Ruth her mother-in-law talked while preparing the evening meal. Ruth shared all that had happened to her and the comments made by the other women.
Then she said, “One of the women heard a harvest worker say that Boaz gave instructions to place extra produce in front of me.”
“Boaz? Did you say Boaz?” Naomi interrupted.
“Yes, that’s what the women called him,” Ruth answered. She wondered why the name was so important to her mother.
Naomi disappeared into the other room. Ruth could hear her opening crates and boxes as she repeated, “Boaz… Boaz.”
Soon Naomi re-appeared, holding a scroll in her hand, a look of triumph on her face. “Just as I thought I remembered!” she exclaimed.
“What?” Ruth looked from Naomi’s face to the scroll, then back at her mother. “What?” she repeated.
“Boaz is one of Elimelek’s cousins!” she almost shouted.
Ruth was even more puzzled than before. “So…?” she said by way of encouraging Naomi to tell her more.
The rest of the evening was filled with Naomi’s explanations to her daughter-in-law the details of the Jewish Law of Redemption.
This Law provided a way for a blood relative to redeem a family member who had fallen into hard times, even to the extent of slavery. The Redeemer could pay the cost of rescuing the relative, could marry a female relative, and provide an heir to continue the family name of the dead husband.
This Redeemer, connected by genetics to the one in distress, would legally become the substitute for the man who had died and thus caused the remaining family to be physically and culturally enslaved and in poverty. Outcasts. Deemed as punished by God for unknown but presumed sins of great magnitude.
The Law detailed the courses of action to be taken by the widow in order to request redemption by the Near Kinsman. All of this Naomi explained to Ruth.
“Glean only in the fields owned or planted by Boaz. You must be seen to be loyal to the Law and to the Family,” Naomi cautioned. Ruth agreed to her instructions. Throughout the harvest season Ruth carefully obeyed the details of the Law as instructed by Naomi.
When the last field had been completely harvested, the time for celebration began. Naomi knew that the parties would continue into the early morning hours and that Boaz, the owner, would stay until the last worker had finished feasting. Then he would simply pull a blanket over himself and sleep where he was.
“This is your big moment,” Naomi detailed. “You are to stay in the shadows until Boaz is asleep. Then you are to go to his feet, lift the blanket gently, and lie down, pulling the blanket over yourself without removing it from Boaz. Stay there until he awakens. When he wakes up he will find you and question you. He will cautiously ask who you are and why you have done this.
“But he knows the Law and will already know why you have done this. Still he must do and say specific things in order to stay within the Law. He will tell you what to do next.”
Ruth followed Naomi’s instructions perfectly. The Plan for Redemption was initiated in a small town named Bethlehem.
Ruth was obedient to the Law and to the requests of her mother-in-law.
Boaz was obedient to the Law and followed its details carefully,
Boaz and Ruth were soon married, among festivities and celebrations that at times seemed strange to Ruth. But, with a smile, and a happy heart, she yielded to the Law and learned the customs of her new family.
Boaz and Ruth had a son, whom they named Obed.
Obed’s son was Jesse.
Jesse’s son was named David.
Generations later, David’s grandson was born and named Jesus.
Bethlehem was again honored by the appearance of another Redeemer. One whose mission it was to provide redemption for Adam’s family.
Thus the Plan of Redemption continued for all mankind who were enslaved by the Enemy of Man.
Ruth made a small choice to honor and provide for her adopted mother. As a result, she became the grandmother of Jesus.
How often does a small choice result in great things? We will not know until the records are opened and we get to view our lives as God sees them.
Big things come from small choices, even today.
Have you realized a reward that could be connected to a small choice?
Share your experience with me.