Today we have a convoluted welfare system sponsored by the government and designed to help people who are in need of the basics of life. Back then, they had “gleaning”. Gleaning was for people who were in need, allowing them to go out into the fields and gather the leftovers from the grain harvest. Since Ruth and Naomi had no men to provide food for them they naturally turned to this solution to try to obtain food on which to survive. The system combined charity with work in a way that avoided the more negative affects of a free hand out.
As Ruth goes out to glean we are introduced to a man named Boaz, a relative of her deceased father-in-law. He is described as a “worthy man” and we get a strong hint as to why he was worthy in verse 4, where we see him give a rather spiritual greeting to his workers, and they to him. It would seem that Boaz was a man of God who had a wonderful impact upon the people around him. That is why he was “worthy”.
If someone were to describe you and me would they use the word “worthy” to do it? Furthermore, does our worthiness come from being in relationship with God Almighty and do we have an influence on those around us that leads them to love God and follow him too, like we do? Everyone wants to be worthy for one reason or another. May our worthiness spring up out of a beautiful, free-flowing relationship with our Lord and Savior.