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“Who are you?” he asked. “I am your servant Ruth,” she said. “Spread the corner of your garment over me, since you are a kinsman-redeemer.”
- Ruth 4:9 NIV
The book of Ruth is one of my favorites in the Bible. It’s the story of a woman who loses her husband and moves to an unfamiliar country with her mother-in-law whose husband died just ten years before. Ruth was brave to move away from her home of Moab to Bethlehem in Judah, the hometown of her mother-in-law, Naomi. Though, Naomi herself had moved to Moab because of a famine in Bethlehem. Ruth also decided to reject the polytheistic religion of Moab and accept the God Naomi knew. When we choose to follow Jesus, it can look just like that. Leaving what was familiar behind, rejecting what we once believed, and moving forward into a future with God that is full of freedom and life.
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.” - Ruth 1:16 NIV
While in Bethlehem, Ruth begins gathering leftover grain for food in the fields owned by a man named Boaz, a relative of Naomi’s husband. Boaz notices her and tells her not to gather grain from other fields, so that he can ensure that she gets the grain she needs without being harmed. He was so kind to Ruth that he went as far as to tell his workers to deliberately pull out some stalks just for her! Naomi also notices Boaz’s kindness and tells Ruth that he is a kinsman-redeemer, meaning that he is a close male relative who has the privilege or responsibility of restoring the rights of another relative.
This little seed of hope of Ruth’s redemption by Boaz is just like the redemption we have through Jesus, our own Kinsman-Redeemer. He sees us, wants to provide for and protect us, and ultimately redeem us from our sin and brokenness.
Naomi quickly becomes a matchmaker, encouraging Ruth to remind Boaz of his duty to her as a kinsman-redeemer. Boaz then agrees to marry Ruth and take ownership of the land owned by Naomi’s late husband. The book of Ruth ends with a short lineage leading to the line of David, who is also an ancestor of Jesus. You see, as amazing as the story of Ruth and Boaz is, it points to the even greater Story of redemption we have through Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection.
Just like Ruth who sought someone for protection and redemption, we can also look to Jesus as the one who redeems us, giving us full life and protection in relationship with Him.
1. In what ways has Jesus redeemed you?
2. How can we live differently when we enter into relationship with Jesus?
Jesus, thank You for being my Kinsman-Redeemer, desiring to rescue me from my sin and troubles. Thank You that because I have a relationship with You, I can live free and protected by You. Help me to keep seeking You for all that I need. It is only in You that I am fully satisfied. Amen.
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