Ruth (particularly 2.1-12; 3.6-14; 4.1-15)
One of my dear friends thinks of Boaz as a sort of biblical version Mr Darcy. Personally I think at if we are going to assign fictional characters to historical ones then he is more of a Mr Knightley in manner and temperament. No one seems to notice that it’s Ruth doing much of the chasing though.
I don’t know why I’m sharing that with you though. Perhaps because it made me smile. I really must apologise for how haphazard this series turned out but I’m enjoying writing it at least.
Boaz is an interesting one. I know you’re dying to know what his connection to Joshua is since each day seems to be following on quite nicely from the day before so I’ll put you out of your misery.
His mother was a lady called Rahab (Matthew 1.5) so if you’re tracking with me you’ll realise that makes him half Gentile. An interesting dynamic.
All the same he had this relative, Naomi, who moved away with her husband and married her sons off to a couple of Moabite girls. The next thing you know, she’s back and she has lost everything; no husband, no sons, and she never got to have any grandchildren. But at least one of her foreign daughter-in-laws stood by her.
It’s a strange story. Boaz didn’t need to do anything really. He was kind to let her glean his fields, he was kind to put her under his protection, and he was kind to make sure that extra grain was left for her to glean.
He could have left it at that but he didn’t.
Boaz went and willingly fulfilled the legal requirements which meant he could redeem what Naomi (and therefore Ruth) had lost. He helped restore them rather than abandon them.
It seems odd through Western eyes but it’s as odd as the gospel it pictures.
We, like Naomi, are in a bitter and tragic situation, a situation which we cannot work our way out of. We need a redeemer. All we had was corrupted or lost at the Fall. It took the goodness of God to step in and fulfil the law in order to redeem and restore us.
Like Boaz, Jesus didn’t have to intervene, he didn’t even need to show us the kindness of providing for and protecting us each day. But he has and he is.
Jesus came freely to redeem us for himself, regardless of whether we are Jew or Gentile, just as Boaz did for Ruth.
So why is he coming? Because he has chosen to step in and redeem our lost cause.
Today’s song: Living He Loved Me – Casting Crowns