Ruth 2* Ruth gleans in the field of Boaz. (1-3) The kindness of Boazto Ruth. (4-16) Ruth returns to her mother-in-law. (17-23)1-3 Observe Ruth's humility. When Providence had made her poor,she cheerfully stoops to her lot. High spirits will ratherstarve than stoop; not so Ruth. Nay, it is her own proposal. Shespeaks humbly in her expectation of leave to glean. We may notdemand kindness as a debt, but ask, and take it as a favour,though in a small matter. Ruth also was an example of industry.She loved not to eat the bread of idleness. This is an exampleto young people. Diligence promises well, both for this worldand the other. We must not be shy of any honest employment. Nolabour is a reproach. Sin is a thing below us, but we must notthink any thing else so, to which Providence call us. She was anexample of regard to her mother, and of trust in Providence. Godwisely orders what seem to us small events; and those thatappear altogether uncertain, still are directed to serve his ownglory, and the good of his people. 4-16 The pious and kind language between Boaz and his reapersshows that there were godly persons in Israel. Such language asthis is seldom heard in our field; too often, on the contrary,what is immoral and corrupt. A stranger would form a verydifferent opinion of our land, from that which Ruth would formof Israel from the converse and conduct of Boaz and his reapers.But true religion will teach a man to behave aright in allstates and conditions; it will form kind masters and faithfulservants, and cause harmony in families. True religion willcause mutual love and kindness among persons of different ranks.It had these effects on Boaz and his men. When he came to themhe prayed for them. They did not, as soon as he was out ofhearing curse him, as some ill-natured servants that hate theirmaster's eye, but they returned his courtesy. Things are likelyto go on well where there is such good-will as this betweenmasters and servants. They expressed their kindness to eachother by praying one for another. Boaz inquired concerning thestranger he saw, and ordered her to be well treated. Mastersmust take care, not only that they do no hurt themselves, butthat they suffer not their servants and those under them to dowrong. Ruth humbly owned herself unworthy of favours, seeing shewas born and brought up a heathen. It well becomes us all tothink humbly of ourselves, esteeming others better thanourselves. And let us, in the kindness of Boaz to Ruth, note thekindness of the Lord Jesus Christ to poor sinners. 17-23 It encourages industry, that in all labour, even that ofgleaning, there is profit. Ruth was pleased with what she gainedby her own industry, and was careful to secure it. Let us thustake care that we lose not those things which we have wrought,which we have gained for our souls' good, #2Jo 1:8|. Parentsshould examine their children, as Naomi did, not to frighten ordiscourage them, so as to make them hate home, or tempt them totell a lie; but to commend them if they have done well, and withmildness to reprove and caution them if they have doneotherwise. It is a good question for us to ask ourselves everynight, Where have I gleaned to-day? What improvement have I madein knowledge and grace? What have I done that will turn to agood account? When the Lord deals bountifully with us, let usnot be found in any other field, nor seeking for happiness andsatisfaction in the creature. We lose Divine favours, if weslight them. Ruth dutifully observed her mother's directions.And when the harvest was ended, she kept her aged mother companyat home. Dinah went out to see the daughters of the land; hervanity ended in disgrace, #Ge 34|. Ruth kept at home, and helpedto maintain her mother, and went out on no other errand than toget provision for her; her humility and industry ended inpreferment.
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