The Hungry, Homeless, Helpless Ruth Catches the Eye of Boaz

Notice Ruth 2:3, “So she departed and went and gleaned in the field after the reapers; and it just so happened (“her chance chanced upon her”) that she came to the portion of the field belonging to Boaz, who was of the family of Elimelech.”

Did you catch it? “It just so happened”, that Ruth wandered into the field of Boaz? The Bible uses this strange phrase to raise our attention. She “just happens” to pick Boaz’s field out of all the other fields in Bethlehem? This is not good luck. It’s not happenstance, circumstance, or chance, its providence. What looks to us, from our human perspective, as mere free will, good karma, good luck, or great coincidence, is really the good and sovereign hand of God who is moving and working so that Boaz would meet Ruth the Moabitess. What looks like a coincidence, from our view, is God doing His amazing providential work among His people.

2:4 is where the story begins to heat up between Boaz and Ruth. She is gleaning, doing her welfare thing, and “it just so happens” that Boaz is approaching his field to check on the work at the same time Ruth is there gleaning. As soon as Boaz, our man’s man and dude of dude’s, enters all you see is godliness. He comes out to the field and says, “May the Lord be with you.” Instantly his servants respond, “May the Lord bless you.” This is not normal. How many of you have had bosses who walked in and said to you, “The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you.” With you responding “…and also with you?” Never. That never happens. But with Boaz it does, because he’s a godly man’s man, who obviously shares his faith with his servants and cares for them very well. This is where the scene heats up. After he greets his servants something catches Boaz’s eye.

Can’t you picture it? As he looks out over his field and his harvesters, he sees a woman. But no ordinary woman, she is a dirty, homeless, malnourished, and skinny girl that he’s never seen before. Most of you girls are thinking what Ruth would admit to in this moment, that she isn’t looking very good right now, she’s dirty and grain is all over her, but she catches Boaz’s eye, and Boaz asks his servant “Who’s that?” We’ve all been here right guys? We see a pretty girl and immediately turn to our friend and ask “Who’s that?” Boaz is a guy, he knows what’s up. He wants to know this girl, and make sure she knows him as well. The servant tells Boaz that she’s the Moabite woman who recently came into town with her old, bitter, crazy mother-in-law Naomi. Apparently Ruth was close enough to hear this conversation going on, and she chimes in and speaks to Boaz for the first time in 2:7, asking permission to glean among his field.

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