John Phillips Ministries

Ruth Finds Boaz

iwmadmin on Jul 10, 2017

When we first meet Ruth, she is in a far country, an alien from God and a stranger to grace. Unlike the Prodigal Son, she did not burst into the far country. He came there pursuing pleasure and wasting his substance with riotous living. Ruth was born in the far country, so she knew from her own experience what an empty place it was. To Ruth, the "far country" was Canaan, a longed-for land of life and rest where people worshiped the true and living God, not the fierce and filthy gods of Moab.

Perhaps she had dreamed of such a place in her younger days. If so, the place of her dreams was a faraway country, indeed, known to no one in Moab. If so, too, her meeting with one of Elimelech's sons must have given sudden form and substance to her dreams. For he had been born in that country. He and his parents could give it shape and form as well as a name—Canaan, the Promised Land.

So she married into this family and listened eagerly to the tales Naomi told and to the truths Elimelech taught, until the death of her husband faced her with the challenge of a change. When Naomi announced her decision to go back home to her people and her God, Ruth made up her mind. She would go with Naomi to the land of her dreams.

Then Boaz, the kinsman-redeemer, the mighty man of wealth, came into her life. Desperately poor, she took advantage of the land laws of Israel and went into the fields to glean. It so happened, we are told, that she chose a field that belonged to Boaz, a man she did not know but who was soon to fill her life.

We find her, then, in the field of Boaz. She had come a long way. Up to now she had never heard his name. She knew little of the Hebrew law of the kinsman-redeemer. Possibly Elimelech and Naomi had told her about Moses who had become a kinsman-redeemer to Israel. (Moses exemplifies redemption by power; Boaz depicts redemption by purchase.)

Perhaps she had heard of these things from Naomi. Even so she would still not know how they could relate to her. But, at least, she was now in his field. And while Ruth knew little or nothing about these things, Boaz most certainly did.

Ruth must have been astonished to discover that Boaz knew all about her. More than that, he poured out his grace upon her, made provision for her, and sent her home laden down with good things. Next, we find her at the feet of Boaz. "The man is near of kin unto us," Naomi said when Ruth arrived home bursting with news (Ruth 2:20). For she saw it at once! The law of the kinsman-redeemer opened every door. Naomi, back in fellowship with God's people, was now able to give good and godly advice to Ruth. "You must go to this man," she said, "you must put yourself at his feet and ask to be redeemed. You must invoke the Law and ask Boaz to marry you." Boaz did not need to be reminded of the Law! He was already in love with Ruth. Love, not law, would guide his steps now. So Ruth came to Boaz, just as she was, in all her need and put herself at his feet.

Finally, we see her in the family of Boaz. The claims of the Law had to be met, especially the rules and regulations connected with the role and responsibilities of a kinsman-redeemer. There was no way Ruth could fulfill the Law's demands. The Law legislated against her in a most forceful way since she was a Moabite. But Boaz could meet the Law's demands, and he did. Then he paid the price of Ruth's redemption and purchased both her person and her late husband's property. Then Boaz married her and put her in his family and gave her a living link to Christ. All of this, of course, and much more beside, Jesus does for us.