In case you haven't discovered, Ruth is an awesome book in the Bible. I especially like it because the major thread that weaves in through this book is that God built a systematic way to take care of the poor into their society:
Inalienable Land Law - (Leviticus 25): This law protects the family land and ensures that it will stay in their lineage. The nearest kinsman has the right to purchase it back in the year of jubilee.
Gleaning laws - This allows the poor people to follow the harvesters and "glean" food rations from what had fallen on the ground. This has the poor working to get their food, yet is constant source.
Levirate law - (Deut 25): When a man's brother died before having a son, it became the living brother's responsibility to marry the widow and father a child in his brother's name.
Kinsman Redeemer - In the case that the widow's brother-in-law won't redeem her, the next closest kin has the option to purchase the dead brother's land and have a son with the widow that would carry the dead man's name and be the heir to the land! Think about this. The kinsman redeemer purchases land with HIS own money only to give it to the dead man's child (that was actually his). This puts his own lineage and finances in jeopardy.
This may all sound a bit strange. It is in our culture. But, it was God's way of caring for the widow, orphan, and poor. It is actually quite beautiful if you stop and think about it. When you read Ruth, you see her cleaving to her mother-in-law when she had every right to go back to her father. Instead, she utilized all these God ordained laws for survival!
God blessed her faithfulness!
I am a man on a journey...