A Redeemer from the Most Unlikely of Places

by Michael Freeman
If you haven’t read the book of Ruth in a while, I would encourage you to set this devotional aside for the 15 minutes it takes to read its four chapters and reacquaint yourself with this story. It will be time well spent.
The book of Ruth is set in the rebellious time of the Judges, where “everyone did what was right in their own eyes” (Judges 21:25). Sound familiar? Ruth is a story of deep loss, deep love, deep humility, and deep faith.
At the end of Chapter Three, Ruth has already asked Boaz to be her redeemer…an honor she has every right to claim. Now, with this request made, she goes home to wait. Boaz has promised to return. She knows his character and trusts that he will do what he promises. Her fate is entirely in his hands.
We all have experience waiting…waiting to get a test grade back…waiting for a tax return…waiting until we are allowed to hunt the Easter eggs…waiting on the birth of a child…waiting for a loved one to take his last breath. In fact, hospitals and doctor’s offices have special rooms just for waiting. Waiting is a common part of life…but not all of us face waiting the same way. Some people are patient as they wait…others become agitated. Some people worry…others accept there is nothing they can do to change the outcome. Some prefer people around them to distract them from the waiting…others prefer to be left alone. No matter how we choose to spend our time waiting, waiting is inevitable.
In the story of Ruth, she also has a time of waiting to see what her fate will be. Will she get to marry Boaz or will a nearer relative take that honor from him? However, her waiting was not in vain. Through Ruth, God hints at the larger plan of redemption He has in store. God takes this gentile woman, weds her to the son of a Canaanite prostitute, and draws them into the family line of both King David and of Christ Himself (Matthew 1:5).
Through God’s provision for Ruth, He shows that He always intended redemption to extend beyond the borders of the Jewish people. What good news for those of us now grafted into His family.
During this season, as we wait for the Good News of Easter, we can reflect on the story of Ruth. Our Redeemer has gone to secure our future. He has promised to return.
We are Ruth… the church is Ruth, waiting for our redeemer to return to claim us as His own. Like the citizens of Bethlehem, this world too is watching us while we wait. How we act during this time of waiting says as much about our faith in our Redeemer and our belief about His trustworthiness as it does about our own character.
Our Redeemer can be trusted; His word is law. God has provided a way to redeem our lives and add them to His story. We too can point to a redeemer from the most unlikely of places…our testimony is how we wait for His return.
“…for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.” (Romans 3:23-24)

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