When and who wrote the book of Ruth are not agreed upon, but is it important?
I thought I should know so that I could understand the background of the story better. That, to me, translates to putting flesh and blood on the characters and making them real. Real people have feelings and emotions, and I suspect that Ruth would have had to put some of hers away in order to subject herself to Boaz.
She did not do this out of love for Boaz, if anything it was her love for Naomi.
Ruth put herself willingly into this position (the threshing floor, at his feet) knowing that it was for the greater good, Naomi's and her own. And there was no guarantee that Boaz would or could accept her and the package that she was a part of.
The book of Ruth is not so much about the background (life, death, marriage, and your own sad future in a foriegn land), but about the Kinsman Redeemer.
Suddenly, as I wrote the things above, I saw an image of Christ and the Father as they discussed the need and desire to redeem the people of earth; the greater good, and Christ's willingness to subject himself to possible rejection and certainly the pain of the cross.
Those that look at Ruth seeing the kinsman redeemer may only see the correlation between Christ and Boaz, the one capable to redeem, and yet as I mentioned the pattern for Christ can be seen in Ruth's willingness to lie at the feet of a relatively unknown man, hoping that he would accept her. (Naomi lacked no confidence in this regard. That is whole other area of human emotion and speculation.) Does anyone else see the Holy Spirit of God moving all through this chain of events. How could we not think that God orchestrates the minutia of our mundane little lives as we struggle or supposedly succeed on this earth, for we could do nothing without Him. Consider all the events surrounding Naomi and Ruth: land owners, farmers, sons, daugthers in law, and then to lose it all. Life could have gone desperately wrong for them. The book of Ruth is also a picture of a woman with an incredible backbone, and a willingness to make a move regardless of the potential hazards. To use the word "perhaps" does not necessarily prove faith, but she did something. What else is there to do when certain death by starvation may be your only option if you sit where you are.
Naomi did not mention the other relative; why? Good question. What we do see is that she directs Ruth specifically about Boaz. The other relative may not have been known, or it just had not come up yet. Ruth is the one who happened to choose Boaz's field, Naomi merely played that circumstance hard as she seemed to have insight into this mans life.
Based upon Boaz's own comments I never pictured him as handsome or young, and even in this there is a similarity to Christ. Scripture tells us that Christ was nothing to look at, not remarkable in any way, nor was he married. Boaz had never married and he seemed excited that Ruth would choose him.
All of life is a string of choices. Foolishly we tend to think that those decisions were primarily ours. As an example look at the story of Esther. Sure, Esther was beautiful, and that helped, but God made everything happen for one intent, His.
One day as I watched Oprah, she ranted about how she became disenchanted with God because she heard from scripture that He was a jealous God. Jealous of what, her and her success, not hardly. From what I understand we were put here on this earth for companionship with the benevolent creator. And unlike some bizarre Star Trek episode he actually was willing to show us his love in hope that we would love him back. Fairly one sided and narrow minded, Him taking all the risks, so to speak. So after Adam's failure we have been, or so we think, left here to make choices on our own. God sent his only son. The Son came willingly. He died upon a cross to redeem us, and we have his promise that he is coming back for us. He did everything that he said he would do, with one major intent, to demonstrate that his word is good and that there is an inheritance for those who choose to willingly lay at the feet of one who has declared that you are wanted and loved.
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