Thursday, March 24, 2011

redeemed by love

Then all the people who were at the gate and the elders said, "We are witnesses. May the LORD make the woman, who is coming into your house, like Rachel and Leah, who together built up the house of Israel. May you act worthily in Ephrathah and be renowned in Bethlehem, and may your house be like the house of Perez, whom Tamar bore to Judah, because of the offspring that the LORD will give you by this young woman."
Ruth 4:11-12

The book of Ruth ends with the joy of a wedding and a family restored. Ruth is given in marriage to Boaz, whose immediate act of serving as kinsman-redeemer serves to save Naomi and Ruth from poverty and obscurity. Everything has been changed by the grace shown by Boaz. And

Most notably there is now blessing. It begins with the elders at the gate blessing Boaz for his move to redeem the property of the family of Elimilech, including marriage to Ruth. They offer a blessing of prosperity and fame to Boaz. And in a way, that became prophetic. We have his story preserved in scripture, and from this marriage sprang forth the lineage of David. And from David's line came the Messiah and Savior of Israel.

The blessings continue when God blesses the marriage of Boaz and Ruth with a son, Obed. When that boy is brought to Naomi, the women of Bethlehem bless the baby and Naomi. They praise the noble relationship of Ruth who chose to be with her mother-in-law, and now experiences the joy of this new family in a life redeemed from her former despair.

The important change came to Naomi. She is no longer Mara (bitter). She is a content and overjoyed grandmother who gets the privilege of caring for her new grandson. Her joy is complete because she has been redeemed by love.

- Prepare your minds for action.
1 Peter 1:13

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