Week 2 Day 5

Ruth 4:13-17
13 So Boaz took Ruth, and she became his wife, and he went in to her. And the Lord enabled her to conceive, and she gave birth to a son. 14 Then the women said to Naomi, “Blessed is the Lord who has not left you without a redeemer today, and may his name become famous in Israel. 15 May he also be to you a restorer of life and a sustainer of your old age; for your daughter-in-law, who loves you and is better to you than seven sons, has given birth to him.”

16 Then Naomi took the child and laid him in her lap, and became his nurse. 17 The neighbor women gave him a name, saying, “A son has been born to Naomi!” So they named him Obed. He is the father of Jesse, the father of David.
Ruth’s story takes place during the time of the judges, a time marked by the vicious cycle of sin, as everyone did “what was right in their own eyes”. One of the consequences of Israel’s sin was a famine. In Ruth 1, Naomi’s husband moved their family to Moab to escape the famine in Bethlehem. Sadly, the family escaped the famine but endured three funerals in a foreign land. The punishment for sin is inescapable by our own means.

Reeling from the deaths of her husband and two sons, Naomi changed her name to “Mara”, which means “bitter”. Interestingly, the Bible never refers to her by the name she chose for herself in her grief. God always had a redemptive plan for Naomi!

In chapter 2, Ruth, Naomi’s daughter-in-law, chose to forsake her own people and sense of security to follow Naomi and, more importantly, Naomi’s God, back to Bethlehem. With no one to care for them, Ruth began gathering the leftover wheat in a nearby field. God guided her to Boaz’s field, who was her kinsman redeemer. By law, a kinsman redeemer had the right to rescue a deceased relative’s family and inheritance. He would take on the wealth and the debt of the deceased, as well as incorporate the deceased’s family into his own. Boaz’s decision to redeem Ruth meant he agreed to bring her into his family and give her and their future children a share in his inheritance.

Even though Obed was Ruth’s son, the women in Bethlehem understood how the baby brought new life to Naomi. He was a picture of the promise of her future hope. Along with Ruth, Naomi had been rescued by Boaz, their kinsman redeemer. She no longer saw herself as “Mara”.  

What an amazing picture of the grace and kindness of God in Jesus Christ! Reeling from the consequences of our sin, we have no escape, no way to rescue ourselves. In His great mercy and grace, Jesus chose to be our Kinsman Redeemer. He took our debt upon Himself at the cross, brought us into the family of God, and promises to share His inheritance with all who believe.

Ruth shows us how Bethlehem, whose name means “house of bread”, became the ancestral home of Jesus, the Bread of Life. Boaz and Ruth were the great-grandparents King David, placing them directly in the line of Christ, our ultimate Kinsman Redeemer.

Reflection and Prayer

Like Naomi’s husband, have you tried to escape the consequences of sin on your own power?

Can you identify with Naomi, who wanted to change her name to “Mara”, when her husband and sons died?

How has Jesus redeemed you? Be specific as you think of all the ways He has rescued you and provided you with new life.

Lord, thank You for taking on our debt of sin and sharing Your inheritance of heaven with us. Thank You for your kindness. Thank You for turning our grief into joy, with Your promise of new life in You. Amen.

Faith Bible Staff