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Monday, August 8, 2011

Beauty For Ashes

Hello my sweet sisters!!

Can you even stand it??  We're nearly at the end of this study!  We are about to delve into the opening words of the final chapter in our travels this summer.  We left Ruth and Boaz on the threshing floor on the verge of starting a life together.  All of a sudden a different possible kinsman redeemer comes on the scene, and Boaz is about to approach this nearer relative to see who will get to redeem Ruth.

 Read Ruth 4:1-6

 Do you notice anything just a bit sneaky or sly in these verses?  Boaz approaches this nearer relative and casually mentions just the property that needs to be redeemed. {v. 4-5}  There was no mention of Ruth at all.   The stranger agreed to redeem the property without much thought or hesitation.  What he doesn't know it that Boaz is about to change the game all together.  He kind of casually throws out the information of the inclusion of Ruth along with the property.  I love that up to this point we have seen nothing less than an upstanding citizen in Mr. Boaz.  Here he reveals a bit of his very human side - a bit of slyness.  I love how God uses your average, ordinary, normal people with average, ordinary, normal tendencies and makes them the choicest of His instruments.  He is truly amazing!

We see in verse six that the unnamed relative promptly refuses to marry Ruth and tells Boaz to redeem her himself {music to his ears!}.  He does so because marrying Ruth might produce an heir to his estate and therefore endanger the transfer of his estate to the family he already had.  I don't fully comprehend all the laws and customs of ancient times associated with estates and inheritance but I know that this other relative made what seems to be a purely business decision.  Adding Ruth to the family tree wasn't a profitable idea.  The decision of the goel was reasonable.  And now Boaz was free to redeem his girl!

 When I look back over our study I see three things that a kinsman redeemer must be:
 1. near of kin
2.  able to redeem
3.  willing to redeem

Our unnamed relative was fully qualified for the first two criteria.  He became unqualified at the third.  Isn't that so often our downfall as well?  We are able, but not willing.  Just think of all that could be if only we were willing.

 I think back to my life before Christ.  I resisted giving my heart to the Lord for quite a while.  I was afraid of the stereo-type image of a 'Christian'.  I didn't want to be one of those Jesus freaks.  I had heard the jokes, heard the disdain, and had no desire to be lumped in with those 'crazy cult followers', as some of my friends would say.  I'm not quite sure of how it happened, but I stand before you today as a card - carrying, sold - out,  full - on Jesus freak!!!  It's true - I wear no other name more proudly.  And that is saying something because Mrs. and Mama mean the world to me.  God took a life, my life, of complete mediocrity and turned it inside out.  That is another post for another time, but I kid you not - He has done an amazing work with me and only because I was willing.  What He can do with a willing heart, a willing life, is unreal.  You need look no further than this screen.

Read Ruth 4: 7-10

The deal is done, the sandals exchanged and Ruth is now free to be redeemed by Boaz.  I absolutely love verses nine and 10.  Boaz very proudly announces that he is taking Ruth the Moabitess to be his bride.  Her status as foreigner is irrelevant to him.  He is proud to claim her as his own, unashamed of her status as a lower- than- a -servant girl.  We as women have a tendency to be plagued with insecurities and may be haunted by a past we just can't seem to let go.  Let it go my friend!!!  Boaz has redeemed Ruth and Christ has redeemed you!  Can you just imagine hearing Christ say, "Today I am unbelievably proud and honored to redeem {insert you name here}.   I fully take her with all her faults, her bad choices, and her issues.  Today I will carry for her all her iniquities {including bad hair days and bad breath}, quirks and obsessive compulsive tendencies.  She is my girl and I am delighted to take her - just. as. she. is!"

Let's close out today by reading verses 11-12.  The elders and witnesses pronounce blessing over Ruth.  This seems like such a small thing, a few words of happiness and well wishes over them.  This couldn't get any farther from small - it is HUGE!!!!  They were asking for a foreign, widowed, childless woman to be given the same blessing as Leah and Rachel. { If you are unsure of who I am talking about, go to Genesis 29: 14-30.  I realize that that is a chunk of reading but you will have a better understanding of how paramount this blessing is.}  They were asking God to not only give her children, but many significant children.  They were embracing her, accepting her, as an Israelite, and they looked forward to her being a person of prominence in their society.  Talk about God turning someone's situation around!  My goodness, doesn't that give you hope that He can turn around anything that you are dealing with?  Give you beauty for your ashes?

 My prayer for today is that you see the hope in our study thus far.  God can redeem anything.  ANYTHING.  No matter how bad, no matter how hopeless it seems.  Go in that knowledge and peace today and I'll meet you back here to finish out Ruth.  It is nothing less than stunning!



  1. Hello Kim, I have been so bad at keeping up with Ruth & this study, but I am finally ready for the next one.

    While I wads reading last Tuesday's & the comments you made about waiting on the Lord as you are saying enough is enough. I can relate with all that is going on with Jack's health. It breaks my heart to see him struggling everyday just to take a breath at times. I have asked God a million times why? Why does he have to suffer so much? So far, no answer except that I need to focus on his faithfulness. Tough to do at times when my man hurts so. Keep him in your prayers if you would.

    Thanks for blessing me with this studying!!


  2. I'm so sorry for Jack's suffering. I'm not even sure what to say.... suffering is just plain hard on everyone concerned. I will certainly keep Jack in my prayers. Hang in there, God is so good and, yes - ever faithful.

    Thank you for always tuning in - it is much appreciated!!