“Then Naomi said to her daughter-in-law, ‘Blessed be he of the Lord, who has not forsaken His kindness to the living and the dead!’ And Naomi said to her, ‘This man is a relation of ours, one of our close relatives.’” Ruth 2:20
After gleaning in the barley fields of Boaz for a day Ruth threshed out the barley she’d gleaned and the scriptures record that she’d gathered about an ephah of barley.
I did a little checking to see what the equivalent value of an ephah was in current systems of measurement and found that an ephah is the same volume as 22 liters or nearly 6 gallons.
That’s probably not a great deal of barley when compared to the annual need of two women but it strikes me as being a very generous gathering for a single woman gleaning for a single day. If Ruth continued to gather similar amounts each day all through the several weeks of the barley and wheat harvests she and Naomi would be well provided for.
When Ruth got home she showed what she’d gather to Naomi, gave her the parched grain she’d kept back, and told her whose field she had gleaned in that day.
When Naomi heard that Boaz was the name of the landowner she praised God for his kindness and blessing and then revealed to Ruth that Boaz was a relative of theirs and a close kinsman.
She then told Ruth that it would be good to follow Boaz’s instruction and to stay close to his workers and complete the harvest working in his fields.
Boaz, whose name mean “swiftness”, was quick to come to the help of Ruth and Naomi and throughout this story he will continue to be quick and decisive in his actions and the decisions he makes.
God has also been quick to meet the challenges of sin and come to the help of humanity. Just hours after Adam and Eve fell to sin he promised that he would give a Savior who would die to conquer sin. And while it’s been several thousand years since God began his work to redeem mankind when you consider the enormity of the sin problem, it threatens the whole universe, and that once God’s finished dealing with sin here it will never return again for all eternity; it strikes me that God’s actions are very rapid indeed.
And the heart of his solution is that one member of the Godhead would step forward to be our Savior and to become one of us. That’s right, our Savior is a near kinsman to us. We’re part of his family and, like Ruth, it would be good for us to stay close to him and to work with those who work in his fields.