We can read the book of Ruth and think it all takes place over just a matter of days, but in chapter 2, we read how Ruth works in the fields during the entire time of the barley and wheat harvests. That takes place in the spring over about three months.
Ruth asks for permission to go glean in the fields; this means to pick up what’s left behind the harvesters as they work.
The Lord directs her steps, which Naomi will acknowledge when she hears about it, and Ruth ends up in the field of a relative. His name is Boaz and he knows how Ruth has shown kindness to her mother-in-law and pledges to take care of her. He orders her protection and provision from his staff. Naomi acknowledges the Lord’s chesed in providing this blessing to her and Ruth.
I wanted to point out that Ruth still has to do the work. The Lord provides the place. The Lord provides the protection. The Lord provides, meeting her needs of food and water while she works. The Lord provides an abundant crop so there is plenty to share. The Lord provides a generous heart in Boaz to share freely with her and to care for her. The Lord does all that, but Ruth still has to work.
God doesn’t wave a magic wand and then things appear. God certainly can and does make things appear, but someone has to do the work. It might be an angel; it might be man. Someone is going to do the work.
Even when God was bringing water out of the rock, Moses had to strike or speak. Moses had to lift the staff or place it in the water. There was a job to do. Sometimes our work is to pray and have faith.
In chapter 2, Boaz prays a blessing over Ruth. For Ruth’s devotion to Naomi, Boaz blesses her saying, “The Lord repay you for what you have done, and a full reward be given you by the Lord, the God of Israel, under whose wings you have come to take refuge!” (Ruth 2:12)
Ruth will be repaid. The Lord has blessed her and will continue to bless her even more. She’s so blessed she gets a book of the Bible named after her.
What would have happened if Boaz hadn’t prayed for her? We don’t know. God uses all things. He works all things out. He works all things together.
Ephesians 2:10 says that God prepared good works for us to accomplish. We don’t need to busy ourselves working, but we need to be preoccupied with letting Christ accomplish God’s good works through us.