Looking for the Right Field

Bible Book: Ruth  2 : 1-9
Subject: Will of God; God, Leadership of; Purpose
Series: Ruth - Flaming Hearts in Fields of Hope

Ruth 2:1-9 (KJV) 1 And Naomi had a kinsman of her husband's, a mighty man of wealth, of the family of Elimelech; and his name was Boaz. 2 And Ruth the Moabitess said unto Naomi, Let me now go to the field, and glean ears of corn after him in whose sight I shall find grace. And she said unto her, Go, my daughter. 3 And she went, and came, and gleaned in the field after the reapers: and her hap was to light on a part of the field belonging unto Boaz, who was of the kindred of Elimelech. 4 And, behold, Boaz came from Bethlehem, and said unto the reapers, The LORD be with you. And they answered him, The LORD bless thee. 5 Then said Boaz unto his servant that was set over the reapers, Whose damsel is this? 6 And the servant that was set over the reapers answered and said, It is the Moabitish damsel that came back with Naomi out of the country of Moab: 7 And she said, I pray you, let me glean and gather after the reapers among the sheaves: so she came, and hath continued even from the morning until now, that she tarried a little in the house. 8 Then said Boaz unto Ruth, Hearest thou not, my daughter? Go not to glean in another field, neither go from hence, but abide here fast by my maidens: 9 Let thine eyes be on the field that they do reap, and go thou after them: have I not charged the young men that they shall not touch thee? and when thou art athirst, go unto the vessels, and drink of that which the young men have drawn.


In this passage we will find Ruth heading for the barley fields of Bethlehem. The gal has no idea of which field to go and glean barley for herself and her mother-in-law. It is impressive to see the hidden hand of God gently nudging her to pick the field of Boaz.

The Fields of Bethlehem:

a. The growing of Bethlehem’s barley

b. The gleaning of Bethlehem’s barley

The Fields of Boaz:

a. Boaz would have a look at Ruth

b. Boaz would have a liking for Ruth

I - Great Friend - One’s Hope (1)

In the scripture God had allowed a course of action that needed to be taken to insure that one’s bloodline and heritage would be perpetual in the nation of Israel. In case someone was to die, the next of kin had the right to stand in for him and to marry his wife to honor the deceases name. The person that was closest of kin would be called “The Kinsman Redeemer”. The kinsman had a scriptural right to do this for his kinsman, if not it was very disgraceful and dishonorable. I want us to consider the scripture that depicts this wonderful setting:

Deuteronomy 25:5-10 (KJV) 5 If brethren dwell together, and one of them die, and have no child, the wife of the dead shall not marry without unto a stranger: her husband's brother shall go in unto her, and take her to him to wife, and perform the duty of an husband's brother unto her. 6 And it shall be, that the firstborn which she beareth shall succeed in the name of his brother which is dead, that his name be not put out of Israel. 7 And if the man like not to take his brother's wife, then let his brother's wife go up to the gate unto the elders, and say, My husband's brother refuseth to raise up unto his brother a name in Israel, he will not perform the duty of my husband's brother. 8 Then the elders of his city shall call him, and speak unto him: and if he stand to it, and say, I like not to take her; 9 Then shall his brother's wife come unto him in the presence of the elders, and loose his shoe from off his foot, and spit in his face, and shall answer and say, So shall it be done unto that man that will not build up his brother's house. 10 And his name shall be called in Israel, The house of him that hath his shoe loosed.

Death Sorrowfully Depicted (5)

Descendants Solemnly Desired (6)

Duty Strongly Demonstrated (5/6)

Denial Sadly Dramatized (7)

Disgrace Shamefully Deplored (8/10)

In this passage we find that Boaz is a near kinsman for Naomi and Ruth. If he desired to help them he had the scriptural right to do so. In the remainder of this series this will be the center of all that we discuss and proclaim. The story of Ruth is not at all about Ruth, but it is about her wonderful Kinsman Redeemer, Boaz. The man Boaz is the very key to the entire book of Ruth.

A) Recognition of Boaz - Their Relative

In the opening passage of Ruth 2:1 the scene turns immediately to this man Boaz. In the coming verses and chapters we will find him to be noble and a man of deep devotion. The majesty of Boaz is inexhaustible for the kindness and courtesy that he offers to the little Moabitesh beauty. In this section we are alerted to Boaz being a close relative to Naomi.

