Boy, Ruth is really walking in faith in chapter 3: 7-18. It is so humbling when I return to a scripture and see notes that I’ve made years ago. I love how God’s Holy Spirit speaks to me over and over again on a particular chapter or verse. As I read and re-read this portion of scripture a couple of things stood out to me.
In one commentary spreading the skirt over one, as in the East, is a symbol of protection, as in the case of a man’s doing it for a woman equivalent to a marriage contract.
First of all, I like the word protection. I am speaking to women here, sorry guys; ladies when we are married, don’t we look up to our husbands to protect us and honor us in all matters? Of course we do, but in doing so, we have to be very careful as to not put our husbands higher than God. He is the Great Protector. I think of Ainsley and her struggle about marriage causes her to think about protection and honor as well?
I would have to say that in my recent marriage, I never felt protected nor honored. I was called hurtful names and lied to over and over again. For ten years I dealt with this until I finally submitted my whole being to God’s direction. Once I did, I began moving past the pain and hurt.
The fact that I have had to start my life over again, on my own, has been a HUGE struggle! HOWEVER, God has provided for me every single step of the journey and has protected me from harm. My circumstances have drawn me closer and more faithful and conscious of decision-making. I think this is why I am so drawn to Ruth moving without knowing. She just kept taking step after step in faith.
My second thought was about the word honor: In verse 11 Boaz protects Ruth’s reputation and tells her that he will make sure the town knows she’s an honorable woman! As a Christian it is very hard to admit when you are separated or divorced because you do feel less honorable. For a long time felt like damaged goods. It has taken me many years of surrender and prayer to get over that feeling. I believe Ainsley’s surrender set her feet on the right path.
For I, the Lord your God, hold your right hand; it is I who say to you, Fear not, I am the one who helps you. Isaiah 43:13 ESV
In verse 13 Boaz gives Ruth six scoops of barley into her cloak for both she and Naomi. When I re-read this and prayed over this scripture, God reminded me that yes, I am divorced, my reputation was ruined and it has been a big financial struggle, but I am still provided for by HIM and I give HIM the glory. God has opened up work, benefits and a place for me to stay. He has given me the opportunity to teach a women’s Sunday School class in church and continues to bless me with opportunities to serve Him even when I don’t feel worthy.
Has there ever been a time in your life where you didn’t feel protected?
Have you ever felt a little less respected/unworthy or less-honored by others because of something personal in your life?
Can you share a time where God drew you closer to Him through your circumstances?
As in Ruth’s situation, she held onto God’s direction and was not only provided for but was honored as well. We too can feel this way. God will always honors us when we are serving Him with the right motives and He always provides for us. Take a second to look at your life and the things that you have or the things He has taken away. Did you feel blessed?