Weekly Devotionals

Week of Monday, May 16– Sunday, May 22
Redeemed – Man as Instructor
“So Boaz took Ruth, and she became his wife. And he went in to her, and the Lord gave her conception, and she bore a son... They named him Obed. He was the father of Jesse, the father of David.” – Ruth 4:13, 17b ESV 
 
Pastor Woodrow Kroll tells the story of a father and son who built a model sailboat. Before launching the boat on its maiden voyage, the father tied a string to its stern to keep it from sailing too far. The boat sailed beautifully, but tragically, a motorboat crossing the lake cut the string, and the sailboat drifted out of sight. A few weeks later the boy passed his favorite toy store and saw his lost sailboat in the window. He ran inside to claim it. The store owner refused to give it back. “You may have been its maker,” he said, “but as its finder, it now belongs to me. You may buy it back for $50.” The boy was stunned at the cost, but he set about earning the money. Later he walked into the store and handed the owner $50. As he left the store, he held the boat up to the sunlight. Its colors gleamed. He mused, “I once owned you, but I lost you. Now I’ve bought you back. That makes you twice mine.”
 
Just like the story of the lost boat, every great story has a great ending. The story of Ruth has one of the best. In chapter 4, the story concludes with a reversal of all of the tragedies from chapter one. The loss of Naomi’s husband and her sons is reversed at the end of the book as Ruth marries Naomi’s relative, Boaz, and gives birth to a new son which brings great joy to all. Also, just as the opening tragedy was followed by a great act of loyalty on the part of Ruth, at the end of the book, that is matched by Boaz’s act of great loyalty as the Kinsman Redeemer that leads to Naomi’s family finally being restored.
 
Interestingly, the characters talk about God a few times, but the narrator never once mentions God. Yet God’s hand is obvious everywhere you look. God’s providence is at work behind every scene of this story, weaving together the circumstances and choices of all these ordinary people. Naomi’s tragic losses make her believe that God is somehow punishing her, but in the end, we see that the whole story is really about God’s plan to restore and bless Naomi and her family. God is working through the widow Ruth, through her loyalty and her boldness, and through Naomi’s kinsman Boaz, a man of generosity and loyalty. God providentially uses all of these circumstances and choices of these people to save the widow Naomi and her family.
 
But that’s not all that God is up to in the story of Ruth. The book concludes with a big reveal. The genealogy at the end shows how Boaz and Ruth’s son Obed became the grandfather of King David from whom the Messiah eventually came, the ultimate Kinsman Redeemer. Suddenly, these seemingly ordinary everyday events with these ordinary people in this story are providentially woven into God’s magnificent plan of redemption for the human race. And men, that’s where we come in as Instructors, helping our families and our battle buddies connect the dots and point them to the providential working of God in our everyday lives.
 
What Boaz did for Ruth and Naomi as their Kinsman Redeemer is a beautiful picture of what Jesus did for us! The Creator made us in his very image, but because of our sin, we were separated from Him and lost. Enter Jesus the Kinsman Redeemer. It was Jesus whose sacrificial death on the cross that paid the price for our sins and redeemed us. We were God’s creation, He made us, but we were lost to Him until we were bought back—just like the little boy’s sailboat! Paul said to the church at Corinth, “You are not your own, for you were bought with a price…” (1 Cor. 6:19b-20a). Like the boy in the story, how much more could God say: “You are mine twice.” May we live lives worthy of His love and grace! 
 
  • How does the book of Ruth prompt us to consider how God might be providentially at work in the ordinary everyday details of our own lives?
  • How can you help those in your charge “connect the dots” of God’s providential activity to your everyday events and circumstances?
  • Ask God to help you see His hand in the everyday details of your life and then ask Him to help you faithfully communicate it.