The servant in charge of the reapers replied, “She is the young Moabite woman who returned with Naomi from the land of Moab.”
As I come to the second chapter of Ruth, I find myself wanting to look a bit at the servant in charge of Boaz’s reapers. I am not given his name or age or any other personal details, but what he says and does speak of who he is and of what kind of servant Boaz puts in charge.
The first thing I note is that he is observant. When Boaz asks who Ruth is, this servant knows without having to ask. He is fully aware of who this woman is that has been working in the fields all day. He is also aware of how long she has been working and how long she has been resting. This gives me an insight into why Boaz would want this man supervising his servants. This servant has an eye for details and he keeps track of things.
The second thing I note is that he has character. Ruth asked permission to glean — even though The Law codified gleaning as a sort of workfare for the poor — and the servant did not take advantage of Ruth’s situation. Ruth is not an Israelite and a person of lesser character might have seen her status as an opportunity to try to extract some payment or to make her situation even more difficult. This servant does no such thing. He gives her permission to glean with no caveats or stipulations.
The third and final thing I note is that this servant sees the good things that people do. When he reports who Ruth is, he speaks of her as the young Moabite woman who returned with Naomi from the land of Moab. He speaks of the sacrifice that she made by staying with her mother-in-law He also informs Boaz that Ruth has been working in the fields from the morning until whenever the conversation took place. The servant sees her work ethic and how she is laboring to take care of herself and her mother-in-law.
When the book of Ruth is taught, Boaz is often pointed to as a type of Christ and Ruth as a type of the church. If Boaz stands in for Jesus, then what does the servant in charge tell me about the servants that Jesus wants? Observant people of character who see the good things that others do and are ready to report that good. Let me be such a servant to my Lord. Let me be observant, looking to see what is going on and keeping track of things. Let me be a man of character. And let me be always ready to report the good things that people do. It is far too easy to relate the bad.
Father, thank You for this nameless servant who shows character, an observant mind, and a readiness to see and recount the good things that happen. Please form this kind of character in me; one that observes and is focused on the good things that happen.