And she went, and came, and gleaned in the field after the reapers: and her hap was to light on a part of the field belonging to Boaz…
1. I learn, first, from this subject, how trouble develops character.
2. Again, I see in my text the beauty of unfaltering friendship.
3. Again, I learn from this subject that paths which open in hardship and darkness often come out in places of joy. And so it often is that a path which starts very darkly ends very brightly. When you started out for heaven, oh, how dark was the hour of conviction — how Sinai thundered, and devils tormented, and the darkness thickened! All the sins of your life pounced upon you. After a while you went into the harvest field of God's mercy; you began to glean in the fields of Divine promise, and you had more sheaves than you could carry, as the voice of God addressed you, saying, "Blessed is the man whose transgressions are forgiven and whose sins are covered." A very dark starting in conviction; a very bright ending in the pardon, and the hope, and the triumph of the gospel. So, very often, in our worldly business or in our spiritual career, we start off on a very dark path. We have to ford the river, we have to climb the mountain, we have to storm the castle; but, blessed be God! the day of rest and reward will come.
4. Again, I have to learn from my subject that events which seem to be most insignificant may be momentous. Can you imagine anything more unimportant than the coming of a poor woman from Moab to Judah? Can you imagine anything more trivial than the fact that this Ruth just happened to alight — as they say — just happened to alight on that field of Boaz? Yet all ages, all generations, have an interest in the fact. So it is in your history and in mine; events that you thought of no importance at all have been of very great moment. That casual conversation, that accidental meeting — you did not think of it again for a long while; but how it changed all the phase of your life.
5. Again, I see in my subject an illustration of the beauty of female industry.
6. Once more; I learn from my subject the value of gleanings. It is all the straws that make the harvest, it is the pence that make the pound, and it is all the opportunities of doing good that make a life of usefulness if rightly employed. Elihu Burritt learned many things while toiling in a blacksmith's shop. Abercrombie, the world-renowned philosopher, was a philosopher in Scotland, and he got his philosophy, or the chief part of it, while as a physician he was waiting for the door of the sick-room to open.
(T. De Witt Talmage.)
Parallel VersesKJV: And she went, and came, and gleaned in the field after the reapers: and her hap was to light on a part of the field belonging unto Boaz, who was of the kindred of Elimelech.