Tag: Naomi

The “close relative” connection!

Scripture reading for March 15th: Ruth 1-4

The story of Ruth is set in the time of Judges between 40-100 years before the time of David (1000 BC).  This simple story unfolds as a famine forces  an Israelite family to leave Israel for Moab.  Elimelech, his wife Naomi, and their two sons, Mahlon and Kilion, stay in Moab.  The husband dies. Both sons marry Moabite girls and they die as well.  Naomi is left bitter, without her sons, and ready to return to her land and people.

Naomi told her daughters-in-law to go back to their own people.  She was too old to have more sons for them to marry.  Orpah went back but  Ruth clung to her mother-in-law and made a beautiful confession of devotion and faith.  (Ruth 1:16-17)  Ruth was ready to follow Naomi and Naomi’s God until death!

Choices have consequences.  In choosing to go to the land of Israel, Ruth, a decendant of Lot, was an alien and would not have had an inheritance.  There was no welfare or jobless benefits so Ruth began to glean fields.  (Deuteronomy 24:19)  She would work as she could to get food for her family.  But God’s divine providence placed Ruth in the field of Boaz, a close relative of Naomi’s.  Boaz was also a descendant of Rahab, the harlot that hid the spies!  Because of her hard work and humble spirit, Ruth’s good reputation became known. (Ruth 2:11-12)  Ruth appealed to him as a “close relative” and he took her as his wife, spreading his covering over her!

Both Ruth and Boaz are mentioned in the genealogy of Jesus Christ!  (Matthew 1:5-6)  Jesus Christ is our “kinsman-redeemer”.  Ruth is a type of “Gentile” bride for Jesus.  He is a “close relative” who has bought us back from slavery to sin.  When we humbly appeal to Him in faith, He will surely make cover us and buy us back! When we closely read this beautiful story, we get a glimpse into the heart of God and Jesus Christ!  Thank the Lord for being our “Kinsman-Redeemer”!

“Who are you?” he asked.  “I am your servant Ruth,” she said.  “Spread the corner of your garment over me, since you are a kinsman-redeemer.” (Ruth 3:9)

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At the Feet of a Kinsman-Redeemer

Scripture reading for March 16th: Ruth 1-4

The story of Ruth is set in the time of the Judges when every man was doing what was right in their own eyes.  Naomi had left Israel in search of food during a famine. She and her husband along with their two sons went to Moab in search of a better life but they found a hard time instead.  Naomi’s sons married Moabite women, one of whom was named Ruth and the other, Orpah.  Over a period of ten years, Naomi’s husband died and then both of the sons also passed away.  Ruth was heart-broken and decided to return to her homeland.  She urged her daughters-in-law to return to their families but Ruth clung to her.  (Ruth 1:3-14)

Ruth evidently recognized something in Naomi’s life that she wanted.  She was willing to leave her country and family and go to the land of Israel.  She even wanted to adopt a relationship with Naomi’s God!  “Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay.  Your people will be my people and your God will be my God.  Where you die I will die, and there I will be buried.” (Ruth 1:16-17)

As they returned to Israel, the barley harvest was in full swing.  Women who were poor could go into the fields and glean in order to have food.  Ruth was willing to work and did so.  God’s providence placed her in the field of Boaz, a close relative of Naomi.  He was a gracious and god-fearing man who noticed Ruth and was gracious to her.  He found out her story and blessed her extravagantly.

God’s people are supposed to treat aliens and foreigners with respect and generosity in order to draw them to a relationship with God.  Boaz was doing just that!  Naomi recognized God’s law at work and gave Ruth instructions to lay at Boaz’ feet.  This was a humble invitation to have this man take them in and provide for them.  Since Boaz was a close relative, he would have to make sure that a closer relative did not want to redeem Ruth and Naomi.  He settled the matter quickly and the love story ends happily.

A further insight shows that the child born to Ruth through Boaz is in the line of Jesus Christ!  What grace our Father shows towards His adopted children!

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