Under His Wings
At the end of Ruth chapter 1, Ruth the Moabite ended up widowed and fleeing for refuge under the wings of the God of Israel. Will it work? Can Moabites find refuge under the wings of the God of Israel? Can you? This passage answers the question.
Judges, Ruth (New American Commentary), Daniel Block
I recently missed the instant classic Eagles/Bills game because I was attending Sunday Night Theology, a monthly theology lecture hosted by Christ Church West Chester. You can tell I’m not at all bitter, right? Right, so aside from the fact that I was missing the game, when I came out of the lecture to walk to dinner with a few of the pastors who were also there, I realized it was pouring rain, and of course, I had no umbrella. But I had my jacket, which also has a hood, and I knew it wasn’t exactly “waterproof”, but surely it would offer some protection, right, some refuge from the rain as it came pouring down? Well, I didn’t realize how “not waterproof” it was until I walked 15 minutes each way in that rain while wearing it and got drenched. I had no umbrella and no waterproof jacket, and so in the rain, I had no refuge.
This week we’re continuing our short series through the short book of Ruth. In chapter 1, which we looked at last week, Ruth also ended up in a situation without any visible refuge. Her husband died, and she had no sons. You probably immediately recognize that as sad, but in the ancient world, it wasn’t just sad; it was dangerous! At that time grown women were dependent on their husbands to provide for and protect them, and then if their husband died, they depended on their sons for provision and protection. But if a woman’s husband died AND she had no sons, she was left without provision or protection. So in chapter 1, Naomi, Ruth’s mother-in-law, who was also widowed in chapter 1, tells her to return to her home country of Moab, where Ruth could have sought refuge from the gods of Moab, which were not the God of Israel, the God we Christians now worship. But instead, Ruth chose to cling to Naomi, to go wherever she goes, and even to make Naomi’s god, the God of Israel, her God. In other words, like I put on that jacket in West Chester for refuge from the rain, Ruth put on the God of Israel for refuge in her husband-less and son-less situation. And the question that then sets up for us in chapter 1 is, “Will it work?” Will a Moabite, a non-Israelite widow, who takes refuge in the LORD, find it? Could you, if you sought refuge in the LORD, the God of Israel, find it? In this story we will see that the answer is yes: God extends his steadfast love to any who take refuge in him, and he does so through a great man, who provides and protects, and who is a redeemer.
Through a great man
Our passage begins by introducing a relative of Naomi’s husband whose name was Boaz. When it says he was of the clan of Elimelech, who is Naomi’s now deceased husband, it means something like an extended family; maybe a third cousin or something. The book of Ruth has three main characters: Naomi and Ruth are two of them, who we met in chapter one, and Boaz is the third, who is introduced here for the first time, and he is introduced in verse 1 not only as a man of the clan of Elimelech, but as a “worthy man”. The ESV chose the phrase “worthy man” there because we do not have a perfect English word to translate the two Hebrew words that describe the kind of man Boaz is. Some other possible words to give you a sense of the meaning could include a strong man, a mighty man, a wealthy man, a dignified man, a respectable man, or a morally upright man. I think the simplest way to capture it in English would be to say that he was a great man, as God defines greatness, and the rest of the story will fill out what that means. So there is your introduction to Boaz in verse 1: He’s a man of the clan of Elimelech, and he is a great man.
He enters Ruth and Naomi’s lives when Ruth the Moabite makes a request of Naomi, recorded for us in verse 2: “Let me go to the field and glean among the ears of grain after him in whose sight I shall find favor.” The narrator does not just call her Ruth, but Ruth the Moabite. Even though we all know from chapter 1 that Ruth was a Moabite, he brings it up again here, and again in verse 6, and again in verse 21, to help us get a sense of just how difficult a situation Ruth is in. Not only is she a widow, which already left her extremely vulnerable, but on top of that, she is a Moabite, a foreigner among the people of Israel, and a foreigner from a people group that had been a political enemy of Israel, a people group that worshipped other gods besides the LORD, and a source of temptation for Israel to turn from the LORD their God. In other words, the Israelites had reasons not to like the Moabites, and even the LORD himself had reasons not to like the Moabites. In the world the LORD made, they gave his glory to other gods! And yet, in chapter 1, Ruth, committed to Naomi’s people, the Israelites, and Naomi’s God, the LORD.
