staying at the work
Ruth 2:17-23 (JDV)
Ruth 2:17 So Ruth gathered grain in the field until evening. She beat out what she had gathered, and it was about twenty-six quarts of barley.
Ruth 2:18 She picked up the grain and went into the town, where her mother-in-law saw what she had gleaned. She brought out what she had left over from her meal and gave it to her.
Ruth 2:19 Her mother-in-law said to her, “Where did you gather barley today, and where did you work? May he be blessed who noticed you.” Ruth told her mother-in-law whom she had worked with and said, “The name of the man I worked with today is Boaz.”
Ruth 2:20 Then Naomi said to her daughter-in-law, “May Yahveh bless him because he has not abandoned his kindness to the living or the dead.” Naomi continued, “The man is a close relative. He is one of our family deliverers.”1
Ruth 2:21 Ruth the Moabitess said, “He also told me, ‘Stay with my young men until they have finished all of my harvest.'”
Ruth 2:22 So Naomi said to her daughter-in-law Ruth, “My daughter, it is good for you to work with his female servants, so that nothing will happen to you in another field.”
Ruth 2:23 Ruth stayed close to Boaz’s female servants and gathered grain until the barley and the wheat harvests were finished. And she lived with her mother-in-law.
staying at the work
If you are looking for love at first sight, and then happily ever after, this passage might present a let-down. Ruth kept up her commitment to Naomi, and Boaz his commitment to Ruth. They kept at it until the barley and wheat harvests were finished.
Our Lord has called us to keep working until the harvests are over as well. He warns us against getting lazy and self indulgent while there is work to be done.
Matthew 24:45 “Who then is the authentic and intelligent servant, whom his master has set over his household, to give them their food at the proper time?
Matthew 24:46 Blessed is that servant whom his master will find so doing when he comes.
Matthew 24:47 Honestly, I am telling you, he will appoint him over all his possessions.
Matthew 24:48 But if that sinful servant says to himself, ‘My master is overdue,’
Matthew 24:49 and begins to beat his fellow servants and eats and drinks with drunkards,
Matthew 24:50 the master of that servant will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour he is not discovering
Matthew 24:51 and will cut him in pieces and put him with the hypocrites. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
LORD, make us people who stay at the work until the harvest is done.
1 גָּאַל = family deliverer. Ruth 2:20; 3:9, 12-13; 4:1, 3-4, 6, 8, 14.