


ROM 5:8 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.


ROM 5:9 Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him.


ROM 5:10 For if while we were enemies, we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life.


This salvation was procured at Calvary’s Cross with all the personal sacrifice which that included, offered to one who is His bitter enemy and who is not only undeserving of that salvation but deserves a fitting punishment for his sins, offered without any expectation of return, but given out of the bounty and free-heartedness of the giver.


The gifts of God, which He made possible by the cross, might just be too wonderful to be written in a list. Can we actually count them? Every need and every moment have an associated gift from God, given without thought of return. Think of those particular gifts at those very times, and realize that all of the gifts of God are too wonderful to comprehend at once.


JOB 42:3

"Therefore I have declared that which I did not understand,

Things too wonderful for me, which I did not know."


PSA 139:1O Lord, Thou hast searched me and known me.


PSA 139:2 Thou dost know when I sit down and when I rise up;

Thou dost understand my thought from afar.


PSA 139:3 Thou dost scrutinize my path and my lying down,

And art intimately acquainted with all my ways.


PSA 139:4 Even before there is a word on my tongue,

Behold, O Lord, Thou dost know it all.


PSA 139:5 Thou hast enclosed me behind and before,

And laid Thy hand upon me.


PSA 139:6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me;

It is too high, I cannot attain to it.


PSA 139:7 Where can I go from Thy Spirit?

Or where can I flee from Thy presence?


PSA 139:8 If I ascend to heaven, Thou art there;

If I make my bed in Sheol, behold, Thou art there.


PSA 139:9 If I take the wings of the dawn,

If I dwell in the remotest part of the sea,


PSA 139:10 Even there Thy hand will lead me,

And Thy right hand will lay hold of me.


PSA 139:11 If I say, "Surely the darkness will overwhelm me,

And the light around me will be night,"


PSA 139:12 Even the darkness is not dark to Thee,

And the night is as bright as the day.

Darkness and light are alike to Thee.


PSA 139:13 For Thou didst form my inward parts;

Thou didst weave me in my mother's womb.


PSA 139:14 I will give thanks to Thee, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made;

Wonderful are Thy works,

And my soul knows it very well.


PSA 139:15 My frame was not hidden from Thee,

When I was made in secret,

And skillfully wrought in the depths of the earth.


PSA 139:16 Thine eyes have seen my unformed substance;

And in Thy book they were all written,

The days that were ordained for me,

When as yet there was not one of them.


PSA 139:17 How precious also are Thy thoughts to me, O God!

How vast is the sum of them!


PSA 139:18 If I should count them, they would outnumber the sand.

When I awake, I am still with Thee.


PSA 40:5 Many, O Lord my God, are the wonders which Thou hast done, And Thy thoughts toward us;

There is none to compare with Thee;

If I would declare and speak of them,

They would be too numerous to count.


JOH 1:14 And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth.


JOH 1:15 John bore witness of Him, and cried out, saying, "This was He of whom I said, 'He who comes after me has a higher rank than I, for He existed before me.'"


JOH 1:16 For of His fulness we have all received, and grace upon grace.


JOH 1:17 For the Law was given through Moses; grace and truth were realized through Jesus Christ.


JOH 1:18 No man has seen God at any time; the only begotten God, who is in the bosom of the Father, He has explained Him.