So here is Ruth the Moabite, in the LORD’s land, among the LORD’s people, without husband or sons to provide for her, who committed in chapter one to love Naomi, who is also without husband or sons, and who therefore also stands in need of provision. So what does she do? She requests in verse 2 that Naomi let her go to the field and glean among the ears of grain after him in whose sight she shall find favor. Why seek provision in this way? The most likely explanation is that Naomi has been teaching Ruth the law of the LORD, the God of Israel, and in his law he commanded in multiple places that “When you reap your harvest in your field and forget a sheaf in the field, you shall not go back to get it. It shall be for the sojourner, the fatherless, and the widow, that the LORD your God may bless you in all the work of your hands” (Deut 24:19). Good news for Ruth: The LORD, the God under whose wings she had now come for refuge, cared about the sojourner, the fatherless, and the widow, and Ruth was at least two of those: A sojourner from Moab and a widow. So here in verse 2 Ruth’s faith in the LORD moves her to act, and to seek provision from him through the means he provided: Picking up the leftover sheaves during the harvest. In chapter 1, Elimelech and Naomi sought to meet their need for food by turning from the LORD, and they ended up empty. Here Ruth the Moabite seeks to meet her need for food in the way the LORD provided.
Consider that next time you feel you need something. Ruth took her need to God’s word and sought God’s provision of the need through the means God had appointed in his word. Do that with your felt needs. First, hold up your felt need to scripture and consider, “Do I really need this, or do I just want this?” It’s not wrong to want things you don’t need; some wants are wrong, such as when we want things God has forbidden, but not all wants are wrong; they just aren’t necessarily needs. I would encourage you to be very careful in your use of the word “need”. Ruth had a real need here, right? Most directly, she needed to eat, and she needed to help Naomi eat. Jesus assures us that our heavenly Father knows we need things like food, drink, and shelter (Matt 6:31-32), and so even teaches us to pray for our daily bread (Matt 6:11), but do you really need a bigger house, for example, or do you just want one? So that’s the first step to examine your felt needs by God’s word: Is it truly a need, or just a want?
Then the next step that we especially see in Ruth’s action here is to ask: “What means has God provided for this need to be met?” If our heavenly father knows what we need and cares for us, you can trust that he has provided a way for our genuine needs to be met. Let’s consider an example: A felt need for relationships with other humans. Step 1: Is it a need or just a want? I would say from scripture that it is a need: In Genesis 2:18, when Adam had a perfect relationship with God, God still said it was not good for man to be alone, and so made another human, although even there it’s worth mentioning that he needed another human not so much to satisfy his “need” to feel loved, which is really more of a want, but rather he needed another human to more fully image God and with whom to be fruitful and multiply. Ok, step 2, how has God provided for that need to be met? One obvious answer is marriage, as the other human God created for Adam was the woman he was to marry. But we also see as scripture develops that spiritual friendship is another means God has provided. The longer I’m a pastor the more convinced I am that whereas many people feel they need professional counseling, what they really need is a godly spouse and/or a couple godly friends. But you can pay to see a professional counselor next week, whereas marriage and friendship are hard work, and more obviously outside your control to produce. But notice that was Ruth’s situation too: We see in this chapter that it was hard work for her to glean among the ears of grain in Boaz’s field, and she was dependent on God to provide such grain.
Maybe that’s less obvious to you in her case because it seems straightforward, right? God told the Israelites to leave sheaves behind during their harvest for the sojourner, fatherless, and widow, Ruth was at least two of those, so she could go to any old Israelite field and get provision for her and Naomi. And, of course, it would have been that straightforward if we could assume that all the Israelites did what the LORD told them to do. But if you know anything about your own heart, let alone the story of Israel, you should be able to recognize that is not a valid assumption. Even as God’s people, we don’t always do what God tells us to do, and Israel especially often did not. Remember a couple weeks ago in Hebrews how we saw that God made a covenant with Israel when he brought them out of slavery in Egypt, but they did not continue in that covenant! Remember last week in chapter 1 of Ruth where we saw that this story took place in the days when the judges ruled, and here’s how the book of Judges described those days: “In those days there was no king in Israel. Everyone did what was right in his own eyes” (Judges 17:6). And you can read about how women fared in such a scenario in the book of Judges, especially chapter 19, if you want to get a clearer sense of just how dangerous Ruth’s scenario was as she prepared to go out to glean in the fields of men she did not know. Notice later in verse 22 of our passage that Naomi told Ruth to stay in Boaz’s field lest she be assaulted; that’s the kind of risk she was facing by going out to glean!
