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“I’ve been told all about what you have done for your mother-in-law since the death of your husband—how you left your father and mother and your homeland and came to live with a people you did not know before. 12 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.”
These are Boaz’s words to Ruth, the foreigner woman that he finds gleaning the leftover fallen sheaves of wheat and barley from his field.
Boaz is a relative of Naomi’s and evidently a very kind man. With a little help from Naomi, Ruth finds favor in Boaz’ eyes, and it isn’t long before Boaz expresses an interest in improving the lot of both Naomi and Ruth, and soon Boaz takes Ruth for his wife. They have a child and name him Obed. Naomi’s friends say this about Ruth to Naomi:
“Praise be to the LORD, who this day has not left you without a guardian-redeemer. May he become famous throughout Israel! 15He will renew your life and sustain you in your old age. For your daughter-in-law, who loves you and who is better to you than seven sons, has given him birth.”
And why is any of this significance? Obed is the father of Jesse who is the father of David, and we know of course, how David’s line may be traced down directly to Joseph and Mary, the earth-parents of Jesus. This was the import of these two individuals, Ruth and Boaz.
Turning to our reading in the gospel of John, we encounter the second miracle that Jesus performs: healing the sick son of a local official who approaches Jesus to ask that he come immediately with him to his house. But Jesus simply says to him, “Go, your son will live.”
The man turns around to go home, and it must have apparently been somewhat of a long journey, perhaps an overnight one, because we learn that the next day when he is close to home, his servants come out to meet him to give him the good news: the son is well!
Such was the power of this man Jesus’ words, and such was the great faith that this official had in Jesus’ words!
Our psalm for the day is one that recounts the history of the children of Israel, particularly their time in Egypt and the miraculous way in which they were brought out by the Lord.
And finally, our two verses from the book of Proverbs that are worthy of reflection for the day are these:
26 Whoever fears the LORD has a secure fortress, and for their children it will be a refuge.
27 The fear of the LORD is a fountain of life, turning a person from the snares of death.
May God bless the reading and reflection of His Word.