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The Scarlet Thread of Redemption and Restoration

Ruth 4:13-15 (NKJV)
12 May your house be like the house of Perez, whom Tamar bore to Judah, because of the offspring which the LORD will give you from this young woman.”

13 So Boaz took Ruth and she became his wife; and when he went in to her, the LORD gave her conception, and she bore a son. 14 Then the women said to Naomi, “Blessed be the LORD, who has not left you this day without a close relative; and may his name be famous in Israel! 15 And may he be to you a restorer of life and a nourisher of your old age; for your daughter-in-law, who loves you, who is better to you than seven sons, has borne him.”

As we were praying today (during our BoD meetings) there was a spirit of introspection and repentance. The Lord brought me to this passage in Ruth as I recalled the words of v 15, "may he be to you a restorer of life..." These words were spoken to Naomi, a widow weary and bitter because of her perspective of how God has dealt with her in the past. As I began to meditate on this passage I skimmed the overall story of Boaz, Ruth, and Naomi. I want to try to record my observations for my personal future reference.

First, v 15 has some imagery that I'd like to connect. It's understood that Boaz is a picture of Jesus, the Kinsman Redeemer. The "he" in v 15 has an application to him. "He" also refers to the LORD "who has not left (her)." The "he" could also refer to the child born to Ruth and Boaz who brings comfort to Naomi and will sustain her, like the Holy Spirit does, and is the validation of her identity. This is so important to Naomi who feels she had lost everything. Upon her return to her homeland (Bethlehem), she is so wounded that she tell those who come to greet her to call her "Mara" - bitter. Mara(h) is the place where the bitter water became sweet after the staff had been cast into the waters - a picture of the cross removing the bitterness of sin. Now Naomi (which means "pleasant"), has experienced God's restoration and redemption. God had taken the shame of her past and honored her. This happens to the entire genealogical line of Ruth and Boaz as well.

Boaz's own family line (and Naomi's as well as a distant relative to Boaz) is filled with shame as well. His great, great, great, great-grandfather Perez was the offspring from the nearly incestuous relationship between Judah and his daughter-in-law Tamar (read the story here). Tamar's story is one of rejection and broken promises - a woman who felt forced to take her situation into her own hands. Her resulting pregnancy with twins brought forth Perez, the one who has "broken through," had the "scarlet thread" tied to him to become the holder of the birthright. The shame of Perez's conception was covered by a legacy of blessing. That "scarlet thread" of redemption now has tied Naomi and Ruth not only to Boaz, but to the Messiah who would come through this line.

The last words regarding Naomi leave her nursing the fruit of her own suffering. What a tender picture! From shame to honor, bitterness to fulfillment, breakdown to breakthrough! He is a restorer of life.

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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on June 28, 2007 10:20 AM.

The previous post in this blog was The End of A Season.

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