Ruth 3-4: Redeemed, Relatives and Rejoicing

            As we know the story of Ruth and Boaz have a great ending. In chapter three we have the courting process. As strange as it may be, it is quite honorable in that culture. Do not let our western eyes and thoughts bring ridicule to this love story.

We learn quite a bit about this Boaz and his role as kinsmen redeemer. While he is wealthy, he is honorable, compassionate and a hard worker.

Ruth is schooled by Naomi on the courtship with Boaz. Cleaning herself up and going to Boaz, lying at his feet. SO as not to bring embarrassment or reproach on either of them, Ruth leaves her humble position before daylight. This should not be seen as hypocritical behavior, but discretion and character.

After the evening, Boaz takes great interest in Ruth, trying to find out who she is and her family. He learns that there is another who might redeem her and that this matter must be closed before Boaz can pursue Ruth. Interesting – does not Satan our adversary claim right to us? Did not our Savior have to settle the issue with Satan – defeat in this case of death, so whatever ownership would be dealt with? Jesus on the cross was the price of our redemption. All suitors so to speak had to be dealt with so that Jesus would have full access to redeem a people who were not a people – Gentiles and foreigners we are – Ephesians 2.

            Please notice the work that God is doing in the life of Naomi – 3:16 is a definite change of heart. Naomi calls Ruth not her daughter-in-law but now daughter. I find the actions of Ruth; this outsider is actually the change agent in the life of a disgruntled Naomi.

            In chapter 4 we have the culmination of the Boaz and Ruth story, but the beginning or better yet the continuation of God’s plan to bring a “kinsman redeemer” in the person of Jesus Christ, while also preparing the establishment of the “Throne of David.”

            Boaz does all his account settling with a “cloud of witnesses” so there will be no further claims on Naomi and Ruth’s lives. When the only other person rejects redemption, Boaz has a clear path to act. The other relative could not redeem – but Boaz could and did. We must see this that there is no redemption except through Jesus Christ. He redeems us and does what Boaz does, Jesus has made us His Bride – the Church. Ephesians 5:22-26 describes how much he loves us.

            Boaz takes on the Goel role in 4:10. But this is anything but an obligation response, but a love response. I alluded to Tamar in the first blog on Ruth, now here in 4:12 we find the inclusion into this story. Restored was Naomi, but greater still was the new/on-going line of Jesus Christ. The reproach of Naomi has been replaced with restoration and rejoicing. Ruth and Boaz have a child named Obed – Obed is the father of Jesse who is the father of David – and the rest  is what we call history!

            So, what do we learn form this short yet impacting book? Difficulties in life should not cause us to quit but stay the journey. Naomi had to return to face the point of her departure in Bethlehem. We must be willing to travel along with “foreigners” if they are willing to follow our faith, through commitment.

            Finally, let the Father in Heaven finish writing His Story [your story] – Philippians 1:6!

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