“I will do whatever you say…” ~ Ruth 3:5
You can’t go very long in a day without hearing the words “debt” or “deficit”. Whether someone is talking about their own circumstances, someone elses, or the nation’s. It’s a unifying goal of most human beings to be “debt-free”. So much so, that scammers are using the tactic of “grants” and federal debt forgiveness to steal personal information! I cannot begin to tell you how many phone calls I receive where someone is telling me that I have a “Get Out of Jail” card, all I have to do is give them all my personal information. Most know this is a scam, but why do people still fall for it? Because the opportunity to have a clean slate is so valuable that people will risk a lot.
Wouldn’t it be nice to be redeemed? In the book of Ruth, we see a beautiful story of love and redemption. Once that most signifies our relationship with God. Ruth was a humble woman in need of a Redeemer, and frankly, aren’t we all? When you’re in the dumps, amidst all the failed attempts at success, we seek a salvation from our situation.
So how does Ruth get redeemed? For a little back story, Ruth married one of Elimelech’s sons, who were escaping a famine in Judah. Elimelech and both of his sons tragically pass way, and the women were left without husbands. Naomi, Elimelech’s wife, plans her return to her hometown, and urges the two daughters to do the same in order to be remarried. Orpah, the second daughter leaves, but Ruth does not. “Where you go, I will go; where you lodge, I will lodge; your people shall be my people, and your God my God. Where you die, I will die—there will I be buried” Ruth 1:16–17. Ruth remained by Naomi’s side to take care of her, even though she knew that meant she may never marry again. Naomi then took Ruth to Boaz, who was a relative, hoping he would be their kinsman redeemer.
So what is a Kinsman redeemer? The kinsman-redeemer is a male relative who had the responsibility to act on behalf of a relative who was in trouble, danger, or need. Since both of the women were widowed, they no longer had the security of finances they once had. Naomi took Ruth to Boaz in hopes he would redeem them. Naomi instructed Ruth on how to proceed. Boaz saw Ruth’s kindness and sacrifice towards Naomi and immediately accepted, even though he knew there was someone else who could have taken the burden. Boaz saw Ruth in the trench she was in, and stretched out his hand.
God looks out for us, just as Naomi looked out for Ruth. Naomi and Ruth’s relationship is a beautiful representation for our relationship with God. Ruth could have left Naomi when her husband died in search for a better life. But instead, she walked away from security due to the kindness of her heart. Because of this, Naomi wanted to make sure she took care of Ruth as best as she could. She lead her to Boaz, who later became her husband!
God redeems us, just as Boaz redeemed Ruth. Boaz and Ruth is another beautiful example of our relationship with God. Boaz could have seen Ruth as a young widower not worthy of his time, sacrifice, and money. He could have seen her as a servant, or maid. Instead he looked upon her with love, as he saw her heart. He saw her when she was broke, widowed, alone, and hungry. He saw her when she had lost everything she owned. He saw her, and loved her anyway. He redeemed her.
What does this mean for Millennials? Ruth was no stranger to loss. She lost her husband, her financial security, and her future. I know that there are many who can relate. Maybe you lost a loved one, your job, your house etc. Maybe you are in need of a redeemer and thought you weren’t good enough. Maybe you want a “Get Out of Jail” card, but think its too good to be true. Maybe you have made a lot of choices you can’t take back, and no longer feel worthy of redemption. Well this is the greatest part: God wants YOU. God wants to redeem you. He wants to pick you up and cover you with his shawl. He wants to raise you up amidst your pain and suffering. He wants to shower you with love when you no longer feel lovable. He wants to help you put together the pieces when you don’t know where to begin. God wants to redeem you, all you have to do is ask.