By Ashley LaBoube
None of us deserve grace. It comes by the unmerited favor of God, given because He loved us enough to die for us. Boaz gave grace to Ruth despite the fact she was a stranger. This same action should inspire us all to walk with grace toward others, as it just might be the one thing that changes the course of their life.
We all hope for and expect a Savior: whether a knight in shining armor or someone to save us from ourselves, in the end, we all long for someone who will offer us grace. Grace is the favor—the undeserved help—that comes to us as a spontaneous, generous, and life-changing gift. As Christians, we have been saved by grace, and we live by grace. Perhaps one of the greatest stories of grace is portrayed by the life of Ruth.Let us not fail to offer grace in a world where grace is so often forgotten, for it just might be grace that will change not only our whole story but theirs as well. Click To Tweet
As a Gentile, Ruth showed grace to her mother-in-law, Naomi, as she became a friend in the darkest of days, pledging “whither thou goest, I will go . . . thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God” (Ruth 1:16). Ruth stood by Naomi as they entered Bethlehem, a place unknown and foreign to Ruth, but it was there that Ruth hoped to find grace by the hand of Boaz (Ruth 2:2). Her humility attracted the grace of Boaz, who reciprocated her request because of “all that thou hast done unto thy mother in law” (Ruth 2:11).
Boaz showed kindness to Ruth even though she was a stranger, and further, he respected her for the sacrifices she had made to help Naomi. The provision God gave to Ruth as she approached the field of Boaz portrays God had His hand on her future.
“Our God . . . can summon unexpected reinforcements at any moment to aid His people” (F. B. Meyer).
F. B. Meyer said it well: “Our God . . . can summon unexpected reinforcements at any moment to aid His people. Believe that He is there between you and your difficulty, and what baffles you will flee before Him, as clouds before the gale.”
Ruth found grace in an unexpected place, but the grace may not have been fully unexpected; rather, it exceeded her expectation. She went into the field that day knowing she could glean but never expected to receive bundles, as Boaz had instructed his workman to leave for her. She hoped Boaz would notice her, but I’m certain she never anticipated to have her entire life changed by his hand. Her status was elevated to being counted among the greats like Rachel and Leah (Ruth 4:11). Not only Ruth, but Naomi also, reaped the grace Boaz offered, as she was “restored” and “nourished” in her old age (Ruth 4:14–15).
We find similarity in how Boaz treated Ruth and how our Savior treats us. I believe we all hoped for and somewhat expected a Savior. However, none of us could have imagined the lengths to which Jesus would go to do that saving. We all searched for grace and found it exceedingly at the cross. God shows His great love for us in this way, for He chose to die for us while we were yet sinners (Romans 5:6–8). He looks beyond our sin and offers us mercy—consistent mercy that is new every morning (Lamentations 3:22–23).
The law didn’t triumph; grace did.
Ruth was not of the same heritage as Boaz, yet he still offered grace. The law didn’t triumph; grace did. For us it is no different: “My grace is sufficient for thee” (II Corinthians 12:9). Jesus promised that no matter the circumstance, grace would be there. In his book In the Grip of Grace, Max Lucado writes, “The longer we walk in the garden, the more likely we are to smell the flowers. The more we immerse ourselves in grace, the more likely we are to give grace.” Boaz immersed himself in grace and gratitude as Jehovah was his provider. This made it easy for him to offer Ruth the same. What unexpected blessings might God send our way if we daily immerse ourselves in His grace? How will the world know unless we show them? Let us not fail to offer grace in a world where grace is so often forgotten, for it just might be grace that will change not only our whole story but theirs as well.
(A version of this article was printed in Pentecostal Life.)
- What is grace to you?
- In what ways have you received grace in your life?
- Boaz mentioned he wanted to help Ruth because of her commitment to Naomi. Do you feel our actions have the ability to attract grace, even though grace can be defined as a spontaneous gift?
- Has grace ever come to you in an unexpected place? How so?
- It has been said, “No man will ever be called to give more grace than he himself has received.” Do you feel this is true? Why or why not?