Ruth. There is so much said about Ruth. So much written. Unlike some of the stories in Judges, it is fairly easy to understand. Unlike most of the stories in Judges, it is beautiful.
We have a beautiful, romantic story of loss, grief, loyalty, obedience, vulnerability, responsibility, and love. So much love.
People can debate the correct way to understand ‘uncover his feet.’ It reads like an idiom, doesn’t make a lot of sense today, so maybe it means… I don’t know. I don’t think I particularly care, to be honest. It’s obvious Boaz wasn’t offended. Ruth wasn’t chastised for it, whatever it was. However it played out, it was vulnerable, it was romantic, and it was not wrong, regardless of what gossips might have made of it.
People can debate whether Naomi and Ruth set out to entice Boaz. You know what? I don’t care about that either. So what if they did? In a culture that left widowed women such as they were extremely vulnerable, in the absence of a redeemer actively seeking them out simply because they’ve returned, what else are they supposed to do? Boldly approach the gates and demand a redeemer? I suppose technically that may have been within their rights, but can you imagine doing something like that?
And don’t get down on Boaz for not actively seeking them out just because they returned, either. It’s a pretty weird arrangement, if you think about it.
I’m just saying, I’ve never read a hot take that lowered anyone involved in my estimation.
And it’s pretty easy to understand how it fits into the narrative, as well. Christ is our kinsman redeemer. He steps in to recover our inheritance for us when it has been lost to death. Yes, the failed human attempts to fulfill Christ’s role help us understand our need. But even the most beautiful and complete act of human redemption pales in comparison to Christ. The successes, too, demonstrate our inadequacy and Christ’s true glory. More still, it helps us understand the love and sacrifice involved, because it’s presented in a way we can identify with, something within our realm of understanding.
And sometimes I think we need to be reminded of what we’re capable of. That, as humans, we aren’t all bad. There is beauty. We are a good creation. The more we emulate Christ, the more of that is visible.