Lent Devotional: Ruth 2:1-23

by Jonathan Haefs

Ruth 2:1-23 (click here)
Then she fell on her face, bowing to the ground, and said to him, “Why have I found favor in your eyes, that you should take notice of me, since I am a foreigner?” But Boaz answered her, “All that you have done for your mother-in-law since the death of your husband has been fully told to me, and how you left your father and mother and your native land and came to a people that you did not know before. The LORD repay you for what you have done, and a full reward be given you by the LORD, the God of Israel, under whose wings you have come to take refuge!” (Ruth 2:10-12)

Boaz showed Ruth grace…favor that she had not earned.

She wanted to know why? Why was she the recipient of such unwarranted kindness? Not only had she done nothing to earn it, but there were plenty of reasons for Boaz to withhold such grace…the primary one being that she was a foreigner, an outsider…she didn’t belong.

But Boaz showed Ruth grace…favor that she had not earned.

Why? He gave her a reason, and we might be tempted to think he is listing off reasons that she has earned his favor. He’s heard of all she has done, namely, the kindness she has displayed toward her mother-in-law. He even says, “The Lord repay you for what you have done.” Isn’t this the language of have earned something?

No. Boaz is showing Ruth grace…favor that she has not earned.

This can be seen in the final words of Boaz. His hope is that she be rewarded by the God of Israel, under whose wings she has sought refuge! You see, in leaving behind her family and her homeland to take care of her mother-in-law, Ruth was ultimately expressing faith and allegiance to the Lord. She trusted him to take care of her. God had given her eyes to see the refuge she could take under his wings. She was expressing FAITH. Grace comes to us, not via earning, but through faith!

God is showing Ruth grace through her faith…favor that she has not earned, but received by faith.

The “reward” of faith, the “payment” of faith, is grace! She trusted the Lord and he saved her via Boaz. She has been saved by grace coming to her through faith. It is the same for us. We, the foreigners and outsiders…God grants us eyes of faith to see the refuge we can take under his wings… and we throw ourselves on the mercy of God, trusting in him and him alone.

And God shows us grace through our faith…favor that we did not earn.

*The complete SVCC Lenten reading guide is available here.