In our next lesson in our series on “Hope” we are going to look at the lives of Ruth and Boaz. Despite our separation from them in time and space, and culture we can still see a great many ways Ruth and Boaz have embodied the Gospel message of grace, redemption, and restoration.
The people of Israel were given a special status with a special calling. They were called the family of God, they were to be His children, and they were called with a special purpose to be a light to the nations that the nations might know God through Israel. When the Bible talks about the “nations” in this way, it’s talking about the “other”, the “outsider”, the Gentile. If Israel is called to be “set apart”, these are the people they are called to be apart from.
To many then, the calling was one of exclusion. Rather than keeping the false gods, the false religion and the immorality out, it became a calling to keep the people out. The story of Ruth and Boaz shows us this wasn’t the intent. The intent was to bring others to the Lord, not to keep them from Him.
For Ruth, she knew of God through her mother-in-law Naomi. She knew He was good, and trustworthy, and full of grace and mercy. She had confidence, in the same way that “we have confidence to enter the sanctuary by the blood of Jesus” (Heb 10:19b) that she could “approach with a true heart in full assurance of faith” (Heb 10:22a) the people and their God. She held fast to her confession, her hope did not waver, and she knew that God is faithful. (Heb 10:23). Because of this, she did not abandon the faith but let her confidence in the Lord guide her.
For Boaz, he knew of God through his family and traditions and he held true to them. He saw someone in need who was faithful, honorable, and ready to work. Boaz also saw in Ruth someone who had very little to offer. She was alone, she had no property, she had no wealth. But Boaz saw in her a person valuable to God. Because of what he saw and how he treated Ruth, Boaz was blessed. Just as Jesus promises us blessings in Luke 14:14, “And you will be blessed, because they cannot repay you, for you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.”
There is beauty in fellowship and honoring God through it. What I see in the story of Ruth and Boaz are two people that honored God with their choices and I want to learn to make those same choices every day.