Although the book of Ruth contains cultural issues which are very different from our own, the book is about redemption. God makes so many things new. We read the entire book in today’s Bible reading* and learn of Naomi, Ruth, and Boaz.
Naomi loses her husband and two sons. She is left with two daughters-in-law. Naomi tells the women to go back to their homeland and find another man to marry and raise children together. Ruth remained with Naomi, telling her mother-in-law that she would devote herself to remaining with her and even adopt Naomi’s religion and culture. (Ruth 1:16-17)
Ruth was from Moab, a nation known for their worship of the god Chemosh which was similar to Baal. The Jewish people had been forbidden from marrying Moabites. (Deuteronomy 23:3) And you may remember that Moab was founded on the incestuous encounters between a drunk Lot and his two daughters.
However, in God’s grand redemptive plan, Jesus was born as a descendent of King David who was Boaz and Ruth’s grandson. (Ruth 4:21–22) Ruth is listed in Jesus’ genealogy. (Matthew 1:5)
God redeemed the lineage of two grieving widows, Naomi and Ruth, and provided for the later birth of Jesus. That’s redemption! And redemption is one of the main themes of the Bible.
I remember when our pre-teenaged daughter went to a conference, the speaker talked about how young women need to be discerning about potential boyfriends. She said that some boys are Boazes and some boys are Bozos. Bozo was a clown and doesn’t respect girls. But Boaz was a decent man of highest integrity and did everything to respect Ruth. In our dealings with each other, we all need to be like Boaz.
When you look at the troubles in your life, you may not see much hope. But know that God brings redemption to those who trust in Him.
* Chapters covered in today’s reading: