October 25, 2011

Ruth - an epic tale of redemption

Ruth. She need a redeemer. Her past was not clean and her future was not certain. Yet, she trusted the love of the one who redeemed her.

Did you know that there are only 2 (count them, two) books in the bible named after women - and Ruth is the only non-Jewish woman. I say this book must have something significant for us based upon this fact. Here is a Moabite woman (In early Old Testament, Lot had relations with his daughter and moved to Moab, which became know as a land full of sexual immorality and a dark land) who is seen as nothing, has nothing - no family to way to provide for herself. Ruth lost her husband, brother in law, Father in law, and was left as a widow with her widowed mother in law Naomi. Ruth clings to Noami and refuses to leave her. In this day in age, following a widow means no security, no family, no income, no provision. Ruth - an outsider. Destitute. But to Naomi, Ruth showed unexpected loyalty by insisting on staying with her.

"Where you go, I will go. Where you lodge, I will lodge. Your people shall be my people and you God my God. Where you die, I will die and here I will be buried".

The story continues of as Ruth and Naomi travel to Bethlehem for work and for food. We see Naomi broken, desperately pleading to God about why she has experienced such sorrow. We see as Ruth goes out and picks up grain in a field of Boaz, he approaches her and seeks after her. He falls in love with her immediately-he becomes her protector and provides her with food and security. Through Boaz, Ruth is redeemed.

What a picture of Christ and his people! Here we are, with nothing and worth nothing and yet Christ saved us from death! Oh, sing praises! My heart yearns for Him!

Jesus alone has the right to redeem us. He is divine over us and he is human like us. Jesus alone has the resources to redeem us- he has power over sin and he has authority over death! (He is like us in every way except one, he is sinless. To save us from our sin, he must have no sin. If he was sinful, he must as well be saved from sin).

Boaz was the one who could redeem Ruth. To be redeemed in that time she must be redeemed by the closest kin. For Ruth to be redeemed, Boaz must have the right to redeem her, he must have resources to redeem her and he must have the resolve (want) to redeem her. Ah, can't you just see it? The love story of these people as a reflection of the love story of Christ and his church!

Jesus alone has the resolve to redeem us. He seeks us as his own, he saves us by his mercy and her serves us at his table.

Thank you Lord. Thank you for reminding me daily of the redemption through the blood of your son, for forgiving our trespasses, according to the riches of your grace you have given to us!

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