Boaz replied, “… May you be richly rewarded by the Lord, the God of Israel, under whose wings you have come to take refuge.” Ruth 2:11-12 NIV
Let me share with you this lovely poem ‘Ruth’ by Thomas Hood. The story of Ruth is one of courage, loyalty and faithfulness – qualities that are rare in any generation, but especially in our time.
Ruth found herself in the unenviable condition of early widowhood. It would have been the most normal thing for any young woman, when faced with tragedy, to choose security and to return to her old friends and familiar ways of doing things. Orpah, her sister-in-law, also a young widow, had chosen that road with the blessing of their mother-in-law Naomi.
Ruth, however, found the courage to venture into new things because her sense of loyalty to frail Naomi – who really had no one else to depend on – would not allow her do otherwise. With no material resources or support, she set out to fend for herself and Naomi in a strange land.
Her unfailing commitment to Naomi, in whose home she had found rest and happiness, might not have been translated into practical action, had Ruth not discovered the God in Whom Naomi trusted. “Your God will be my God.” Ruth 1:16
Ruth had encountered the God of Israel, and in Him she found that sense of belonging and security, which all women instinctively long for. The homes of her family and friends may have been open to her; but where could she have worshipped the true God freely, but among His own people?
The story is also about God’s faithfulness to Ruth – which ensured her a welcome among His people, a loving home and family. But, God was not content to lavish His blessing only on Ruth; His faithfulness extended beyond her own lifetime – and dropped like showers of rain upon the lives of her descendants. King David, one of her descendants exclaimed in wonder,
“And you didn’t stop there, O LORD God! You have also spoken about the future of your servant’s family. Is this your usual way of dealing with men, O LORD God?” 2 Samuel 7:19 NET.
How faithful is our God!
Enjoy the beautiful imagery in Thomas Hood’s poem:
She stood breast-high amid the corn,
Clasp’d by the golden light of morn,
Like the sweetheart of the sun,
Who many a glowing kiss had won.
On her cheek an autumn flush,
Deeply ripen’d;—such a blush
In the midst of brown was born,
Like red poppies grown with corn.
Round her eyes her tresses fell,
Which were blackest none could tell,
But long lashes veil’d a light,
That had else been all too bright.
And her hat, with shady brim,
Made her tressy forehead dim;
Thus she stood amid the stooks,
Praising God with sweetest looks:—
Sure, I said, Heav’n did not mean,
Where I reap thou shouldst but glean,
Lay thy sheaf adown and come,
Share my harvest and my home.
“Father, we thank you for your eternal faithfulness, which you show to all who put their trust in You. We believe that You are an unchanging God, whose care we can depend on, even when circumstances go against us. Help us to be a blessing to others, especially those who are lonely and bereft. We ask this in Jesus’ name.”