May the LORD reward your work, and your wages be full from the LORD, the God of Israel, under whose wings you have come to seek refuge.” Then she said, “I have found favor in your sight, my lord, for you have comforted me and indeed have spoken kindly to your maidservant, though I am not like one of your maidservants.” Ruth 2:12-13.
Today your LORD (יהוה) God (אלהים) says:
Casting your care on Me puts you in the realm of favor. My lovingkindness is around you, surrounds you, and astounds you with favor, even in the midst of famine you will have abundance.
They will not be ashamed in the time of evil, and in the days of famine they will have abundance . . . But the salvation of the righteous is from the LORD; He is their strength in time of trouble. The LORD helps them and delivers them. Psalm 37:19; 39-40.
If you want a life filled with favor, let Me be the pilot of your life, for those who are led by My Spirit are My mature sons and daughters, lacking in nothing. They know how to cast their cares on Me as I pilot them to a safe harbor.
Then they cried to the LORD in their trouble, and He brought them out of their distresses. He caused the storm to be still, so that the waves of the sea were hushed. Then they were glad because they were quiet, so He guided them to their desired haven. Let them give thanks to the LORD for His lovingkindness, and for His wonders to the sons of men! Psalm 107:28-31.
When you cast your cares on Me and live in the flow of fellowship with Me I keep you in My secret place free from the strife of men and there I can protect and prosper you, in other words, give you favor in all you do. For those who entrust all to Me, I entrust all to them. You are with Me always and all I have is yours.
Today I want to talk with you about Ruth. She trusted Me with her life and gave up what she thought was any chance of a future of her own to look after her impoverished mother-in-law so that I could be her God and she could return to Israel with Naomi and not stay in her country among the idols. In her years of living with Naomi as her daughter-in-law she had found she wanted no other God but Me.
But let Me start at the beginning of Ruth’s salvation story, which put her in the line of glory. And later the glory would hover over the fields where she had once gleaned as the heavenly Host announced the birth, according to the flesh, of her descendant Jesus, for she was not only grafted into the line of the Messiah but she was blessed beyond all measure during her life on earth, and, of course, now in the Kingdom of Heaven.
All because of her decision to cast her care on Me to find favor for her life.
In the days when Israel had taken possession of the land, I had promised them in My covenant with Abraham, after Joshua and all who knew him died, the people no longer read or knew My Word, they neglected the study of the Torah and each decided in his own mind what he thought was right. It made a very perverted, negligent, and selfish nation, all cheating and hurting their neighbors and not controlling their own lusts and emotions.
During this time there was a famine in the land and a certain man of Bethlehem in Judah, whose name was Elimelech, fearing lack and even death with no provision, went to sojourn in the land of Moab with his wife and his two sons. The name of the man was Elimelech, and the name of his wife, Naomi; and the names of his two sons were Mahlon and Chilion, Ephrathites of Bethlehem in Judah. They entered the land of Moab and remained there.
In doing this they were clearly out of My Will. They did not trust Me to feed them in time of famine and went to join with a nation I had told them not to join with and not to intermarry with for they worshipped idols and would lead them astray. And what they feared came on them there. Elimelech, Naomi’s husband, died; and she was left with her two sons. Then clearly against My laws, they took for themselves Moabite women as wives; the name of the one was Orpah and the name of the other Ruth. And they lived there about ten years. Then both Mahlon and Chilion also died, and Naomi was bereft of her two children and her husband.
Naomi heard that I had visited My people Israel and that they had plenty of food. So Naomi determined to return to her homeland of Israel. Her two daughters in law went with her, but Naomi had nothing to offer them back in her land. So she told them:
“Go, return each of you to her mother’s house. May the LORD deal kindly with you as you have dealt with the dead and with me. 9 May the LORD grant that you may find rest, each in the house of her husband.” Then she kissed them, and they lifted up their voices and wept. Ruth 1:8-9.
Orpah wept but she kissed her mother-in-law and left to return to her home and her gods, but Ruth clung to Naomi and refused to return to who she had been before marrying into Naomi’s family.
