The Book of Ruth is a very short book. Yet, it is rich in the message it purports to convey. It carries with it a very profound tone which when unveiled will help us understand and appreciate God more, His deeds and the kind of grace He really has set for you and me. The short book is a book of two love stories. Two stories; each other is unique in its setting and each other is telling us a story that will inspire us to do the greatest commandment – TO LOVE GOD and TO LOVE OTHERS.
The first love story is about Ruth, a person remarkable about the love she had for her mother-in-law (Naomi); her sacrificial ways, that being a Moabitess, was so willing to leave everything behind and face Hebrew culture, a kind of culture different from what she owned and what she was used to just for the sake of someone; and her breath-taking moves that is completely not for her own good but for the welfare of others. I was totally cut to the heart for I didn’t see myself going to those extremes for the interest of others. But after reading it, I came into realization that life is but about establishing genuine relationships – Relationships that is not free from sacrifices and hurtings, but nevertheless, it gave me a pleasant view of how I should respect my future wife and her loved-ones.
The second story, which is the love story between Ruth and Boaz, is a very exceptional story not just because it involves two different customs (the Law of Gleaning and the Law of Levirate Marriage), but more so, the whole plot and every character in detail seem to present themselves in similitude, a type or a model of something far broader than the historical episode itself.
—Boaz is a person mighty in power, rich in grace, large in provision and plenteous in redemption. Through his kindness, he helped Ruth to regain identity in the community by becoming her Kinsman-Redeemer though he doesn’t need to do it for there is a nearer kinsman beside him. Moreover, the law forbids him of taking a Gentile woman to be his bride. However, it became not an issue to him. By his marriage to Ruth, he assumed all obligations belonging to Ruth and all of the obligations belonging to the “should-be” husband of Ruth. Not only that, the land that was lost by Naomi was redeemed.
The whole story links us to the upcoming union of Jesus Christ and His Church. A love story that started two thousand years ago when a man in the name of Jesus, through his love and grace, redeemed us from the penalty of sins. Though all of us deserve to be punished and that the law requires us to be separated from God, He just humbly came down to His creation, made His dwelling among us and willingly accept every punishment that we should be bearing. And He didn’t stop in that; through His death He gave us the power and the access to be called the sons and daughters of God. His death is equivalent to a righteous verdict that is handed to us by God. And for me, this is what GRACE is all about. Even the laws are perfect, holy and are requiring justice; imperfect people like us who are sinning against God didn’t find ourselves guilty in anyway. The law prohibits us to come to God but His grace tore the veil giving us the full access to revere Him all the days of our lives. The law demands obedience but the love of God bestows and gives us the power to obey everything that He says. Grace declares “It is done!” to what the law prohibits us from doing or not doing.
The law says, “The soul that sinneth, it shall die.(Eze 18:20, KJV)” but GRACE says, “BELIEVE and LIVE (John 3:16).