In this chapter, Ruth meets Boaz , a rich landowner who is related to Naomi, and gleans in his fields. He takes special notice of her, and makes sure that she is given special consideration and protection. When Ruth asks him why he is doing this, because she is a foreigner, Boaz says he has heard of what she has done for her mother-in-law, and gives her a blessing as a refugee, and the blessing is from the God of Israel.
I'm reminded of Martin Luther King's hope that people will be regarded for the content of their character rather than the color of their skin. How do we judge others? How do we regard those who are strangers because of language, culture, and place of origin? The choice for Boaz was kindness.
When Ruth tells Naomi about Boaz, she gives thanks to God for his kindness, and her lament turns to blessing. In verse 20, Naomi says about Boaz, "Blessed be he by the Lord, whose kindness has not forsaken the living or the dead!"
Do we see good things as good luck or as blessings? For Naomi, emptiness is beginning to be replaced by fullness. This is a wise woman, and her wisdom and initiative are shortly to be seen as she looks after her daughter-in-law.
Wisdom Literature is about religion in daily life, and the story comes alive in our stories. How is that working for you as you reflect on this story?