“Spread the corner of your garment over me, since you are a kinsman-redeemer.” Ruth 3:9.
Ruth was an outsider. She came from Moab and was a foreigner in Israel. (For a long time Moabites were excluded from the congregation of God’s people, Deuteronomy 23:3.). However, Ruth met Naomi and decided she wanted Naomi’s God to be her God (1:16). What was it about Naomi that attracted Ruth to her God? After all, Naomi described herself as ‘bitter’ (1:20). Yet even through her difficulties Naomi can’t help but see the hand of God in everything. Somehow Naomi’s belief in a Sovereign God who was involved in all the circumstances of our lives—good and bad—resonated with Ruth.
Ruth decided to stay with Naomi and “as it turns out” (2:3) she found herself working in Boaz’s field. God was undetected as he orchestrated the events of Ruth’s life. Boaz found Ruth to be a woman of noble character (3:11). In the verse quoted above, Ruth, following Jewish custom and on Naomi’s instructions, signalled to Boaz her availability to marry. Naomi knew that Boaz was their Kinsman-Redeemer and she wanted Ruth to be “well provided for” (3:1). Boaz’s response was swift and they were married. Boaz and Ruth have a child who eventually became the grandfather of King David. God deliberately included Ruth in the royal family line, which eventually led to Jesus.
I love the story of Ruth. We were all outsiders in God’s economy. Our own merits weren’t enough to secure God’s favour, or allow us to be included in his family, or give us access to his inheritance. Yet God sent Jesus to be our very own Kinsman-Redeemer. We’re included when we ask him to spread his garment of righteousness over us.