Reflections on our life and lessons in uganda
A Valentine's Love Story
We just passed Valentine's Day, a day many people use to show affection to their spouse. But if we want Jesus to be pictured in our marriage just as clearly, then every day must be Valentine's Day. I am not saying that we should get chocolates and flowers every day (though I do love chocolate).The story of Ruth is often taught as a love story of the Bible. I grew up in Sunday School on the story of Ruth and Boaz. Well as we studied Ruth this month for Terebinth, I was struck by the beauty of the love story; not of Ruth and Boaz. No, the story of Ruth is the story of Jesus and the church. There are so many elements in this book that point us forward to the coming Christ. Boaz had already dedicated his life to following God's Word; Ruth moved by faith to Israel to worship the one true God. Those two people were seeking God with their whole hearts. Then God brought them together and they continued to seek God. THIS is what made their marriage such a clear picture of Jesus. In the same way, when we choose to seek God with our whole hearts, our marriage will reflect Christ and be a witness to the world around us. So this February 15th, remember to seek Christ in your life and relationships. Remember the love story in the book of Ruth, that Jesus redeems us and gives us life.
Boaz is a picture of Jesus redeeming His church. He doesn't allow Ruth to glean from his field because she was pretty and young; but because he was following the Law. Leviticus 19:9-10 is one of the places in the Law where God commands that the sojourner, orphan and widow be able to glean from the fields. The Bible calls Boaz "a worthy man" (Ruth 2:1). This points us to Christ being the only one truly worthy to stand before God. He was the worthy representative of mankind. Boaz wasn't worthy because he did right things, but because he had faith AND obedience. He is the kinsman redeemer of Ruth's family, but that on its own has nothing to do with marriage. Deuteronomy 25:5-10 is where this idea of marriage to continue the line comes from. But it only speaks of the deceased's brother. This means that Boaz did not HAVE to marry Ruth. He chose to. He chose to marry her and redeem the land and carry on the name of his kinsman. Just as Jesus did not have to redeem His bride, but chose to out of love.
Ruth was a Moabitess. She was a gentile and foreigner or a sojourner. She left her family and everything she knew to go with Naomi (she was fatherless). And she was a widow. Each of these things is in the Law concerning the gleaning of the fields, but is also our spiritual state without Christ. Without Christ we are spiritually orphaned, have no husband and no home. But in Christ we can have relationship with our heavenly Father, we become the bride of Christ, and He is preparing a place for us to dwell with Him forever! What Boaz offered Ruth by marrying her is exactly what Christ offers us in salvation.
Naomi tells the women to call her Mara (bitterness). Throughout this story she goes from being called pleasant to demanding that everyone call her bitter. She was bitter against God because she believed that He had turned against her. But throughout Ruth's story of redemption, we also see Naomi's. Naomi was bitter and angry with God in chapter 2. Then in chapter 4 we see the birth of a son. Through this son born to Ruth, the women declare to Naomi, "Blessed be the LORD, who has not left you this day without a redeemer, and may his name be renowned in Israel. He shall be to you a restorer of life and a nourished of your old age..." If that doesn't sound like it is pointing forward to Jesus I don't know what is! Not only is this a pre-picture of Christ, but Jesus actually comes through the line of the child who is born, Obed.
So in Ruth we have the greatest love story ever told. But it isn't because two people got married. It's because even in the Old Testament, God was pointing to Jesus who would come and be our redeemer, our restorer of eternal life. My hope and prayer in my own marriage, and hopefully in yours' too, is that Jesus would be represented just as clearly.
Leave a Reply.