category: Advent

Advent Devotion: Day 13

Friday, December 9

Ruth 4:13-17; 2 Peter 3:11-18

“Blessed be the Lord, who has not left you this day . . . He shall be to you a restorer of life” (Ruth 4:14-15 NRSV).

The soft rain was suddenly disrupted by a boom of thunder. The rain grew steadier and louder. My patio umbrella swayed in the wind and leaves blew across the yard. Following several more boomers, I resigned myself to missing my evening walk.

After a while, it was quiet again. Still hoping for that walk, I glanced out my front door. Much to my surprise, the storm had moved on. An orange sky replaced the dark clouds. The transformation was mesmerizing. I took my walk and thanked God for redeeming my night.

In the book of Ruth, we meet Naomi and Ruth, two women who knew a thing or two about storms. Naomi’s husband and two sons died. One of those sons was Ruth’s husband. In order to retain their property and continue the family line, these widows needed a kinsman-redeemer. They were poor, vulnerable, and desperate. To make their storm even louder, Naomi was living in a foreign land.

It was time to go home. Naomi begged Ruth and her other daughter-in-law to stay with their families. Ruth insisted, however, on going with her. Ruth’s love for Naomi was the silver lining in Naomi’s dark life. When they arrived back home in Bethlehem, Naomi was bitter, broken, and desperate.

She was not resigned, however, to stay in a desperate state. Through God’s providence, her planning, the faithfulness of Ruth, the generosity of a relative named Boaz, and some perfume, their lives turned around. Through Boaz, God provided Naomi and Ruth their redeemer. God’s activity turned a bitter woman into a joyful one. God’s activity turned an empty lap into a woman with an heir. God’s activity turned a dead-end family line into a line of descendants.

God redeemed Naomi’s life with a baby, and not just any baby, but a male heir. Obed would carry on the family name. God redeemed Naomi with heirs who begat kings. Naomi’s heirs begat a line of royalty which included the King of Kings. This King of Kings died as a Suffering Servant in order to redeem people from all nations of their sins and restore them to life.

Are you bitter, broken, or desperate? Hear the good news! Naomi’s God-Redeemer is still at work. Friend, may your weeping be turned to joy; may your empty arms be made full. Receive the grace, mercy, and healing that comes from our Redeemer, the King of Kings. Then, share the Good News with someone who needs to hear an encouraging word from a friend.

God, thank you for being my Redeemer, Healer, and Restorer of life. Amen.

Tina Burleson
School of Divinity Graduate

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