The Bethlehem streets buzzed and whirred with the latest news: “Have you heard? Boaz keeps an eye on the Moabitess!” “Shocking!” interjected another female tone, “I have heard and I am astonished.” “And with so many lovely Jewish women to consider!” exclaimed another. Noses huddled. “I have heard that he intends to marry her!” Heads shook and old women muttered quick and anxious prayers to the Almighty. “But she is a foreigner!” “Yes, yes! A disgrace!” Mutter. Mutter. “And have you heard that Boaz is not held responsible to redeem her former husband’s seed.” Silence. The huddle got smaller and ears got bigger. “The responsibility falls on another, yet, Boaz will seek to purchase the right from him.” “Ah! And such a nice looking man to be peddled away to a foreigner!” Jewish hearts sighed and prayed all through the Jewish streets and markets, houses and fields. Why would this man choose a foreigner?
It all began with the scheming of a mother-in-law; a wise and hasty command from Naomi. To be lawful also means to make full use of the law…
And Jesus told this parable in Luke 18:1-8 of an unjust judge and a persistent widow. “Give me justice against my adversary!” was her cry. Yes, the widow knew where to go: Go to the judge and make full use of the law. Don’t go to your adversary and demand your rights; go to the Judge. “And will not God give justice to his elect, who cry to him day and night? Will he delay long over them? I tell you, he will give justice to them speedily,” Luke 18:7-8. So it was that Ruth went at the command of her mother-in-law to make full use of the law - the Law of a Kinsmen Redeemer. She sought the Law of Yahweh as her source of restoration. She sought out Boaz as a lawful refuge from her adversary; the adversary of poverty and barrenness, homelessness and foreignness. “I am Ruth your servant. Spread your wings over your servant, for you are a redeemer,” Ruth 3:9.
Ruth’s motive is alas revealed in the following lines of the narrative. She had not sought Boaz in particular for youth or wealth. She was not looking to gain exceptionally from the institution. Ruth sought what was right. She sought what was lawful and good. “And he said, ‘May you be blessed by the Lord, my daughter. You have made this last kindness greater than the first in that you have not gone after young men, whether poor or rich. And now, my daughter, do not fear, I will do for you all that you ask, for all my fellow townsmen know that you are a worthy woman,” Ruth 3:10-11. Ruth sought the welfare of all involved in her circumstances; a refuge for Naomi and a generational heritage for her deceased husband. She was persistent as an intercessor for justice. She offered herself as its means. In this way, she is to us a fervent foreshadowing Cross-bearer.
“Ask and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened. Or which one of you, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a serpent? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!” Matthew 7:7-11.
“…when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?” Luke 18:8.