pastorjohnb

Thoughts and musings on faith and our mighty God!


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Redemption

Reading: Ruth 3: 1-5

Verse 1: “My daughter, should I not try and find a home for you, where you will be provided for”?

Our passage today opens with Naomi expressing concern for Ruth. Naomi says to Ruth, “My daughter, should I not try and find a home for you, where you will be provided for”? Ruth has shown deep dedication to Naomi, leaving her own land to follow Naomi home to Israel so that she can care for and provide for her. Both are widows when they arrive in Israel. Naomi realizes that Ruth is young enough to remarry and knows that this would bring security to her future. Based upon her past actions and loyalty, Naomi probably felt assured that Ruth would continue to care for her.

Boaz, the man Naomi identifies as a good potential husband, is family. There is family there with closer ties, but Boaz has demonstrated kindness and good character towards Ruth already. They first met when Ruth was gleaning in his fields along with his servant girls. He shows her favor and is familiar with her story. Naomi identifies Boaz as a “kinsman redeemer” – a term for a relative who rescues a family member from trouble or a difficult situation. His invitation to continue to work in his fields and the instructions to his men to leave extra stalks for her indicate that he is stepping into this role.

Naomi suggests that Ruth go to and lie down at Boaz’s feet. She lies in the this place as a sign of respect. Servants would often sleep at the feet of their master. Uncovering his feet was also cultural and symbolic. In doing so, Ruth let Boaz know that she was there and she was using the customs of the day to nonverbally ask him to share his coverings with her. Culturally this was a right that the servants had. Symbolically she was asking him to provide for her. Boaz would go on to redeem her as his wife.

In our passage Ruth continues to show love for Naomi through her obedience. She also trusted that God would continue to guide and bless her. Ruth’s faithfulness to both God and her family are models that we can follow. In doing so, she finds redemption. She is restored to new life. This day, may we take the opportunities that God provides to offer love and care to the other, opening their eyes to the redemption that God offers to all.

Lord, may Ruth’s model of love and care be my way of living too. Help me to open others eyes to the redemption that you offer. Amen.

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Just Like Ruth

Ruth was faithful to both Naomi and to God.  She is a great example of the self-giving love we are all called to offer others.  Ruth puts the needs to Naomi far above her own.  In the end, she finds another who offers her this same kind of sacrificial love.  It is no wonder that Ruth and Boaz are part of the family tree that will one day produce Jesus.

In marrying Ruth, Boaz offers both her and Naomi kindness, protection, security, and a sense of belonging.  For two women living as widows with no kin to care for them, this must have been a great relief to them.  But this was not just some act of God.  Boaz was drawn to Ruth when he saw her in the field, working hard to glean grain for herself and Naomi.  He was drawn to her even more when he heard her story and what she had done for Naomi.  Ruth remained faithful and through this both her and Naomi’s lives were redeemed.

Our faith journey is much like Ruth’s story.  At times we will experience suffering and walk a hard road.  But we will not be alone, God will be there too.  At times we too will offer ourselves to another, giving our sacrificial love to them, following the example of Ruth and of Christ.  At times we too will experience redeeming love as God will enter into our brokenness.  In times when we most need God’s redeeming love, it will be there to redeem and restore us.  And just as Boaz stepped in and negotiated for Ruth, Christ will step in and intercede for us before the throne of God.  And just as Ruth was faithful, so too must we be faithful.

Each day we are called to offer ourselves to God and to others, living as His example of sacrificial love.  May it be this day.

Scripture reference: Ruth 4: 13-17