But Ruth said, “Do not urge me to leave you or to return from following you. For where you go I will go, and where you lodge I will lodge. Your people shall be my people, and your God my God. Ruth 1:16
In the person of Ruth, the Church receives a glimpse of God’s promise of redemption and His invitation to become inheritors of His kingdom. Ruth, a Moabite woman was seemingly lost and forgotten according to early patriarchal customs upon the death of her husband Elimelech. Yet, as her mother-in-law Naomi, who was also a widow, returned to the people of Israel, so too did Ruth even though she was a foreigner. A widow living in a foreign land had little status and much less hope for a prosperous life. Only through redemption by Elimelech’s kinsmen could Ruth be accepted by the people of her late husband.
Ruth’s love and devotion to her mother-in-law Naomi led her to love and devotion of God. Following Naomi’s instructions and living among God’s people, Ruth was led to Boaz, Elimelech’s kinsman redeemer. It is because of her faithfulness and devotion to Naomi, and her many acts of kindness that Boaz would redeem Ruth, taking her as his wife and restoring her to a life of wholeness and community. Through the union of Boaz and Ruth, God would establish the lineage of David, Israel’s greatest King. And through the lineage of David would come the redeemer for all God’s people, the One who would be Lord and King of the universe.
As people of God, we see in Ruth faithfulness that leads to redemption and restoration to wholeness of life through kinship with God’s people. God promises to redeem those who hear the gospel and hold His promises to be true through the life, death and resurrection of His Son Jesus Christ. The redemption of Ruth, because of her faithfulness leads to the redemption for all who have faith in the one who is Lord and Savior, born of Mary through the lineage of Ruth’s great grandson David.
During this season of Advent, we give thanks for the family of God, for the faithfulness of Ruth and for the redemption she received through God’s grace in the blessing of Boaz. As we hear the words of Holy Scripture, we understand that we too are a part of God’s eternal family through the blood of Christ, born in the lineage of those who were faithful so long ago. May we also serve as such models of faith, so that children of generations to come may learn of God’s saving act, His love and redemption realized through Christ the Lord.
O God our Redeemer, your servant Ruth serves as a powerful example of faith for your people. Help us also remain obedient to your Word and steadfast in faith that our lives may serve as such blessing for others. Through Jesus Christ we pray. Amen.