Ruth 4

The book of Ruth’s big, beautiful, theological message can be summed up like this, so I read, 

God cares for needy people like Naomi and Ruth; he is their ally in this chaotic world. He richly rewards people like Ruth and Boaz who demonstrate sacrificial love and in so doing become his instruments in helping the needy. God’s rewards for those who sacrificially love others sometimes exceed their wildest imagination and transcend their lifetime.

We’ve talked each and every week about Jesus in the book of Ruth. He said, didn’t He, that all Scriptures bear witness to Him, and all Scriptures testify of Him. Throughout Ruth, He has been pictured, previewed, and foreshadowed mainly by Boaz and this role of the kinsman-redeemer. Think about just how many ways this little book points us to Jesus…

  • The kinsman-redeemer had to be a family member. Boaz was a relative of the family and people in need (4.3). 

Jesus added humanity to His eternal deity so that He could be our human kinsman and save us (Philippians 2.7ff.).

  • Boaz, as kinsman-redeemer to Ruth, was not motivated by self-interest, but motivated by love for Ruth. 

Jesus’ motivation for redeeming us is His great love for us (1 John 4.10).

  • Boaz, as kinsman-redeemer to Ruth, had to have a plan to redeem Ruth unto himself – and some might have thought the plan to be foolish. 

Jesus’ plan for redeeming us is looked at as being a failure and being foolish (1 Corinthians 1.18).

  • Boaz, as kinsman-redeemer to Ruth, took her as his bride.

We, the people Jesus has redeemed, are collectively called His bride (Ephesians 5.31-32, Revelation 21.9).

  • Boaz, as kinsman-redeemer to Ruth, provided a glorious destiny for Ruth. The bitter life of a childless widow left behind, the glorious life of the redeemed lay ahead.

Jesus, as our redeemer, provides a glorious destiny for us (1 Thessalonians 5.9-11).

It all comes back to the idea of Jesus as our kinsman-redeemer;

this is why He became a man, to redeem you (Guzik).

God might have sent an angel to save us, or some kind of supernatural other-worldly being, but they would not have been our kinsman. Jesus, in His eternal glory, without the addition of humanity to His divine nature might have saved us, but He would not have been our kinsman.

On the other side of the coin, God could have raised up a great person, maybe a great prophet or a fantastic, kind, caring priest. They could be our kinsman because they are like us, but they could never be our redeemer because they would be sinful, like us.

So then, it has to be Jesus, only Jesus, the eternal God who added humanity to His eternal deity. It has to be Jesus because He is both our kinsman and our redeemer.

All of this to say, that for you, and for me, and for us, it simply had to be Jesus. 

It just has to be Jesus.

So what do you do with this then? Yes, take a moment to consider how you are putting your love for others into action, like Ruth, like Naomi, like Boaz.

But more than that, today, right now, I would exhort you and charge you and command you with all the authority of the office and the role that I have to just sit quietly for a few minutes and consider this truth; that it simply has to be Jesus for your life

He is your kinsman having taken on flesh, He is your redeemer because of his eternal deity, and He fused those together, for eternity, so that He is the only way, the only truth, and the only life. It simply has to be Jesus for you and your redemption.  

If all of this is true, and it does simply have to be Jesus, then our aim today and every day simply has to be radical, life offering, self-sacrificing, obedience to Jesus. 

So I will challenge you, command you, exhort you, to take some time today, actually do this, sit, think, contemplate, cogitate, on this wonderful truth that it simply has to be Jesus, and then like Ruth, like Naomi, like Boaz, how are you going to put this into action? What are you going to do? 

I’d love to hear from you this week and for you to share with me what you are going to do when you truly realise and internalise this truth it simply has to be Jesus for your redemption.



Ruth 3

What is going on in Ruth 3? Is there a moral lesson for us? How about this;

  1. Do what is asked of you.
  2. Be submissive, yielded, willing, and take direction.
  3. Put yourself into action and submit, do as Ruth did, and Naomi did, and as Boaz did.

Again though, that is putting you and me at the centre of this, making us the main character in this story, and essentially we’re then saying that the Bible is really about us. But, we know it’s not, don’t we?

So, where is Jesus in this?

