Life’s deviations and restoration…
During a severe famine, Elimelech left Israel and moved his wife Naomi and two sons to Moab. After Elimelech died his sons married two Moab women, Orpah and Ruth. After 10 years both sons died and Naomi decided to move back to Israel. She left with both Orpah and Naomi, but on the way Naomi told them to stay because she had nothing to offer them in Israel, even if she gave birth to sons now would they wait for them to grow up to marry them? Orpah decided to stay but Ruth insisted in going and left with her mother-in-law. They both arrived back in Israel and Naomi insisted on everyone calling her “mara” which means bitter, because she had suffered so much while she was a way.
Ruth went and worked in the field of Boaz who was a relative of Naomi’s husband Elimelech. Boaz asked who she was and then spoke with her, telling her to stay right behind the women working in that field and not to work anywhere else. Ruth fell at his feet exclaiming I’m just a foreigner why are you being so kind to me. He told her that he knew about her kindness to her mother-in-law since the death of her own husband. He told the young men not to bother her and made sure she had food to eat while she was working. Naomi was surprised by how much grain she had gathered and blessed Boaz for showing such kindness to them.
Naomi gives Ruth instructions on how to get herself a permanent home in Israel. Ruth is to go to Boaz when he is asleep and tell him that he is her family redeemer as he is a very close relative of Naomi’s late husband. Ruth does as she is told and Boaz exclaims that she has more family loyalty now than ever by not running after a younger man. However, there is a relative that is closer than Boaz and he must be given the right to redeem Ruth. Boaz says he will talk to him and if he isn’t willing to marry Ruth then Boaz will marry her. Ruth goes back to Naomi, and she says tells Ruth to be patient, as Boaz will settle this today.
Boaz went to the town gate and waited for the family redeemer to walk by. When he came by Boaz called out to him and made the offered of purchasing the land from Naomi that had belonged to her husband and sons. The family redeemer said yes that he would purchased the land however very quickly changed his mind when Boaz said that he also had to marry Ruth to carry on her husband’s name. Boaz was given the right to marry Ruth when the family redeemer handed over his sandal and gave it to Boaz as an official validation of the transaction.
Boaz married Ruth and they had a son named Obed that was looked after by Naomi. Obed was the grandfather of King David.
The story of Ruth illustrates the times in our life of when we take the wrong turn and make the wrong decision. We can become bitter as our life feels like it has been turned upside down. We might dwell on our problems and not see the bigger picture. However, just as God brought back Ruth’s husbands family back on track, back into the lineage of Christ, he can do the same for us. A family redeemer purchased the land so that Ruth could bear a son to carry on the family name. God has already redeemed our future and salvation with the death of Christ on the cross. Christ rose again and is living now, he is our future, he is our hope. No matter what mistakes we make God can and will rescue us when we turn back to him and ask him for help. I have seen this happen over and over again in my life, and I know that I will continue to see this in the future as my hope is in God. Even if God doesn’t always come through in the way we expect him to I will always trust in him, as he sees the bigger picture and is currently writing the next line of my story.
Oh Lord, thank you that my future is in your hands. I thank you that you loved me so much that you sent Jesus Christ to die on the cross for me. But more than anything I’m thankful that Christ rose from the dead and living today. You are my God there is no other. You are my saviour there is no other. You are only way there is no other. I thank you that you hold my life in your hands. I will trust in you at all times. In Jesus name, Amen.