Imagine this dramatic scene. It had been a busy day in the fields, and Boaz was exhausted. He went to lie down in a quiet corner spot, “at the far end of the grain pile” (v. 7). Quietly, Ruth approached the sleeping man, uncovered his legs, and settled at his feet. In the middle of the night, Boaz woke with a start, shocked to see a figure in the darkness.
“Who are you?” he asked (v. 9). “I am your servant Ruth,” she replied, using the term ama for “servant” (v. 9). Her word choice was significant; showing great respect. God was in the details of this event. He provided the right place, a corner where Ruth’s visit could happen without interruption or misinterpretation. Thus, the theme of God’s providence is highlighted again.
Then Ruth made her bold request: “Spread the corner of your garment over me, since you are a guardian-redeemer of our family” (v. 9). The Hebrew word for the “corner of your garment” is kanap, the same word Boaz used in Ruth 2:12 to bless Ruth: “May you be richly rewarded by the LORD, the God of Israel, under whose wings (kanap) you have come to take refuge.” In effect, Ruth was asking Boaz to become the answer to his own prayer.
Boaz responded with the high character we have come to expect. He blessed Ruth again and praised her kindness. He told her that this hesed was even greater than her previous hesed. She had displayed love upon love. Boaz assured Ruth that he would honor her request. However, according to tradition, another man, a closer kinsman redeemer, must first be consulted. Boaz would follow the law in the morning.
>> Ruth sets a wonderful example for us by showing love upon love to others. What are ways you can demonstrate hesed to the people in your life today? Look for quiet opportunities to demonstrate unexpected compassion, kindness and generosity to others today.
Lord God, as we meditate on Your goodness, how can we fail to extend kindness to others? Endow us with Your supernatural love and compassion toward everyone we encounter. Reveal Yourself through our words and deeds.