13 Boaz took Ruth and she became his wife. He slept with her, and the Lord granted conception to her, and she gave birth to a son. 14 The women said to Naomi, “Blessed be the Lord, who has not left you without a family redeemer today. May his name become well known in Israel. 15 He will renew your life and sustain you in your old age. Indeed, your daughter-in-law, who loves you and is better to you than seven sons, has given birth to him.” 16 Naomi took the child, placed him on her lap, and became a mother to him. 17 The neighbor women said, “A son has been born to Naomi,” and they named him Obed. He was the father of Jesse, the father of David.
Every canine expert will agree that dogs and chocolate don’t mix. My dog, Lyric, did not get that memo. One year on my son’s birthday, I hastily made a batch of brownies that would be our dessert after a birthday dinner on the town. When we returned home, the children asked where the brownies were. They were supposed to be on the counter, but when we saw Lyric looking bloated and uncomfortable, we realized where they were. She was in for a long, painful night. Things only got worse the next morning. The children said teary goodbyes before heading to school knowing that Lyric could die before they returned. She spent most of the day comatose on the floor. After many prayers and systematic doses of puppy oral IV fluid, Lyric miraculously returned to her normal self by evening.
In the same way, today’s Scripture shows a beautiful ending to an account full of redemptive images pointing ahead to the work of our Lord Jesus on the cross. Like Lyric, Naomi and Ruth’s account began bleak and hopeless when they returned to Bethlehem as poor, childless widows with no way to provide for themselves (Ruth 1). Naomi desperately needed to sell the family’s inherited land. God provided the perfect buyer: a close relative who could fulfill the role of kinsman-redeemer by coming to the aid of a family member in need (Ruth 2). With a burden on his heart for Ruth and Naomi, Boaz gladly accepted Ruth’s suggestion on the threshing floor to be Naomi’s kinsman-redeemer thereby keeping Elimelech’s property in the family and acquiring Ruth as his wife (Ruth 3:11-13). In Ruth 4:13-17, God blessed the marriage and Ruth conceived a baby, Obed. The village women flocked around a fully restored Naomi and recognized Obed as a sort of redeemer who would care for Naomi in her old age; thereby bringing a second reference to redemption into the story (v17).
Most importantly, the redemptive story did not end there. The redeemer of all mankind (Jesus) is the descendant of Obed, Jesse and King David (Ruth 4:17). The account of Boaz redeeming Naomi and Ruth points ahead to Jesus paying the ultimate price for the redemption of broken mankind through the shedding of his blood on the cross (Eph 1:7-10). Jesus’ blood redeems humanity from eternal separation from God for all those who believe and trust in Him (Rom 10:9-10).
It was the Lord’s plan to bring beauty from the ashes of Ruth and Naomi’s lives by sending them a kinsman-redeemer. The LORD provided abundantly for them and for the redemption of mankind. Like Naomi when she returned to Bethlehem, the LORD is also calling us to return to Him and trust Him with the outcome of our lives. Not only in days or seasons when our lives are in ashes, but we should abide in Him every day knowing that ‘for those who love God all things work together for good…’ (Rom 8:28).
Questions to Ask Yourself
- Have you asked God to turn your dead heart to life through trusting in the redemption Jesus earned for you on the cross?
- What area(s) of your life do you need to trust that God can turn around?
Pray for global workers Josh and Danielle Payne as they support and serve through US Military Chaplaincy. Pray for their two sons in college, and for healthy transitions as they continue to navigate a relocation.