Matthew 1:5. Boaz the father of Obed by Ruth
Except for you and Jesus, there is no greater love story ever told than that of Boaz and Ruth.
Ruth. Husbandless, childless, penniless, hopeless, and worst of all, living under the curse of being a Moabitess. A pagan descendant of Lot’s tragic past. The daughter of Israel’s cruel cousins that had tried to sabotage the Exodus. The widow of a man who had left the promised land, leaving behind his nation, his people, his God.
Ruth. Bitter Naomi’s daughter-in-law, who refused to leave her alone, choosing to stay beside her on the humiliating journey home to Canaan. The outsider who declared her loyalty to Naomi’s God, when Naomi’s hope was gone. The foreigner whose faith found favor in the eyes of God and his servant Boaz.
Boaz. The wealthy landowning son of Rahab from the tribe of Judah, a leader in Bethlehem, a “man of valor.” Faithful. Loyal. Pious. Generous. Kind.
As the providence of God would have it, Boaz was a “near relative” of Ruth’s husband. Her kinsman redeemer. And like Judah with Tamar before him, Boaz was bound to provide for Ruth by God’s law.
And as the providence of God would have it, Ruth found herself gleaning in the fields of Boaz, where Ruth’s faith and Boaz’s grace collided in a harvest of love.
You can guess the rest of the story – they lived happily ever after.
But like we said, this is only the second greatest love story in the Bible. The story of you and Jesus is an even greater tale of grace, love, and faith. It’s the story of a wealthy man of valor, who conquered sin and shame so as to welcome his bride into his eternal field, not only to survive but to thrive according to his mercy and kindness. It’s the story of a cursed outsider (you) who is welcomed into the land of promise, showered with kindness, and betrothed in faith to your kinsman redeemer, Jesus Christ.
In a world of darkness, in the long waiting for the salvation of our God, will your love story, the story of your union with Christ, shine his light into that darkness around you? Will you, like Ruth, take shelter under his wing, covered by his garment of grace?
May we always follow our greater Boaz into his field of kindness, and hear him say, “I’ll never forsake you, come rest under my wing, come work in my field, come home my beloved.”
As you await the return of Christ do you see your life as a love story? Can you all the ways that our Boaz, Jesus, is caring for us? How can you use this Christmas season to help a “Naomi” that might feel hopeless?