Ruth 2:10 – “Then she fell on her face, and bowed herself to the ground, and said unto him, Why have I found grace in thine eyes, that thou shouldest take knowledge of me, seeing I am a stranger?”
In this verse we see Ruth’s reaction to the words of Boaz, she is utterly overwhelmed and overcome by the promises of Boaz! She shows her submission and then she asks Boaz the question of why? She cannot see anything in herself that would cause him to offer to her such blessings.
Her submission is seen when she: “fell on her face and bowed herself to the ground.” Literally this means “falls down or cast oneself down. It can be translated “bowed very low, touching her face to the ground.” This was completely voluntary. In the scriptures it was an act of respect to man, as when Lot saw the three men, he “ran to meet them … and bowed himself toward the ground” (Gen 18:2). It is how Abigail responded to David when she saw him, she “fell before David on her face and bowed herself to the ground.” (1 Sam 25:23). It was an act of reverence and worship to God, as seen in how Abraham responded when God spoke to him: “And Abram fell on his face and God talked with him” (Gen 17:3), and how Moses petitioned the Lord: “And I fell down before the Lord …” (Deut 9:18). It could be voluntary as seen when one the of the ten lepers healed came back and bowed down before Jesus (Lk 17:15-16) or involuntary, as when the man who was demon posses fell down before Jesus, acknowledging Him. (Lk 8:28). In Ruth’s case, her action was completely voluntary; it was an expression of her submission, her gratitude, her humbleness and her obedience. What an example for us she is! Her actions are a type of the worship that the Bride will give to her Bridegroom; she does this even before she fully realizes what lies in store for her. This should be our response to Jesus, who is our Boaz, who shows to us such wonderful grace! The Lord looks for, asks for and rewards those who willingly humble themselves. James tells us that “he giveth grace unto the humble” (James 4:6) and goes on to promise that if you “humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, he shall lift you up” (James 4:10). Sister Mary Bodie writes: “She falls upon her face and worships this great man” and Brother Art Eggers writes that in her action “we see Ruth making a decision of obedience.”
Her question is two-fold – It is: Why me? “Why have I found grace (favor, kindness) in thine sight” and Why you? “that thou shouldest take knowledge of me, seeing I am a stranger.” She cannot comprehend why and only through her daily contact with Boaz will she begin to understand his grace. Ruth was looking for grace when she left Naomi that morning (2:2) but she was still surprised to find grace (2:10). She says that she “found grace” but grace really found her, it is her need that brought forth this grace! Jesus is the manifestation of God’s grace – “For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men,” (Tit 2:11) and He found us – “For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.” (Lk 19:10). He saw our need and reached out to us in grace, offering Himself and we like Ruth are overwhelmed and overcome and exclaim: “Why me?” Ruth looks at Boaz and sees his promises are because of grace, she knows that this grace comes from him, for she says “thine” and she sees that this grace is because he has looked at her: “thine eyes.” She doesn’t know why Boaz would be willing to show this grace or what he could possibly see when he looks at her, but Boaz saw her potential, he saw deep into her soul and he saw something she did not see herself. Jesus is the same, He looks deeply into our soul, our heart and He sees what His love and grace will change us. For Ruth, it is only as she gets to know Boaz that she will begin to understand and have the answer to the question of “Why have I found grace in thine eyes?” The same holds true for every child of God, and it is only as we get to know Jesus, as we have daily contact and fellowship with Him that we can truly begin to understand a little why we have found grace in His eyes, and what it is that He could possibly see in us that would cause Him to extend to us such promises. But we will never fully understand why, all we can do is gladly receive that grace, embrace it and let it work in our lives.
After Ruth had in essence said: “Why you?” she then went on to say: “Why me?” when she said: “that thou shouldest take knowledge of me, seeing I am a stranger?” She was surprised that he would notice her. The word “take knowledge” means “to look intently at,” “to acknowledge,” “to regard” and “to deliver.” When Boaz saw her, he saw her need, and it was her need that drew him and touched him. Ruth knew what she was or had been, she says she was “a stranger.” She saw only the negative things about herself, as a “stranger” she was a Gentile and an idolater. She didn’t think she was entitled to any kindness from the people of God, and she didn’t think God’s promises pertained to her. (Eph 2:12). But this is what she WAS, but Boaz saw what she IS. Jesus truly sees us, He has “knowledge of” us, who we were (our past) and He sees our need, and He also sees who we are, and He is waiting for use to simply step forward in faith. That single step changes us forever. This is what Ruth did. It was her faith that Boaz saw, he no longer saw her past; he saw her present and her future. When we look at ourselves we are disappointed, we see only our failures or weaknesses but when the Lord looks at us He sees what His grace has done, the change that has taken place, He sees the full potential of who we are in Him. I don’t know who wrote this but it expresses so well the different ways we can look.
Look at self and be distressed, Look at others and be depressed, Look at Jesus and be blessed!