Then Naomi said, “Behold, your sister-in-law has gone back to her people and her gods; return after your sister-in-law.” But Ruth said, “Do not urge me to leave you or turn back from following you; for where you go, I will go, and where you lodge, I will lodge. Your people shall be my people, and your God, my God. Where you die, I will die, and there I will be buried. Thus may the LORD do to me, and worse, if anything but death parts you and me.” When Naomi saw that she was determined to go with her, she said no more to her. Ruth 1:15-18.
And so Ruth and Naomi arrived in Bethlehem after many years. People were surprised to see Naomi back without her husband and sons and a foreigner with her. Naomi looked so different, they asked, “Is this Naomi?” And she replied very negatively about herself and her life:
“Do not call me Naomi [pleasant]; call me Mara [bitter], for the Almighty has dealt very bitterly with me. I went out full, but the LORD has brought me back empty. Why do you call me Naomi, since the LORD has witnessed against me and the Almighty has afflicted me?” Ruth 1:19-21.
And many people talk like this about Me. She disobeyed My Word with her husband and led her sons into sin as well, did not trust Me, as Isaac had, in time of famine, deserted Me to live in a land worshipping other gods that I had told them not to follow their ways and then she blamed Me that the very things they feared that made them not trust Me and disobey My Word had come upon them after they opened their lives to the evil one. But she had kept up a semblance of faith in Me in the land of Moab and it had convinced Ruth from the things she heard of Me from them and their prayers and blessings that she wanted no other God than Me. And Naomi was kind to her and pleasant. And Ruth was loyal to the choice she had made to marry outside her people to a Hebrew.
It turned out that Ruth, a woman of faith and hope, was the best thing that ever happened to Naomi. All are blessed by one who loves. And Ruth had love in her heart. The kind of love that puts other’s interests above their own. She had decided to spend her life caring for an impoverished woman who had nothing to offer her in a material sense. The greatest one among you is the one who serves the rest. And it is those that find promotion.
They returned at the time of first fruits, for I tell you they came to Bethlehem at the beginning of the barley harvest. Being the time of harvest meant that Naomi could glean the fields behind the reapers and feed herself and Naomi. Gleaning is hard labor but Ruth made the decision to offer that service to feed her and Naomi. So Ruth showed Naomi honor and asked her permission to go glean, but she had her eye on Me, hoping for favor. You should always, when you look to Me, know that I am the God of favor and grace for all those who look to Me. Expect and your faces will be radiant as My face shines on you to favor you. So Ruth humbly said, “Please let me go to the field and glean among the ears of grain after one in whose sight I may find favor.” And Naomi said to her, “Go, my daughter.” Ruth 2:1-2.
When you cast your cares on Me and step out into the unknown looking for My favor to work in your behalf, you have opened the way for Me to direct your steps in the way you should go. I had a plan for Ruth, like Rahab, another foreigner, who was no longer a foreigner to Me because she had faith, great faith, faith beyond even those of My people who should have known Me better, such as Naomi. And faith puts you in covenant with Me under the Abrahamic Covenant, for Abraham believed My promises to him and I credited it to him as righteousness and joined him with Myself in an everlasting covenant of love.
My Son noticed this in the Roman centurion with the sick servant boy and the Syrophoenician woman with the demon possessed daughter. Neither one was a Covenant partner of Mine when they came and My Son even told the idol worshipping Syrophoenician woman that He could not take the children’s bread, the covenant meal, and give it to dogs who had no understanding of My Word, but by her faith in My Son as Messiah and Lord, she broke down the dividing wall and became a member of the household of faith. And the same was true of the Centurion. And with both of them My Son made it very clear that they entered Covenant and had their healings because of their faith. But I will also add to that, because of their love. Neither came looking for a miracle for themselves, both of them came a distance and put themselves in danger for another whom they had responsibility for and whom they loved, even if that person’s sickness and inability to serve them.
So Ruth departed and went and gleaned in the field after the reapers; and she “happened” to come to the portion of the field belonging to Boaz, who was of the family of Elimelech and a very wealthy man who had never married. He was a kinsman of Elimelech and thus related to Naomi through her marriage to Elimelech. It was all part of the plan I had for Ruth since before she was formed in her mother’s womb.
Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born, I consecrated you. Jeremiah 1:5.
