This has been the shortest book up to date as it only had 4 chapters. The story of Ruth is about a woman who lost her husband and returns to Bethlehem with her widowed mother-in-law Naomi. With all the men gone in their life they form an inseparable bond with each other, despite Naomi’s initial resistance by trying to send Ruth back home to her own family. One important fact here is that Ruth was a Moabite woman, who was considered to be an enemy of the Israelites. Could you imagine the stress this poor women felt heading into the Bethlehem? In my opinion, she is truly a good person!
Ruth demonstrates her devotion to Naomi in chapter 1 verse 16 by saying, “Don’t urge me to leave you or turn back from you. Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God. Where you die I will die, and there I will be buried. May the Lord deal with me, be it ever so severely, if even death separates you and me.”
A major theme of this book is faithfulness, which leads to kindness and love. This goes back to one of my earlier reviews where I mention “the golden rule.” Naomi is kind to Ruth, Ruth is kind to Boaz and in turn he is kind to both women. Eventually Ruth wins Boaz’s heart, they marry and Ruth has a child by the name of Obed, which turns out to be an ancestor of Jesus. Finally the bible mentions Jesus, as this has been an obscenely long family tree going on for the last 8 books. Not that I am complaining. It is just a lot of names and places to take in.
Chapter 4 verse 13 states, “Praise be to the Lord, who this day has not left you without a guardian-redeemer. He will renew your life and sustain you in your old age. For your daughter-in-law, who loves you and who is better to you than seven sons, has given him birth.”
So what is a guardian-redeemer? This one I had to look up, as I had no clue. An article states: “The term is used thirteen times in the book of Ruth and is a legal term for one who has the obligation to redeem (by payment or purchase) a relative who has found themselves in quite serious difficulties or often bondage. You see, Jesus would years later become a guardian-redeemer for many who like Ruth, realize that they too are in dire straights and desperately need help.” Sounds pretty simple to me, someone that looks after you and helps you out. So is it safe to say that as children our parents are our guardian-redeemers?