This last week was my first time having a Bible Bowl study session in-between services on Sunday. It reminded me of the study sessions I used to have with friends in preaching school, which is a very fond memory for me. In fact, this kind of study of verses was one of my favorite things to do since so much detail has to be recalled to pass the tests and quizzes. Some may look at the idea of basically memorizing this material as boring or non-analytical, but to me it’s great. I love being able to look at one chapter in particular and bring everything I can out of that text towards application.
I want to share one moment I had in study last Sunday as an example. We were in a room looking over questions to which we were to memorize the answers and going over them as a group. And while this was happening I had my bible out to get a broader sense of the context just to be sure I was thinking correctly about the answers. We came to Ruth 2:3 which says, “Then she left, and went and gleaned in the field after the reapers. And she happened to come to the part of the field belonging to Boaz, who was of the family of Elimelech.” For those who may have forgotten, the entire book of Ruth is based around a Moabite woman who was a widow. She stayed with her Israelite mother-in-law to care for her and support her. When the mother-in-law, Naomi, went back to Bethlehem with Ruth, she utilized the “gleaning” law from the Law of Moses. It allowed the poor to follow after reapers in the field and gather that which they left behind. This was God’s way of allowing the poor to work for their food, but to also get help in providing meals to themselves and their families.
So Ruth went out to the fields to gather the remainder of the wheat and barley when you read Ruth 2:3. Now I have, to my memory, preached the entirety of the book of Ruth at least three times and have never specifically noticed the impact of this verse. The point is this, Ruth “happened” to come to the field that belonged to Boaz. Boaz was a relative of her deceased husband, and under the Law of God was given the responsibility to care for Ruth if he so desired. This may be the very providence of God itself showing itself to us because not only is God caring for Ruth by allowing her to glean from the fields, but now she just happens to come across a person who has the chance to care for her as a husband.
This is so important because we learn later that Ruth and Boaz are in the lineage of Christ; meaning, if Ruth and Boaz never meet and have a child, Jesus would never be born. The savior of the world, the precious lamb of God was born from a chance encounter which led to physical salvation for Ruth and spiritual salvation for all of us. You don’t have to be involved with intense bible study like for Bible Bowl to learn these things. These small gems are scattered throughout the Scriptures for us to uncover. I want to encourage you to open your Bible more, and get closer to the Author.