“The Lord recompense you for what you have done, and a full reward be given you by the Lord, the God of Israel, under Whose wings you have come to take refuge!” (Ruth 2.12 AMP).
When Boaz first meets Ruth, she is gleaning grain from his land in accordance to the gleaning laws (Lev 19.9), which allow the poor to harvest from the corners of a field. Not only does Boaz acknowledge her, but he praises her for leaving her entire life behind in order to take care of her mother-in-law, Naomi, in a land where she is a foreigner. He then proclaims a blessing over her that the Lord will reward her for her sacrifice because she has found refuge under the Lord’s wings. The Hebrew word for wings is kanaph, which also can mean shirt or corner of a garment. Kanaph is found in many verses, including Psalm 91.4 NIV and Ezekiel 16.8 NIV, and it alludes to something of a covenant protection–like that of marriage. What Boaz may not realize at this point is that he will literally fulfill his own blessing to Ruth. God is going to use Boaz to provide Ruth His divine protection. Ruth eventually is able to remove Boaz‘s covering (protection), and she asks him to “spread the corner of your garment [kanaph] over me.” Essentially, Ruth is proposing to Boaz (a form of protection), and he accepts her proposal by fighting for her hand in marriage. God blesses us each with resources to bless, protect and care for those around us. It is one thing to speak a blessing, but it is another to be that blessing. Whether we are serving the people in our home, church, community and/or other nations (and everyone in between), we can spread the corners of our wings over others and use the resources God has given us to fulfill their needs.
“‘Who are you?’ he asked. ‘I am your servant Ruth,’ she said. ‘Spread the corner of your garment [kanaph] over me, since you are a guardian-redeemer of our family’” (Ruth 3.9 NIV).