• William T. Howe Ph.D.

March 26, 2021

Daily Reading: Ruth 1-4

Ruth 4:17

And the women her neighbours gave it a name, saying, There is a son born to Naomi; and they called his name Obed: he is the father of Jesse, the father of David.

The book of Ruth is a buckle if you will. It connects the time of the Judges, wherein it is shown what happened to Israel when there was no king, to the time of King David. Ruth was the daughter in law of a Jewish man named Elimelech and his wife Naomi. Their son, Mahlon, married Ruth who was a Moabite, a Gentile. While in Moab, Elimelech died as well as his two sons, who had both taken Gentile wives. All that was left was Naomi and her two daughters in law. When she decided to move back to Bethlehemjudah, Ruth chose to move with her. This would prove to be an exceptionally good decision; talk about a dream come true. Ruth was ultimately married to a man named Boaz who was extraordinarily rich. In fact, this was probably more than the poor widow Ruth could have even dared to dream.

Boaz was the son of Salmon, who was the husband of Rahab. You may remember her; she was the woman who hid the spies in her house that was on the wall of Jericho. She put out that scarlet thread by faith which saved not only her life, but the lives of all that were in her house. It may make sense then that Boaz who had a Gentile mother, had mercy on Ruth who was a Gentile also.

Ruth’s story is important for two reasons. One, it illustrates the law of the “kinsman redeemer”. According to the Law of God given to Moses, the kinsman redeemer was a man of near kin to a widowed woman who had been left with no children. Under the law a near kinsman was to take the widow as his wife to raise up seed unto the woman’s dead husband. This was absolutely necessary because of the laws of inheritance that the Lord God had given to the Israelites. Ruth, having had an Israelite for a husband was left childless, and thus there was no other male child from Elimelech left to inherit his lot of land. Therefore, Boaz as the near kinsman redeemed Ruth from a fruitless life to a life of blessing. This man, this kinsman redeemer, is seen as an illustration of Christ who is our Kinsman Redeemer. He redeems individuals from a life of ruin to a life of blessing.

Ruth’s story also brings the reader to David, proving his lineage as was needed to prove the lineage of Christ in the New Testament. It is interesting that the lineage of Christ given in the book of Matthew includes the names Ruth and Rahab, both Gentiles. Boaz was the great-great grandfather of David, and David's son Solomon named the left pillar of the Temple of God Boaz.

While reading Ruth’s story, notice her character, determination, and faith. She is one of the few persons in Scripture of which nothing sinful or negative is recorded.

Until tomorrow, live for Christ today.

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