So verse 2 sets up this question: Will Ruth find any Israelite who actually does what the LORD required and leaves behind sheaves of grain for the sojourner, the fatherless, and the widow? In these dark days when the judges ruled, were there any great men left in Israel? We know from verse 1 that the answer is yes, but we don’t know until verse 3 whether Ruth will find him. She clearly didn’t know he existed; in verse 2 she just says, “Let me go to the field and glean among the ears of grain after him in whose sight I shall find favor.” But then we come to verse 3, and what do you know? In the words of the text, she “happened to come” to the part of the field belonging to Boaz, that great man who was of the clan of Elimelech. The narrator here is using irony, winking at us as it were, as if to say, “She just happened to end up in his field, right?” assuming we will see that it was by the LORD’s secret providence that she ended up there. The question set up in the first two verses is will Ruth find a great man in Israel? Now we know the answer is yes. But remember the bigger question that chapter 1 sets up, is if a Moabite takes refuge in the LORD, the God of Israel, will he extend his steadfast love, the steadfast love we know he has for Israel, to her? And already by verse 3 our narrator drops us a big bread crumb that suggests the answer is yes. God extends his steadfast love to any who take refuge in him through a great man, the great man to whose field the LORD brought Ruth, and next we see that this great man provides for and protects Ruth.
Who provides and protects
In verse 4 Boaz enters the scene. You can think of Bethlehem as the city in the region, so he was probably there doing business, and then returned to his field at the time Ruth was there. In verse 4 we see that he greeted his reapers by saying, “the LORD be with you”, and this begins our narrator’s depiction of Boaz’s greatness. The words translated “worthy” in verse 1 can include the connotation of wealth, and we can see in the description of Boaz that he is a man of some wealth. He owned part of a field, and as the story progresses, we see that he was able to support both male and female servants. The amount of wealth you accumulate is in God’s hands ultimately, but a willingness to work hard, implied in Boaz’s wealth and exemplified explicitly in Ruth’s action throughout the chapter, is certainly part of greatness in God’s sight. But it is what one does with one’s wealth, however great the wealth is or is not, that matters more in God’s sight, and it is this feature of Boaz’s greatness that is emphasized throughout the rest of the chapter.
We get the sense in verse 4, for example, that not only was he wealthy enough to have servants; he was kind to them. He blessed them in the name of the LORD, and they seem to have appreciated his authority, as they too responded with a blessing in the name of the LORD. Then he notices a woman he did not recognize, and one of his servants identifies her as Ruth, the Moabite who came with Naomi from Moab. So in verse 8, Boaz turns to address Ruth. He tells her to remain in his field, and in verse 9 he promises protection and provision. We see protection first in that he has charged his young men not to touch her. Imagine a vulnerable woman of marriageable age in an open field with a bunch of young men around, in a time before police, when the legal system was much more primitive, and I am sure you can imagine how that could go poorly. But Boaz sees to it that Ruth will be safe in his field. On top of that, he not only allows her to gather the sheaves, as the law required, but he permits her to drink the water that the men have drawn, and this begins the promise of provision. It was typical in that world for women to draw water for men, but here Boaz allows Ruth the Moabite to drink the water the men draw.
Ruth recognizes the greatness of Boaz’s actions in verse 10 when she falls on her face and bows down to the ground. She specifically mentions her foreign status again and wonders why Boaz would show her such favor. He responds that he has heard of all that Ruth did for Naomi and how she left her land and came to a people she did not know before. So he asks in verse 12 that the LORD would repay her for what she has done, and give her a full reward. As Ruth explicitly highlighted her foreign status, so here Boaz explicitly highlights that the LORD is the God of Israel, and nonetheless, he wishes that the God of Israel would reward Ruth the foreigner, as she has now come to take refuge under the wings of the God of Israel.
