Previously, in Ruth…
Ruth’s mother-in-law, Naomi, had moved from the land of Israel to Moab, with her husband; but her husband soon died, and she was left with her two sons. While they were living in Moab, Naomi’s sons married Moabite women – Ruth and Orpah. But ten years later, her sons died, too. So Naomi and Ruth, her daughter-in-law, moved back to Naomi’s home town of Bethlehem, empty: no food, and no children.
But yesterday, in chapter 2, we saw how God graciously provided for them. Ruth went to glean grain in the field of Boaz, of one of Naomi’s relatives. There, she found incredible kindness – more than was required by the law. Boaz encouraged Ruth to remain under his protection by only gleaning in his fields; he even instructed his workers deliberately to leave behind some of the good parts of the grain for her to gather. And when it came to mealtimes, Boaz invited her to share in the meal with him and the other workers. Naomi spoted the potential, and encouraged Ruth to keep gleaning in Boaz’s field.