Ruth And Boaz

By Michael English

Summary:             This is a radio-style piece that tells the story of Ruth and Boaz  living in a wholesome and honest way has its advantages.  It is suitable for use as a meditation.  The introduction read by The Director could be converted into a standard radio introductory monologue fairly easily.  If you dont fancy doing this yourself and you need it, let me know and Ill write it.

Bible Reference:    Ruth 2; Matthew 1:1-16

Characters:           The Director, Narrator, Naomi, Ruth, Boaz, The Workers.

Props:                        None

Setting:                 None

The Director: In order to set the scene I want you to close your eyes and try to imagine what it would have been like.  Pretend that you are going to try and paint the scene, look for all those little details that an artist would bring out.


The scene is a field near Bethlehem in Palestine over 3,000 years ago.  It is June and its hot and you are working very hard.  Harvesting barley by hand is back breaking work.


Think of what you would see.  The barley stalks waving in the breeze all at different heights, not like the barley we're used to that's been specially bred for combine harvesters.


There's far more birds around than now.  Think of the birds you might see.  I'm going to pick skylarks and gold finches.  I don't know whether they would have been there, but choose any you like.


Think of the sounds you can hear: lots of birds, lots of insects; all the people working with you.  Some godly, some profane.  There are a lot of commandments that will be broken today.


Think of the smells you can smell: the smell of newly cut barley, the smell of the people; no deodorant, but plenty of honest sweat.   But you're used to that.


Think of the coarse woollen garment you're wearing.  It's rough and itchy, not like modern fabrics.  You might have made the cloth yourself on a hand-loom.  You can take some pride in that.


Think of what the situation is like.  There's plenty of tension between you and the Canaanites, who also occupy the land.  You speak a similar language, but the big difference is religious.  The Cananites have many gods that they represent by wooden and metal images on every hill top and under every large tree.  You have a single God for whom no image is adequate.  And he has given you special laws - some similar to other peoples, but some unique.  For example, you have a law that forbids rich people from picking up grain that is dropped or missed during harvest, so that the poor can gather it and supplement their income&


Narrator:        Naomi had recently arrived from Moab with her daughter-in-law Ruth.  Ruth had been born in Moab, but came back to Palestine with Naomi when her husband died because she wanted to follow God and support Naomi.


Naomi:            Now we've arrived in Palestine I still don't know what we're going to live on.


Ruth:              Let me go into the barley fields.  I'll collect what the workmen leave.  God's Law allows that.  Maybe I'll find a field where the owner won't throw me out.


Naomi:            All right.  But be careful.  And don't do anything unseemly.  You know what gossips people are.


Narrator:        So Ruth went.  She happened to go the field of Boaz, who was a relative of Naomi.  Just then Boaz arrived.


Boaz:              May the Lord bless you.


Workers:        And may the Lord bless you.


Boaz:              Who's this young woman following about the field?  What man does she belong to?


Workers:        She's a foreigner, a refugee from Moab who came back to our country with Naomi.  She asked if she could pick up what we left as the Law allows.  She's been working very hard - she's been on her feet since morning.


Boaz:              (To Ruth) Listen my daughter.  It'll be dangerous for you to work in another man's fields.  You'll probably get molested.  Stay here and I'll make certain my men leave you alone.  And when you're thirsty drink, from the pitchers that my servants have drawn.


Narrator:        Ruth was stunned at Boaz' attitude.


Ruth:              But sir, how can you be so good to me?  I'm just a poor foreigner.


Boaz:              I have been told of all that you've done for your mother-in-law since you're husband's death.  I know how you left your own land and came here where our ways and customs must seem strange.  May God reward you for what you have done may you find asylum here under his wings.


Ruth:              Thank you, sir.


Boaz:              It's time to eat, so have some of this bread and drink some of this wine.


Narrator:        While Ruth was eating Boaz made a heap of roasted grain for her.  She ate until she was satisfied.  Then Boaz spoke to the workers.


Boaz:              Let Ruth pick up grain any where she wants.  Even from among the sheaves.  And don't even think about molesting her or there will be big trouble.  And pull a few ears from the sheaves to make certain she has a lot to pick up!


Narrator:        Ruth worked hard until evening.  When she showed Naomi how much she had collected Naomi was surprised.


Naomi:            How did you manage to collect so much?  Whose field were you working in.  You didn't do anything unseemly did you?


Ruth:              No mother.  I was working in the field of Boaz.  He seemed a kind man.


Naomi:            Well the Lord be praised! 


Ruth:              And Boaz said that I could work in his fields during the Barley harvest and also later during the wheat harvest as well!


Naomi:            Yes, I think that would be best.   I was so worried that someone might take advantage of you.


Narrator:        So Ruth stayed with the servants of Boaz during the barley and wheat harvests.  And later she married Boaz.  And much later still, Matthew wrote in his gospel: "Boaz was the father of Obed (his mother's name was Ruth).  Obed was the father of Jesse, and Jesse was the father of King David... and King David was the ancestor of Jesus, called the Messiah".


This script is Copyright 2003 Michael English, All Saints Milton. Permission is given to use this drama in non-profit making church events provided the source is acknowledged. Some editing may be required to suit local conditions. Please let us know if you have any comments.

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