This image of the LORD spreading his wings over his people appears throughout the Old Testament. In Deuteronomy 32:11 the LORD is described as spreading his wings over Israel as he led them through the wilderness. The Psalmist assures the people of Israel that under his wings they will find refuge (Psalm 91:4). But what about the Moabite, the foreigner? Here we see that even she, if she takes refuge in the God of Israel, will find provision and protection under his wings, as God gives it through this great man, Boaz. We see more of his greatness in verse 13, where Ruth says he comforted her and spoke kindly to her. Though that word “great” also carries a connotation of strength, Boaz spoke gently and comforted this vulnerable woman in his field.
In verses 14-16, the provision and protection increase and abound. At mealtime, which we’d call lunch, Boaz feeds her enough bread and grain that she is not only satisfied, but has some leftover. When she goes to glean again after the meal, he tells the men not only to let her collect the sheaves they leave behind, but to also give her some from the bundles. And, this time he not only tells the men not to touch her; he also tells them not to reproach or rebuke her. To speak somewhat anachronistically, we could say that he was concerned not only for her physical safety, but her psychological safety. He cared not only about what his young men did to her body, but about the words they spoke to her.
To my fellow men in the room, is this the kind of greatness to which you aspire? We live in a world that tends to make men feel a bit sheepish about pursuing greatness, a world engaged in what Nancy Pearcey has recently called a “toxic war on masculinity” and even in my own experience as a Christian man, I’ve felt a bit hesitant to think about becoming a great man. Aren’t we supposed to be humble, to deny ourselves, and to focus on Jesus’ greatness, rather than our own? Wasn’t it a bad thing when Jesus’ disciples debated among themselves as to who of them would be the greatest? Yes it was, but Jesus didn’t respond to them by telling them to kill their desire for greatness. Instead, he said, “let the greatest among you become as the youngest, and the leader as one who serves” (Luke 22:26). Humility is the opposite of the world’s concept of greatness; but it is actually central to God’s concept of greatness. Men, God wants you to be great men. You should aspire to that, and here we have a picture of greatness as God defines it in this depiction of Boaz. What do we see in it?
He lived with a significant God-consciousness. To use Old Testament verbiage, he walked with God. When he sees his servants, it’s “the LORD be with you”. When he speaks to Ruth, it’s, “the LORD repay you for what you have done, and a full reward be given you by the LORD, the God of Israel.” The truly great man is the godly man. He was wealthy, and again, the amount of your wealth is really in God’s hands, but part of becoming a great man is getting out of bed, getting to work on time, working hard, earning money, and exercising self-control in how you spend that money so that you are able to deploy it for the glory of God and the good of others, which is really the focus of Boaz’s greatness in this chapter. If you do that faithfully and God should choose to increase your influence in such a way that you have the opportunity to take on greater responsibilities, such as managing employees as we see here, or managing a household, as we’ll see later in the book, part of being a great man is being willing to take on those responsibilities. It is always going to be easier, and in some shallow sense, “more fun” to stay single, play video games, take cool vacations, and let other people lead your company, your church, your neighborhood, your city, and your country, but when you are willing to take on the weighty responsibility of authority as God provides it, God can actually use you to provide for and protect others.
Consider especially sojourners and widows. God commands us to love all our neighbors as ourselves, but as Tim Keller has helpfully put it, he also commands us to have a “special concern” for the vulnerable, including sojourners and widows like Ruth. Brothers, let’s take the lead in noticing people who are new to our church to welcome them. Let’s take the lead in noticing those who may have to jump over a higher cultural hurdle to really belong here and go out of our way to include them in this church family. Let’s take the lead in noticing material needs even and use the wealth God has given us as we work unto him to meet those needs in wise ways. Let’s take the lead in noticing not only women whose husbands have died, literal widows, but grown women in our midst who are without husbands, and consider ways to care for them. If you’re a single man, that may mean asking one out on a date and considering marriage with them; Boaz does marry Ruth in the end (sorry for the spoiler!). But in chapter 2 marriage isn’t on the scene at all; he’s just doing what any great man would do for a sojourner and a widow. Let’s be the kind of brothers who do things like walk sisters home in the dark or drop them off and park their cars for them or help them with things around their house, whether we’d ever marry them or not. In fact, if you want a wife, start pursuing this vision of greatness now. Ruth 2 comes before Ruth 3 and 4; Boaz was faithful to care for the sojourner and the widow before he got married. Be faithful over little before you expect God to set you over much. Bless those you lead in the name of the Lord, comfort and speak tenderly to women, provide for and protect others, especially sojourners and widows. That’s a harder life, but it’s a greater life. To my brothers in this church, can we aspire to live that kind of life together? Can we spur one another on to that kind of greatness?
