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While the word "romance" is not found in Scripture, there is a beautiful romance in the story of Ruth which begins when her father-in-law dies leaving her mother-in-law, Naomi a widow. Then Naomi's two sons died, leaving behind two more widows, of which Ruth was one. When Naomi told the young widows return to their own mother's, Orpah obliged. But Ruth insisted that she remain with Naomi. She said that she would go where Naomi went, she would live where Naomi lived, and Naomi's people would be her people. "where you die, I will die, and there I will be buried. The LORD do so to me, and more also, if anything but death parts you from me." (Ruth 1:16-17) Then Naomi and Ruth traveled a long way to Bethlehem arriving just in time for the harvest. In Ruth 2, we meet Boaz, a relative of Naomi's late husband. He is powerful and rich. Naomi tells Ruth to go in after the reapers and glean from the fields. As the LORD would have it, Ruth came into the field owned by Boaz. Almost immediately Boaz establishes his sovereignty over Ruth. (vs 8-9) And Ruth shows her submissiveness to Boaz. (vs 10) Now the romance begins. Naomi tells Ruth to make herself pretty and put herself under the cover of Boaz, not for sex, but as a sign of her submission to be under his "wing." (Ruth 3:3-8) Ruth 3:18 gives us a clue to the fact of the haste in which Boaz moved in the matter of Ruth and by whom she would be redeemed. Why was Boaz in such a hurry? Nothing indicates that Ruth was fair. In fact, the many days of travel, the work in the field and the tears wept for her dead husband must have shown on her face. But Boaz saw her as a "virtuous woman" (Ruth 3:11) and a virtuous woman is more valuable than rubies. (Prov 31:10) Boaz makes a very stilted appeal to the other relative, one even closer than himself to Naomi (Ruth 4:1-6) who agrees to redeem Naomi and her land. But when the other relative is told that he must also redeem Ruth and marry her, he takes off. Immediately, Boaz says he is taking Ruth as his wife and all those at the gate were witnesses. (vs 9-11) That is romance. What a lovely way to bring David into the lineage leading to Joseph, who would defy customs of the age and take Mary, already pregnant by the Holy Spirit with Jesus Christ our LORD.
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