Twisting the Present
Mourning, Supporting, Gleaning
God twisted her situation
Marrying, Nurturing, Accepting
For over a month, I have been trying to write a Bible study lesson based on Ruth’s unwavering dedication. Time after time, I found myself sitting on the proverbial writer’s lock, unable to climb off. On a Sunday night at church, I finally had a break through (in fact, this was originally scribbled on a scrap of paper in the seventh pew).
Every time that our assistant pastor preaches, he says, “When you come to the Text, ask ‘What does this teach me about God?'” When he – once again – made that statement on Sunday, it hit me. Duh! It’s not about Ruth. It’s not about Naomi. It’s not about Boaz. It’s about God.
So while Ruth is a beautiful example of honey-wheat honor, let’s ignore Ruth and focus on the main character of this classic love story: God.
The book of Ruth tells us three things about God.
- He cares about all people–both Jew and Gentile.
- He is willing to pay the price for our redemption.
- He protects His people “under [His] wings” (Ruth 2:12).
Imagine a mother bird whose recently-hatched babies are being attacked. The mother spreads her wings around the chicks to protect them from the oncoming assault. That is how God protects His people. This same metaphor is used in many Psalms (17:8, 36:7, 57:1, 61:4, 63:7, and 91:1,4) as well as Matthew 23:37.
What are we to do with this knowledge of God’s protection? In Psalm 63:7, David writes, “Because you have been my help, I will rejoice in the shadow of your wings.” We can exult and be merry because God will protect us. Also, the psalmist says in Psalm 91:4-5, “He will cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings you will trust…you will not be afraid…” We can be fearless and confident, knowing that God is our shield.
These same results are found in Philippians 4:4,6: “Rejoice in the Lord always, and again I say rejoice! Do not worry about anything. Instead, pray about everything, always giving thanks.”
The secret weapon behind Ruth’s steady devotion was the knowledge that she was safely kept under God’s wings.