I love the story of Ruth and Naomi. It’s a story of two strong and faithful women who loved God and each other. It’s a story of tragic loss and powerful redemption. It’s a story that has great application today – to me, and to you.
Naomi was in a place of darkness and despair. Her husband and both sons had died. Husbands and sons are providers. Naomi’s husband was gone. Her daughter in laws’ husbands were gone. At this dark place in her life, she told her friends not to call her Naomi, but Mara, which means bitter. Her life was empty. She had lost hope. She felt abandoned by God. She may have felt abandoned, but she wasn’t. She and her daughter-in-law needed a rescuer. God saw their need and He rescued them both through the life of a man of noble character named Boaz. Boaz is called a kinsman redeemer. God sent this loving man to rescue them from a life of despair and poverty. A marriage took place between Boaz and Ruth that brought joy to the lap of Naomi. A grandson was born! Tragedy turned to triumph through this marriage. Bitterness and languish of heart turned to rejoicing.
As I recently re-read this beautiful story of hope restored, I’m reminded of how bleak everything looked on the day Jesus was crucified. Many had high hopes of Jesus being the kind of king who would rescue them from the oppression of Rome. From what was seen on the day of Jesus’ death on the cross, all hopes for a new kingdom were doomed – but, then something spectacular and triumphant happened. Jesus rose from the dead on the third day! God’s design for man’s rescue and redemption that He set in place from the beginning of time came to fruition through the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ, God’s perfect son. This rescue and redemption is for all who believe that Jesus died for their sins. This rescue and redemption is for all who trust in Jesus who makes all things right and new. This rescue and redemption gives us who stake our lives on these truths a reason to rejoice.
Like Naomi, I too, have days that are dark and bleak. Through this story I’m reminded that a man named Boaz took notice of this older woman and her daughter in law. He took them under his wing and he became their rescuer and redeemer. This is exactly what Jesus does for us and will continue doing always. He notices us and takes us under His wing because we all matter to Him. It’s the reason He gave His life for us. It’s why we can move from despairing to rejoicing. Because Jesus is our rescuer and redeemer we have reason to rejoice. How is your rejoicing today? Quick tip: Do a “gratitude list” today. I believe joy will rise in your soul when you see “What great things He has done for us!”