Devotion: DISCOVERING JESUS IN RUTH- BOUGHT WITH HIS SHOE AND HIS HEART
October 19, 2018
"Then went Boaz up to the gate, and sat him down there: and, behold, the kinsman of whom Boaz spake came by; unto whom he said, Ho, such a one! turn aside, sit down here. And he turned aside, and sat down. And he took ten men of the elders of the city, and said, Sit ye down here. And they sat down. And he said unto the kinsman, Naomi, that is come again out of the country of Moab, selleth a parcel of land, which was our brother Elimelech's: And I thought to advertise thee, saying, Buy it before the inhabitants, and before the elders of my people. If thou wilt redeem it, redeem it: but if thou wilt not redeem it, then tell me, that I may know: for there is none to redeem it beside thee; and I am after thee. And he said, I will redeem it. Then said Boaz, What day thou buyest the field of the hand of Naomi, thou must buy it also of Ruth the Moabitess, the wife of the dead, to raise up the name of the dead upon his inheritance. And the kinsman said, I cannot redeem it for myself, lest I mar mine own inheritance: redeem thou my right to thyself; for I cannot redeem it. Therefore the kinsman said unto Boaz, Buy it for thee. So he drew off his shoe. And Boaz said unto the elders, and unto all the people, Ye are witnesses this day, that I have bought all that was Elimelech's, and all that was Chilion's and Mahlon's, of the hand of Naomi. Moreover Ruth the Moabitess, the wife of Mahlon, have I purchased to be my wife, to raise up the name of the dead upon his inheritance, that the name of the dead be not cut off from among his brethren, and from the gate of his place: ye are witnesses this day. So Boaz took Ruth, and she was his wife: and when he went in unto her, the Lord gave her conception, and she bare a son. And the women said unto Naomi, Blessed be the Lord , which hath not left thee this day without a kinsman, that his name may be famous in Israel." Ruth 4:1-6, 8-10, 13-14 KJV
A THOUGHT TO PONDER:
Two men determined the destiny of Ruth the day after the night at the threshing floor. Ruth moved quietly through the village of Bethlehem. Unnoticed, she slipped back to her humble abode before anyone noticed. Boaz was moved and shaken with the conviction of responsibility. He could not get his obligation nor Ruth off of his mind. Before a meal or meaningful conversation with his hired hands, Boaz struck out for the town's gate. There, deals were made, transactions enacted, and legal contracts made binding. Upon arrival at the seat of civic authority, Boaz summoned his relative, the nearest of kinsman to him, Adding to the scene were witnesses. Several of the elders of the community were beckoned to view first hand what would soon become a permanent transaction in an official transfer of assets and goods. Within the bundle was a woman, who belonged to no one or had title to anything. She was the objective in Boaz's contractual construct. As Boaz followed the proscribed outline for litigating his case before Bethlehem's leaders and neighbors, Boaz offered the remnant of Elimelech's assets. Anxious to broaden his holdings, the near kinsman was gladly willing to accept the offer, until the details of the contract were disclosed. In the package were Ruth and Naomi. Ruth required a husband, and Naomi a caretaker. The near kinsman opted out. All now was available for Boaz to acquire, which he did at once. With the exchange of a shoe, the deal was struck and transaction closed. Boaz now owned all what once belonged to Elimelech. By faith, Naomi had called it when she told Ruth: "Sit still my daughter, until thou know how the matter will fall: for the man [Boaz] will not be in rest, until he have finished the thing this day." (ch. 3:18).
Endings are seldom crafted by beginnings. Ruth, was a long way from home, but never far from the caring hand and loving heart of our Heavenly Father. Ruth had not only committed herself to Naomi, she had committed herself to God. Without clamour or quest, her only desire was to fulfill the basic human value of responding to the love shown her. The four chapters named after her glorious life is a testimony to faithfulness, selflessness, sacrifice, and redemption. God did for Ruth what she could not do for herself. Without complaint or compromise, Ruth held steady to the God she never met before Naomi came into her life. She never questioned or repined, her service to the Creator. Can we not hear the words of Ruth to Naomi again: "Suffer me not to leave thee. . .". Doesn't it bring to mind the words from the exchange between Christ and Peter found in John 6:66-69: "From that time many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him [Christ]. Then said Jesus unto the twelve, 'Will you also go away?' Then Simon Peter answered him, Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life. And we believe and are sure that thou art the Christ, the Son of the Living God." Ruth was compelled to follow Naomi. Naomi had showed her the way of life. Naomi was like the Holy Spirit drawing Ruth to a loving and complete relationship in God. Ruth had experienced the unique and compelling love of God, through Naomi. It was not enough for Ruth to follow the impress of the Holy Spirit, in Naomi. She needed to be bought out of her circumstances. There was someone else who wanted her life, besides Christ. The near kinsman, unnamed in the account, is like Satan. He was desirous of the goods but cared nothing about Ruth's lost condition, her salvation. Boaz, a type of Christ, expends his energies and efforts in Ruth's redemption and salvation. Boaz could"neither sleep nor slumber" until he spent all for her salvation. Boaz redeemed Ruth. Boaz rewrote Ruth's past and gave her a new future. Christ does that for us and anyone who will surrender, and commit to walk in truth and righteousness.
Isaiah says it this way, "Fear not; for thou shalt not be ashamed: neither be thou confounded; for thou shalt not be put to shame: for thou shalt forget the shame of thy youth, and shalt not remember the reproach of thy widowhood any more. For thy Maker is thine husband; the Lord of hosts is his name; and thy Redeemer the Holy One of Israel; The God of the whole earth shall he be called. For the Lord hath called thee as a woman forsaken and grieved in spirit, and a wife of youth, when thou wast refused, saith thy God. For a small moment have I forsaken thee; but with great mercies will I gather thee. In a little wrath I hid my face from thee for a moment; but with everlasting kindness will I have mercy on thee, saith the Lord thy Redeemer." (Isaiah 54:4-8 KJV).
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