JESUS CHRIST WHO RESTORES
Ruth 4: 1-11
v 11 “Then the elders and all the people at the gate said, “We are witnesses. May the Lord make the woman who is coming into your home like Rachel and Leah, who together built up the family of Israel. May you have standing in Ephrathah and be famous in Bethlehem”
We are all familiar with the story of Ruth. It is a story that shows how God moves in in a mysterious way, his wonders to perform. A unique book in which people wonder where God is when there are no dreams, no visions, or prophets. It is one of those rare books which makes you wonder where God is when one tragedy after another attacks their faith.
According to Ruth 1:1, the story took place during the time of Judges. Now at the end of judges we can see it was a very dark time in Israel. The people sinned, God would send enemies against them, the people would cry for help, and God would mercifully rise up a judge to deliver them. This was a vicious cycle; again, and again the people rebelled, and from all outward appearances God's purposes for righteousness and glory in Israel were failing. And that is where the book of Ruth does for us giving us a glimpse of the hidden work of God during the worst of times.
Ruth may be considered a trophy of God's grace. At one time she was penniless, a young Pagan widow with little or no hope for the future. And here again we can see how God works in mysterious ways. In Ruth chapter 2:12 Boaz prayed that Jehovah would protect and provide for Ruth. And then Ruth chapter 4: 1- 11 we can see that God is about to answer their prayer through Boaz himself. God answers prayer through Boaz because of two aspects of Boaz's life worth emulating.
Being devoted to the right person:
In the beginning verses of chapter 4 we can see a dialogue being brought forth about a piece of land. This land had belonged to Mahlon; who previously was Ruth's husband and Naomi's son. In Jewish custom whoever buys the plot also must take care of the widow. Now it is tradition that the Kinsman Redeemer has the obligation to do this, but you can see in these verses that the Kinsman Redeemer relinquishes that responsibility in hand it over to Boaz. Now Boaz could have just as easily given the land back to Naomi and Ruth along with it. Boaz was devoted to Ruth in every way so even though this piece of land would not benefit him in the long run you can see the true dedication that Boaz had to Ruth.
Be dedicated to paying the price:
Now along with the plot of land belonging to ruth's late husband, if Boaz, as the Kinsman Redeemer, would marry Ruth it would be considered a levirate marriage. In Jewish custom the purpose of this law is to raise a son for the dead brother. So, in this marriage the firstborn son is considered to be the son of the deceased brother. Boaz, yet again could have relinquished this responsibility, yet we can see Boaz being dedicated and devoted to Ruth is willing to pay that price. We can see throughout the Bible what came out of this union. At the end of the book, Ruth bears a son named Obed. Obed who was the father of Jesse who in turn was the father of King David who led Israel through her Heights of glory. Seeing even further, in Matthew 1, we can see Ruth and Boaz are direct ancestors of Jesus Christ. So it may not be in their lifetime but you can see the Providence of God throughout generations.
Dear Father God, help us to emulate more of you every day. Help us to listen to your voice in the toughest of times and know you are paving the way for our future.
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY:
God is at work at the worst of times. When you think he is furthest from you or has even turned against you, the truth is that he is laying the foundation stones of greater happiness in your life.
Oshin D. Mathew
Carmel MTC, Boston
Christian Education Forum, Diocese of NAE of the Mar Thoma Church