Do yourself a favour today and read the whole book (it’s only four chapters) – the beautiful story of Ruth. It’s there to enjoy. It’s one of my favourite books in the Bible.
In the midst of the time of the Judges comes a LOVE story: Ruth, a loyal, hard working, widow, meets Boaz, a lonely, well-respected businessman. She wasn’t just a needy case, though. Boaz was not driven by charitable, worthy compassion. This is a story of intense, passionate, joyful, risking-it-all LOVE. Boaz saved Ruth. LOVE saves us. LOVE’s desire for us burns just as fiercely as Boaz and Ruth’s passion burned for one another.
This is a heart-warming romantic story. A very important theme – note it frames the beginning and end of the book, is the transformation in the character of Naomi, Ruth’s mother in law. After her husband’s and sons’ deaths she imagines she is ruined and without hope. “Call me Mara,” she says, “because the Almighty has made my life very bitter.” (1:20) She can’t have been much fun to be around. Yet through her loyalty, Ruth brings Naomi hope. By the story’s conclusion, Naomi is overflowing with love that she, “took the child in her arms and cared for him.” (4:16) As amazing as Ruth and Boaz are though, the time of the Judges is drawing to an end: the last word in the book points to a righteous king who will be a man after LOVE’s own heart: David (4:22).
As we pray today let’s thank LOVE for the way that Boaz prefigures what Jesus has done for us: he has redeemed us. Without Jesus we would be without hope and in dire trouble. But LOVE is good and abounds in kindness. Thank LOVE for his good character today and utter commitment to redeem you as his own – just as Boaz did for Ruth.
“Praise be to the Lord, who this day has not left you without a guardian-redeemer…He will renew your life and sustain you in your old age.” (Ruth 4:14)