Have you ever traveled internationally? Alone? It’s strange how distance can magnify feelings of loneliness when you are in a different country which has different languages and customs. Now imagine that you are not only alone in a foreign country, but the country you are from is hated by the people around you…. and you don’t have any money, food, or protection. And you know that if you are raped or assaulted, no one will care. That’s Ruth’s situation. She is desperate, afraid and needs to be rescued. But she has faith in the God of Israel.
We are looking at the sacrificial leadership of some men in the line of Jesus. Last time we looked at Salmon and Rahab and how he rescued her and took her from shame to significance. This week we’ll look at their son, Boaz and Ruth the Moabite foreigner that he married.
Interesting family, isn’t it? Boaz’s father had married a prostitute and now Boaz marries a foreigner, a lone vulnerable wandering woman from evil Moab across the Jordan.
Ruth returned to Bethlehem with Naomi after their husbands died leaving them quite alone and helpless. Any hope to be found in the Levirate marriage was impossible for Naomi had no other male children that could redeem Ruth and provide for her or protect her. She was alone in a foreign land. Their only hope was in the principle of the kinsman redeemer, which required the nearest relative of a widow was to redeem any land of the widow, and if necessary, marry and raise up offspring in the deceased man’s name. That sounds expensive. But that’s exactly what Boaz did. He bought back Naomi’s land and married Ruth “the Moabitess” to raise up her children. [By the way, if you read Ruth carefully, you’ll see that what attracted Boaz to Ruth was her faith].
These stories are part of Joseph’s family tree. Part of Jesus’ family tree.
Don’t you wonder if Joseph’s mind goes to these stories when the angel told him to take Mary as his wife? How could he not see the pattern of redemption in his family tree?
Boaz, one of Joseph’s distant relatives, had acted as a kinsman redeemer to Ruth, the Moabite, just as Mary’s son Jesus would be the redeemer for all mankind.
Boaz rescued Ruth from obscurity, an early death to a life of significance, just as Jesus rescues us from obscurity to a life of eternal significance, regardless of what we do.
Can you see God’s hand of redemption in your family? Can you be the hand of redemption to someone in your family?
One of the values of Grace Life Bible Church is that we experience God’s grace and we extend it to others. If you haven’t joined us for worship swing on by and join us. We meet Sunday mornings at 9:30 am.