8 Then Boaz said to Ruth, “Listen carefully, my daughter. Do not go to glean in another field; furthermore, do not go on from this one, but stay here with my maids.
Boaz no longer seems very concerned about all of the harvest activities going on around him.
The first command, “Do not go to glean in any other field” is really a promise of provision and protection. he’s treating her like one of the other young women that work for him, like someone he is responsible for.
9 Let your eyes be on the field which they reap, and go after them. Indeed, I have commanded the servants not to touch you. When you are thirsty, go to the water jars and drink from what the servants draw.”
It’s as if he’s saying, “don’t even think of looking at another field, this is where you belong”. And more than that—when the servants move onto another field to harvest, this is saying that Ruth should move along with them, and just keep gleaning.
He also provides for her immediate need, saying “when you are thirsty, go to the water jars and drink from what the servants draw”. Boaz knew how hot it was working in those unshaded fields, and he’s making sure that Ruth has enough water to drink. Also, this means that she could glean much faster—not having to stop to go draw her own water throughout the day. Boaz provided for Ruth in a way that was better than she could have hoped to find any other way.
Jeremiah 2:13-14: “My people have committed two sins: They have forsaken me, the spring of living water, and have dug their own cisterns, broken cisterns that cannot hold water.”
Now, a cistern was is an artificial reservoir which was dug in the earth or cut out of the rock for the collection and storage of water. This message was given as a rebuke to people who had turned away from God in their hearts—had lost their commitment to God, and had turned to all sorts of other sources for fulfillment.
But the people of Judah found that the cisterns of their own making were broken cisterns that could hold no refreshing water. This is always the way when we try to design our own holding tank for spiritual refreshment. (Example: Rich man Jesus describes in Luke 12:17-20).
Self-made attempts and schemes designed to find spiritual fulfillment apart from the Lord will inevitably result in failure. Only God Himself can quench our spiritual thirst. Ref: Isaiah 55:1-2, John 4:13-14, John 6:35 and John 7:37-38.)
So, where do you find your fulfillment? What gives you the most Joy in life? What do you love most in life? What do you turn to when times are tough? What is the foundation of your life? If you’re being honest, and have to say anything but I find my fulfillment in God. God gives me the most joy in life. I love God most in life. I turn to God when times are tough. And God is my foundation, then that other thing is really your God, and you need to turn back toward the Living God.
Because Ruth has turned away from her idols, and turned to worship the Living God. Because she has chosen to be counted amongst the people of God, and serve God and His people, she has been provided for by God.
We as Christians have been given Living water that we didn’t have to draw—it was provided for us freely by Jesus; and God has promised to meet all of our needs. Like Boaz taking the initiative in providing for Ruth, God has taken the initiative and sent Jesus His Son to provide for all of our needs.
And our reaction to God providing this living water for us, should be the same as Ruth’s reaction in chapter 2 verse 10
10 Then she fell on her face, bowing to the ground and said to him, “Why have I found favor in your sight that you should take notice of me, since I am a foreigner?”
She’s overwhelmed by his generosity. Falling on her face was for their culture the kind of thing that one would do for a king. She’s asking him “why her”? We could all ask God this question. “Why have I found favor in your sight?” Why did you save me? And we should walk in humility before our God, knowing that we don’t deserve what He has done for us. And we should turn away from the cisterns of our own making, and keep drinking from the river of living water.
11 Boaz replied to her, “All that you have done for your mother-in-law after the death of your husband has been fully reported to me, and how you left your father and your mother and the land of your birth, and came to a people that you did not previously know.
Ruth had made a hard decision to do what was right, even though the cost to Ruth was probably going to be not being able to have a family of her own. He does not forget kindnesses done because we love His People. When you minister to someone’s needs because you love them as a Christian brother or sister, Jesus will not forget it, even though everyone else might.
12 May the Lord reward your work, and your wages be full from the Lord, the God of Israel, under whose wings you have come to seek refuge.”
Boaz is talking here about the labor of love that Ruth has been performing by taking care of her mother-in-law Naomi. Boaz is saying that her work motivated out of love is worthy of reward from God.
13 Then she said, “I have found favor in your sight, my lord, for you have comforted me and indeed have spoken kindly to your maidservant, though I am not like one of your maidservants.”
Ruth received the grace that Boaz had shown her with humility and gratitude. She paid all possible respect to him, and gave him honor. She didn’t do anything to earn the grace and she doesn’t deserve the grace, but she accepts it with thankfulness and humility.