And Boaz answered and said to her, It has fully been showed me…
Ruth begins now to reap the abundant harvest which is growing for her in the Divine purposes of mercy — a harvest of which Boaz's fields are only a part, and of which indeed all that Boaz possessed was but a feeble illustration. She had been faithful in that which appeared to be the least, and now she was to be rewarded with that which seemed to be much. We have first to remark upon the gracious approbation which Boaz bestows upon her whole history, though he knew not her personally. It is thus you may often think yourself unknown, and unobserved in your efforts to do right in your different relations of life, when there are many eyes upon you, watching your character, and many ears may be listening to what the Lord has enabled you thus to do for Him. Give yourself no concern about this. God, your guardian and protector, will see that you have all the reputation and recompense which is good for you. Ruth supposed herself concealed in the field of Boaz. But he declares to her that her faithfulness to Naomi had been fully related to him, and he knew her well. Thus the Saviour recounts to His people, and for them, the acts of their life which have manifested their love to Him. Nothing that you do is worthy the Saviour's notice. But nothing that you really do for Him will be unnoticed by Him. You will never be rewarded for your works. But you will be judged by your works. They are the proofs of your faith, as the fruits on the tree are the evidences of its character and its worth. Certainly there is nothing on earth so blessed and so precious as the approbation of our Divine Master, speaking in our own hearts, of the service we have feebly but sincerely tried to render to Him. But Boaz not only expresses approbation, he also speaks of recompense to Ruth. She shall not be unrewarded. Naomi may not be able to do anything for her. But Naomi has other paymasters in the Lord's employ beside herself. Our acts of benevolence and love for Christ's sake can never go without their result of blessing even in this life. The merciful man doeth good to his own soul. We comfort the needy and the sorrowing, and we are thus preparing comforters for ourselves in the persons of others whom the Lord will raise up to minister to our wants. We aid the children of the poor, and we are laying up a heritage for our children in the kindness of others whom we know not. But apart from this result of recompense, there is also our own happiness in the work itself. "It is more blessed," that is, it is happier, a happier state and habit of mind, a happier condition of feeling and thought, "to give than to receive." Whatever we do in kindness to others for Christ's sake He returns to us in our own secret personal enjoyments. He ministers to us a peace and blessedness in the work which is our inward possession, and which comes to us without any reference to outward results. But Boaz prays for more than recompense: "A full reward be given thee," etc. For full rewards in any course of human life we must look beyond the present state of being. The Saviour says of the objects of beneficent action, "They cannot recompense thee, but thou shalt be recompensed in the resurrection of the just." Whatever results come now from any of the acts of life, they are extremely partial. The final results are yet to be revealed. The abundant harvest is to be gathered hereafter. But it will be surely gathered. The Saviour shall Himself minister to those who have been faithful to Him here, an abundant recompense, a full reward. But while the Saviour thus animates and encourages His disciples with the blessed hope before them, see how the answer of Ruth to Boaz illustrates their self-renouncing mind. The more generously a noble mind is dealt with, the more humble and unassuming does it become. This is eminently the case with the children of God when their Divine Redeemer comforts and blesses them. Never do they feel so perfectly unworthy as when He pours the special ministration of the oil of gladness into their souls. But all this only increases their sense of their own unworthiness of such mercy. And their cry and prayer is, that they may still find favour in His sight — that He would look upon them with eyes of mercy, and think of them according to His own grace and not according to their merits. Boaz's gracious provisions for the lonely stranger crown and close this instructive interview. Was any conduct of man ever more delicate, dignified, or beautiful? But it is only a feeble illustration of the riches of a Saviour's grace.
(S. H. Tyng, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: And Boaz answered and said unto her, It hath fully been shewed me, all that thou hast done unto thy mother in law since the death of thine husband: and how thou hast left thy father and thy mother, and the land of thy nativity, and art come unto a people which thou knewest not heretofore.
WEB: Boaz answered her, "It has fully been shown me, all that you have done to your mother-in-law since the death of your husband; and how you have left your father and your mother, and the land of your birth, and have come to a people that you didn't know before.