Given our group consisted of young adults, most of them were single, it was easy to quickly identify with, or want to be identified with, each of the key figures in this little story in the Bible.
Feeling like a stranger in a strange land.
The yearning to be married.
The wanting to be like a worthy and godly man.
Identifying some of the bitterness in our own lives when we think God is not coming through.
Those elements and so many more is what drew in the reader. But what surprised me is just how much of it was an obvious foreshadow to Christ.
Naomi, the Israelite, with the promises of the Lord but had to wait on the Lord.
Ruth, the Gentile, who knew nothing of the Lord but was saved in the midst of her desperate time.
Boaz, the Kinsmen Redeemer, who brought both Naomi and Ruth into family together, was the prelude to Christ, being our Kinsmen together, saving both Jew and Gentile alike.
If that wasn’t obvious enough, just the fact that they had a child together and he ends up being the grandfather of David from whose bloodline Christ was born into.
This is a story that one of the prime examples of Sola Fide.
Ruth 1:15-17 And she said, “See, your sister-in-law has gone back to her people and to her gods; return after your sister-in-law.” But Ruth said, “Do not urge me to leave you or to return from following you. For where you go I will go, and where you lodge I will lodge. Your people shall be my people, and your God my God. Where you die I will die, and there will I be buried. May the LORD do so to me and more also if anything but death parts me from you.”
What Ruth is saying here is exactly the same sentiment that Paul talks about in Romans 6:
Romans 6:6 We know that our old self was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin.
In other words, there is nothing for our old selves. I see that Paul goes so far as to call our past lives ‘self’ rather than ‘life’. Why? Because what we had before knowing Christ was no semblance of kind of life we know now. Sure, our lungs breathed air and our hearts pumped blood but is that life? Surely not.
Ruth is saying here what should be the mark of every Christian: “My old self has nothing for me. My old idols have had their brains blown out and now they sit somewhere as a rotting corpse. My old gods are not coming back to life. They couldn’t save me. Christ died on the cross so that I might have life. Jesus slaughtered all of my iniquities and sin so that I might live in him forever.”