[Image by Dolce & Gabbana]
By: Gabriela Yareliz
San Valentino is upon us, as the Italians would say.
This brought to mind notes from the romantic story of Ruth. This brings us to start with Proverbs 31:29, “Many women have done excellently, but you surpass them all.” Those would be words used to describe a woman like Ruth.
Ruth was a young foreign widow, who decided to stay with her mother-in-law, Naomi, in a land that was not her own.
She returned with Naomi to the land of the Hebrews and began to work. She began working on Boaz’s land. Boaz is described as a worthy man. (Ruth 2:1).
Scripture tells us that on one particular evening, through the counsel and wisdom of Naomi, Ruth approached Boaz for redemption.
“At midnight the man (Boaz) was startled and turned over, and behold, a woman (Ruth) lay at his feet! He said, ‘Who are you?’ And she answered, ‘I am Ruth, your servant. Spread your wings over your servant, for you are a redeemer.’ And he said, ‘May you be blessed by the Lord, my daughter. You have made this last kindness greater than the first in that you have not gone after young men, whether poor or rich. And now, my daughter, do not fear. I will do for you all that you ask, for all my fellow townsmen know that you are a worthy woman… As the Lord lives, I will redeem you.'” Ruth 3:8-13.
Boaz, as the worthy man that he was, recognized Ruth’s worth. He told her not to fear because he would redeem her (how the law required redemption).
The words of Boaz can be compared to the words God tells us, His people, in Isaiah 54:4-5, 8:
“Fear not, for you will not be ashamed; be not confounded, for you will not be disgraced; for you will forget the shame of your youth, and the reproach of your widowhood you will remember no more. For your Maker is your husband, the Lord of hosts is His name; the Holy One of Israel is your Redeemer, the God of the whole earth He is called…’with everlasting love I will have compassion on you,’ says the Lord, your Redeemer.”
The Bible is filled with flawed individuals who through God’s grace become deliverers and instruments of God. So what is the role of this foreign woman’s story of redemption and her romantic, happy ending?
Ruth may not have been a “deliverer” in the way Moses was, but it was through her lineage, scripture tells us, that the ultimate Deliverer came.
People sometimes scoff at Ruth’s happy story, but the truth is that Ruth’s story is our story.
When we had nothing and we were destitute, when we sinned and made ourselves foreigners to God– He redeemed us. Ruth’s love story is an illustration of God’s love for us. He is our Redeemer.
God is constantly pursuing us, and He sees our worth. He gave us our worth. He says to us, “You are altogether beautiful, my love, there is no flaw in you.” Song of Solomon 4:7.