The Cloud of Witnesses
Former title Lessons From the People of the Bible
Lesson 6: Ruth – Found Security In Her New Marriage Relationship
Found Security In Her New Marriage Relationship
Boaz lost no time at all carrying out all that he said he would do. He invited the kinsman-redeemer with the priority right to join him, and then sought out the tribal chiefs and local town elders. Once they were assembled he presented his case. He offered the other man the privilege of redeeming Naomi’s family’s land even though he had already quite obviously set his heart on it.
Ruth had handed the issue over to God; now it was Boaz’ turn. He was a man of integrity, so whilst he was vehement in his desire to redeem the situation, he had to, nevertheless, offer it to the one with the priority claim. He had to sit and wait on his ‘opponent’s’ decision. God had instituted the ‘rules’ and he could trust God to bring about His righteous solution.
Yes, it wasn’t just a bargain or a contract – it was a promise and covenant. Yes, there was a monetary side to it but it was far more than just a deal. It was a promise of a home, security and a future – which would be realised by a child-heir. In other words, he was promising to marry Ruth and be totally faithful to her, and to provide an offspring to her (and her late husband). He was to invest his past and present into her future – what a guy – what an act of humility. He was not only going to bless her but the rest of the world through her – through her child.
Furthermore, Boaz didn’t just say it in private – he said it in front of all those witnesses. They could hold him to his decision because for Boaz there was no going back, no reneging – it was final. Just as it is with all of God’s promises.
That is why Christian Marriage is sacred. It is not just an agreement or contract – it is a promise, a covenant – until death separates us. God gave Abraham a covenant. He promised to not only bless Abraham but also all the nations of the earth through him. God blessed Abraham in all sorts of ways – just as He promised. However, God has blessed all nations through Him as well – just as He promised. As Christians, we are the ‘spiritual’ children of Abraham through our faith in Christ Jesus – because Abraham is the ‘Father of the Faithful’.
The elders were obviously overwhelmed by Boaz’ grace and actions. He was known as a man of integrity – now he had peaked in his faithfulness and love. They were ecstatic and burst into spontaneous praise. They desired that Ruth would be like their patriarchal greats – Leah, Rachel and Tamar.
Tamar’s case wasn’t unlike that of Ruth, in that she had to be ‘rescued’ by Judah from childlessness. How prophetic their outburst – for Ruth became one of them – of equal standing and of equal importance, in the line of King David. And a blessing to the whole world, as we shall soon discover.
What about you? Has God given you a ‘prophecy’, or do you have a dream or vision, which seems dead? Don’t give it up. Give it back to God and tell Him you are still waiting and believing for Him to make it happen. And remember – it may be fulfilled in the most unexpected way – so don’t give in to unbelief or speculation. When the time is right – God will do it – and it will be well worth waiting for.
Ruth would say to us today...
Love is a choice. Marriage is a choice, and there is no greater privilege in life than being able to enjoy a good marriage. It’s worth working at and it’s worth making the decision to maintain a total commitment to your spouse.
Thank You, Father, for all those people who are great role models of marriage and faithful commitment. Help me to play my part in the relationships I have to show a similar love and commitment. For Your Name’s sake. Amen.
1 Peter 2:4-10; Genesis 12:1-3; Jeremiah 31:31-34.
Why didn’t the other kinsman-redeemer want to fulfil his duty?
Why did the people want Ruth to become like Rachel and Leah?
Who was Tamar and how did she become the ‘wife’ of Judah and mother of Perez?