by Sim Kay Tee

Day 9

Read Ruth 2:4-7

According to two 2017 regional surveys involving some eight economies, almost half of all workers in Singapore were unhappy because of issues with their bosses. Is it surprising, then, that workers in Singapore are the least engaged in Asia?13 The kind of boss we have affects our work attitude. Perhaps having awful bosses contributes to Monday morning blues?

But both demonstrate a common characteristic: faith in God is real and active in their lives

As Ruth is gleaning, Boaz comes into his fields to see the progress of the barley harvest. ″Just then″ (Ruth 2:4) indicates divine providence and timing, for the simultaneous arrivals of Ruth and Boaz are no coincidence.

Uncharacteristic of landowners of the time, Boaz greets his workers first, giving us an immediate insight into his character-a godly and humble man of benevolent disposition. Instead of the typical ″Peace, shalom″, Boaz's ″the Lord be with you!″ (2:4) tells us that he is one of those who believe that their faith in God should show in their daily work. Faith in God is active and real in Boaz's life. How many of us have our bosses greeting us first, and blessing us this manner? The workers warmly reciprocate, showing us how much they respect and love their boss.

Boaz takes notice of the strangers and poor who have come into his fields to glean. Concerned for these gleaners, he asks about Ruth (2:5). Once again we are reminded, ″She is the Moabite who came back from Moab with Naomi″ (2:6). Notice how the foreman stresses her foreignness!

Although the law gives her the right to glean, Ruth does not presume so. As an alien, she knows she has no claim on anyone. Instead, she has respectfully asked for permission to gather the leftover grain (2:7).

In recovering from a prolonged famine, landowners are apt to harvest everything, not allowing any gleaners to come into their fields. But the foreman knows that Boaz will agree to the poor, even a foreigner like Ruth, gleaning in his fields. He does not chase her away. Even as she looks to God to provide, Ruth does her part, for the foreman notices that she has worked diligently, ″from morning till now, except for a short rest″ (2:6-7). What the foreman says of Ruth speaks of her character-courteous, respectful, and diligent.

Two different persons, each on opposite sides of the economic and social spectrum. Boaz the wealthy, influential Israelite landowner, Ruth the destitute Moabite widow. But both demonstrate a common characteristic: faith in God is real and active in their lives. Both know of God's laws, and both obediently act on them. Both seek to live a godly life. And as the story unfolds, their respect for each other increases, and so does love.

13Angela Teng, ″Survey finds 45% of S'poreans unhappy at work in 2017″, TODAY, 23 January 2018,; Samuel Chang, ″Singapore employees least engaged in Asia, study finds″, Straits Times, 27 March 2017,

Think through:

It would seem that Boaz gets to meet Ruth ″by chance″ (Ruth 2:4). Do you believe in ″coincidence″ (2:4)? Why or why not? How can you discern God's hand in the events of your life?

In relating to others, what can we learn from Boaz in the way he relates with his workers, and how he treats strangers?




About Author

Sim Kay Tee is a Bible teacher and writer of Our Daily Bread Ministries. Based in Singapore, K.T. writes for the Discovery Series Bible Study guides, the Journey Through Series devotional, and is a regular contributor to the Insights for Our Daily Bread. K.T. has taught the Bible in various countries. He has three daughters and one granddaughter.

Author of Journey Through Series:

Our Daily Bread Journey Through® Series is a publication of Our Daily Bread Ministries.

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