1 - Recognized for his Family

The man is depicted as being related to Elimelech, quiet possibly he would have been a cousin. In chapter 3 and 4 we find out that there is a kinsman that is of closer relation than he is. It must be understood that Boaz was definitely older than Ruth, quiet possibly much older. In Ruth 3:10 he acknowledges that Ruth was virtuous for not chasing after the young men or the money.

2 - Recognized for his Fortune

Boaz was a man of much wealth, because he is displayed as owning barley fields and has many people working for him. In the latter part of the book he is found sitting at the city gate doing business. The bible does not delve into the great wealth that Boaz must have had at his disposal, but it must have been vast. Is this not a picture of the coming Boaz whose wealth is beyond draining or identifying?

The Acknowledgement of Boaz

The Adequacy of Boaz

The Abundance of Boaz

The Allurement of Boaz

B) Relevance of Boaz - Their Redeemer

The man Boaz was not just a relative but he was in line as their redeemer. The idea of a kinsman redeemer was of no importance until one was faced with this enormous and eternal issue. The role of a near kinsman would not be discussed until one was pressed personally with the matter. I believe that this is the beautiful portrayal of the gospel of Jesus Christ. In living one has no need for Jesus Christ until he or she is face to face with our eternal destiny. The moment we realize our hopeless lost condition then and only then can we recognize the importance of seeking him for eternal salvation.

Jesus my Wealthy Redeemer

Jesus my Worthy Redeemer

Jesus my Welcomed Redeemer

Jesus my Wonderful Redeemer

1 - Close Relative

It was recognized immediately that this family stood in need of a redeemer. In leaving they may have forfeited the rights to their land, their house, and nobody was birthed to continue their heritage in Israel.

2 - Capable Redeemer

In this section I want us to consider some specifics concerning the role of a kinsman redeemer. I believe that we can identify several qualifying areas that justify a man to be able to redeem:

Closeness in Relation (Galatians 4: 4, Hebrews 2: 14)

Capable in Resources (Hebrews 7: 25)

Conciliatory in Redeeming (Romans 10: 13, John 3: 16)

The kinsman redeemer had to be completely capable to fulfill the requirements of his redemptive role. The role of a kinsman would be invoked in these areas:

In the case of Harm & Murder - The Avenger of Lost Life

In the case of Helplessness & Mishap - The Deliverer of Lost Land

In the case of Heritage & Marriage - The Redeemer of Lost Love

It is a majestic story to read of the role and right of a kinsman redeemer. The beauty of this story will lovingly unfold before our eyes.

II - Goodly Fortune - One’s Hap (2/3)

In this section we find the unseen hand of God delving into the human affairs of mankind. We must not ignore the sovereign hand of God in our affairs. The word that I want to consider is “her hap”, in this we find that Ruth unknowingly ended up in the field of Boaz. In reality this is the far from the true, it was happenstance from the human perspective, but deliberately designed from the heaven perspective. The definition of “hap” is as follows:

1) Unforeseen meeting or event, accident, happening, chance, fortune

a) Accident, chance

b) Fortune, fate

2) A fortuitous chance

The reality of this story is that God would maneuver and manipulate Ruth into the very field of this redeemer, Boaz. It is not below the God of heaven to work in the background to see that his will is deliberately and definitely fulfilled.

God’s Sovereignty Desiring Ruth’s Steps

God’s Sovereignty Directing Ruth’s Steps

God’s Sovereignty Declaring Ruth’s Steps

It may be considered that God will allow his sovereignty to work in 2 distinct ways:

1) The Active Sovereignty of God - Done through Heavenly Administration

2) The Passive Sovereignty of God - Done through Human Allowance

A) The Prompting Hand of God Guiding

It would have been awesome to see Ruth wander down the road unaware that each step was under divine guidance from a heavenly source. The “hap” of God was tenderly working behind her choice of selecting a field to glean barley. In life many of us have no idea of how God may have directed our affairs. The will of God in our life is beautifully necessary in the life of God’s precious children.

1 - Ruth’s Human Need - What She Saw

“The Plenteous Fields of Bethlehem”

The little gal from Moab was looking keenly upon the bountiful barley that flowed from field to field. The fields were plenteous and her choice seemed to be overwhelming. I wonder if she uttered a simple prayer to the God of Israel to guide her into the fields of a friendly person rather than a foe.

2 - Ruth’s Heavenly Nudge - Where She Stopped

“The Particular Field of Boaz”

It may have been a simple nudge that she was unaware of, God prompted her into the field of this man named Boaz. The prompting hand of God pushed her intently into the right field. We must understand that eternity very well was hanging upon her choice of the right field. God and heaven itself may have been looking over the banister of glory, as Ruth walked into the very field of blessing and majesty. In the field of Boaz she would meet her redeemer and from this meeting the world would later be introduced to the perfect Boaz. Jesus Christ.

