Week Two – Day 3
Read Ruth 2:8-13; Psalm 57:1 SOAP Ruth 2:17
What do verses 8-16 tell us about the kind of man Boaz was?
In verse 11, what specifically does Boaz notice about Ruth that makes him want to help her?
8 Then Boaz said to Ruth, “Now, listen, my daughter, do not go to glean in another field or leave this one, but keep close to my young women. 9 Let your eyes be on the field that they are reaping, and go after them. Have I not charged the young men not to touch you? And when you are thirsty, go to the vessels and drink what the young men have drawn.” 10 Then she fell on her face, bowing to the ground, and said to him, “Why have I found favor in your eyes, that you should take notice of me, since I am a foreigner?” 11 But Boaz answered her, “All that you have done for your mother-in-law since the death of your husband has been fully told to me, and how you left your father and mother and your native land and came to a people that you did not know before. 12 The Lord repay you for what you have done, and a full reward be given you by the Lord, the God of Israel, under whose wings you have come to take refuge!”13 Then she said, “I have found favor in your eyes, my lord, for you have comforted me and spoken kindly to your servant, though I am not one of your servants.”
Psalm 57:1 (ESV) 57 Be merciful to me, O God, be merciful to me, for in you my soul takes refuge; in the shadow of your wings I will take refuge, till the storms of destruction pass by.
Psalm 57:1 (AMP) Be gracious to me, O God, be gracious and merciful to me, For my soul finds shelter and safety in You, And in the shadow of Your wings I will take refuge and be confidently secure
Until destruction passes by.
O – Boaz reveals his character in this passage – and also the character of His God. He calls Ruth his “daughter”, probably showing the difference in ages – He would be an older man, maybe even Elimelech’s age. He offers his protection – by having her glean in his fields, and by warning the men in his fields to leave her alone. He allows her to stay close to the other women in his fields (his workers), and to be able to drink water that has already been drawn. In so doing, he helps to meet her physical, social, emotional needs.
Ruth is astounded that an Israelite would “find favor” of her, a foreigner. She KNOWS that she doesn’t “belong” – yet she is being treated kindly, even with love. She is so taken back that she even falls on her face, showing deference and honor to Boaz.
But it is her tender care of Naomi, and her willingness to leave her homeland to care for Naomi that has preceeded her, and established her reputation in Bethlehem. It has been “fully told” to Boaz. He knows all about Naomi’s state, but also Ruth’s care, her work ethic, her following Naomi’s God. “All that you have done…. Has been fully told.” He blesses Ruth, asking God to repay her for her deeds – and that she had found “refuge” under God’s wings.
A – What is my take-away from this passage today?
Boaz’ care of Ruth – David Guzik’s commentary added an element of challenge to me in this area:
*Fittingly, Boaz encouraged Ruth as if she were a new convert to the God of Israel. In many ways, Ruth stands as an example of a new convert.
- She put her trust in the God of Israel
- She has left her former associates
- She had come in among strangers
- She was very low in her own eyes
- She found protection under the wings of God
- In the same way, older Christians should be like Boaz unto younger Christians who are like Ruth. “Observe that he saluted her with words of tender encouragement; for this is precisely what I want all the elder Christians among you to do to those who are the counterparts of Ruth. . . . I want you to make a point of looking out the young converts, and speaking to them goodly words, and comfortable words, whereby they may be cheered and strengthened.” (Spurgeon)*
Am I an encouragement to others – those who may be different, or “strangers”, or foreign to this land? To those who are younger in the faith? Do I “strengthen and cheer” them on – speaking “goodly words”?
Taking refuge – Do I find my “refuge” in the shadow of His wings? Do I encourage others to do the same? The image of a mother bird, protecting her young ones has always been a word picture to encourage me. But this is also a reminder of God – His awesomeness, as well as His protection. Warren Wiersbe noted that “when what he (David) needed was the wings of the cherubim in “the secret place of the Most High” where he could safely hide.” Do I find my refuge there?
May today I find shelter in Him…. And encourage others in the same way!
P – Father God, “You’re my shelter through it all. You’re my refuge and my strength. Lord, I hide in the shadow of Your wings.” You are my strength and my refuge. You hold me close. You shelter me in ways that I don’t even realize. Today, Father, may I rest in You – and encourage others to rest in You as well. Bring to my heart the needs of others. Help me to respond in a kind and gentle way, especially in this new volunteer position at the hospital. Father, may I be Your hands and feet today, spreading Your love and comfort to those I encounter. Amen.
Logos Study: The Hebrew word kenaphaim (“wings”) commonly appears in the ot as an image of finding shelter or refuge under God’s wings. This image—especially prevalent in the Psalms (Pss 17:8; 36:7; 57:1; 61:4; 63:7; 91:4)—compares the tender way God loves and cares for His people with the way birds protect and care for their young (Deut 32:11). It commonly appears in lament or petition psalms where the psalmist asks God to deliver him from some kind of distress. Those who seek refuge under God’s wings find satisfaction (Pss 36:7–8; 63:5–8) and protection from danger (Pss 57:1; 91:3–6).
Lumina:– Constable’s Notes: Why was Boaz blessing her (lit. with “grace,” “favor,” or “acceptance;” Heb. hen)? Ruth wanted to know (v. 10). The Israelites did not normally treat foreigners this way during the period of the judges. Boaz explained that it was not her nationality but her unselfish love for Naomi (v. 11) and her trust in Yahweh (v. 12) that had moved him to bless her.
“. . . Boaz’s kindness toward Ruth simply reciprocated hers toward Naomi. He was, indeed, a true son of Israel: he treated foreigners kindly because Israel itself knew the foreigner’s life in Egypt.”
David Guzik: Enduring word commentary: God was blessing Ruth already and all because He guided her to Boaz’s field. Boaz knew that if Ruth stayed in his fields, she would be blessed and find:
- In Boaz’s field, Ruth would find companionship(among the young women).
- In Boaz’s field, Ruth would find protection(Have I not commanded the young men not to touch you?).
- In Boaz’s field, Ruth would find refreshment(when you are thirsty).
Warren Wiersbe Be Series: David depended on the grace of God to see him through his trials. His worship and prayer turned the cave into a Holy of Holies where he could hide under the wings of the cherubim on the mercy seat of the ark (Ex. 25:17-20; and note the verb “overshadowing”). This image is found frequently in Scripture and must not be confused with the wings of the bird as in 91:4; Deuteronomy 32:11; Matthew 23:37; and Luke 13:34. (See 17:8; 36:7-8; 61:4; Ruth 2:12.) David wanted the wings of a dove to fly away (55:6), when what he needed was the wings of the cherubim in “the secret place of the Most High” where he could safely hide (Heb. 10:19-25). David had taken refuge in the Lord many times in the past, and he knew that the Lord was faithful. The word calamities means “a destructive storm that could engulf me.”
Shadow of your Wings – Hillsong – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zBmQj2FHMAQ
My spirit rests in You
You’re all I know
Embrace and touch me
Like a child
I’m safe in You
You’re my shelter through it all
You’re my refuge and my strength
Lord I hide in the shadow of Your wings
My Lord, You’re faithful
You supply all good things
You know completely
All my thoughts
My deepest needs
 Barry, J. D., Mangum, D., Brown, D. R., Heiser, M. S., Custis, M., Ritzema, E., … Bomar, D. (2012, 2016). Faithlife Study Bible (Ru 2:12). Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.