In Case You Missed It -- Ruth 2, Proverbs 1:1-7
Since our Ruth reading is fairly straightforward, I want to focus on the significance of a rare word that reveals the significance of Boaz’s actions. That word, goel, translated “kinsman redeemer” is found in Ruth 2:20. A goel has legal expectations to care for their kinsmen who have fallen on hard times. Since Boaz was part of Elimelek’s (Ruth’s deceased father-in-law) clan, he knew his obligations as kinsman-redeemer. When Boaz treats Ruth with such kindness and provides for her, we need not imagine Ruth’s story as some steamy romance. Rather, this chapter signifies the beginning of God reversing the fate of Ruth and Naomi and also an oasis of faithfulness in the desert of Israel’s treacherous behavior during those days. Boaz and his workers live like God’s people should, and this is refreshing to read. Boaz’s generosity also provides refreshment for the destitute women returned from the land of Moab. Ultimately Ruth and Boaz do become more than just kinsmen, but at this point in our reading, Boaz is just being obedient to the obligations for a goel. Naomi recognizes this proper action and thus begins to see hope due to God’s laws being kept. If we miss this, we miss a major part of Ruth’s story.