Studies in the Book of Ruth #7 (Ruth 2:14-23)
So far, we have seen Boaz as a type of Jesus Christ, Ruth as a type of the church of Jesus Christ, and Naomi a type of Israel. While Ruth is a historical book, it also provides us with a glimpse into the future.
I. PROVISION (v. 14-15)
Notice how Boaz is concerned with Ruth having enough to eat (v. 14) and her protection (v. 15). The Lord is concerned about us having the same when it comes to both physical and spiritual matters. Take a look at the following cross references: Philippians 4:19, 1 Timothy 6:8, Matthew 28:20, Hebrews 13:5
II. PURPOSE (v. 16-17)
Boaz desired that “handfuls of purpose” (v. 16) fall upon Ruth. A man or woman without a purpose is a miserable individual! God desires that we have purpose in our lives. A good purpose for the saved to live by is found in 1 Corinthians 10:31 – “do all to the glory of God.” Purpose provides daily motivation for an individual to continue living for the Lord in the midst of a lost and dying world.
Notice the reward for work that Ruth received. Since “she gleaned in the field until even” – it is likely that she worked a 12-hour day. She received the reward she was due, in this case “an ephah of barley” or about one bushel (35 liters). God rewards faithful workers – see 1 Corinthians 3:8 and 1 Timothy 5:18.
III. PASSING ON (v. 18-23)
Ruth did not only work so that she had sustenance, she also gave to her mother-in-law. What an incredible doctrinal picture we have before our eyes! Remember that Ruth is a Moabite, a Gentile, while Naomi is an Israelite. Naomi is a widow, while Ruth has met her future husband. Ruth takes that which she has worked for and graciously gives to Naomi. What a picture of the Gentile blessing the Jew. While many Jews today are blinded to the spiritual truth found in the New Testament, God can still use a Gentile to point them to their Messiah, the Lord Jesus Christ. While Ruth ministers to Naomi’s physical needs here, let’s not forget that we often “get a foot in the door” to witnessing to others by initially providing them with a beneficial, physical blessing.
On a final note, remember the promise that God gave Abraham back in Genesis 12:1-3 concerning a blessing to those who blessed him and a curse to those who cursed him? Ruth receives a GREAT BLESSING as a result of her kindness to Naomi. This Gentile woman ends up in the genealogy of our Lord Jesus Christ – see Matthew 1:5.