Ruth 1:16-17 – “16 But Ruth said: “Entreat me not to leave you, or to turn back from following after you; for wherever you go, I will go; and wherever you lodge, I will lodge; your people shall be my people, and your God, my God. 17 Where you die, I will die, and there will I be buried. The LORD do so to me, and more also, if anything but death parts you and me.” NKJV
The incredible power of devotion and faithfulness is seen in the Book of Ruth in both Ruth and Boaz. However, for it to have reached the place that Boaz could take Ruth as a wife, there had to be the commitment of Ruth in making covenant with Naomi. Ruth’s husband was dead, and Naomi had no other sons and no prospect of having sons that could marry Ruth and raise up seed in the name of his brother. Ruth was released by Naomi as was Orpah, but Ruth refused to desert her mother-in-law and her covenant vows are seen in these verses.
Naomi was moved by Ruth’s commitment and selflessness but more importantly, God took note of her heart which produced her actions. When they returned to Bethlehem, they were destitute and among their relatives was a rich man named Boaz. Ruth requested Naomi’s permission to go to his field to glean so they could eat. There is no evidence that Ruth had a plan to get Boaz to marry her simply she was seeking to care for her mother-in-law.
It was the custom of the Jews to allow strangers to gather the corners of the fields and even glean the trampled down grain so when Ruth came to the field the workers honored the custom and allowed her to glean. Boaz took note of her and upon inquiry realized who she was and was, no doubt, moved by her devotion to Naomi. He invited her to continue day by day gleaning in his fields and instructed the workers to drop handfuls on purpose for her so that she would be sure to have a goodly amount to sell and for Naomi and her to eat.
When Ruth reported what had transpired to Naomi, her mother-in-law sensed the heart of God and knew the Law of the Kinsman-Redeemer, so she encouraged Ruth to return with specific instructions. Her willingness to comply and her demonstrated virtue moved the heart of Boaz as God worked His plan looking down the road to the Christ being born. Boaz sought to protect her reputation and took action to approach the Near Kinsman to enact the Kinsman-Redeemer rights. The Near Kinsman declined for personal reasons allowing Boaz to fulfill the role and duty required by the Law.
Ruth and Boaz had a son. The child was named Obed, the father of Jesse, the father of David from whose line Christ was born. In the life of Ruth and Boaz, we get a picture of the Kinsman-Redeemer Jesus and in the Book of Revelation Five, we find one of the elders told John that there is one that has earned the right to open the scroll in heaven and that one is Jesus our Kinsman-Redeemer. He, Jesus, has redeemed us, is redeeming us and will redeem us in the Last Days and seal forever our eternal place with Him in glory.
Two thoughts I want to leave you with. One, the heart of a servant can clearly be seen in Ruth and the servant’s heart was rewarded by God. Two, it was not enough just to serve but Ruth cut a covenant with Naomi, and God is a Covenant Making and Covenant Keeping God and honors His covenant forever. Ruth, in my mind, gives us a picture of what we should be and can be in Christ!
God bless you as you embark on today’s leg of your life’s journey!