Gospel: These All Died in Faith: Ruth – From a “Name of Shame”

She married him for his money! Ever hear that statement? How often it is sadly true. Yet while Ruth had everything to gain by marrying Boaz, it was Boaz who loved her and wanted to give her all he had in marriage. What a wonderful picture respectively of us as sinners – distant and unable – and the Lord Jesus, the Savior – willing and able. She had nothing and could do nothing to be brought into the place of blessing, apart from saying, “I do.” Why did these events happen? How could they? The echo of a hymn says it well:

“Love found a way to redeem my soul!
Love found a way that could make me whole!
Love sent my Lord to the cross of shame.
Love found a way, O praise His holy name!”

Ruth was a Moabitess. Moab as a people represented a scourge in origin, behavior, and worship. Numbers 21:29 states “Woe to thee Moab, thou art undone!” As individuals, they were actually barred for ten generations from coming into the blessings of God as linked with His people! The name of shame was clearly seen in them, and yet at the same time Moab was also a distant relative of Israel’s. What a picture of us in our roots and origin by our distant relative Adam and what he brought into the world – sin! However, our name of shame has brought with it not only a title upon us but also a truth within us: “For as in Adam all die” (1Co 15:22). That name of shame has linked us all as sinners and passed along the dreaded consequence of death and judgment. Humanity has a heritage of darkness, distance, and death – physically, spiritually, and, if continued without a relationship with the true “Boaz” Who is Christ, eternally away from God.

Thus Ruth, barred from blessing by what she was, had no hope in herself. One by one, all in this book must admit only Boaz can bless and redeem. Another relative attempted, but is soon seen to be unfit and unable as he admitted, “I cannot redeem!” Ten elders of the city summoned by Boaz could only watch. God’s picture book of the Old Testament shows us once again that salvation can never be accomplished by any other person or any works of law. Was there no hope for poor Ruth? Finally Boaz stood forth alone, able and willing to redeem Ruth. Brought into his family, she was linked with the name of David the king at the close of the book. But more, the lineage continues and in Matthew’s Gospel she is seen linked with the greatest King and Redeemer- the Lord Jesus Christ! By the grace of God she went from the name of shame to God’s Hall of Fame! Ruth exclaimed as do all of us who have been saved, “Why have I found grace in thine eyes that thou shouldest take knowledge of me?” (Ruth 2:10).

At the Cross, the Lord Jesus showed unequaled love for those linked to the name of shame – sinners – that we might trust Him. Thus redeemed, we were linked forever with Him and brought into heaven’s Hall of Fame and the very family of God. Have you trusted Him? Or, unable to save yourself, will you stay linked with the name of shame, with your sin, and what it will bring eternally? “In Whom (Christ) we have redemption through His blood, even the forgiveness of sins” (Col 1:14).