This post is published as a companion to Unit 9, Session 3 of The Gospel Project for Adults Vol. 3 (Spring 2022): From Conquest to a Kingdom.
Ruth’s story is an amazing love story that could easily be an Oscar-winning movie. But because of our culture’s lack of understanding of ancient middle eastern marriage laws, many would probably find the story confusing or at most unrelatable.
Boaz the Redeemer
But what strikes me in this story is Boaz and his faithfulness. Maybe played by Harrison Ford, a more mature man, who’s quiet integrity draws us in to his gentle spirit. Ruth, a young foreigner, widowed, with no inheritance or prospects for the future, sounds even in more dire circumstances than any of Jane Austen’s characters from her books. But Boaz, does all He can still to redeem her and her family, a type of Mr. Darcy.
But notice Boaz doesn’t cut any corners; he’s always by the book, making sure every legal and cultural law is not broken. He is a man of character and quality. Even at the possibility of someone else marrying Ruth, even though he wants to himself, he offers the closer kinsman-redeemer an opportunity to possess the land and Ruth because that was the law. But since this closer relative wanted only the land and not Ruth, he declined the offer and allowed Boaz to be the redeemer.
Throughout the story, Boaz had no real reason to take Ruth as a wife. She seemed to add nothing to his life. But God, in His ultimate plan, let it be so. But in the end, for Boaz, what he does gain is a loyal, God-fearing wife, whose descendant will one day be king. God had a perfect plan for both Boaz and Ruth. I would venture to say, they truly did live happily ever after.
A Greater Love Story
A story of love, redemption, and justice. What story can be greater? But there is one story greater! Jesus, similar to Boaz, is our redeemer. We are like the widowed foreigner with nothing going for us, but God loved us just the same and sought to redeem us to give us a hope and a future. And He simply couldn’t just grant it to us and let it happen. Jesus had to justly pay with His life to redeem us. He had to work within God’s laws to make it happen so that God’s justice was still intact. Our happily ever after is that we become the bride of Christ because of His goodness and kindness and love toward us.
How do we respond to such redeeming love? We remain loyal and faithful. We live with the knowledge that our future without Christ would be treacherous and dim. We live with joy, never taking for granted the love we have in Christ. We always remember His goodness and love toward us, even when trials come our way. We listen to His truths and know we are valued and special because He chose us. Though we were still sinners, though we were still destitute, though we were still foreigners, Christ died for us. There’s no greater love story than that.