The short book of Ruth is a wonderful story of loyalty and faith rewarded with kindness and security. Ruth was not an Israelite, but in returning to Bethlehem with Naomi, her mother-in-law, she was not only showing great loyalty to her, but also to Naomi’s God (Ruth 1:16). Boaz showed unexpected kindness to Ruth. He offered her protection from molestation if she stayed in his fields, he permitted her to follow close behind his workers so she could glean much more grain, and he fed her and let her drink freely from his workers water. He recognised that she had turned to, and taken refuge in, the Lord, the God of Israel. He also recognised that she had demonstrated the qualities of a virtuous, capable and loyal woman. Eventually Boaz married Ruth and their descendants included King David and ultimately Jesus.
Ruth 2:8-14 NLT
Boaz went over and said to Ruth, “Listen, my daughter. Stay right here with us when you gather grain; don’t go to any other fields. Stay right behind the young women working in my field. See which part of the field they are harvesting, and then follow them. I have warned the young men not to treat you roughly. And when you are thirsty, help yourself to the water they have drawn from the well.” Ruth fell at his feet and thanked him warmly. “What have I done to deserve such kindness?” she asked. “I am only a foreigner.” “Yes, I know,” Boaz replied. “But I also know about everything you have done for your mother-in-law since the death of your husband. I have heard how you left your father and mother and your own land to live here among complete strangers. May the Lord, the God of Israel, under whose wings you have come to take refuge, reward you fully for what you have done.” “I hope I continue to please you, sir,” she replied. “You have comforted me by speaking so kindly to me, even though I am not one of your workers.” At mealtime Boaz called to her, “Come over here, and help yourself to some food. You can dip your bread in the sour wine.” So she sat with his harvesters, and Boaz gave her some roasted grain to eat. She ate all she wanted and still had some left over.
Since I turned to the Lord and took refuge in him I have been amazed (overwhelmed at times actually) by the kindness I have been shown and witnessed among the folks I have met at church. I still feel like a foreigner in many ways as a new Christian in church. But they have treated me as one of their family and literally taken me in and cared for me. My goal therefore is to try and live, as much as I can, by the example set by characters like Ruth and Boaz. I still wonder what I could have done to deserve such kindness and I thank my Lord Jesus everyday that, because of his grace, not because I deserve anything, I have been rescued and I have been comforted.
Ruth 2:1-4:22, John 4:43-54, Psalms 105:16-36, Proverbs 14:26-27