Recently I was reading and studying in the Book of Ruth, and I was struck with the question: what about this book makes it worthy of being in the canon of Scripture?
Why is this book just as much God’s Word as Genesis, the Psalms, or Romans?
It’s how the story ends. The story in the Book of Ruth doesn’t actually end with Boaz or Ruth.
What we see in the Book of Ruth that even in hopelessness, there is redemption on the other end of hope. Even when Naomi, Boaz, and Ruth reached a point that was beyond earthly hope, their cosmic redemption was still to come.
Check out verses 13-17 in chapter 4:
“Boaz took Ruth and she became his wife. When he was intimate with her, the Lord enabled her to conceive, and she gave birth to a son. Then the women said to Naomi, ‘Praise the Lord, who has not left you without a family redeemer today. May his name become well known in Israel. He will renew your life and sustain you in your old age. Indeed, your daughter-in-law, who loves you and is better to you than seven sons, has given birth to him.’ Naomi took the child, placed him on her lap, and took care of him. The neighbor women said, ‘A son has been born to Naomi,’ and they named him Obed. He was the father of Jesse, the father of David.”
The amazing and miraculous thing about this story is that God used 2 messed up people to carry on the the family line that would produce the likes of King David…and eventually Jesus – the Messiah – the savior of the world!
This amazing story is not primarily about Boaz’ redemption of Ruth, but about how God used broken people to bring redemption to the cosmos!
In other words…nobody is ever beyond hope!
So as I read and studied it, I was stuck with some implications from this amazing story in God’s Word that can transform your faith:
- We see that no situation is beyond hope. Even the bleakest of bleak situations can be turned around for the redemption of the world. This was the deadest of dead ends for Ruth, but God can turn the deadest of dead ends into a pathway for healing, hope, joy, and restoration. He didn’t give up on Ruth, and he has not given up on you!
- You can not underestimate what your sovereign God is up to. You think you know what God is doing? You think you’re wiser than God? You think you can tell God what He should be doing? God used a multinational disaster that led to an economic depression, the death of a spouse, and the deaths of two children all to move Ruth into the arms of Boaz. Do not give up on the plan of your God. You have no idea what he is up to. All you are doing is looking at is the back of the tapestry, and all you see is the frayed ends and the incomplete picture. But behind the scenes of your life, the sovereign God is weaving together the tapestry of your life, and one day he is going to turn it around and you are going to stagger in amazement and say, “I had no idea….that God was doing something so grand and beautiful and awesome.” Ruth and Boaz had no idea what was going on in the whole narrative of Scripture in which we find their story. How could they? And neither do you know what God is up in the grand scheme of his plan. Maybe you’ll only be able to see it through eternity’s eyes. Don’t give up on his plan!
- We have a God that works primarily through brokenness. The only other place in Scripture we see Ruth mentioned is in Matthew 1 – the royal lineage of Jesus. This is where we find Matthew’s proof that Jesus is the Messiah – tracing His lineage from Abraham on. But in this list, we find loads of messed up people. Boaz’ mom (Rahab the prostitute), Ruth (the Moabite woman), the story of David’s adultery with Bathsheba all find their way into Jesus’ story. This is the way God works – that he brings grace through brokenness. This is the upside down paradox of the cross of Jesus Christ: the very thing you’re trying to avoid most in your life – that point of pain, brokenness, and bitterness – is the point at which God is at work the most in your life. Jesus came to this earth, not obligated by law, but motivated by love. He moved aside heaven and earth, and drained his veins to make you his own. The cross is God at work through brokenness. This is hope for broken people! If you are at the end of your rope, look to Jesus – your true Kinsman-Redeemer! Look to the One who sees you and knows you.
In the Book of Ruth, we see that nothing can stop our Savior…not even death. God did not abandon Jesus to his grave and he will not abandon you to yours.
Bank on it. Trust it. Believe it.
Nobody is ever beyond hope! You’re never beyond hope!