October 21, 2021
Scripture: He said, “Who are you?” And she answered, “I am Ruth, your servant. Spread your wings over your servant, for you are a redeemer.” Ruth 3:9 ESV
Observation: The question, “Who are you?,” is also found a second time in verse 17 when Ruth returns to Naomi and Naomi asks, “How did you fare, my daughter?” (The original Hebrew text reads: “Who are you?”) It’s no coincidence that both Boaz and Naomi ask the same question of Ruth. Boaz’s question was in response to being woken by a woman lying at his feet in the darkness of the night. Ruth had uncovered the corner of his blanket and was resting her head by his feet. In the Ancient Near East, when a suitor covered the corner of his garment over a maiden, it symbolized a marriage proposal. In the preceding verses, Ruth initiates the process by her actions. Nevertheless, Boaz asks, “Who are you?,” inviting Ruth to confirm her commitment to their future life together.
Naomi’s question is a bit more obscure. Ruth responds by telling Naomi all that happened. The implication? Naomi is asking Ruth to affirm that she is no longer the widow of Mahlon but soon to be the wife of a kinsman-redeemer.
Takeaway: This beautiful story points us to the work of Christ, our kinsman-redeemer. The questions asked of Ruth are presented to us as well. When we hear the Gospel and the Holy Spirit verifies its truth in our hearts and minds, we too are asked, “Who are you?” And our responses should be the same as that of Ruth: I am your servant; I am your bride. Christ came not to be served but to serve and give his life as a ransom (Mark 10:45), and he calls us to do the same (John 13:14-16). And we have new identities as brothers and sisters of Christ. For we the church are the bride of the bridegroom (Ephesians 5:22-33), our kinsman-redeemer.
Prayer: Father God, in your mercy, please deepen our understanding of our identity in your Son, that we might confidently know our secured positions as servants of Christ who are redeemed. Amen.
Rev. Gordon Green, M.Div., M.A. Counseling