B) The Providing Hand of God Giving

In sending Ruth to the fields of Boaz she was about to receive abundant blessings from the Lord. If we allow God to maneuver us into the right place, it could be the place of mighty blessing. Unbeknownst to Ruth God was lining her up the spout where his goodness would bath her in blessing.

1 - Gave Ruth a Wealthy Man

Ruth had heard a bit about Boaz and other kinfolk from Naomi, but she did not fully realize the massive wealth of this man. The day we experienced the mighty salvation of God, none of us could have fathomed his wealth and goodness.

2 - Gave Ruth some Wonderful Means

If we would be honest none of us could survive without the goodness and kindness of God. In directing the steps of Ruth to the fields of Boaz, God was also going to provide the means that were necessary for her wellbeing.

III - Glorious Find - One’s Hour (4/9)

In this section I want us to look in depth at what Ruth was doing in gleaning barley. In the scriptures we are made aware of God’s welfare system for the poor and for the strangers that may be passing through Israel.

Law of Gleaning Is Practiced in Ruth

Leviticus 19:9-10 (KJV) 9 And when ye reap the harvest of your land, thou shalt not wholly reap the corners of thy field, neither shalt thou gather the gleanings of thy harvest. 10 And thou shalt not glean thy vineyard, neither shalt thou gather every grape of thy vineyard; thou shalt leave them for the poor and stranger: I am the LORD your God.

Leviticus 23:22 (KJV) And when ye reap the harvest of your land, thou shalt not make clean riddance of the corners of thy field when thou reapest, neither shalt thou gather any gleaning of thy harvest: thou shalt leave them unto the poor, and to the stranger: I am the LORD your God.

Deuteronomy 24:19-22 (KJV) 19 When thou cuttest down thine harvest in thy field, and hast forgot a sheaf in the field, thou shalt not go again to fetch it: it shall be for the stranger, for the fatherless, and for the widow: that the LORD thy God may bless thee in all the work of thine hands. 20 When thou beatest thine olive tree, thou shalt not go over the boughs again: it shall be for the stranger, for the fatherless, and for the widow. 21 When thou gatherest the grapes of thy vineyard, thou shalt not glean it afterward: it shall be for the stranger, for the fatherless, and for the widow. 22 And thou shalt remember that thou wast a bondman in the land of Egypt: therefore I command thee to do this thing.

Law of Redeeming Is Practiced in Ruth

Leviticus 25:25 (KJV) If thy brother be waxen poor, and hath sold away some of his possession, and if any of his kin come to redeem it, then shall he redeem that which his brother sold.

Law of Levirate Marriage is Practiced in Ruth

Deuteronomy 25:5-6 (KJV) 5 If brethren dwell together, and one of them die, and have no child, the wife of the dead shall not marry without unto a stranger: her husband's brother shall go in unto her, and take her to him to wife, and perform the duty of an husband's brother unto her. 6 And it shall be, that the firstborn which she beareth shall succeed in the name of his brother which is dead, that his name be not put out of Israel.

Gleaning is the act of collecting leftover crops from farmers' fields after they have been commercially harvested or on fields where it is not economically profitable to harvest. Some ancient cultures promoted gleaning as an early form of a welfare system. For example, ancient Jewish communities required that farmers not reap all the way to the edges of a field so as to leave some for the poor and for strangers. (Wikipedia - Gleaning)

In Nineteenth century England gleaning was a legal right for cottagers. In a small village the sexton would often ring a church bell at eight o'clock in the morning and again at seven in the evening to tell the gleaners when to begin and end work. The fact of the matter was that gleaning was God’s welfare system for poor people:

The Nobility of Gleaning

The fact of the matter is that the poor people had to work to get their portion of food. It was not set up like our welfare system, there would be no checks coming in the mail. The poor, the strangers or anyone that had need of food were able to participate in the noble system of gleaning or gathering their own food.

The Nature of Gleaning

The owner of the land was to leave the corners of his fields untouched; this portion would be set up for the poor. The process was very simple, the harvesters were to gather as they went along but could not go back and re-gather the harvest that they missed the first time around. This process would be done in the farmer’s fields and in his vineyards.

