Book of Ruth
Chapter 4: Boaz Marries Ruth
Well, the title of this chapter is encouraging! Much has to happen before the marriage, though. As we said yesterday, there is a guardian closer to Ruth than Boaz. So, Boaz, following the law, goes to that guardian and gives him the chance to both buy (redeem) the land and get Ruth as his wife.
Now, the land that they are talking about would either be land that Naomi currently owns, and because of her financial situation must sell, or it’s land that Elimelek sold already. Either way, the law says that a guardian-redeemer can redeem it for the widow, Naomi.
A guardian redeeming the land and marrying Ruth sounds great, right? But… for the redeemer it might not be so great because Ruth’s firstborn son would have the right to all of the redeemer’s estate. Hmmm… maybe not so great. If Ruth’s son was the only surviving heir, all the property would go back to Ruth’s former husband’s family.
The closer redeemer refuses to take this risk, but Boaz is willing to do so, and marries Ruth. The guardian’s unwillingness to take the risk highlights Boaz’s willingness and selflessness for the kingdom. This is like the distinction between Orpah and Ruth. Orpah left Naomi, while Ruth showed selfless devotion to her.
Look how far Naomi and Ruth have come. They were empty and now they have someone who will renew their life and sustain them in old age. They were empty, and now they are full; Naomi was bitter, and now she is praising the Lord.
This is what Jesus can do with our lives. He will fill our emptiness, renew our lives and keep us under the corner of his garment. He is, indeed, our guardian-redeemer. Boaz didn’t redeem Ruth because of anything she had done that merited redemption; Boaz redeemed her because she said she needed redemption! She was willing to be at his feet and declare her need.
Praise be to the Lord who has not left us without a guardian-redeemer, Jesus who became flesh to be as close to us as a brother. Immanuel, God with us to be a ransom for many. A ransom for you!
And remember… this story was set in the dark days of Judges, when there was much war, treachery and death. There was much animosity between Moab and Israel, but in the midst of that, God gives us a picture of restoration, selfless love and submission to the will of God. Out of this story comes the family line which includes Jesse and David. This genealogy is proof of moving from the turmoil of Judges to the rest of the reign of David and, lastly, to the fulfillment of prophecy through Jesus, our Lord and our guardian-redeemer. God has indeed not left you without a guardian-redeemer!
“Praise be to the Lord, who this day has not left you without a guardian-redeemer. ~ Ruth 4:14b
- What risks is God asking you to take for the kingdom?
- What renewal do you need?
- What needs do you need to declare to the Lord or others today?