Under the Wings of God – John Piper
July 8, 1984
What does a godly man look like?
Boaz greet his servants with this greeting, “The Lord be with you!”
How do we treat our ‘secular’ employees/underlings? How far down has the love and character of God penetrated our daily lives? You don’t judge a man’s character by his Sunday behaviour, but his weekly one.
What does a godly woman look like?
‘Please let me glean and gather among the sheaves after the reapers.’ She doesn’t presume any right as a foreign alien widow in the land, but comes before the Jews with humility. She is a woman of incredibly humility.
We see this all the more so in verse 10; what is our response to kindness? What is our response to God’s grace and mercy? Does it puff us up, or does it keep us low? Her response to Boaz’s kindness isn’t one of pride or self-respect, it is of humble astonishment.
Faithful to her word.
She takes initiative to support Naomi, even though she is a foreigner with less experience with the Jewish culture, less the Bethlehem community. Do we own the words we speak, and the promises we make, as God does to His own word? Psalms 33:4
Is grace conditional?
Boaz’s response to Ruth astonishment isn’t one that states ‘unconditional grace’, or ‘love has no conditions’. He states that her love and service to Naomi is the reason behind his kindness, ultimate pointing to her submission and taking refuge in the God of Israel as the reason behind her reward that the Lord will give her. God delights not so much as His people working for Him, but those who take refuge in Him. It is not just in the doing, but in the why we do that pleases Him. Indeed if we take refuge in Him, our service to Him and for Him comes forth naturally.
If we come to God and plead His value, instead of pleading our value and ability to ‘gift’ to Him what He demands, He will bless you for He seeks to exalt Himself (Psalms 34:8). It comes when we place His value over ours – we found Him valuable, safer than any other eagles in the sky.