Today is Day 20 in our journey through the Bible in 90 days.
We finished Judges and Ruth yesterday and started 1 Samuel. Ruth was the smallest book we’ve read so far – only 4 chapters. Although Ruth is a short book, it’s a gem. It also happens to be 1 of only 2 Bible books named after a woman. Do you know the other one?
Ruth is all about redemption.
Not only is it a love story (it fits great right around Valentine’s Day), but it’s a beautiful illustration of salvation.
The story of Ruth takes place during the book of Judges – a dark period of about 400 years in Israel’s history. Since we have Ruth, however, we know that not all of that 400 years was dark and idolatrous!
Ruth is an actual, historical set of events, but it goes deeper when you see the symbolism behind the story. The part of the Church (Christians) is played by Ruth and the part of Jesus Christ, our Redeemer, is played by Boaz (the “kinsman-redeemer” in the story).
Ruth is a poor girl with no hope of inheritance. Her husband died and she is left alone. She moves to Bethlehem with her mother-in-law, Naomi, whose husband and sons (1 of them had been Ruth’s husband) had just died. Through God’s providence, as Ruth goes to a field to gather grain, she meets Boaz. Ruth has no hope of an inheritance unless a kinsman-redeemer can be found. There are a few specific requirements for it to work out though. The kinsman-redeemer must…
be a blood relative,
have the finances to purchase the forfeited inheritance,
be willing to buy back the inheritance,
be willing to marry the wife of the deceased.
Boaz is the man for the job. He’s able and willing to do all of the above. So, he makes the deal, pays for Ruth’s redemption, marries her, she gets pregnant with little baby Obed (who was the father of Jesse who was the father of a guy you may have heard of: David), and they live happily ever after. Nice huh?
What a beautiful picture of us an Christ…
Jesus was a blood relative – He became a man, just like us (Philippians 2:7).
He had the resources available to purchase back that which was lost. Sin required death. Jesus’ blood paid that price (Romans 5:8).
He was willing to be our groom. One day, we’ll join Him at the Marriage Supper of the Lamb (Revelation 19:9).
Ruth is a short book, and just like driving through a small city on a long road trip, if you blink too long, you’ll miss its significance. If you did miss it, go back once more and enjoy it. You’ll be glad you did.
Next up: 1 Samuel!