January 13, 2014
READ: Ruth 2:1-23
That man is one of our closest relatives, one of our family redeemers (v.20).
At our school reunion, friends were excitedly reminiscing about their past adventures and misadventures while I simply listened. I couldn’t join the conversations because most of my unscheduled school hours had been spent in the school library poring over one of Jane Austen’s novels! So it’s not hard to imagine that one of my favourite Old Testament books is Ruth.
Ruth was a damsel in distress, but she was no weakling. Even though she was a childless widow and her mother-in-law complained, Ruth refused to indulge in self-pity. Instead, she chose to give her loyalty to her mother-in-law and to her God (1:16-17).
As a Moabite woman—a foreigner—did Ruth feel the unfriendly stares as she worked in the barley field? Did she feel out of place in this new land? Whatever she felt, it didn’t deter her from doing all she could to take care of her mother-in-law. This is remarkable, for many women and men who love their spouses can’t stand their mother-in-law (evidenced by the mother-in-law jokes that just keep circulating).
Then the knight in shining armour arrived on the scene. Boaz might not have had the looks, but he certainly had the character—a dependable kind of guy, manly yet sensitive. Listen to what he said to Ruth: “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” (2:9).
Boaz is a picture of Christ as the Provider and Protector for His bride—for us. And Ruth is an example of one who places herself under the protection and care of a gracious, sovereign God. May this beautiful love story encourage us to trust in our Redeemer God as we faithfully serve Him. —Poh Fang Chia
Read Ephesians 1:4-14 to recapture the wonder of God’s love for you. Make a list of what He’s given you.
How does Ruth’s story challenge you to move towards a deeper faith in God? How will you faithfully serve Jesus, your Provider and Protector, today?