And sisters, would you help us? I know I’m focusing on the men because Boaz’s character is more in focus in chapter 2 than Ruth’s, but in 3:11 Boaz describes Ruth as a “worthy woman”, using one of the two words used for Boaz in 2:1. In other words, she is also a picture of a great woman, as God defines greatness. She takes refuge under God’s wings and trusts him to provide instead of living out of fear when she goes into the field, not knowing what men she might encounter there. She worked hard; we read in verse 17 that she gleaned in the field until evening, then beat out the grain, somehow carried 22 liters of grain back to Bethlehem, shared it with Naomi, and then we learn at the end of the chapter that she continued doing that through the whole barley and wheat harvests. I see my wife do the hard work all day of loving me and caring for three young children, then when they’re in bed, she goes back to work leading our church’s kids ministry and our kids’ preschool, both without pay. Great woman aren’t snowflakes; Ruth wasn’t. Nor was she proud. She does not seize authority God has not given her. She does not grumble about having to gather the sheaves the servants leave behind in the harvest. She does not approach Boaz with a spirit of entitlement. Instead, she approaches him respectfully, even bowing to the ground in his presence, and receives his provision and protection with humble amazement and gratitude. And in so doing, not only is she exemplifying a great woman; she is helping Boaz be a great man by providing space and encouragement for him to provide for and protect her. Sisters, will you spur one another on to Ruth’s kind of greatness?
And let’s all help one another pursue God’s vision of greatness. Brothers, if you want to see more God-trusting, hard-working, respectful women like Ruth, lead with godliness, work hard, and become the kind of men worthy of respect. Sisters, if you want to see more godly, hard-working, gentle, dignified men who provide for and protect sojourners and widows like Boaz did, give men space to lead, encourage that in them when you see it, and refuse to date or marry men who are not pursuing this vision of greatness. I remember Peter Li, a member here, telling me years ago that he became a better Citygroup leader when he was leading with Shannon Capps, another member here, because Shannon, though very capable, was constantly giving Peter space to lead and encouraging him to do so. Brothers and sisters, God works through these things! This story is showing us that God extends his steadfast love to any who take refuge in him through a great man who provides and protects, and, finally we see in our passage, through a man who is a redeemer.
Who is a redeemer
After Ruth brings the grain back, feeds Naomi, and tells her that the man’s name with whom she worked that day was Boaz, Naomi first says in verse 20, “May he be blessed by the LORD, whose kindness has not forsaken the living or the dead.” Notice she doesn’t say, “Man; Boaz sure is great,” though as we’ve seen, he was. Instead, she recognizes that it was not ultimately Boaz’s kindness that had not forsaken the living or the dead; it was the LORD’s. After all, how was it that Ruth “happened to come” to the part of the field that belonged to Boaz? Naomi knows: It was by the LORD’s kindness, and that word for kindness there in verse 20 is a word we saw last week, the Hebrew word hesed, commonly translated as “steadfast love,” and the idea of steadfast love is covenant love, God’s committed love for his people. Again, anyone familiar with the Old Testament knows God has such hesed for Israel, but what has happened in this chapter is he has extended that steadfast love, like an eagle extending its wings, to cover even the Moabite who sought refuge under his wings.
The “living” in verse 20 is obviously Ruth and Naomi, but what about the dead? Why does Naomi say that his kindness has also not forsaken the dead? Because Elimelech, Naomi’s now deceased husband, faced a bigger threat than death: He faced the threat of his family being extinct, and his name being blotted out from the land. Some background may help here: When God brought the people of Israel out of Egypt and settled them in the promised land of Canaan, he also apportioned out the land of Canaan according to the twelve tribes of Israel, and within those tribal allotments, different families had their own plot of land. A man would be the head of his family with a certain plot of land, and then the hope for after his death was that his sons would continue living there, perpetuate his name in the land, and so the land would remain with the family to which it was allotted. All men died, but at least their name could live on this way. But Elimelech didn’t just die. In chapter 1, we saw that both of his sons died also. Therefore, there is no man to perpetuate his name in the land, such that not only is he dead, but his name is at risk of dying out as well.
