Ruth 3:9. [Boaz] said, “Who are you?” And she answered, “I am Ruth, your servant. Spread your wings over your servant, for you are a redeemer.”
In the middle of all the evil and chaos of the time of the Judges we find in Ruth a story full of faith, hope, and love. The story of Ruth tells the human story. The story of God’s redemption. The story of God spreading his wings over his bride and redeeming her from despair.
Like the human story, Ruth’s story begins with tragedy. Ruth and her mother-in-law, Naomi, have been widowed, and are left without an heir, without a home, without a people, and, to Naomi, it feels like without a God.
Ruth 1:20. “[Naomi said] call me Mara, for the Almighty has dealt very bitterly with me.”
Like the human story, Ruth’s story reveals our need for faith in God even when he appears to be hidden and silent. Ruth insists on staying with Naomi, declaring not only her love for Naomi but also her faith in Naomi’s God. A God she will trust her life to as she courageously enters into the unknown of a foreign people in a foreign land.
Ruth 1:16. For where you go I will go, and where you lodge I will lodge. Your people shall be my people, and your God my God.
Like the human story, Ruth’s story points to our need for a redeemer. Someone to restore our hope. Ruth is a destitute gentile widow. Her past is wrong and her future is hopeless. Without an intervention of grace, she and Naomi will perish.
Ruth 2:2. And Ruth the Moabite said to Naomi, “Let me go to the field and glean among the ears of grain after him in whose sight I shall find favor.”
And like the human story, God sends Ruth a redeemer. He sends a near relative of her husband who can marry Ruth and give her everything that she needs and desires – children, land, support, honor, love, and hope.
Ruth 2:12. [Boaz said to Ruth] “The Lord repay 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!”
1500 years before Jesus, Boaz is our preview of Christ. Like Christ, Boaz has the resources to redeem Ruth. He can provide all that she needs. Like Christ, Boaz is righteous. He obeyed the law, providing grain for the widow and protecting the foreigner from danger. And like Christ, Boaz loves Ruth. He desires her and wants to be with her. Forever.
And let’s not forget the biggest obstacles to Ruth’s redemption – she is a Moabitess. The Moabites were evil, child sacrificing, worshipers of false gods. Moabites were cursed by God (Dt. 23). Moabites were banned from the Hebrews assembly. And Israelites and Moabites were forbidden to marry.
Ruth isn’t just a widow, she’s a cursed widow.
But the love of Boaz, like the love of Christ, is more powerful than the curse of sin, death, and the law. His love for Ruth replaced her curse with his blessing. Her past with his future. Her shame with his honor. Ruth is no longer the cursed Moabite widow. She is the wife of Boaz, the grandmother of King David, and the ancestral mother of Jesus.
Like the human story, Ruth’s story is a love story of epic proportions. A romantic comedy ending in “happily ever after.” Our Redeemer has married us in spite of our cursed state. His love took our curse upon himself, bearing it and breaking it. His love placed his blessing upon us, transforming us into his pure bride. This is the redeeming love of Christ for you. Your curse placed on him, his love, grace, honor, and respect placed on you.
“To live is Christ” means we are Jesus’ Ruth. His once cursed bride, now presented pure and holy before God. His people are now our people. His God is now our God. His home is now our home. A home where we will rejoice every day in our “happily ever after” with God.
Do you see your life as a “happily ever after?” What gets in the way?
You in Christ
In Christ you are redeemed by your kinsman Jesus. How does this truth of his curse breaking love encourage you today?
Christ in you
Naomi (“pleasant”) changed her name to Mara (“bitter”). How can you be pleasant today in Christ, rather than bitter?