Chapter 9 - The Faith of a Foreign Woman
Sunday October 29, 2017
Read chapter 9 in The Story
Bible References: Ruth chapters 1-4
Chapter 9 takes us from a bird's eye view of the time period of the Judges and up close and personal into the lives of a family living in Bethlehem. Elimelek and Naomi and their two sons Mahlon and Kilion, moved from Bethlehem to Moab during a famine. While there, Naomi's husband died. Her sons married Moabite women, Ruth and Orpah. After 10 years of living in Moab, Mahlon and Kilian passed away. Leaving Naomi as a vulnerable widow in a foreign land, she had no choice but to return to her hometown in Bethlehem. She tried to convince Orpah and Ruth to go back to their families in Moab but Ruth insisted on going with Noami where ever she went.
Naomi and Ruth returned Bethlehem after losing everything. They were powerless to change their situations. They would have no choice but to sell the family land so they would have enough money to live on. While Ruth was out picking grain, she met a man named Boaz, who was the owner of the field. Boaz was extremely generous and gave Ruth more than she needed and he told her to come back as often as she desired and to take as much as she needed. When Ruth told Naomi about Boaz, she exclaimed that Boaz happened to be her family's kinsman redeemer.
The kinsman redeemer according to Jewish law was the closest male relative to the deceased male. If he chose, he could purchase the land of the deceased and then deed it to the son in the name of the deceased, thereby keeping the family's inheritance intact. Since Naomi's sons had passed away, when Boaz married Ruth and they had a son, Boaz would deed the land to their son in Elimelek's name. This provided for Naomi in her old age and provided an inheritance for Ruth's offspring.
God used a foreigner, a woman from Moab, a despised tribe who warred often against the Israelites, to help save Naomi. Boaz's title as a kinsman redeemer foreshadows the ministry of Jesus to be the redeemer of humanity. Ruth is included in the genealogy of Jesus. Their son is named Obed, the father of Jesse, and the grandfather of King David. From the line of David would come the Messiah, the Redeemer. Jesus of Nazareth.