[Naomi said,] “The man is a close relative of ours, one of our redeemers.” Ruth 2:20
“I am woman; hear me roar!” We love those lyrics, don’t we? We are strong. We are invincible! We can do anything!! Until the challenges of real life intrude. Then, the promises of Helen Reddy’s anthem quickly wear thin.
Does your car need $980 in repairs? Is your company downsizing? Do the angry words of a close friend sting? Have you begun to believe you’ve failed as a mom? At some points in life, all of us feel much more like a timid mouse than a roaring lion!
As Ruth and Naomi settled down in Bethlehem, the harsh reality of their situation became instantly clear. They were certainly independent, but not in a good way for women in that place, time, and culture. They had no one to protect or support them. In a last-ditch effort to avoid starvation, Ruth volunteered to glean grain left in the fields after the harvesters had finished. It was hot, hard work. Backbreaking work.
Ruth had no way of knowing it as she labored, but help was on the way. That very day, the Lord would free Ruth and Naomi from all their fears and every uncertainty. A wealthy landowner named Boaz owned the field where Ruth began her work. He immediately took notice of her. Quietly and in the background at first, and then more openly in the days that followed, Boaz began to protect and provide for Ruth and Naomi.
Boaz had both the willingness and the legal standing to become a kinsman-redeemer for Ruth and Naomi. As a close relative, Boaz could lawfully reclaim Naomi’s family property and rescue the widow and her daughter-in-law from poverty, danger, and shame.
Boaz pictures in a small and faint way all that Jesus would do for us in a glorious and powerful way. No matter how loudly we roar about our independence, no woman of God can safely journey through this life alone. We need the security of a kinsman-redeemer.
Jesus Christ is that Redeemer! He died for us on Calvary’s cross and rose again, defeating death. In Jesus we have the protection, provision, and security for which we long; the protection, provision, and security we need.
Lord Jesus, forgive me for thinking that I can do anything without You. Teach me to rely on your promises, even in the face of adversity...