We all need redemption. We sense it in our bones. We hear the hurtful words that leave our mouths and we know how much more we think of ourselves compared to our thoughts of God. Many of us think that we can earn our redemption by trying harder or outdoing our negatives by trying to produce more positives. The Bible, on the other hand, presents our redemption as a mysterious gift that came in a mysterious way.
The Book of Ruth gives us a picture of redemption designed to point us to the genuine artifact. Naomi thought she would never receive redemption. This fallen world had left her bitter and empty. She tried to secure her own redemption by placing her daughter-in-law Ruth in a compromised position, but the Lord prevented that situation from ending in travesty. Naomi’s redemption comes not from her own duplicitous efforts, but as a gift from God.
The women of the town placed the baby born to Naomi’s daughter-in-law and said, “…for your daughter-in-law who loves you, who is more to you than seven sons, has given birth to him (Ruth 4:15).” Naomi thought all hope of her giving birth to a male heir for her family had vanished. Now, through the baby boy born to her daughter-in-law and the kinsmen redeemer of her family, she holds redemption for her and her family in her arms. It is as if the women were saying, “See, Naomi, the Lord never left you without a redeemer.”
In a greater way, the Lord provides us a redeemer for our souls. The Scripture says, “Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel (Matthew 1:23; see also Isaiah 7:14).”
In your darkest hours, remember Naomi. Remember when things look bleak and impossible, nothing is impossible with God. He makes possible his redeeming kindness in ways we never could have imagined. He uses the weak things of the world, so that we might know his strength. He uses the foolish things of the world, so that we might know his wisdom. He takes the impossible and makes it possible to show us that nothing is impossible with God.
The Lord permits us to live in this fallen world not because he is cruel but because he is patient. He is waiting for you and me to learn what Naomi learned during her life’s journey. Turn away from the foolish ways that you tried to work out your redemption in your own power, and trust in the redemption the Lord provided, in his Son, Jesus Christ.