Boaz and Ruth
Pastor Steve Ellison
The book of Ruth closes with the word “David”. The last five verses of the book are a genealogy from Judah to David. The sixth verse from the end was a genealogy from Boaz to David. This is a real indication that the great contribution of Ruth the book and Ruth the person is the giving of David to the world. The giving of David also means the giving of the Messiah who would be known as the “Son of David”. The gospels refer to Jesus as the “Son of David” no less than a dozen times. The book of Ruth shows how the Christian can give Christ to the world.
I and many other believers have been prone to throw much effort and energy and time and money into trying to give Christ to the world. Yes, we are commanded to evangelize and disciple the whole world. The great focus of the book of Ruth is union with Christ. We see the two main characters, Boaz and Ruth, focusing on their relationship. As they work at their relationship, it becomes intimate and they give Christ to the world.
Ruth, a young widow, was a foreigner who arrived in Bethlehem with Naomi, the mother of her deceased husband. Bethlehem means the “house of bread”. Naomi was a widow also. Naomi and Ruth needed help. Ruth went to the field of Boaz to gather grain missed by the harvesters. That was Old Testament welfare, justice according to the Law. Boaz fit the qualifications of the Kinsman Redeemer spelled out in the book of Leviticus. As a kinsman redeemer, Boaz is a type, a foreshadowing, of Christ.
Boaz offered much more than justice. He gave mercy and grace. He allowed Ruth to gather with his harvesters not behind them. He instructed his servants to give her water to drink. He told her that she would be safe in his field and told his servants to make sure that she was safe. I am reminded that Christ gives abundant mercy and grace rather than the justice I deserve. I am reminded that Christ is the Bread of Life and the Living Water. I am reminded that the believer is safe in the arms of Christ. At mealtime, Boaz had Ruth sit next to him. Boaz, the rich land owner served Ruth, the poor welfare widow. The Bible says that Ruth ate and was satisfied and there was food left over. I am reminded that the foot washing in the upper room graphically shows us that Christ serves us first so that we can then serve. I am reminded that there is room at the cross for everyone; that there is an abundance of mercy, grace, and provision in God’s storehouse.
When Ruth is rejected by her closest relative, the one who owned the first right to be her kinsman redeemer, Boaz was standing by ready, willing, eager and able to redeem Ruth. Boaz took Ruth to be his wife, the most intimate of all earthly relationships. The book of Ruth is one example after another of Ruth and Boaz focusing their attention on each other. They worked at building their relationship until it culminated in marriage. The result of this intimate relationship between the Boaz, the Redeemer, and Ruth, the redeemed, is the giving of Christ to the world.
It seems to me that if I want to obey the Great Commission found in Matthew 28 where Jesus commands us to evangelize and disciple the whole world, I can best do it by focusing on building my relationship with Christ. The natural result of my loving, passionate, intimate, relationship with the Savior will be an automatic giving of Him to the world. I note that this giving of Christ to the world is fruit-bearing rather than work. Maybe our evangelism and discipleship efforts would benefit from a greater emphasis on our love relationship with the Savior. ………..email@example.com