Well, Ruth called out to be saved in v.9,

So she went down to the threshing floor and did just as her mother-in-law had commanded her. And when Boaz had eaten and drunk, and his heart was merry, he went to lie down at the end of the heap of grain. Then she came softly and uncovered his feet and lay down. At midnight the man was startled and turned over, and behold, a woman lay at his feet! He said, “Who are you?” And she answered, “I am Ruth, your servant. Spread your wings over your servant, for you are a redeemer.”

Ruth 3.6-9

Ruth here then is living out the truth that redemption is found under the protection of the wings, being in the care of, submitting to, the redeemer. This brings safety, security, and salvation.

This has been a consistent message from Genesis to Revelation, maybe it is easier to see in some places than others, but that’s ok, more light is shone on this as we move along the bigger picture of the Bible. But, at the core, the truth has always been the same – call on the name of the Lord to be saved; call out, ask, seek, knock, trust.

One place that it is really clear and that helps us understand what Ruth has done here, and what you can do, is in the book of Joel, one of the Minor Prophets.

In Joel, we are reading a prophesy, a future prediction about the Day of the Lord. Joel writes on a couple of variations of it, ready?; 

  • The day is past, being experienced in a plague of locusts and in a natural drought and famine in 1.2-12
  • The day is current or imminent, the day was to be carried out by an enemy military force in 2.1-11
  • The day is future: immediately in the salvation of Jerusalem from current problems, long term, in the giving of the Spirit of God on all people and the deliverance of all who call on the name of the Lord, and ultimate in the eternal holiness of Jerusalem, protected from its enemies in 2.28-32 and 3.

In the future day of great judgement (end of the world type stuff) God says to His people Israel look, 

return to me with all your heart,

with fasting, with weeping, and with mourning;

and rend your hearts and not your garments.”

Return to the LORD your God,

for he is gracious and merciful,

slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love;

and he relents over disaster.

Later in ch.2 we read that at this time of universal judgement, those Spirit-empowered, faith-filled, Redeemer-trusting people will be saved, will be redeemed. Now, Joel 2 is not a blanket truth; we don’t need to pretend we are the people of Joel 2, because we are not the people of Israel, are we, but, the principle within that pledge is so applicable and true; 

call on the name of the Lord to be saved, ask, seek, knock, 

as Ruth said, “Spread your wings over your servant, for you are a redeemer.” 

See, no matter how much evil there is in the world, no matter how far from God we think we may be, no matter how desperate the situation may be in which we find ourselves, no matter if we are childless widows from a different country, no matter the current state of the world or your life, God has already provided the solution, God has already provided a way out.

This solution came, He lived, He died, He rose again, and He ascended, at which time He sent another solution, another solution of the same kind. The Holy Spirit comes alongside us, to abide in us, to walk with us.

Ruth called out and said

Spread your wings over your servant, for you are a redeemer. 

Joel says to God’s people of the OT

The sunlight will be turned to darkness

and the moon to the colour of blood,

before the day of the LORD comes–

that great and terrible day! 

It will so happen that

everyone who calls on the name of the LORD will be delivered.

Paul says to the believers in Rome

…if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 

… because…

“everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”

I’m saying to you today, now, that the same God who redeemed Ruth from a desperate and dire situation through the person and work of Boaz, is the same God who Joel says promises to redeem His people who call out to Him on the future Day of the Lord, is the same God who Paul is saying will answer the prayer of salvation from the believers in Rome, and is the same God that stands ready to redeem you if you call on His Name and take refuge in Him through faith in the person and work of Jesus. 


For more on the Minor Prophets, check out this daily devotional walkthrough!

https://books.apple.com/gb/book/the-minor-prophets-day-by-day/id1519395811

Redemption through Resurrection

The passage we looked at together on Easter Sunday, 1 Corinthians 15.1-11, teaches us to never forget the Gospel, to see that the resurrection is the crux of our faith, and that the redemptive work of Jesus still has the power to work in your life today. It changed Paul completely, and it will change you too.

What does this mean for you, individual you?

It means redemption from death to life, redemption from the consequence of your sin, redemption from the life you want to leave behind, from whatever is holding you back, is available.

Today, just take a moment to think about what God has changed in your life through His grace, think about how this is available to you only because of the resurrection, and commit to Him that which needs His power to be redeemed.

