And he said, "Who are you?" So she answered, "I am Ruth, your maidservant. Take your maidservant under your wing, for you are a close relative." (Ruth 3:9)
Every religious system tries to present a path to reach its deity—some means of self-effort that can make a person acceptable to whomever or whatever they believe that deity to be. Christianity is the one radical exception—for it says God has taken the path to reach humanity. He has provided in Christ the way to be accepted—not through what we do, but what He has done! This is the great story of redemption, and it is illustrated in the third chapter of Ruth. Ruth’s redemption was totally dependent on a man from Bethlehem—and that is true for us!
This chapter is the turning point in this drama. Ruth had known about Boaz, and now she will come to know him personally. While our redemption requires knowing Christ is the Savior that is not enough. We must come to know Him as our Savior. Ruth was aided by Naomi—the matchmaker (v.1-5). She told Ruth how a girl with a pagan past could enter into a wondrous future with Boaz. God still uses people like us who know the Man from Bethlehem—Jesus Christ—to introduce others to Him.
Naomi’s guidance for Ruth was grounded in the Word of God (Lev.25:47-55; 27:9-25). The Law provided for a kinsman-redeemer, and that is the truth that will form the basis of this new relationship. God uses His Word as the seed of salvation, sown in the fertile soil of a soul that the Spirit has cultivated to bring forth the fruit of eternal life. That is the power of the Gospel (Rom.1:16; 10:13-17).
Her relationship with Boaz is a private act before it becomes a public announcement (v.6-10). Ruth responded in faith to the Word. The testimony of Naomi is accepted and she comes personally to seek Boaz. She comes to a worthy man, though Ruth herself is so unworthy, for she is helpless to change her situation, but knows Boaz can if he will. If we would be saved, it is when we enter into a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. His response is one of love. It is amazing grace for a man like that to embrace a wretch like her—and that is the story of our Savior’s love for us!
It is not sufficient for Boaz to love her—as wondrous as that is. The demands of the law must also be satisfied (v.11-18). Boaz will be her kinsman-redeemer, meeting the legal demands she could never fulfill. That is what Jesus did for us on the cross! He assures Ruth of the redemption she has sought. We are reminded that Jesus promised, “The one who comes to Me, I will by no means cast out.” (John 6:37)
It would be 2000 years later that what was foreshadowed in Bethlehem would be fulfilled in the same city. That dark night when a redeemer was revealed to a needy soul prefigured the arrival on another silent night in that little town One who would be our Kinsman-Redeemer! Through Him and Him alone can the legal demands of righteousness and the loving desire of redemption become available in the Man who was born in Bethlehem—one of us and yet more than we are! Fully God and fully man—Jesus is our Redeemer who reconciles unworthy sinners and Holy God. All we need to do is ask Him and He will save us!