We have been looking at Ruth recently on Sunday mornings and three over-arching themes continually speak to me.

The first theme is grace.

We know that Elimelech led his family to Moab because of a famine.  It seems reasonable to think that he was trying to ensure their survival but if we speculate about his reasoning and impute motive beyond that, we risk becoming judgemental over issues about which the text is silent.  What we do see is the clear, overwhelming, all-defying grace with which God treats Naomi and Ruth.  How he works all their experiences together for good.  How He provides for them.  He provides food, family and a future for them.  He gives them gifts of amazing grace and through them, He eventually gives us Jesus.

The second theme is social justice.

The book of Ruth reminds us that God loves the poor and the marginalised.  Boaz is a man who lives out the righteous requirements of the law, who enacts justice and loves mercy.  God’s law provides for the needs of the poor and the foreigner.  Boaz welcomes Naomi and Ruth, he ensures that they are protected and provided for.  His actions model for us what it means to live righteously.  They speak to the pressing social needs of our society and to the plight of refugees and asylum seekers that fill the pages of newspapers, television and social media screens.  Boaz models the life that God intends for us to live – as individuals and as His church.

The third theme is redemption.

Boaz redeems Ruth and Jesus redeems us.  Our inheritance has been ensured – our righteous standing with God, our Spirit-filled kingdom life, in His presence, part of His family, partakers of His divine nature.  Crucified, buried, resurrected and ascended with Jesus, seated with Him in heavenly realms, we have become children of God.  Not because we have earned or deserved it, not because we have achieved it, but because Jesus paid the price of redemption for us, shed his blood and died for us.  We were bought at a price.

Out of His endless grace, because He loved us when we had nothing, God redeems us in Jesus.

What a wonderful book Ruth is.

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