We have been studying the Book of Ruth in our life group. In this season we have decided to simply study God’s Word. Not a book. Not a video series. Not even any Bible study resources. We just gather around God’s Word and, with the help of God’s Spirit, endeavour to engage with Scripture. It has been wonderful.
One aspect of the first 2 chapters came to my attention as we looked and studied the second chapter of Ruth. It pertains to a fairly common saying in Scripture: “I have found favour in your eyes.”
Ruth speaks these words after being welcomed by Boaz to continue to glean in the harvested fields which Boaz owned and which his reapers had been working in. Her intention from the start was exactly this: “And Ruth the Moabite said to Naomi, “Let me go to the field and glean among the ears of grain after him in whose sight I shall find favor.””
Not everyone’s “eyes” were as upright as those of Boaz. We read in the first sentence of the Book of Ruth that the story takes place in “the days when the judges ruled.” One repeated refrain from the Book of Judges indicating the evil and insidiousness of the time is “Everyone did what was right in his own eyes” (Judges 17:6, 21:25). The setting for the story of Ruth is one in which many people had eyes only for evil.
Further, when we consider Boaz’s words in the second chapter of Ruth, we also perceive that the men of Bethlehem specifically had “eyes” that were less than admirable. Boaz was concerned that they might “see” Ruth inappropriately for he reassures her by telling her, “Have I not charged the young men not to touch you?” The fact that this warning was necessary indicates that even in the company of Boaz’s workers there were men who had “eyes” for Ruth that were not to show favour but to objectify her, to take advantage of her, to satisfy their own lust.
But this was not how Boaz saw things; Ruth found favour in his eyes. And that favour resulted in provision, protection, and overwhelming generosity.
Surely Boaz, as Ruth and Naomi’s kinsman-redeemer, is meant to point us towards Christ, teaching us that our Redeemer—Jesus Christ—sees us with favour and extends to us protection and provision. Further, he is exceedingly generous in his dispensation of grace. We don’t deserve a sniff of his favour, yet he lavishes it upon us.
God “sees” us as righteous with the righteousness of Christ. Jesus “sees” us as his beautiful bride. The Holy Spirit “sees” us as those who He will help. We see in the story of Ruth and Boaz, that we too have found favour in the eyes of our Redeemer.