My first sweet, easy little book. 4 chapters. To make up for the fact that it was only 4 chapters I listened to it several times. And I got quite a bit from it. I don’t want to belabor every single point so I’m going to really hit on one point and then just touch on the other piece.
The very first thing that really jumped out at me as the chapters rolled by so quickly was something that Ruth says to Boaz – simply put she asks “Why are you being so kind to me?”
Then she fell on her face, and bowed herself to the ground, and said unto him, Why have I found grace in thine eyes, that thou shouldest take knowledge of me, seeing I am a stranger?
And Boaz answered and said unto her, It hath fully been shewed me, all that thou hast done unto thy mother in law since the death of thine husband: and how thou hast left thy father and thy mother, and the land of thy nativity, and art come unto a people which thou knewest not heretofore. The LORD recompense thy work, and a full reward be given thee of the LORD God of Israel, under whose wings thou art come to trust.
Then she said, Let me find favour in thy sight, my lord; for that thou hast comforted me, and for that thou hast spoken friendly unto thine handmaid, though I be not like unto one of thine handmaidens. Ruth 2:10-13
From this book, Christ is often compared with Boaz in that as Boaz was Ruth’s kinsman redeemer – Christ is ours. With that symbolism already in place I can’t help but exchange places with Ruth and look at Boaz as the Christ.
“Why have I found grace in your eyes?”
“Because it was clearly told to me all that you have done for your mother-in-law since your husband died, and how you left your mother and father and your homeland and came to a people that you did not know. The LORD will reward your work and a full reward will be given you of Him under whose wings you have come to trust.” (Just clarifying his language in my own mind.)
Sometimes, when I do something that seems to separate me from others, say, oh.. I don’t know… like moving away from my friends and family to San Antonio, I become a stranger. Every where I go in this town I am a stranger. No one knows me. Few people even at the church I attend know me. A year and a half later, I am still a stranger. But God has shown me great great mercy here; because no matter where I went, I wasn’t a stranger to God.
It’s too easy to think that God doesn’t see or hear us when we’re alone and feeling over our heads. And Ruth agrees because she isn’t expecting any form of kindness for Boaz so when he becomes an extravagant benefactor for her, she can’t help but say “Why me?”
And to paraphrase his response even more and put it in the context of the Christ who is our own extravagant benefactor: “Because I know how you’ve sacrificed.”
Such sweet words form my Savior. Because in a world where you think no one really knows you, or understands (if you asked any US citizen “Do you feel understood and as though other people really know you” I bet at least 90%, (possibly higher) would say “No”. Sheesh, I bet 100% of teens would say that. We all want to be known, to be understood, to have someone “get” our pain and confusion, doubt and hopes and joys. But here comes Boaz, in this land where she doesn’t know anyone, and he says “because I know what you did was hard.”
I can imagine it. Because I know if a year ago someone here in this strange land of San Antonio had just bought me a sack of groceries and said “I know moving here was hard.” I probably would have bawled like a baby.
It means a lot to have someone know you.