(Photo by Lindsay O’Neil)
By Zelda Dominguez
Do you like to watch movies? I do, especially a good love story. I am the biggest fan. From old classics to Disney movies, I am for it as long as it’s a love story. So, let’s do something different. Let’s imagine if a story in the bible were a chick flick. Although there are many love stories, I pick the story of Ruth. What can we call it if it were a movie today? The Proposal? No, there’s already a picture by that title. How about Love and Loyalty, or The Journey: Darkness to Dawn? Sleepless in Bethlehem, or Beauty and The Boaz? I know! I’m calling it Finding Boaz. It’s a real life Cinderella story. Which I might add even involves a shoe.
Once upon a time in Bethlehem when judges ruled there was a famine. Elimelech decides to take his wife Naomi and family to Moab. Moab was an enemy of Israel, and practiced idolatry. The journey was rugged and steep about 30 to 60 miles (seven to ten days on foot) and they were having a tough time. They arrive and boom, Elimelech dies. The two sons marry women of Moab: Orpah and Ruth. Ten years later both sons die. Naomi then hears the famine is over and wants to return to Israel. Her daughter-in-laws start out with her but Naomi tells them to stay. Moab was home where family and friends were. That was their nation where they had their customs and their gods. Naomi tells them she can’t provide for them. Orpah weeps and leaves and Naomi tells Ruth to go home too but Ruth declares her devotion to her and Naomi’s God. Ruth was willing to leave everything to follow her mother-in-law in a foreign land and trust the God of Naomi. The close of this scene leaves us with the question: How do we react when we face a hard time?
Naomi and Ruth arrive during Barley Harvest. Ruth tells Naomi she’s going to go to the field to glean grain. According to the law, she was able to take what was dropped and was left. Ruth happened to come to Boaz’s field which was God’s perfect timing. Boaz comes on the scene and notices her and asks who she was. The servants tell him the 411, that she was the young Moabite who was with Naomi. He approaches Ruth to investigate for himself. He tells her not to go glean in another field, but to stay close by his young women reapers. He then tells her that he commanded the young men to not bug her or hurt her and when she was thirsty to feel free to drink his water. Boaz was protecting her purity. Boaz lets her know it had been fully reported to him everything she had done for Naomi. Here we see even when we aren’t aware someone is always noticing our actions. What kind of report would someone say about you? As the story foes on, Boaz tells her to eat and gives her food. Boaz tells the men to let her get all she wants and to leave some grain purposefully for her. By the evening she gleaned 30-40 pounds and takes it home to Naomi along with food she had saved. At the end of the day, Ruth had the strength to be a support to Naomi. She had purpose and in spite of being a foreigner and she knew who she was, and what she had to do. Would you really choose to help something else like Ruth did? And do you believe God has a perfect timing to complete His plan for your life?
Now it’s the end of the Harvest and they are having a celebration on the threshing floor. Lots of people are working until evening and slept there. Naomi wants the best for Ruth. Boaz is a relative of Naomi’s husband, possibly a brother. God had assigned each family of each tribe land. This land was very important. In order to keep the land in the family, the Kinsman Redeemer law was made. If a man died and left a widow with no sons, his nearest relative would be given the opportunity to buy his land and marry his widow so she could have sons to carry on the name. The relative would buy it at his own expense. The Only catch is the Kinsman Redeemer has to be asked by the widow to buy back her husband’s land. Naomi had a plan and instructs Ruth that Boaz would be at the threshing floor that night and to get all dressed up and look her best. Then to wait till after he eats, then go to him. He’s blown away when he hears Ruth declaring her love and asks Boaz if he will marry her. He says yes but lets her know there’s a closer relative to be the redeemer. Ruth tells Naomi everything. Now they had to wait. Here we see it’s important who you listen to. People you listen to can effect the outcome of your life. Think about your contacts, recent calls, texts? Social media posts…Who are you listening to?
Boaz is at the city gates where business transactions are made and in comes the close relative. Boaz is a wise businessman and doesn’t mention Ruth. The relative relinquishes his right as the Kinsman Redeemer and they seal the deal by exchanging sandals (it was like signing a contract in those days.) Boaz and Ruth are then married and Ruth has a son named Obed, the grandfather of David, in the lineage of Jesus Christ our Lord. What a happy ending!
More Than A Chick Flick
This is more than a chick flick, more than an awesome love story, but a representation of God’s love for us. Jesus is our Kinsman Redeemer. He longs to have an intimate relationship with you, but you need to make the proposal. You need to say you want to live life with him forever – just like Ruth did. Like Boaz, Jesus is Someone who is kind, loving, compassionate, caring, protecting, and seeks the best for you. He is Someone worth asking to be yours. However, He’s waiting for you to ask Him.
So, I encourage you to read the book of Ruth for yourself I know you will be blessed. May it remind you of your Kinsman Redeemer.