Ruth Chapter 2: Undeserved Favor

Last week we began a new devotional series through the book of Ruth. We will be reading one chapter each week. Since our passages are longer, you will need your Bible. The main idea in this series is identity. We will see how the three main characters - Ruth, Naomi, and Boaz - all change their perspectives on who they are through God's goodness. This week will be about Ruth.

Read Ruth Chapter 2.

In this chapter, the focus shifts from Naomi to Ruth. Like Naomi, Ruth is having a crisis of identity. Her husband has died, she has left her family and her home country, and is a foreigner in a new land. She’s an outsider putting her life and health at risk by gleaning food from fields - an unmarried foreign woman with no rights surrounded by men who could mean her harm.

But as God’s will would have it, the first field Ruth enters belongs to Boaz. He is a kind and godly family member of Naomi’s. Hearing of Ruth’s selflessness, Boaz instructs his men not to touch her. He is generous with his food and water. The only thing he knows about Ruth is that she is Naomi’s daughter-in-law, his family. And yet he shows her much favor.

Boaz showing this kind of undeserved favor is a huge indicator that he is a type of Christ: An Old Testament character who shows us the nature of God before Christ’s incarnation. In Boaz’s dealings with Ruth, we see a picture of how Jesus treats us.

Our identity is found in being one with Jesus. His Spirit within us keeps us safe from danger. Communion with Jesus, the bread of life, provides us with the spiritual food we need to survive. Even though we are foreigners, enemies even, to the Kingdom of God, we are highly favored by Jesus. And we don’t do anything to deserve this! No matter what we’ve done, the love and sacrifice of Jesus is the only factor in our citizenship in God's Kingdom. Because of our identity in Christ, our pasts do not define us. Instead, we enjoy undeserved favor from God.

Reflection Questions:
  • Your past does not define you, the love and grace of Jesus is your new identity. How does that change the way you think about yourself?
  • For all the believers you know, their pasts do not define them. How does that change your relationships with the believers around you?
  • Let’s make this personal. Think about someone whose past you are letting define them. It could be yourself, a family member who’s hurt you, someone in your community who’s made a mistake, or even a group of people you disagree with. How can you show them the undeserved favor and grace of Jesus?