We may know Ruth and Boaz love story being told in the book of Ruth (that’s what I know). But when we studied the book for our Victory group, when we dive into details, I understand how Naomi, Ruth and Boaz play a significant role in the fulfillment of the gospel. What can we learn from Naomi, Ruth and Boaz?
Naomi. She left Judah and went to Moab together with her husband and two sons, but unfortunately, her family died and she was left with her in-laws, Orpah and Ruth. Orpah choose to go back to her parents while Ruth stays with her. Naomi admits and repents that she sinned against God, and she accepts the consequences of her sin and she thought that the Lord afflicted her. Naomi said in Ruth 1:20-21 “Don’t call me Naomi,” she told them. “Call me Mara, because the Almighty has made my life very bitter. I went away full, but the Lord has brought me back empty. Why call me Naomi? The Lord has afflicted me; the Almighty has brought misfortune upon me.” But the Lord, is a gracious God, He forgives Naomi and eventually restore what she lost through Ruth. In the end, Naomi had a grandson Obed whom the root of King David and Jesus came from. Who would have thought that after almost losing everything, the Lord still blessed Naomi with a daughter like Ruth who stays with her until the end. Ruth 4:14-16 “The women said to Naomi: “Praise be to the Lord, who this day has not left you without a guardian-redeemer. May he become famous throughout Israel! He will renew your life and sustain you in your old age. For your daughter-in-law, who loves you and who is better to you than seven sons, has given him birth.” Then Naomi took the child in her arms and cared for him. 17 The women living there said, “Naomi has a son!” And they named him Obed. He was the father of Jesse, the father of David.” Naomi admits her mistake, surrendered to God and she accept God’s gift of restoration. What if she didn’t?
Ruth. Ruth is a Moabite, as a Moabite she don’t believe in the Lord, they worship idols. But in Ruth 1:16 says “But Ruth replied, “Don’t urge me to leave you or to turn back from you. Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God.” I believe Ruth has a divine encounter with God, that despite of bad things happened to Naomi, Ruth start believing Naomi’s God, she loves Naomi and stays with her. She demonstrates a love that perseveres, obeys, honors and endures. Ruth persevere, she works in the field to pick-up left over grain behind harvesters. The Lord sees this perseverance from Ruth, so she received favor from the Lord through Boaz. She was allowed to pick-up grain, invited for lunch or dinner perhaps, and invited her to glean together with Boaz women harvesters. Boaz knew the kindness of Ruth to her mother-in-law, that’s why she found favor in his eyes, and it’s a long story of Ruth obedience and honor, until Boaz marry Ruth and they have a son. Ruth patiently waits. Ruth doesn’t go ahead of God. God will give us what we need, when we obey. We don’t have to hurry; we have to wait for Him in obedience. God gives us what we need when we need it, and He knows better if we really need it, when we need it. We just have to do what God has told us to do; we don’t have to rush, because everything will fall into place. The more we do things our way, the harder it is for God to work in our lives. What it Ruth doesn’t encounter God and don’t stay with Naomi?
Boaz. Boaz is a man of honor. He is a leader, provider and protector. He has a godly leadership, his people respect him, though he is a kinsman, he remains humble and generous. He is also a good provider and protector, in Ruth 2:8-9 says So Boaz said to Ruth, “My daughter, listen to me. Don’t go and glean in another field and don’t go away from here. Stay here with the women who work for me. Watch the field where the men are harvesting, and follow along after the women. I have told the men not to lay a hand on you. And whenever you are thirsty, go and get a drink from the water jars the men have filled.” This 3 character: leader, provider and protector every Christian man should desire, and every Christian woman must consider as non-negotiable in considering potential mate. What if Boaz didn’t honor Ruth, what if he didn’t lead, provide and protect Ruth since he saw her for the first time?
This entire event in the life of Naomi, Ruth and Boaz is orchestrated by God for a greater purpose, far greater than themselves, for the benefit of others. Naomi’s life was restored, Ruth encountered the Lord and she chose to worship and obey the Lord, while Boaz remains single until he found Ruth, and he offered marriage to Ruth. This marriage bears a son, where the lineage of the Son- , Jesus Christ who saves the world came from. In Matthew 1:5 “Boaz the father of Obed, whose mother was Ruth, Obed the father of Jesse and Jesse the father of King David.”
All the perplexing turns in our lives are going somewhere good. God is with us and for us in these strange turns. – Sweet Bitter Providence, John Piper
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