Life is hard. It’s complicated. It’s messy.
I have a friend who was unexpectedly, prematurely widowed.
A friend who is an alcoholic but won’t admit it.
Several friends fighting cancer in their thirties.
A friend in the throes of an affair.
A friend who’s been abandoned by his family.
And I find myself asking God like a repetitive toddler, “Why?”
I don’t know why. But, I know this (and Scripture verifies) . . . God redeems. I once was lost, but now I’m found. He can bring life from ashes. He can restore joy. He can redeem any person, any family, any situation.
And Ruth is a story of redemption in so many ways.
Today’s verses give us a glimpse into the wedding ceremony of Ruth and Boaz, one of the greatest love stories in the Bible. The ancient customs are different, but we read of people gathered and of blessings bestowed.
Let’s recap on who these people were as individuals, and then on their life together:
R U T H
Ruth was a foreigner, a Moabitess. She was also a Gentile, accustomed to pagan culture and idolatry. When her mother-in-law Naomi decided to return to Bethlehem, it would have been much easier for Ruth to return to Moab, but Ruth did not choose the easy path.
-Ruth was a young widow.
-Ruth gave her heart to Yahweh.
-Ruth displayed uncharacteristic love and loyalty for her mother-in-law.
-Ruth was assertive, unconventional and diligent in working the fields to provide food for Naomi and for herself, and in visiting Boaz at the threshing floor.
-Ruth displayed moral purity in her interactions with Boaz.
B O A Z
Boaz was a Jew and was known for his noble character. He was the son of Rahab, a Canaanite prostitute.
-Boaz also had a heart for Yahweh.
-Boaz showed kindness, generosity, and protection in his provisions for Ruth in the field.
-Boaz displayed moral purity in his relations with Ruth.
-Boaz followed Jewish tradition in establishing himself as the “family redeemer.”
-Boaz publicly committed himself to being the “family redeemer,” which included possession of land, marrying Ruth and bearing a son.
God redeemed Ruth from her past and from her hard situation, and He allowed Boaz to redeem the family and her deceased husband’s name. And as a couple, God chose them to be direct ancestors of King David and, ultimately, of Jesus.
God specifically chose these people to establish the lineage that gave birth to Jesus. Their history as foreigners and pagans did not exclude them, and this was no oversight of God. He purposefully picked people with sordid backgrounds so that God’s work of redemption would be visible in their lives.
This whole story is a foretaste of the redemption that will come in Christ Jesus. Living on this side of the cross, we know that Jesus is the Ultimate Redeemer because He saves our sinful, lost souls. Inclusion of marred people in the Messianic line that birthed Jesus was intentional to show that Jesus came to save ALL people. Jewish and Gentile. You and me.
Colossians 1:13-14 says, “For He rescued us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.”
By accepting the gift of salvation we are delivered, ransomed, rescued, reborn. Trials stretch our faith and help sanctify. And when we make a mess of life (which we all do), He again offers grace to reclaim, repair and purify. This is work that only God can do.
As believers, we are redeemed. Let’s thank God for His abundant grace. And let’s allow the cross to truly transform us.
Grace and peace,
Sara is a West Texas girl, currently living outside of Dallas. She adores her husband of 14+ years and delights in the daily chaos of raising and discipling their 3 young girls. She is also a physician, specializing in MRI imaging.
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J O N A H
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The story of Jonah is more than just a story of a disobedient, runaway prophet and a hungry fish.
It’s a story of a compassionate God who longs for everyone to come to salvation, even a nation who has done great evil in His sight. His heart of compassion is not limited by the severity of their sins…or ours. He desires for them to turn from their evil ways and repent, rather than continue down their destructive roads which lead to judgement.
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