This week wraps up the book of Ruth for Breath on Paper. We have written about Naomi, the woman who mentors Ruth. We have shared our thoughts about Orpah, her daughter-in-law who chose not to go to Bethlehem and Ruth, the Moabite woman the book is named after. And last week we wrote about the near kinsman redeemer who refused the responsibility of our heroine. As we close out this short four-chapter book from the Old Testament, we will share our thoughts on Boaz, the knight-in-shinning-armor in our story.
Boaz was the next in-line kinsman redeemer who chose to redeem the widow Naomi and in turn Ruth. They married and had a baby boy who grew up and had a son, who had a son, who was the father of eight sons, the youngest being David the shepherd anointed to be king of Israel.
What is there for us to learn from this story of Ruth and her Boaz?
We know that Ruth was a foreigner who came to Bethlehem with her mother-in-law. She began to glean (collect, bit by bit) grain from the edges of Boaz’ fields. She caught the attention of the landowner, who was also their kinsman redeemer, and with the circumstances playing out they married.
Let’s step back and take a broader look at this story to see how it applies today.
- Ruth represents us – once lost but now saved.
- Boaz represents Jesus – our kinsman redeemer.
Because Ruth (you and me) chose to be intimate with Boaz (Jesus) she went from simply living off the leftovers to being the owner of the field. This is a picture of what we can have if we choose to be intimate with our kinsman redeemer – Jesus.
Let’s follow this story a little forward in history…if we fast-forward a few years we can see the long-range significance of this intimate relationship.
Taking common crop rotation practices into account it is not hard to concur how this could very well be the same field outside of Bethlehem that David was in when God told Samuel to go to Jesse’s house to anoint the next king of Israel. Samuel arrived and the oil of anointing would not flow on Jesse’s oldest seven sons. Samuel asks Jesse if he has any more sons and his response was that his youngest was out in the field tending the sheep. Not a far stretch at all considering the laws of the Old Testament regarding land handed down from generation to generation. And all because Ruth chose to be intimate with her kinsman redeemer.
Let’s fast forward again and stop at a young teenage girl who found herself pregnant outside of wedlock. She and her fiancé’ are headed back to Bethlehem, the place of their heritage, to take the census. When God decides to announce to the entire world that His son is born, is it any wonder that He chooses to make the announcement to a group of shepherds out in a “field” outside of Bethlehem? Many scholars believe this was the same field that Ruth gleaned from, the same field she became the owner of, the same field David was tending sheep in…all because she chose to become intimate with her kinsman redeemer. So let’s ask ourselves…
What does God have for us if we will but choose to be intimate with our kinsman redeemer? Not just for us but for our generations to come? I’m sure Ruth never thought that her choice would impact all of history. But it did. We may not see all the benefits from our every choice but the choice to become intimate with our kinsman redeemer will impact our history.
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Cindy Willingham is a landscape designer, small group leader, avid encourager, and sinner saved by grace who is eight years new to Birmingham, Alabama. Her sweet husband of 37 years, two married children and four grand-kiddos fill her life with unbelievable fun and sweet snuggles. She thinks God is awesome and that the best adventure starts with saying yes to that still, small voice. ~ To read Cindy’s BoP Bio click here.