November 10, 2023

Coming to Take Refuge

Ruth 2:1-13

“May you be richly rewarded by the Lord, the God of Israel, under whose wings you have come to take refuge.”

—  Ruth 2:12

Sometimes God goes out of his way to care for us, and sometimes we need to go out of our way to be cared for. It’s not always easy to ask for what we need, especially when others might have reasons to be cautious about helping us.

But Ruth is a bold person. She knows what she and her mother-in-law need, and she asks for permission to glean barley in a field that belongs to Boaz, a landowner from Bethlehem.

Now, Boaz is a relative of Ruth’s mother-in-law Naomi, and he has heard about Ruth but hasn’t met her before. And rather than being dismissive or indifferent, Boaz welcomes Ruth and invites her to keep following along after the harvesters. What’s more, he blesses her for supporting her mother-in-law and indicates that Ruth is an honorable woman. “May you be richly rewarded by the Lord,” he says, “. . . under whose wings you have come to take refuge.” This statement reflects the caring, providing nature of God’s character, and it helps us to understand God’s love for us.

God faithfully cares for and provides for us, and often he does this through the kindness and generosity of others. And whether we need help or we are able to help someone else, we can be assured that God empowers and celebrates both the one who asks and the one who gives.

Lord God, help us to trust in you, knowing that we can seek refuge in your name and that you have blessed us to share with and help others. Amen.

About the author — Julia Prins Vanderveen

Julia Prins Vanderveen works and lives in Vancouver, British Columbia, with her husband, Trevor, and their three sons. Julia has served as a copastor with Trevor at a church in Vancouver. She is a campus pastor and a humanities teacher at the Vancouver Christian School.

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