Except Naomi, upon hearing of Boaz’s presence, recognizes that through him, the LORD has not abandoned his steadfast love not only to her, but to Elimelech as well, because, as she goes on to say in verse 20, Boaz is a close relative of theirs, one of their redeemers. Now we see why it was such a big deal back in the first three verses that Boaz was not only a great man, but a man of the clan of Elimelech. In the law God gave Israel, in addition to providing for the sojourner, the fatherless, and the widow, God provided for those who lost their land by ensuring that a close relative of theirs could buy the land back (Lev 25:25-30), and even marry their widowed wives (Deut 25:5-10), the combination of which would perpetuate the name of the dead in his inheritance, as Boaz puts it in chapter 4. So what does it mean that Boaz is a redeemer? It means he is one who has a responsibility and right under God’s law to perpetuate Elimelech’s name in his land by acquiring the land and marrying his widow, who we’ll see will be Ruth, not Naomi, as Ruth is the one still at the age to reproduce. But remember, just because God’s law says it doesn’t mean people will do it. Will Boaz redeem Ruth? The rest of the book will show us, but for now we can already see that Naomi had hope of such a thing. She told Ruth to stay in his field, lest in another field she be assaulted. Among all the Israelite men you can’t trust, who in those days did what was right in their own eyes, there was one great man Ruth could trust.
And in our world today, where so many still do what is right in their own eyes, there is one great man you can trust. In another place during Jesus’ life when he spoke on greatness, he said this: “But whoever would be great among you must be your servant, 44 and whoever would be first among you must be slave of all. 45 For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many” (Mark 10:43-45). Who is the truly great man? It’s the Son of Man, who came not to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many, for you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you by his poverty might become rich (2 Cor 8:9). Spiritually we were all like Ruth back in Moab when her husband died: Vulnerable and without refuge. We were those who did what was right in our own eyes, and therefore we were justly under the sentence of God’s wrath, with no real refuge from it. But God extended his steadfast love through Jesus Christ, the great man, the bread of life, who provided for us a righteousness not our own, a perfect sacrifice that paid for all our sins, and the eternal life that he inherited when he rose from the dead and ascended into heaven. Now God promises that whoever believes in him, whoever takes refuge under his wings in Christ, will be provided with abundant life that never ends, and protected from his wrath when it comes. The only refuge from God’s wrath is in God Himself, through the great man, the God-man, Jesus Christ. Turn from your sins, turn from the weak refuge of your excuses and your efforts to make yourself good, and take refuge in Christ alone for salvation. Whether you are male or female, and whatever your nation of origin, that salvation is your ultimate need, and Christ is the means God has provided to meet it.
Brothers, Boaz is a picture of greatness as God defines it in this passage, but even that picture is a mere shadow of the great man, Jesus Christ. Become like him. Don’t try to be him; you are not the Christ. There are things others need, things a wife even needs, that you simply cannot provide, and you will deceive them and drive a wedge between them and Christ if you act like you can. You cannot atone for the sins of others, you cannot transform the character of others, you cannot be omnipresent for others, you cannot always know how to sustain others with a word, and so on. But by the Spirit of Jesus in you, you can walk with God, work as unto him, take on greater responsibility as he gives it, speak tenderly, and use the resources he gives you to provide for and protect the sojourner and the widow, especially among your church family. Did you notice in the passage how Boaz addresses Ruth as his daughter? Why? Because he recognized she was now part of the family of God, and he took that kind of responsibility for her, apart from marriage. Brothers, take that kind of responsibility for your church family. Encourage older men as you would a father, younger men as brothers, older women as mothers, younger women as sisters and even daughters, in all purity.
And ladies, though I pray that if you desire to be married that God will give you a man pursuing Jesus’ vision of greatness, though I pray that God uses this church to develop such men, and though I pray that if you are married, you will respect your husband and encourage him toward greatness, there is only one great man you ultimately need, and it is Jesus himself. Remember that when you have no husband, or when the one you do have isn’t as great as he should be, and Jesus will make you into a great woman. Brothers and sisters, let’s pursue Christ-like greatness together. Parents, lets raise our boys and girls to be Christ-like great men and women. And let’s take refuge in the greatest man there ever was or ever will be, because God extends his steadfast love to all who take refuge in him through a great man who provides and protects, and who is a redeemer.