October 22, 2021
Scripture: Then the women said to Naomi, “Blessed be the LORD, who has not left you this day without a redeemer, and may his name be renowned in Israel! He shall be to you a restorer of life and a nourisher of your old age, for your daughter-in-law who loves you, who is more to you than seven sons, has given birth to him.” Ruth 4:14-15 ESV
Observation: As the story of Ruth concludes, we read about the restoration of Naomi through the marriage of Ruth to Boaz. Ruth, a loyal and servant-hearted daughter-in-law, had already won the love and affection of her mother-in-law and had become the daughter that Naomi never had. Even more so, Naomi finds restoration in the birth of her grandson. The Lord has blessed Ruth with a son to carry on the name and inheritance of the dead (verse 10). Thus, in the above two verses, we read a blessing spoken by the townswomen to Naomi. For all the losses that Naomi experienced (husband and her only two sons), no longer will she bear the self-appropriated name Mara (which means “bitter,” 1:20); she is once again Naomi (which means “pleasant one”).
Takeaway: Naomi’s restoration had already begun when Ruth pledged to stay by Naomi’s side for the rest of her life. But Naomi was unaware of how the Lord would use Ruth to bless her and restore her soul. As the townswomen put it, the love and devotion of her daughter-in-law would mean more to her than if she had seven sons (seven being a sign of completion). Indeed, in Ruth, God completed Naomi’s restoration from bitterness to pleasantness.
As communicated throughout this short but impactful book, the story of Ruth prefigures the work of Christ, who is our restorer of life. Like Boaz, the Son of God has secured our names (Revelation 2:17) and heavenly inheritance (Colossians 3:23-24). Like Naomi, we find redemption in Christ for our losses that transforms our bitterness into joy. Like Ruth, who vowed to stay by Naomi’s side for the remainder of her life, Christ will be with us to the end of the age (Matthew 28:20). And like Naomi, we need to confidently and patiently wait for the outcome (3:18).
Prayer: Father God, in your mercy, grant us the grace to patiently wait on your Son to redeem our losses and restore our souls. Amen.
Rev. Gordon Green, M.Div., M.A. Counseling