Every Day Light
A new identity
"Then the elders — said — 'May the Lord make [Ruth] like Rachel and Leah —' " (v. 11)
For reading & meditation:
After Boaz has called upon the assembled group to witness that he accepts the full responsibility of kinsman-redeemer to Naomi which, of course, involved taking Ruth to be his wife, the elders respond by reciting the traditional blessing: "May the Lord make this woman, who has now come into your home, as fertile as Rachel and Leah, from whom all the nation of Israel descended!" (v. 11, Living Bible). If the elders had had any doubts about Boaz marrying a woman from Moab, then clearly those doubts had all been swept away. Their wish for Ruth is that she will be as blessed as were Rachel and Leah. Rachel and Leah were the two wives of Jacob, whose names are used in the Bible as a byword for fruitfulness. Rachel was regarded by the Jewish nation as one of their most illustrious personages, and to this day she is held in the highest esteem. It seems most strange that the elders should wish for Ruth to become as honored and revered as Rachel, especially when we remember that Ruth was a Moabitess, born in a land that was under God's curse. What was it that produced this strange turn of events? Just one simple factor - Boaz. By linking himself to Ruth he brought about a change in her identity, recognized by all. This is precisely what Christ has done for us. Though we were classified as "children of wrath" and "excluded from citizenship in Israel and foreigners to the covenants of the promise" (Eph. 2:3, KJV, 2:12), Christ has joined Himself to us and given us His own identity. We are no longer aliens - we belong to Him.
O God, how can I ever praise You enough for plucking me out of the world and giving me a new heart, a new identity, and one day a new name? Eternal praise and glory be unto Your precious Name. Amen.
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