The story of Ruth is a love story. It is a love story of a man and a woman. It is a love story of a mother and daughter-in-law, of friendship. It is a love story of God and His people, God and us. Ruth goes beyond a love story. It describes the character of people. It describes customs of ancient Israel. It describes compassion. It shows that no matter who we are, we are loved by God and can be used by God to bless others. We also see some parallels of how Jesus redeems us. Though we were sinners, enemies of God, aliens, God provided a way to redeem us. Jesus is our Redeemer.
Now Boaz went up to the gate and sat down there; and behold, the close relative of whom Boaz had spoken came by. So Boaz said, “Come aside, friend, sit down here.” So he came aside and sat down. And he took ten men of the elders of the city, and said, “Sit down here.” So they sat down. Then he said to the close relative, “Naomi, who has come back from the country of Moab, sold the piece of land which belonged to our brother Elimelech. And I thought to inform you, saying, ‘Buy it back in the presence of the inhabitants and the elders of my people. If you will redeem it, redeem it; but if you will not redeem it, then tell me, that I may know; for there is no one but you to redeem it, and I am next after you.'”
And he said, “I will redeem it.”
It has been said that this man that Boaz is negotiating with can be a representation of mankind, or of the Law. We try to do things to redeem ourselves, or go through other means, do good deeds, seek a priest, go to church, follow the law, or the ten commandments. But we can never do enough, none of us are able to do it on our own, no one is able to redeem us from our sinful nature. Boaz will go on to tell the man what he must do to redeem the land. As he does, the man will realize he cannot do it. Same with us. As we try to do things on our own, the law will show us that we all fall short of God’s glory. There is only One, and only One, that can redeem us…Jesus Christ.
Then Boaz said, “On the day you buy the field from the hand of Naomi, you must also buy it from Ruth the Moabitess, the wife of the dead, to perpetuate* the name of the dead through his inheritance.”
And the close relative said, “I cannot redeem it for myself, lest I ruin my own inheritance. You redeem my right of redemption for yourself, for I cannot redeem it.”
Once we admit that we cannot do it on our own, we can allow Christ to come into our lives and redeem us from our sins. He paid the price. He is able. He is willing. He sacrificed Himself so that we can have access to the Father, so that we can be saved from our sins. We need to have faith and trust in Him.
Now this was the custom in former times in Israel concerning redeeming and exchanging, to confirm anything: one man took off his sandal and gave it to the other, and this was a confirmation in Israel.
Therefore the close relative said to Boaz, “Buy it for yourself.” So he took off his sandal. And Boaz said to the elders and all the people, “You are witnesses this day that I have bought all that was Elimelech’s, and all that was Chilion’s and Mahlon’s, from the hand of Naomi. Moreover, Ruth the Moabitess, the widow of Mahlon, I have acquired as my wife, to perpetuate the name of the dead through his inheritance, that the name of the dead may not be cut off from among his brethren and from his position at the gate. You are witnesses this day.”
And all the people who were at the gate, and the elders, said, “We are witnesses. The Lord make the woman who is coming to your house like Rachel and Leah, the two who built the house of Israel; and may you prosper in Ephrathah and be famous in Bethlehem. May your house be like the house of Perez, whom Tamar bore to Judah, because of the offspring which the Lord will give you from this young woman.”
The elders give Boaz and Ruth a blessing. They offer a blessing to Ruth that she be fruitful. Having children was of great importance and great status in ancient Israel. The word “Eprathah” mean fruitful. “Bethlehem” means house of bread. Boaz is also blessed to be fruitful, to prosper and to be recognized. Bethlehem will be remembered forever. This will be where the Savior of the world is born. The descendents of Boaz and Ruth will be great kings, David and Solomon and more importantly, the Son of David, the Son of God, Jesus Christ.
So Boaz took Ruth and she became his wife; and when he went in to her, the Lord gave her conception, and she bore a son. Then the women said to Naomi, “Blessed be the Lord, who has not left you this day without a close relative; and may his name be famous in Israel! And may he be to you a restorer of life and a nourisher of your old age; for your daughter-in-law, who loves you, who is better to you than seven sons, has borne him.” Then Naomi took the child and laid him on her bosom, and became a nurse to him. Also the neighbor women gave him 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.
Naomi will be bitter no more. God had a plan for her, too. She is blessed with a grandson, who will become the grandfather of King David. She is cared for and God is by her side. So often we do not understand the difficulties we may endure, but in the end, we will be blessed. God has a plan for each of us. He wants us all to be redeemed. Through Boaz’s redemption of Ruth, we will be redeemed as well, by their descendant, the Son of God, Jesus Christ our Lord.
Now this is the genealogy of Perez: Perez begot Hezron; Hezron begot Ram, and Ram begot Amminadab; Amminadab begot Nahshon, and Nahshon begot Salmon; Salmon begot Boaz, and Boaz begot Obed; Obed begot Jesse, and Jesse begot David.