“Let your eyes be on the field which they reap, and go after them. Have I not commanded the YOUNG MEN not to touch you? And when you are thirsty, go to the vessels and drink from what the YOUNG MEN have drawn… And when she rose up to glean, Boaz commanded his YOUNG MEN, saying, “Let her glean even among the sheaves, and do not reproach her. Also let grain from the bundles fall purposely for her; leave it that she may glean, and do not rebuke her… Then he said, “Blessed are you of the Lord, my daughter! For you have shown more kindness at the end than at the beginning, in that you did not go after YOUNG MEN, whether poor or rich” (Ru 2:9, 15, 16; 3:10)
The words ‘young men’ appear four times in the Book of Ruth. In Hebrew, the words ‘young men’ describe boys or servants who are hardworking, zealous, restless and noisy. These are the ‘house boys’, the workers and the servants of Boaz. Their boss commands them and they must obey. Boaz forbids them to ‘touch, reproach or rebuke’ Ruth. He commands his men not to sexually harass, insult, angrily rebuke, hurt, confuse or embarrass Ruth. They are also commanded to quietly help by dropping grains for her, as by mistake. These kind actions of the young men are not because they are naturally nice. They have to obey their master Boaz who hired them. Ruth will be a fool if she thinks that these ‘young men’ act nice on their own. She will be a fool to chase after them.
Later, when Ruth tells Boaz that, according to their tradition, he can marry her, he congratulates her by saying that she is a wise and godly woman. There are two major reasons why Boaz appreciated Ruth. The first is that she forsook her people, to follow and help her mother in law who is a relative of Boaz. The second reason is that Ruth did not run after ‘the young men’ on the field. To Boaz this was a sign of a true godly woman and it was the reason why he loved and married her.
The Bible says that we should reject the sins of the youth. “Flee the evil desires of youth and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, along with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart” (2Tim 2:22). This is a great lesson for all who want to work for God or want to marry well. To be ‘a vessel of honor used by the Master’ you need to hate sin and in particular all forms of sexual lust which is called ‘the sin of the youth’. No matter your age, you should run from every appearance of evil, especially in connection to sexual sins. Like Joseph, you have to learn how to run away from the lustful temptation of the devil, represented by the Potiphar’s wife. Like Job, you need to make a covenant with your eyes, that they may be holy, seeing only what God revels to you and to be blind to what the devil shows you. Sexual lusts must be replaced by a desire to pursue the things of God. That creative strength you used to chase lovers, use it now to pray and seek God. Choose between fornication and prayer. In fact, I am free to say, that any believer who is spiritually weak, especially in prayer, is still in bondage to sexual lusts.
Boaz appreciated Ruth for not running after ‘the young men’. Any godly man looking for a wife should do like Boaz and appreciate a woman who is free from sexual lusts and the restless frustrations associated with the youth. You should appreciate a spiritual woman of God who has a quiet spirit, is prayerful, strong, gentle, hardworking, humble, submissive, kind, romantic, creative and helpful. You sisters, pray that you may be like Ruth. Then Boaz will locate you and marry you. The Bible never gets old. The same stories are repeated by the power of the Holy Spirit. This is my testimony: I am very happily married to a wonderful man of God. I know what I am saying. I experience love and dreams come true. I wish that God will bless you as He blessed my husband and I. To God be all the glory!