Advent Day 12: The Redeemer

But Ruth replied, “Don’t urge me to leave you or to turn back from you. Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God.

Ruth 1:16

Ruth refused to leave her though they lost everything. She had a chance to return to her father and to her gods and find a new husband amongst her Moabite people. She instead chose to show compassion to Naomi who was alone. More important, she chose to follow the one true God.

Ruth's words echo God's covenant with his people, "I shall be your God and you shall be my people." Ruth recognized that God accepted her into his Kingdom regardless of her heritage. She made a distinct decision to make the Lord her God, turning her back on the gods with whom she was raised. Great hope in her God fills Ruth.

Naomi, on the other hand, was convinced that her sufferings were a punishment from the Lord. She didn't realize that through her suffering, God was unfolding her story-and his ultimate story of redemption. If it were not for Naomi's sufferings, Ruth and Naomi would not meet Boaz. They would not experience the joy of God meeting their needs. They would not be included in the bloodline of the Messiah.

Boaz is a picture of Jesus. He received Ruth, a foreigner, and protected and fed her. He married her and redeemed her lot in society. Ruth is also a picture of Jesus. She sacrificed everything to save her mother-in-law. Her actions restored Naomi's fortunes and joy.

The women of Israel recognized that the Lord is the ultimate redeemer and restorer of life as they shouted, “Praise be to the Lord, who this day has not left you without a guardian-redeemer." (Ruth 4:14) God purposefully established the concept of a kinsman-redeemer in his Law. It was always meant to point to the need of the one Redeemer who would restore our relationship with God.

Suffering is not a punishment. We suffer because we live in a broken world full of pain and tragedy. God cares for us and sees us in our suffering. Even when things seemed most dismal for Ruth and Naomi, God was at work restoring them. God is writing his beautiful story with the ink of our suffering as we wait for the Redeemer to make all things right.

I made this ornament by painting a wooden heart tag and glueing on the tied pieces of wheat. I used wheat from a wheat stalk I already had for decorating, but you can easily find wheat in most craft stores. However, it will be in a stalk and will most likely not be a small amount.

Read Day 11: By Grace Alone

Read Day 13: The True King

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