Ruth asked Naomi, “Please let me go to the field, and glean heads of grain after him [Boaz] in whose sight I may find favor.” (Ruth 2:2)
Boaz blessed Ruth, “The Lord repay your work, and a full reward be given you by the Lord God of Israel, under whose wings you have come for refuge.” (Ruth 2:12)
I’m awestruck by the principal laid out in this beautiful story about Ruth who is listed as a woman in the lineage of Christ. Ruth received this honor by forsaking her people and all that she knew as a Moabite to follow the God of Israel. Boaz, too, was impressed with Ruth, a foreigner who submitted to the God whom her mother-in-law worshiped and moved to a land where strangers would become family. Ruth insisted on following Naomi back to Israel, and Ruth sought favor with Naomi’s people.
Sometimes I think that I am helpless to change circumstances that I find oppressive or depressing. Ruth’s story is a reminder of God’s covering and that each step brings me closer to God. Of course, each footfall is not cushioned by a bed of roses like walking to the altar on your wedding day; but can be more like a misstep – a twisting of the ankle as you throw out your hands for someone to grasp. The Apostle Paul never skipped a beat in these circumstances. Acts 27:22, 23 is an example. “And now I urge you to take heart, for there will be no loss of life among you, but only of the ship. For there stood by me this night an angel of the God to whom I belong and whom I serve, saying, ‘Do not be afraid, Paul; you must be brought before Caesar; and indeed God has granted you all those who sail with you.’”
“The God to whom I belong and whom I serve,” is this great God who knows what challenges I will face. He knows that when experiencing disappointment, tragedy, or isolation that I will wrestle with good and evil from within and without. Psalm 10:14 declares, “But You have seen, for You observe trouble and grief, to repay it by Your hand. The helpless commits himself to You; You are the helper of the fatherless.”
God does know. God does see. God does act on my behalf and for my good. I commit myself again and again to God who alone is my help. He may send that help through others, like the encouraging text from a friend on a particularly difficult morning; or the laughter with family that busts up the clog in my all-to-serious thoughts. These are the truths that teach trust and increase faith.
Jeremiah 37:20, 21 records the prophet’s simple request for life, “’Therefore…please do not make me return [to the dungeon]…lest I die there.’ Then Zedekiah the king commanded that they should commit Jeremiah to the court of the prison [a place near the royal palace], and that they should give him daily a piece of bread from the bakers’ street, until all the bread was gone.”
I remember once, in our early Christian walk, that my husband said, “When I die, I just hope to be given a place in a corner of God’s house.” How humble and how simple a trust in the protection and favor of God!
Today I pray: Dear Lord Jesus Christ, with deep affection and trust in You, in all circumstances, I will seek You with all my senses, for the morning’s opportunities and the evening’s graces.
All Scripture and commentary quotes from: The Nelson Study Bible, New King James Version, Trinity Fellowship Church 25th Anniversary Commemorative Edition, 2002.