Foreshadow- Esther 4

Coming off the back of learning that his people are to be systematically killed (3.13), Mordecai responds somewhat understandably and seeks out help. Perhaps he feels responsible(3.5-6), perhaps he knows this cannot be changed (1.9), perhaps he is just overcome with sadness, but he makes enough of a scene to attract the attention of Esther (v.4). 

Mordecai wants Esther to boldly approach the King to stop this coming atrocity (v.8). Esther is in a difficult situation wherein she wants to help, but circumstances seem to be very much against her (v.11). 

After laying some harsh truth on Esther (v.13), Mordecai then says,

And who knows whether you have not come to the kingdom for such a time as this?

Esther 4.14b 

Could this be a reason behind the providence shown to her?

Could this be why Esther has been taken from relative obscurity to this privileged and powerful position?

Could it be that Esther was put in this role for this very moment, to be the representative for her people against a seemingly undefeatable enemy?

The courageous actions of one from humble beginnings allowing God’s people to be saved?

Esther gathers collective support (v.16), and commits boldly to being the representative that God’s people need (v.16b). 

Reading this chapter, we cannot escape the foreshadowing of our Lord and Saviour Jesus. One from humble beginnings, called to take on the task of snatching God’s people from impending death through a situation that looks like it will claim the life of the redeemer.

It would be easy to read this chapter and think of ourselves as Esther; you are here, you need to be bold, you need to save some people…the problem with that is that it leaves Jesus out of the story completely, the One whom all the Scriptures point to. 

He defeated a seemingly undefeatable situation.

He entered into the battle even though it seemed like it would claim His life.

He saved God’s people.

He saved you from impending death.

Friends, you don’t need to be Esther in this story because you are the redeemed, you are the saved, you are the people snatched from death to life through the person and work of Jesus.

The Gospel in Nahum

Where is the Gospel in Nahum?

In chapter 1 we see redemption, we see a time when there is – 

An end to God’s discipline in 1.12

Though I have afflicted you,

I will afflict you no more.

No more oppression in 1.13

And now I will break his yoke from off you

and will burst your bonds apart.”

and promises of Good News and peace in 1.15

Behold, upon the mountains, the feet of him

who brings good news,

who publishes peace!

Michael J. Glodo, Theology Professor said this,

“as God’s excellencies are proclaimed in judgment (Nah. 1:2–7), the repentant hear and receive grace.”

Part of that grace is the redemption that comes too. The coming Good News and peace will redeem us from every bond, yoke, chain, and oppression that the world, the flesh, and the devil will try to get us with.

In His death and resurrection, Jesus brings an end to empires and puts to shame the powers who oppress. 

He who sits in the heavens laughs;

the Lord holds them in derision.

5 Then he will speak to them in his wrath,

and terrify them in his fury, saying,

6 “As for me, I have set my King

on Zion, my holy hill.”

Psalm 2.4  

He disarmed the rulers and authorities and put them to open shame, by triumphing over them in him.

Colossians 2.15

Ultimately, the message of Nahum shows the cup of God’s wrath that those who oppose Him will eventually have to drink, and, we’ve said this before, that as believers in Jesus, our future judgement has already been taken care of in the past. He drunk it for us.

If Jesus had not taken our place, the message of Nineveh here would be the message for you and for me. 

Without faith in Jesus, the message of Nineveh would be the message for you and for me. 

Without faith in Jesus, God is not for us, and if God is not for us, we see what happens, but, He is a God of steadfast mercy and love, slow to anger, desiring that none may perish, so we have examples to look back on, to adjust our lives now in light of, and with faith in Jesus God is for us.

Reading Nahum, we see the judgment that comes upon the wicked, and undeserved grace and redemption that is on offer to believers.

God has redeemed us from the consequences of our sins, and in the person and work of Jesus God struck that balance between wrath and love. 

If we wait until the final judgement, if we go it alone, if we think we don’t need a Saviour, we will face it alone. 

If we are in Christ, He faced the judgement for us. 

He redeemed us, redemption is on offer.

Take the burden off yourselves, now and ultimately, 

Jesus said  

Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”

Matthew 11.28-30

The only way to escape God’s judgment is to repent of your sins and believe in your heart and confess with your mouth that Jesus Christ is Lord and Savior, believe in what He did, believe in what He does, believe in what He will do again, believe in what He says, believe in who He is, simply, believe in and on Him.

Come to Him, redemption is in Him. That is the Gospel in Nahum.