Jehovah Jireh is a beautiful name for God, meaning “the Lord will provide.” God’s abundant provision is exactly what we see in the lives of Naomi and Ruth. In Ruth chapter 2, we meet Boaz, Naomi’s relative on her husband’s side. This is important since Israelite marriages happened within a certain social group. Boaz was also from the clan (mispaha) of Elimelech. The mispaha formed the framework for the goel (kinsman-redeemer).
Now that Naomi and Ruth were back in Bethlehem, Naomi didn’t seem to have a particular plan. Ruth took the initiative. She asked for permission to go into the fields to pick up leftover grain, God’s way to provide for Israel’s widows (Deut. 14:29). Ruth probably knew that the Israelites did not always follow this law. She may have also been concerned about her foreigner status. Hence, her clause: “Behind anyone in whose eyes I find favor” (Ruth 2:2).
With Naomi’s blessing, Ruth headed into the field and soon found herself in a field belonging to Boaz. In the English, we read, “As it turned out” (v. 3). In the Hebrew, though, the phrase literally means “her chance chanced.” By exaggerating “chance,” the phrase ironically underscores another theme in Ruth—the sovereignty and providence of God.
Ruth 2:4 begins with the little phrase “Just then.” In the original language, this phrase emphasizes the unexpected and providential nature of Boaz’s arrival at exactly the right moment. The remainder of today’s passage includes three close-up scenes, mostly filled with dialogue. First, Boaz asked his workers about Ruth, and they told him her backstory. Second, Boaz gave Ruth access to his fields and honored her reputation of hesed. Finally, Boaz arranged for Ruth to glean unhindered, an extraordinary act of hesed.
>> Praise God today for His abundant provision and redeeming power. Consider all the ways God’s hesed is evident in your life and the life of your friends and family. Thank Him for those mercies today.
“Come, let us sing for joy to the LORD; let us shout aloud to the Rock of our salvation. Let us come before him with thanksgiving and extol him with music and song. For the LORD is the great God, the great King above all gods” (Psalm 95:1-3).