The love story of Boaz and Ruth is a fascinating one.
It’s a story of FAITH, HONOR and REDEMPTION.
Ruth was a woman of faith, Boaz was a man of honor while God is a God of redemption.
Ruth went back to Israel with her mother-in-law, Naomi, after her father-in-law and husband died. She did it even though she wasn’t an Israelite. In fact, she was a Moabite, a bitter enemy of the Israelites.
She declared, “Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God. Where you die I will die, and there I will be buried. May the Lord deal with me, be it ever so severely, if even death separates you and me.” (Ruth 1:16-17)
She uses the word “Elohim” for God but for the title Lord, he uses a personal name God used to introduce Himself to Moses while he was in the desert through a burning bush – “Yahweh”.
No other person can address Him that unless that person has a relationship with Yahweh.
She stepped out in faith, moved to Israel not for a better life but for a potentially worse one. Because she was a Moabite, she could get ostracized, possibly hurt.
But she followed her mother-in-law because of her faith.
While doing this, in the background, God was already setting something up for her.
Ladies, allow God to write your love story. Bloom where God has planted you and continue to fix your eyes on Christ.
I love what Max Lucado said,
“A woman’s heart should be so hidden in God
that a man has to seek Him just to find her.”
When Naomi and Ruth got to Israel, to sustain themselves, Ruth had to go to a grain field to harvest leftovers for themselves.
While doing this, Boaz noticed her and asked his other workers who she was. He found out that she was a Moabite who came with her mother-in-law out of love and friendship and stepping out in faith to live for Yahweh.
Boaz then protects her by saying that he has ordered his men not to lay a hand on her and to be kind to her. (Ruth 2:9)
He was kind to her without any romantic intentions. This was partly what made him a man of good standing, a man of honor. (Ruth 2:1)
Furthermore, since he was not the closest kinsman redeemer, he gave the closest one the first right of refusal before pursuing Ruth.
Men, let me encourage us to be the first to protect the women. We should be the ones to protect their heart, not ravage them. The Bible says to guard our hearts for it determines the course of our lives. (Prov. 4:23, NLT) And we shouldn’t just guard our own heart, we are to guard theirs as well.
I love how Joseph Bonifacio put it,
“Don’t make a woman fall for you
unless you’re ready to catch her.”
Even in business, common sense will tell you not to invest in something you know you won’t be in for the long haul.
Boaz, being a relative was qualified to be a kinsman redeemer.
A kinsman redeemer is one who is a relative who would be willing to buy back property that was mortgaged or lost, marry the widow who lost her spouse so that the family lineage would continue.
But for a kinsman redeemer to redeem, he needed to be near, willing, and able.
In fact there was another relative who was nearer than Boaz. However, he was not willing.
There are 3 redeemers in this love story.
1. Boaz was the formal redeemer who rescues Ruth from her lot.
2. Ruth who was the surprise redeemer who rescues Naomi from her bitter fortune.
3. And the real redeemer, who like Boaz took us all in even though we were outcasts and in debt (because of sin), who like Ruth left her homeland to be near to us (from heaven to earth)… The real Redeemer I’m referring to is JESUS.
For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you through his poverty might become rich. (2 Cor. 8:9)
Behind this fascinating love story was a greater love story of our redemption.
God loves you the way you are but He loves you too much to let you remain the way you are.
PHOTO CREDIT: http://www.flickr.com/photos/lutherankorean/