God’s Hand at Work

from the Ruth reading plan

Ruth 2:4-17, Deuteronomy 28:8-9, Psalm 36:7-9

There is Ruth, working the fields. The sun is fading. She is physically slight when I picture her out there, harvesting to provide for herself and Naomi. She works by the sweat of her brow.

It would not be hard to imagine she felt small among the workers—small, with many things to be afraid of. Will I do this work well enough for us to survive? Will I, a widow with no one to protect me, be safe among the men I must work alongside?

But then Ruth is noticed by her employer. He hears her story of tragedy and need. And he learns of her care for Naomi, which moves him.

The story does not say this, but Ruth might have felt even more fear when Boaz spoke to her. Maybe he sent for her and she had to walk over to him, worried about her future, for this was the man who held power over her hope of survival—for both her and Naomi.

But Boaz speaks to her tenderly. He calls her “daughter.” And then he brings her under his care. He makes sure she stays with the other women and works alongside them. He makes sure the men do not lay a hand on her.

You can hear and see the relief in her response to him: “Why have I found favor in your eyes, that you should take notice of me, since I am a foreigner?” (Ruth 2:10).

Boaz responds with what can only be thought of as a blessing—a hope that probably felt like a prayer over her weary head. “May the Lord repay you for what you have done. May you be richly rewarded by the Lord, the God of Israel, under whose wings you have come to take refuge” (Ruth 2:12).

Little Ruth, with so many reasons to fear, finds herself noticed, cared for, and protected.

But this story is not just about Ruth. This could be a story about little Matt. Or little Chris. Or little Jonathan. You do not have to look hard for the mercy of the gospel in this story. How often have I felt small and feared the world around me? Then, when noticed by the One who can truly provide for me, I’ve asked, “Why have I found favor in your eyes, that you should take notice of me?” How often have I then remembered that, because of the work of Jesus, I am under the protective wings stretched as wide as the mercy of the cross, itself.

Thanks be to the One whose “faithful love is so valuable that people take refuge in the shadow of [His] wings” (Psalm 36:7).

Written By Matthew B. Redmond

Post Comments (17)

17 thoughts on "God’s Hand at Work"

  1. Kyle says:

    Men who follow God are merciful and bless those who have faith in the Lord. God used Boaz’s kindness and mercy to make a positive impact on and protect Ruth and Naomi.

  2. Kyle says:

    I will make the choice everyday to accept God’s mercy and healing instead of looking elsewhere. I will also look for ways in my life that I can be the light of God and extend grace and mercy to others.

  3. Kyle says:

    God is merciful and takes care of those who have faith in him. Though he may seem like he’s not doing us good, he will still provide through the hard times as long as we have faith in him.

  4. Kyle says:

    This protection and mercy is offered to everyone of us through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Even though we haven’t had faith and we sin against him everyday, he is waiting for us with open arms.

  5. Kyle says:

    God, thank you for the love and mercy you have provided for me. I choose today to accept that grace and forgiveness you offer me. Just as you provided for Naomi and Ruth in the hard times, I have faith you’ll provide for me always.

  6. Sean Thelen says:

    God is always watching out for us and taking care of us, despite the fact that we are “foreigners” and not worthy to be in His presence.

  7. Sean Thelen says:

    Not all people choose to do the right thing. Some have to be given a command, otherwise they will do the wrong thing. Some people choose to do the right thing because they put their faith and trust in God.

  8. Sean Thelen says:

    Since I am specifically praying for wife through this study, I will try to act toward her as Boaz did for Ruth. He met her physical, emotional and spiritual needs. He saw what she needed and gave her an abundance.

  9. Sean Thelen says:

    The Gospel has every bit to do with out physical and emotional needs. It’s not just about our spiritual needs. God wants to save us and provide for us in every way.

  10. Sean Thelen says:

    I will pray that the Lord will help me provide for my wife in every way. I will pray that God will give me the eyes to see as He sees and the means to provide for her.

  11. Joel Ladd says:

    By abiding in the fact that God wants me, and that he has favor upon me even as I write this.

  12. Joel Ladd says:

    God notices those who follow him and cling to him. Those who find refuge in him will not be lacking. They will find more of him and experience his presence even more.

  13. Joel Ladd says:

    We can be instruments of help and aid to those who are in need. God designed us to be leaders and to be strong so that we could benefit others who are less fortunate.

    Boaz exemplifies this in his conduct towards Ruth. He recognizes that she is in need and sees tô it that she is protected and able to make a living.

  14. Joel Ladd says:

    Those who are far away from God can have hope that he wants them to find refuge in him. He came to earth to close that very gap that separates us from him.

  15. Lukas Fortunato says:

    God cares deeply for the downtrodden, the widow, the orphan, the foreigner, those who do not belong. Ruth moved Boaz by her faithfulness to Naomi. In the same way, our faithfulness even in hardship and turmoil, moves God’s heart.

  16. Lukas Fortunato says:

    Just as Boaz reflected God’s heart, we have opportunities as well to reflect Gods heart. To show kindness instead of bitterness. To show forgiveness and mercy instead of selfishness. Father it’s so hard at times but You have tasked us with being your ambassadors here.

  17. Lukas Fortunato says:

    The gospel surfaces in the bleakest of times. When all seems lost the gospel appears to save the day. Like Boaz who came in to rescue Ruth in her plight, the gospel brings hope.

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