So, in the end, Ruth finds love. She has left her homeland, her people, and her customs to move with her mother-in-law back to Israel. And because of her willingness to follow God, she ends up as the wife of Boaz and the great-grandmother of King David (not to mention a direct ancestor of Jesus). From her lowly status as a heathen woman, she becomes a woman honored in the history of Israel. I think that’s incredible.
Because of the language of redemption in this chapter (Boaz is called the kinsmen-redeemer), it made me think about what happens to us when God redeems us. Let’s face it. We all need redemption, and if we allow Him, God will pick us up from where we have fallen and redeem us. But He doesn’t just restore us to our original condition.
In light of that, I suppose the title for this blog is a little misleading. It should have said God does not ONLY restore us. By that, I mean that when God redeems us, He doesn’t simply restore us to our original condition. No, He takes where we have been and what we have done, and He brings us out better off than we were before we ruined ourselves in the first place. That’s what He did for Ruth. He didn’t simply "transplant" her from Moab to Israel, leaving her in the same situation. No. She went from being a childless widow to being a beloved wife and mother. She was much better off than when she first left Moab with Naomi.
God is into restoration, it’s true. But He doesn’t just restore us. He makes everything in our lives work together to bring us out on the other side better than we ever were before. His restoration is transformation—and always for the better. And what a comforting thought that is... to know that we can even trust Him with all of our bad choices and mistakes, believing that He can use all of those things to better us. What a God!