May you be richly rewarded by the Lord, the God of Israel, under whose wings you have come to take refuge. (Ruth 2:12)

The word deliverer conjures up many mental images, most of them of someone who is strong and mighty in battle. A deliverer is usually a courageous warrior who defeats an enemy and rescues a captive. So it’s intriguing that the deliverer in today’s verses is not a mighty warrior but a farmer. Here we see the deliverer presented as a nurturer—as one who takes a vulnerable person under his wings.

As a young widow, Ruth was in a precarious situation. There was not much of a safety net for the poor in the ancient world, and Ruth did not have the means to provide for herself. Still, she chose to leave her family and homeland of Moab to live with her widowed mother-in-law, Naomi, in Bethlehem in Judah. She cast her lot with Naomi and placed her hope in Israel and Naomi’s God.

In one sense, Boaz, the farmer, became Ruth’s deliverer. First, he told his harvesters not to harass Ruth and to leave some extra sheaves for her. Then, at her request, he carefully worked the process to redeem her and make her his wife. But Boaz clearly understood who Ruth’s true deliverer was: She had taken refuge under the wings of the God of Israel (2:12).

When we place our hope in God, He becomes our nurturer and deliverer.

Place your hope in God; He will take you under His wings.

Kevin Scott is a pastor, acquisitions editor, and author of ReCreatable. He lives in Noblesville, Indiana, with his wife and three children.