Gleaning: lets us look at the treatment Ruth received in ‘the field of Boaz’.
Ruth’s position was one of a menial gleaner. A reaper was a recognized worker receiving wages, but a gleaner had no status. A gleaner was one of the poor in the land who was allowed to pick up the stray bits of grain either dropped or left in the field by the reapers.
- Lev 19:9-10
- Deut 24:19-22
- She started where she was in faith.
- Humbled herself.
- Obedient and diligent.
- Faith’s purpose:
“while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal”. 2 Cor 4:18.
- Source or need. Want or greed.
- Divine guidance:
- Her ‘hap’ was – heart must be right
- Revealed (revelation) to those fulfilling what they know to do.
- Purposed attention from Boaz – the news had gone out about her and Boaz had heard it. (faith has a voice when acted on)
- Personal attention from Boaz. He welcomed her into his field and told her to glean there – no other place.
- He provided drink for her. He gave her permission to drink from the vessels provided for the reapers. Gleaners normally don’t have such rights.
- He promised protection for her. He assured her that he had charged his young men not to make improper advances toward her, molest her, or rebuke her.
- He gave her permission to eat. At noon he invited her to eat with him and his reapers, to sit at the table and take the bread and dip it into the vinegar.
- She had personal fellowship at the table. Boaz did more than invite her to eat with them; he personally reached her parched corn. It satisfied her, and she had some left over to take home to her mother-in-law (the church).
- He promoted her to glean among the sheaves. The workers were instructed to let her glean right along with the reapers among the sheaves. (discipleship?) Usually if a gleaner got that close, she would be gruffly told to “clear off” or get out.
- Purposefully-ordered handfuls were dropped for her. Boaz whispered to the reapers: “Let fall also some of the handfuls of purpose for her, and leave them, that she may glean, them and rebuke her not”.
- She found the fields to be fields of grace indeed within the laws given.
Boaz a near kinsman.
3 words are used in Hebrew to define ‘kinsman’.
The first two are used with no thought of redemption;
- Moda – a close relative linked (to us) by family ties.
- Qarob – a near relative (virtually the same as moda)
- Geol – used 62 times in the Old Testament. 3 things were required to be a Geol and fulfill the part of the redeemer:
- He had to be a near kinsman.
- He must have the power to redeem, and the means to do so.
- He must be willing to buy back that which was lost. (Lk 19:10 “For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.”)
None else had the right to insist that the purchaser sell the land and release the slaves. Purchaser’s choice. However, we see in Chapt 4 of Ruth, that there was a nearer kinsman than Boaz, but he was not willing to do what was required – had no power to do so (like the Old Testament Law. Rules and regulations but no power).
The word redeemer begins with -re and ends with -er.
This indicates continual action.
- A worker is one who continually works.
- A driver is one whose habit it is to drive.
- A writer is one who writes. (Painter, preacher etc.)
- These are one-time actions but habitual and continual as the redeemer is.