People Who Don't Belong

Michael Wilcock

READ : Ruth 2:4-7

“Whose woman is this?” (v. 5)

Some time ago a man arrived by air in Paris without the papers he needed either to
enter France or to go anywhere else. For years he remained in limbo, living in Charles de
Gaulle Airport on charity, an object of curiosity, while the lawyers argued. He was
stateless. He didn’t belong anywhere.

Many people think that is a bizarre situation and yet don’t themselves have much of a
sense of “belonging.” We live in societies where people have little experience of
community. Boaz’s conversation with his foreman about Ruth opens up something wonderful
for such people. He doesn’t ask who this newcomer is. He asks whose she is. He is
concerned to know not just her personal identity, but what family or household she belongs
to. He discovers, of course, that her links with her Moabite family have been severed by
distance and those with her Israelite family have been severed by death. She does not
really belong anywhere.

But she for her part will discover that God has a special care for such people. Psalm
68:5-6 calls the Lord “a father for the fatherless and protector of widows,” a God who
“settles the solitary in a home.”


Lord, thank you that you care about people who feel they don’t belong.