Snapshots: Day 171
The Snapshot: “So Boaz took Ruth and she became his wife.” (Ruth 4:12) The end of the story, about this humble girl and this gracious guy (are those characteristics you hear extolled in the best man’s speech????) is they marry, and the rest is history; well not quite because there are aspects of later history we’ll come to, but for now what do we have? A Moabite taken into the family of Israel on an equal footing by God. God doesn’t mind where we come from as He gathers us as part of the bride for His Son (see Rev 19:7,8, Mt 9:15 etc.). He just looks for those whose hearts will be moved by the wonder of His Son. It may take some twists and turns for us to come but once in the kingdom, that’s it, destined for a wedding in eternity. Get your fine linen ready.
Further Consideration: There are two aspects of the conclusion of this story to be considered and we’ll just take only the first one here and leave the second one to the final study in Ruth. The first aspect is equality in God’s eyes.
In the story of Joseph in the Old Testament, we read, “Now Israel loved Joseph more than any of his other sons, because he had been born to him in his old age,” (Gen 37:3) and that led to discord among the other sons. Put most simply, God doesn’t have favourites. I believe we are all ‘special’ to him (and for the sake of an old friend of mine who never liked that word) we are each special because we are each unique and He alone can see our uniqueness perfectly. I am special to Him because He doesn’t have another in His kingdom just like me. I am unique. So are you! So is every person in the world.
Now I have used the words ‘equal’ and ‘equality’ above but really neither is the most appropriate word. We may talk about equality of opportunity or equality of pay for the same job but when it comes to assessing individuals, equality is inappropriate. We each come from different parents, from different backgrounds, we have different histories, different experiences and so much more that means we are uniquely different and a unique object or person cannot be measured against any other. Equality may be appropriate in terms of opportunities offered (although even that is dubious because of who we are and our capability or incapability to take up the opportunity) but it is not appropriate language to use in respect of identity. When I said Ruth was taken into Israel on an equal footing, I meant as a citizen of this particular nation she was now free to live under its laws – abiding by them but also getting the benefit of them – and would be able to be seen as just another member of the chosen people of God. If you like, God has adopted her, just like He did you and me when we turned to Christ. How wonderful!