8 Then said Boaz unto Ruth, Hearest thou not, my daughter? Go not to glean in another field, neither go from hence, but abide here fast by my maidens:
Ruth turned not back as did Orpah, but she forgot her father's house; bereft of all she once thought dear, with only one friend, she journeyed toward Beth-lehem or the House of Bread.
This is the only place where the daughter of truth can find spiritual food; but must she stop here? No! like Ruth, she must listen to the voice of truth, and go and glean.
Many fields were before Ruth, but it was her hap to light on a part belonging to a mighty man of wealth, whose name was Boaz, the meaning of which is "strength," who proved to be her kinsman. The first command he gave her was not to go into any other field, but to abide fast by the reapers, to follow them, and let her eye rest only on the field they were reaping.
As Gentiles many fields have been before us, but only truth, with her unerring finger, points us to the field of our kinsman, who is indeed a mighty man of wealth, full of strength. Truth bids us not to glean in any other field, but to follow the reapers, who are the prophets, Christ, and the Apostles.*.
9 Let thine eyes be on the field that they do reap, and go thou after them: have I not charged the young men that they shall not touch thee? and when thou art athirst, go unto the vessels, and drink of that which the young men have drawn.
Like Ruth, the daughter of Truth also feels her unworthiness. In a childlike spirit, she bows before her kinsman, saying Why have I found grace in thine eyes, that thou shouldest take knowledge of me, seeing I am a stranger? The kinsman declared he had heard of her fidelity to Naomi; how she had left her father and mother, the land of her nativity, and had joined herself to a people which she knew not before.*
12 Yahweh recompense thy work, and a full reward be given thee of Yahweh God of Israel, under whose wings thou art come to trust.
Boaz rejoiced in her faithfulness, and prayed a reward might be given her by the God of Israel, under whose wings she had come to trust. Ruth was greatly comforted, and prayed she might find favour in her kinsman's sight, for she perceived she was not like one of his maidens. She, like the daughter of truth, was not the natural tree, but by faith she stood. The kinsman invited her to come and dine; she sat beside the reapers, did eat, and was sufficed, after which she repeated her gleaning. *
16 And let fall also some of the handfuls of purpose for her, and leave them, that she may glean them, and rebuke her not.
Her kinsman commanded the reapers to let her glean among the sheaves, and reproach her not, and let fall also some of the "handfuls of purpose," and leave them, that she may glean them, and rebuke her not. Ruth as a stranger, according to the law, could only glean the portion allotted for the stranger, which was the outskirts of the field. As Gentiles we could glean no more, although we have all had the word of truth in our possession; but only truth, beautiful truth, showed us the field of our kinsman. *
19 And her mother in law said unto her, Where hast thou gleaned to day? and where wroughtest thou? blessed be he that did take knowledge of thee. And she shewed her mother in law with whom she had wrought, and said, The man's name with whom I wrought to day is Boaz.
Ruth brought the pure grain to her mother-in-law, for she left the chaff on the threshing floor of her kinsman; and a bountiful supply she brought; so that after she was sufficed, she had a reserve.
Naomi knew she had been in no stranger's field, and declared Ruth's gleanings proved to her that the God of Israel had not left off his kindness to the living, and to the dead. The daughter of truth must thus glean, bringing to the household the pure grain, and plenty of it, so that the faithful may say to her,
"Where hast thou gleaned to-day?"
23 So she kept fast by the maidens of Boaz to glean unto the end of barley harvest and of wheat harvest; and dwelt with her mother in law.
Naomi clearly showed Ruth the mighty man of wealth could alone redeem her, for he was her kinsman.
She charged her to enter no other field, and to keep company with none but the kinsman's reapers. Ruth continued to glean as her kinsman commanded her, until the barley harvest and wheat harvest was ended.
Be faithful unto death. The barley harvest beautifully represents the Old Testament; the wheat the New; but the barley must be reaped first. It is written,
"No man can come to me except the Father which sent me draw him."
The wheat next. Truth whispers to her daughters,
'follow the reapers until the harvest is ended."
If we do this we shall know of the doctrine, and truth will seek for us rest, as did Naomi for Ruth; but like her, we must listen to truth's gentle voice, and say as Ruth did.
"All that thou sayest to me that will I do, for to hearken is better than to sacrifice."
The Christadelphian, Mar 1872