Ruth. What a beautiful story! If you haven't read the book of Ruth you need to! It’s right in between Judges and 1st Samuel and isn't too long so you can read it in a half hour. It is set in the same time frame as the book of Judges, yet it has a different tone. Judges is crazy! Thumbs and big toes being cut off from kings. Individuals rising up that God has equipped and empowered to deliver the nation of Israel from their oppressors and Israel’s waywardness. Fields on fire. Yeah! God needed to intervene!
Amongst one of Israel’s tougher times in history you see this beautiful desert flower emerge. Naomi’s family moves out from Israel because of severe famine, goes to Moab, her husband and 2 sons all die in a span of 10 years, and Naomi encourages her two daughter-in-laws to go back home for there is no one left in the family to marry and carry on the lineage. Naomi was devastated and says in the story that God had raised his fist against her. Everything was taken away. BUT… in short, Ruth says this in chapter 1, “I will go where you go, live where you live, die where you die, and may the Lord punish me if I separate from you.” Ruth refuses to leave because of her love and desire to comfort Naomi. As they return home, Ruth meets Boaz.
As you read the story, I want you to notice that Boaz was considered to be one of the family redeemers. This means that he could marry Ruth, unless another relative wanted to marry Ruth, and continue on the family lineage, heritage, and name. Boaz is a kinsmen redeemer. Why is this important? Did you notice that Boaz looked on her favorably, allowed her to pick grain, treated her with kindness, met her needs, and desired to redeem the family line? Does that sound familiar to a New Testament character? One who would save, redeem, meet our needs, and look favorably upon us?
Boaz is one of the Old Testament’s most perfect pictures of Jesus. Amongst all the waywardness of the nation, here was one honorable man. He desired to do not only what was required, but he did so willingly. AND Paul writes in his letter to the Romans that salvation is for the Jew first and then the Gentile. Ruth wasn't a Jew. Do you think that God was painting a picture for His plan of salvation? Also, Ruth was written approximately 1000 years before Romans. God is amazing!
Jesus has done this for the whole world and God inspired the writer of Ruth to document this so we could see God’s plan for salvation 1000 years in advance. He saves, He redeems, He meets ALL of our needs, and He loves us! Now go tell someone who needs their situation and family redeemed by someone who can permanently fulfill that promise!
Pastor Josh Heilbrun
Jamestown Campus Pastor
New Life Church