Ruth had responded to Naomi’s instructions with the words, “I will do whatever you say” (3:5). Ruth trusts Naomi. In turn, Naomi trusts Boaz, saying, “He will tell you what to do” (3:4).
Yet this is a moment of great risk and vulnerability. Ruth makes her request, “Spread the corner of your garment over me, since you are a guardian-redeemer of our family”. There is a visual parallel with Boaz’s first conversation with Ruth, in which he spoke a benediction over her, “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” (2:12). Ruth now seeks refuge with Boaz, that he might spread a protective covering over her life.
Yet once again, while human activity and decisions are at work, God’s activity is crucial as we see God working to ensure that Boaz becomes the answer to his own prayer of blessing over Ruth. For the LORD is working to repay Ruth for her loyalty to Naomi, and for choosing Israel and Israel’s God. Having taken refuge under the wings of the God of Israel, Ruth is discovering that in this place, with this God, there is blessing. Ultimately, it is God who guards and redeems life.
As we make our decisions and take action in our lives, are we trusting that God is at work to bless us?