For You formed my inward parts; You wove me in my mother’s womb. I give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are Your works, and my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from You, when I was made in secret, and skillfully wrought in the depths of the earth; Your eyes have seen my embryo; and in Your book were all written the days that were ordained for me, when as yet there was not one of them. How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God! How vast is the sum of them! If I should count them, they would outnumber the sand. When I awake, I am still with You. Psalm 139:13-18.
For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them. Ephesians 2:10.
And I not only directed her to the field where she would find favor in abundant gleaning, but I inspired Boaz to come to the field that day. He first blessed his workers who were reaping his field and they blessed him as their good master. But then I direct his gaze upon a humble woman looking neither to the right or the left as she gleaned. And Boaz saw a young beautiful woman and his heart was interested. Then Boaz said to his servant who oversaw the reapers, “Whose young woman is this?” The servant in charge of the reapers replied, “She is the young Moabite woman who returned with Naomi from the land of Moab. And she said, ‘Please let me glean and gather after the reapers among the sheaves.’ Thus she came and has remained from the morning until now.” Ruth 2:6-7.
Boaz was not turned away by the fact Ruth was from Moab. Why? The mother of Boaz was Rahab, the harlot from Jericho that had greater faith in Me than all the Israelites of the first generation that Moses led out of Egypt who refused to enter the promised land. She hid the Israelite spies from the king of Jericho, risking her own life, and was promised favor from those she hid for doing that when they took the city. As a sign to them she hung the scarlet cord in her window for the hope of salvation. And she was not disappointed. She was taken into the family of faith and married Salmon, the prince of the tribe of Judah, and settled in Bethlehem.
And now Ruth, a foreigner, walked into the life of Boaz and their paths crossed and became one. Just as she had asked for favor, she received it immediately. Why? She had cast her care on Me and entrusted her life to My care. And I had a plan for her, just as I did for Rahab, that included My Son, for they both had learned what it meant to be redeemed. They both had been sent a redeemer by Me and in turn they were in the line of the one true Redeemer of the entire human race, who came out of Zion. Isaiah 59:20.
Then Boaz said to Ruth, “Listen carefully, my daughter. Do not go to glean in another field; furthermore, do not go on from this one, but stay here with my maids. Let your eyes be on the field which they reap, and go after them. Indeed, I have commanded the servants not to touch you. When you are thirsty, go to the water jars and drink from what the servants draw.” Ruth 2:8-9.
And what was Ruth’s humble response? One of honor and wonder.
Then she fell on her face, bowing to the ground and said to him, “Why have I found favor in your sight that you should take notice of me, since I am a foreigner?” Ruth 2:10.
She knew in her heart that I had answered her prayer for favor in the field she chose.
Boaz gave her a reply with deep meaning for your application, “All that you have done for your mother-in-law after the death of your husband has been fully reported to me, and how you left your father and your mother and the land of your birth, and came to a people that you did not previously know. May the LORD reward your work, and your wages be full from the LORD, the God of Israel, under whose wings you have come to seek refuge.” Ruth 2:11-12.
I see your service, no matter how humble or hidden it is to the eyes of the world. I know all you have done in sacrifice for others, just as Ruth had. I know your interest in Me and your love and loyalty for Me. And Boaz asked Me to reward her work and give her not only the gleanings but full wages as if she too was a reaper. Why would I do that? Because she had sought refuge in Me. She had put her trust, her life, her cares, her hopes into My hands. And as you respond to Me, I respond to you.
But I said, “I have toiled in vain, I have spent My strength for nothing and vanity; yet surely the justice due to Me is with the LORD and My reward with My God.” Isaiah 49:4.
And Ruth’s reply to Boaz, was her reply to Me as well, “I have found favor in your sight, my lord, for you have comforted me and indeed have spoken kindly to your maidservant, though I am not like one of your maidservants.” Ruth 2:13.
How did Boaz comfort her? With his words backed by his riches and ability to bless her. How do I comfort you? I give you just the Scripture from My Word that fills your need at the moment and I have the power and the riches, the ability and the desire to back it up and carry it out for you.
I am the God of all comfort, and you find that comfort by resting your head on the Scripture I give you that addresses your need.
