The definition of “redeem” is “to gain (or regain) possession of something at a price”. Ruth is a story of redemption. She and her mother-in-law Naomi have lost their husbands and their lands.
Boaz redeems the lineage of Naomi and takes Ruth as his wife. It costs Boaz. There is another possible redeemer who is first in line. He agrees to redeem the land, but then passes when he discovers it comes with Ruth. Raising a son for Ruth means the land would go to Naomi’s heirs rather than his own. But Boaz chooses to marry Ruth and redeem the land for Naomi’s descendants. Boaz looks beyond what was comfortable and chooses to cast his lot with women of great character.
Jesus is the ultimate example of a life of redemption. He is the Boaz-style redeemer for every one of us who are like Ruth, in need of redemption. The result of their union is a son, Obed. Obed became the father of Jesse, who was the father of King David. The Bible promises that when we follow Jesus as faithful servants, He will reward us by including us in His kingly lineage. He will reward us as servant kings.
Ruth doesn’t know what God has in store for her as she is making her decisions. As she is choosing how to live and love, she has no idea the massive impact her choices will make. The loyalty and commitment to Naomi, her stewardship and self-governance, and her courage of character impact her own story. But they also influence much more. Ruth is part of a larger narrative, a bigger story. Just like each of us.
Our choices matter. They may seem small. It may seem as though our value-based character choices have little tangible effect. Our commitment to truth may not make sense to outside observers. The hard work of stewardship and self-governance is more difficult than blaming and complaining. And sometimes our courage feels dangerous and the results uncertain.
The reality is what we do has far reaching implications. Our choices matter. Our character matters. When we are faithful with our choices, God promises to multiply them. When we are humble He promises to lift us up, just as He did for Ruth. We all have the opportunity to follow Ruth’s amazing example, and enjoy great blessings, which God will reward in due time.
This is the fourth in a series of four devotionals centered on the life of Ruth. One of the most incredible characters in all of Scripture, Ruth’s example of self-governance and stewardship shows us the way of love, the key to living well, and the impact our choices can make. For more on this topic check out thebiblesays.com commentary on Ruth, which was a source for this series.