One of the two books we will read together in July is the book of Ruth (the other being 1 Samuel). The main theme for the book of Ruth is that of redemption. In fact, the Hebrew words translated “redeem,” “redeemer,” and “redemption” appear 23 separate times in these four chapters!
During the period of the judges a famine forces Elimelech, Naomi, and their two sons to leave Bethlehem for the region of Moab. While living there, Naomi’s husband Elimelech dies, as well as her two sons. This leaves Noami widowed along with her two daughter-in-laws, Orpah and Ruth. Naomi and Ruth decide to return home to Bethlehem while Orpah remains in Moab.
While in Bethlehem, Ruth is determined to help care for her mother-in-law, gleaning from the wheat fields for food, a practice permitted to poor, sojourners, widows, and orphans. There she meets Boaz, a relative to Naomi’s late husband, Elimelech. Despite all that Ruth has going against her (poor, foreigner, not a servant of Boaz), Boaz shows great kindness towards Ruth. He feeds her, protects her, redeems (buys) the property Naomi was putting up for sale, marries her, and eventually gives Ruth her own child in Obed, the grandfather of David.
So how does Ruth’s story of death, poverty, and redemption point us to Jesus? Like Ruth, our spiritual death, due to our sin, leaves us in a hopeless position. Sin causes us to be spiritually poor before God, alone, and without an eternal inheritance to which to cling. Furthermore, Ephesians 2:19 describes our unsaved state as strangers and aliens to the gospel. Simply put, Ruth’s pre-Boaz story is our pre-Christ story.
Yet, what the redemption that Boaz provides for Ruth mirrors how God redeems us in Jesus. Through Jesus, the Bread of Life (John 6:35) God provides for our daily needs. Through Jesus, God protects us from our enemies (Daniel 7:13-14). Through Jesus and the cross, God redeems us from sin, slavery, and death (1 Peter 1:18-19) and gives us a heavenly inheritance. Through Jesus, God takes us, the church, as His bride (Revelation 19:7-8). Finally, through Jesus, God has adopted us into his family and made us fellow citizens with His people (Ephesians 2:19).
Simply put, Ruth’s Boaz story is our story in Christ. Therefore, as we read the book of Ruth these first few days in July, let us treasure Jesus for how He has changed our story. We were once without hope, but in Christ we are redeemed.
In His Love,