What’s your favorite love story? Beauty and the Beast? Cinderella?
Do you love love stories? I do too. The book of Ruth in the Bible tells us one of the greatest love stories ever told. And it all happened during the same time as the book of Judges, which shows us that even in one of the worst of times there were still people who loved God and trusted his love for them.
The story of Ruth begins with sadness. Ruth is a young woman whose husband has died. And at the same time, her mother-in-law, Naomi’s, husband has also died. This means that Ruth and Naomi are now both widows. Have you ever heard the word widow before? Back in the Bible days, life for a widow could be very hard. A woman without a husband or children had no one to help take care of them. Back then a widow couldn’t buy land or get a job. Ruth and Naomi had no land, no jobs, no family, and literally no food.
They would need a redeemer. A rescuer.
Because God knew that life for a widow could be so hard, and because he loves everyone very much, especially the poor and the widows, he made a law that said a man from the widow’s family must help that widow. He must buy her land, and protect her, and even marry her if he can, and they should become a family. And this man was called the “Family Redeemer.”
There was another law from God that was given to help the poor people in the Promised Land, a law that said that poor immigrants could go onto a farmer’s land and pick the grain off the ground and take it home and eat it. And that’s exactly what Ruth did. She wandered into the field of a rich and kind man named Boaz. And guess what? Boaz was Ruth’s Family Redeemer.
At first Boaz didn’t know that he was Ruth’s redeemer. But he knew that Ruth was good and kind, and he knew that she had stayed with Naomi and taken care of her. And so Boaz was kind to Ruth, and he prayed for Ruth. He told his servants to drop extra grain onto the ground for Ruth to pick up. And then one night, in the dark, Ruth went to Boaz and told him that he was her Family Redeemer.
Ruth 3:9. [Boaz] said, “Who are you?” And she answered, “I am Ruth, your servant. Spread your wings over your servant, for you are a redeemer.”
And they lived happily ever after! Boaz married Ruth. And they took care of each other and became a beautiful family together. Ruth would even become the great grandmother of King David and even, years later, of Jesus.
And that’s the real love story of the book of Ruth – not just the love story of Ruth and Boaz, but of God and us. God used Ruth and Boaz and their family to save the world through Jesus. Jesus is our Family Redeemer. He is the one that rescues us from sin and death. Like Boaz, Jesus loves us, and protects us, and takes care of us, and brings us into his family with God. And, like Ruth, we can love Jesus and trust him to be our redeemer who save us from all our sin and sadness and make everything good in the end.
Because of Jesus we are redeemed from our sin and from our sadness by God’s kindness.
With Jesus we can be kind to others each day knowing that God will take care of us forever.
DO SOMETHING TOGETHER
Watch this trailer for Cinderella together (or if you have time watch the whole movie). Talk about how Ruth’s story and Cinderella’s story are similar (both Ruth and Cinderella are full of kindness, both needed to be helped). And talk about how we are all like Cinderella (yes even boys) because we all need someone to be kind to us (Jesus) and we all can be kind to others.
And here’s a good song to sing together.
You are my Family Redeemer that has rescued me from my sin and brought me into your family forever. Thank you!
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