January 16, 2017

A Time to Speak

Ruth 3:1-5; 4:9-10; Deuteronomy 25:5-6

Naomi said to her, “My daughter, I must find a home for you, where you will be well provided for.”

—  Ruth 3:1

Ruth’s decision to leave Moab has made her a wanderer, with no place to call home. She has put her time into helping Naomi by doing the tiring work of gleaning in the harvest fields of Boaz, who happens to be a relative of Naomi’s deceased husband. The time is ripe for Naomi to find a home for Ruth and put an end to her wandering.

Boaz is a guardian-redeemer, someone who can buy back Elimelek’s fields and so return prosperity to the family of Elimelek. Earlier Boaz had shown a willingness to help by instructing his workers to leave behind extra grain stalks for Ruth. Naomi, banking on Boaz as an honest and caring person, hopes he will further fulfill his obligation as a member of the extended family. Because she is childless and has no other sons for Ruth to marry, Naomi sees an opportunity in Boaz as her guardian-redeemer. Through this righteous Israelite, Ruth will not only find rest from her own wandering but also keep alive the name of her husband’s family. Naomi speaks, and Ruth follows her instructions. And Boaz does what he is called to do.

When the time was right, God sent his only Son, who willingly became our Redeemer. He made this earth his home, suffered, and died for all who believe in him, so that we might be adopted into God’s family and receive full rights as his children (Galatians 4:4-7). 

Thank you, heavenly Father, for bringing us to our Redeemer to find our restful home in Christ. In his name we pray. Amen.

About the author — Arie C. Leder

Dr. Arie C. Leder is the Martin J. Wyngaarden Senior Professor of Old Testament Studies at Calvin Theological Seminary in Grand Rapids, Michigan. He previously served as pastor at Ebenezer Christian Reformed Church, Trenton, Ontario, and with Christian Reformed World Missions in Latin America. He teaches courses on the Pentateuch and on historical books of the Old Testament.

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