“May the Lord repay you for what you have done. May you be richly rewarded by the Lord, the God of Israel, under whose wings you have come to take refuge.” Ruth 2:12. These are the words of Boaz in first meeting Ruth.
In Ruth 3:4, Naomi encouraged Ruth to go to Boaz at night, saying, “When he lies down, note the place where he is lying. Then go and uncover his feet and lie down. He will tell you what to do.” Ruth obeys, and in verse 9 she tells Boaz, “I am your servant Ruth. . . . Spread the corner of your garment over me, since you are a guardian-redeemer of our family.” The ESV uses “spread your wings.” What did this mean?
The Hebrew term can be translated either way, but the context makes the translation of “garment” more likely. The same idea is conveyed in Ezekiel 16:8 where God speaks metaphorically regarding Israel: “Later I passed by, and when I looked at you and saw that you were old enough for love, I spread the corner of my garment over you and covered your naked body. I gave you my solemn oath and entered into a covenant with you, declares the Sovereign LORD, and you became mine.” The context here notes God’s role as a husband for Israel.
I have read several interesting articles about this term ‘spread the corner of your garment over me’. I am intrigued with the symbolism and the instruction. The proposal on Ruth’s part is a request for marriage and to secure her future prosperity. The courage to position herself in a context where ‘no’ and ‘yes’ are possible, speaks volumes about her trust and her obedience and her courage. We find the act quite strange unless we see the symbolism she is enacting. She is placing herself in the position of complete dependance on Boaz saying yes or no to her request. My courage to place myself in vulnerability at the feet of JESUS speaks volumes of the symbolism it creates for me.
Today I feel challenged to set myself in a way that speaks the same language with my saviour / redeemer.
Application for me today: Is it that when asked to place myself in complete trust at the feet of Jesus and ask him to secure my future, I have this niggling doubt and fear that in doing so, I have no control over my future? My fears and insecurities of complete dependence keep me at a distance from this level of trust. I want him to be my provider and protector and security but somewhere in the recesses of my heart, I feel myself keeping my distance and simply watching in the shadows, not quite prepared for this step. So many times I have felt the nudge of the Holy Spirit encouraging me to step out in faith and to trust that my Kingsman Redeemer is with me, and that I am hidden under His wings, but this niggling doubt sits strong in my heart and loud in my ears. Did Ruth feel this too? Did she do this scared? what if he said no…the what if did not stop her act of bravery. What if JESUS were to say no to me…He will never say no to being my redeemer and covering me in his garment …a garment of salvation, honour, protection, love and provision.
My heart cry this year is that my insecurities and doubts will not sabotage my future and my peace and the promises over my Iife.
I want to live by faith.
I want to live according to promise.
I want to step out in courage and do brave well but my fears and doubts undo the potential for the life God has in store for me: a life of fruitfulness, faithfulness, prosperity, fearlessness and health.
Ruth’s story inspires me to step out scared. The visual of Ezekiel reminds me that I am not asking to be covered by just anyone but by my kingsman, redeemer, my rock, my future, my hope, my anchor, my source of grace and provision. Between when Naomi gives instruction and when Ruth explains herself to Boaz is a passage of time. in that passage of time…Lord help me to be courageous and follow through with vulnerability and abandon knowing this picture of Boaz saying ‘leave it with me’ is a picture of CHRIST doing the same. Letting me entrust my future and security to his wisdom and grace and righteousness,