“For where you go, I will go” – Ruth 1:16
Where you spend your time, and what you fill your mind with – that is what you are becoming.
The Moabites were detested by the Israelites. They were descended from an incestuous relationship and practiced child sacrifice. Ruth was a Moabite with a Jewish mother-in-law, Naomi. Naomi’s other daughter-in-law returned to her people after her husband (Naomi’s son) died, but her other daughter-in-law, Ruth, chose otherwise – she chose to go to Bethlehem, a widow, with no family, in a foreign land where her race was detested.
Orpah, the other daughter-in-law went back to her family. Family is important – but sometimes, family influences can be destructive, or simply not what God is calling you to do. Ruth went ahead to Bethlehem and became the great-grandmother of King David.
Ruth went to glean in Boaz’s field. Levitical law stated that they had to leave the edges or whatever fell so that people in need could glean. It was hard work, but the Lord instituted it to provide for the needy: “When you reap the harvest of your land, you are not to reap all the way to the edge of your field or gather the gleanings of your harvest. Leave them for the poor and the foreign resident; I am Yahweh your God.” (Leviticus 23:22)
Naomi is a picture of Israel; Ruth is a picture of us, the Gentiles. Boaz’s name means “in him is strength” – he is a picture of Jesus. When we come into relationship with Jesus, we’re picking around the edges of the field, gleaning, picking up the first bits of truth to be fed by. This is why it’s important to be in a good field!