Boaz showed great favor to Ruth. He offered her to eat her meals with his servants who were reaping his fields, and gave her extra portions to take home to Naomi. He commanded his servants to let her glean not just the edges of the field but even among the sheaves and to purposely pull out extra grain for her from their bundles and leave it for her without rebuke. Ruth 2:14-16.Through Boaz I showed Ruth great favor and prospered the work of her hands.
She gleaned so much that Noami wondered and asked about where she gleaned and when Ruth told her of a man named Boaz who had showed her favor, Naomi suddenly stopped being bitter as she saw a glimmer of hope for a prosperous future for her and Ruth.
Naomi said to her daughter-in-law, “May he be blessed of the Lord who has not withdrawn his kindness to the living and to the dead.” Again Naomi said to her, “The man is our relative, he is one of our [n]closest relatives.” Then Ruth the Moabitess said, “Furthermore, he said to me, ‘You should stay close to my servants until they have finished all my harvest.’” Naomi said to Ruth her daughter-in-law, “It is good, my daughter, that you go out with his maids, so that others do not fall upon you in another field.” So she stayed close by the maids of Boaz in order to glean until the end of the barley harvest and the wheat harvest. And she lived with her mother-in-law. Ruth 2:20-23.
Ruth stayed humble and pure, working hard for two harvests. And she and Noami prospered. And Boaz watched Ruth in love from a distance.
And then Naomi had a plan based on My law of redemption, of the kinsman redeemer. As a close relative, to keep up the line of Elimelech which would die out with Ruth since she had no children from her marriage, Boaz should redeem the line in marriage with Ruth. So Naomi instructed Ruth what to do. And she obeyed with joy, for she too had watched so kind a man in love from a distance.
And that night as he threshed barley on the threshing floor, she drew close to him and sought refuge under his cloak and he drew close to her and agreed to be her redeemer. And so he did.
Draw close to Me and I draw close to you, for I have redeemed you.
“I have wiped out your transgressions like a thick cloud and your sins like a heavy mist. Return to Me, for I have redeemed you.” Isaiah 44:22.
But by His doing you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification, and redemption, so that, just as it is written, “Let him who boasts, boast in the Lord.” 1 Corinthains 1:30-31.
Boaz did make good his promise to Ruth and became her redeemer. He married Ruth and they had a fruitful marriage of faith and love in Me. So much faith and love that I put them in in the line of the Messiah, for their son Obed became the father of Jesse who became the father of David and from the line of David was born, according to the flesh, in Bethlehem My Son Jesus, according to the Spirit. For all are blessed by one who loves. And that includes Me. I am blessed by your love. I show you favor. Be on the lookout for favor every moment of every day and night.
So Boaz took Ruth, and she became his wife, and the LORD enabled her to conceive, and she gave birth to a son. Then the women said to Naomi, “Blessed is the LORD who has not left you without a redeemer today, and may his name become famous in Israel. May he also be to you a restorer of life and a sustainer of your old age; for your daughter-in-law, who loves you and is better to you than seven sons has given birth to him. Then Naomi took the child and laid him in her lap, and became his nurse. The neighbor women gave him a name, saying, “A son has been born to Naomi!” So they named him Obed. He is the father of Jesse, the father of David.” Ruth 5:13-17.
Naomi no longer called herself “Mara” for her heart was no longer bitter against Me. She had found with Ruth the joy of casting all your cares on Me as you obey My Word.
I love you. Casting your care on Me puts you in the realm of favor. My lovingkindness is around you, surrounds you, and astounds you with favor, even in the midst of famine you will have abundance. And think of this, while married to Mahlon she was barren for ten years, but when she joined with her kinsman redeemer she became fruitful.
Or do you not know, brethren (for I am speaking to those who know the law), that the law has jurisdiction over a person as long as he lives? For the married woman is bound by law to her husband while he is living; but if her husband dies, she is released from the law concerning the husband. So then, if while her husband is living she is joined to another man, she shall be called an adulteress; but if her husband dies, she is free from the law, so that she is not an adulteress though she is joined to another man. Therefore, my brethren, you also were made to die to the Law through the body of Christ, so that you might be joined to another, to Him who was raised from the dead, in order that we might bear fruit for God. Romans 7:1-4.