“Who are you?” he asked. “I am your servant Ruth,” she said. “Spread the corner of your garment over me, since you are a guardian-redeemer of our family.” Ruth 3:9
When I pick up a book, I seldom think about the nice binding and how it provides protection for the delicate pages. Like most people, it’s the design that captures my attention. A well-crafted cover carries the mark of the publisher as well as the author. The title signifies the purpose of the book. The illustration on the front clarifies the message or the subject matter. The author’s name indicates ownership. On the back, the blurb summarizes the contents. An endorsement or two adds credibility. And, finally, the author’s photograph and brief biography convince readers of the author’s trustworthiness, making the book worthy of their investment.
In essence, the cover tells readers what they can expect to find inside.
The Creator in Us
The pages of Ruth’s life were tattered, torn, and exposed like a book without a cover. Everyone knew who she was and where she came from. She had no means of disguising that she was not only a foreigner but also a widow relying on the mercy of the townspeople to supply her and her mother-in-law Naomi’s needs.
Naomi, knowing the customs of her people, encouraged Ruth to seek favor in the eyes of Boaz—her kinsman redeemer. When he agreed to cover her with his garment, her life took on a new appearance. Wrapping her in his cloak sent a message to the community. The gesture indicated ownership and gave Ruth a sense of belonging. Along with Boaz’s covering came protection and acceptance, endorsing Ruth’s credibility and trustworthiness in the eyes of the Hebrew people.
Years ago, at an outdoor military function with my husband Gene, I, like Ruth, felt out of place in the presence of unfamiliar people—people with standards and jargon I didn’t understand. Suddenly, the wind changed, and my light sweater failed to keep me warm. My body shivered, and it was difficult to look comfortable.
Gene, knowing how much the cold bothered me, slipped off his army jacket and wrapped it around my shoulders. It hung to my knees. My fingertips peeked out the bottom of the sleeves. As his nametag and metals glistened in the sun, there came a new awareness of who I was and to whom I belonged. Not only that, wearing Gene’s jacket sent a message to everyone there. It endorsed my credibility and trustworthiness. I felt accepted.
Like Boaz and Gene, Jesus lovingly covers us in His garment—His righteousness—when we ask. It provides protection, signifies our purpose, and indicates ownership. Not only do people see Jesus’ covering when they look at us, but God recognizes His Son’s righteousness and responds with a warm welcome into His kingdom.
Knowing that Jesus has wrapped me in His righteousness builds my confidence and helps me feel accepted in situations in which I’d otherwise feel uneasy.
What changes has knowing that Jesus is your Kinsman Redeemer and that He covers you with His garment made in your life?
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Think of one step to guard against ungodliness?
By Brenda K. Hendricks
Brenda K. Hendricks is an artist who has experimented with her gift of painting most of her life. She enjoys imparting artistic skills, as well as knowledge of the Creator, to participants at art parties, retreats, and other Christian events. In addition to her love of painting, she has discovered a passion for writing. When not creating, Brenda hops on the seat behind her husband, Gene, to zoom over hill and dale on their Harley, admiring the wonders of nature in Central Pennsylvania where they live. The couple has been blessed with two daughters, seven grandchildren, and a psycho Airedale terrier named Hunter.