Wednesday, August 15, 2012

He Comforted Me

In Ruth 2:13, Ruth says to Boaz, "Let me find favor in your sight, my lord; for you have comforted me, and have spoken kindly to your maidservant, though I am not like one of your maidservants."

This verse is reminiscent of our own prayers. “Help me to live a life that is pleasing to you, Lord. You have comforted me and been so kind to me. Thank you for forgiving me and loving me and showing so much patience with me. You have given me such an indescribable inheritance in Christ. Lord, thank you.”

Here, in the book of Ruth, we have a beautiful love story unfolding against the dark backdrop of the time of the Judges. In a world of violence and injustice, disobedience and ignorance, true love reveals the strength of two people who are more than conquerors. Ruth has lost her husband, her father-in-law and her brother-in-law. She has only her mother-in-law, Naomi. Though she is surrounded by death, she is faithful to trust God to work out her circumstances.

Boaz was an extended relative of Ruth’s husband. Her husband had died many years previous to this reunion of Boaz with Naomi, Ruth’s mother-in-law. Boaz was Naomi’s (and Ruth’s) kinsmen redeemer, her close relative. As events unfold, we see Boaz fulfilling his duty under God’s law (Lev. 25:25 and Deut. 25:5-6), of redeeming the wife of a relative that died, to support her and carry on his relative’s family name. In this short story, probably told to us by the prophet Samuel around the inauguration of David as king, we see a beautiful type of Christ revealed. Boaz is a picture of Jesus, and his wife Ruth represents the bride of Christ, the church. Jesus is our Kinsmen Redeemer. The eternal God became a man, and therefore could redeem mankind from it’s death, from our separation from God; to make us right before God and to take care of us. In verse 13, after Ruth has found favor in Boaz’s eyes, she says softly, “you have comforted me, and have spoken kindly to your maidservant, though I am not one of your maidservants. Ruth was not an Israelite, she was from Moab. As Christians, we are said to have been outsiders to the covenant and grace of the Lord, but now through faith in Jesus, we have been brought into the family of God.

In this quick paced and distracting society we live in, these words of Ruth’s soften a busy heart! To contemplate the Lord’s kindness, and to bask in His comfort is something I could do all day long! He is our comforter, and He has spoken the truth kindly to our hearts. He has redeemed us from spiritual death, and given us eternal life with Him, as Boaz, in love, redeemed Ruth to take care of her and honor his relative’s name. God has honored His promise to Abraham by blessing people of all nations through Jesus.

Now, as we get down to verse 14, Boaz instructs Ruth to come, and eat of the bread, and to dip her piece of bread in the vinegar. This verse reminds me of our communion, with our Lord. The eating of the bread, representing the body of Jesus broken for us. And the drinking of wine, His blood shed for us.

It also reminded me of the words of Jesus in John 6:51 & 55, “I am the living bread that came down out of heaven. Anyone who eats this bread will live forever; this bread is my flesh, offered so the world may live.” “For my flesh is the true food, and my blood is the true drink.” He came to give us new life in abundance, as Boaz did for Ruth.

What a wonderful reminder of communion and intimacy with our Kinsmen Redeemer, tucked away nicely in this little book written about 3,000 years ago. Jesus is our sustenance and our life. Our communion with Him is a continuing romance that will carry on into the eternal glories of His Kingdom. Come quickly, Lord! Call us home to the wedding feast.

Also, in the book of Ruth, we have a necessary reminder of all that the Lord has redeemed us from: loss, pain, want, worldly desires and death; to ultimately be united with our God through His sacrifice. Though Ruth was a Moabitess, she is chosen by God to be David’s great-grandmother, and the ancestress of the Messiah, our Savior and Lord, Jesus. Oh, how God’s grace abounds eternally! Though, like Ruth we were on the outside, Jesus has redeemed us to God and we have been brought into His glorious Kingdom forever. If you have not received God’s wonderful gift of forgiveness and eternal life through Jesus Christ, why not ask Him now to forgive you of your sins and let Him into your heart. Jesus said, "I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?” (John 11:25-26)

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