The Necessity of Gleaning

It has been stated that as much as 30% of the harvest was missed on the first time through. If the crops were not gleaned the food left behind would be wasted and left to rot in the fields. In our day and time we still have organizations that offer opportunities for gleaning. The Society of St. Andrews runs a gleaning operation that has gleaned 98 million lbs of food since the late 1970’s, or 294 million servings of food. The organizers try to have the food sitting on someone’s table within 48 hours, this is awesome and noble. Each year they utilize the help of over 30,000 people and glean over 15 million lbs of fresh food for the needy. I consider the system that God set up to be one that is still adequate and productive even today, some 1000’s of years later. The welfare system that God set up is one that requires self involvement and personal action.

A) Boaz was Inquisitive in Seeing Ruth (5/7)

In this section we find that Boaz is arriving upon the scene and he apparently likes what he sees out in his fields. The owner of this parcel of land shows up and displays much courtesy to his workers. The nudging hand of God had not only pushed Ruth into the fields of Boaz, but in all probability the same unseen hand is nudging Boaz to show up as Ruth is now at work in his fields.

1 - It was a Distant Look

Boaz looks over his workers and immediately locates the daring damsel that is eagerly working to glean her barley. It was a distant look, but the closer he focused in on this beautiful girl he must have liked what he saw. I believe that Boaz was smitten by the love bug the moment he saw Ruth. I know that many do not believe in love at first sight but it is factual, as in this case.

2 - It was a Destined Look

The more he looked the greater did that inward flame grip his soul. The hand of God had moved on each end of the spectrum. In Boaz arriving and looking out over his fields, one does not see it; but destiny is at work. It was the sovereign destiny of God that would link “Bethlehem’s Brightest to Moab’s Meekest”. In this setting we can see “Flaming Hearts in Fields of Hope” or love at first sight.

B) Boaz was Intentional in Seeking Ruth (8)

Upon looking into the field and seeing this Moabitesh girl, Boaz moves from being inquisitive about her to being intentional in talking to her. Boaz wastes no time in getting the attention of this beautiful girl. The young men are probably head over heels trying to acquire her attention. Boaz has a one on one meeting with the men and informs them to leave this young girl alone.

1 - Sought Ruth with a Burning Heart

On the outside Boaz may have seemed as cool as the other side of the pillow, but on the inside a raging war of emotions was getting the best of this man. The man fell head over heels in love with Ruth the moment he saw her. I do not have any difficulty believing that it was love at first sight. The first time I saw my wife, in the hallway of Murray County High School, back in 1979; I fell completely in love with her. It did take her a while to come around to my way of thinking, but that was 30 years ago this fall and we are still together. If one falls in love at first sight he does not have to look the second time. In the heart of Boaz there was a flaming burning fire of heart felt emotions, he was in love.

2 - Sought Ruth with a Bright Hope

In falling for her he would now make full arrangements to adequately meet her needs. The future looked so bright the moment these two came into eye contact with each other. The love that you and have received from Jesus Christ was totally one-sided at first, because he loved me when I was afar off and lost. The brightness of that day took the city by storm. The “Bachelor of Bethlehem” is in love with the “Maiden of Moab”. I believe that Boaz fully intended on meeting all of the needs of this flaming flower that seemed to bloom before his very eyes.

C) Boaz was Instrumental in Supplying Ruth (9, 14)

In talking to this sweetheart of a girl, Boaz informs her that his fields are to be her fields. The food in his house would become food for her house. If she grew thirsty he would see that her thirst was quenched from his supply of water. If her belly had hunger pangs it would be food from his hands that would nourish her pangs away. The bottom line was that Ruth had no business in going into another’s fields, for all of her satisfaction was to be found in his fields. The man literally gives her his bank book and told her that it was hers for the taking; this is love at its best. If this is not love then we will never find love.

1 - The Fields of Boaz Became Ruth’s Fields - Gleaning

Boaz admonished Ruth to seek out his fields from day to day. It would be very dissatisfying to him if she sought out another mans field to gather her supply of barley. The gleaning that she needed to do should be in his fields.

2 - The Food of Boaz Became Ruth’s Food - Giving

It was declared that if Ruth got hungry or thirsty she was only to seek out her food or water from Boaz. The gifts of Boaz would adequately meet her daily needs. The man Boaz delighted in giving daily provision to this girl. The day seemed to be getting brighter by the minute as Boaz looked upon his beauty.


In this section we saw how God had directed on both ends of the spectrum in bringing these two together. In these fields the destiny of the world was at stake and not one person knew. “The strings of destiny are daily weaved together unbeknownst to the participants or the particulars.”