What changed between Ruth 1 and Ruth 4? At the end of Ruth 1, Naomi had returned to Bethlehem, and she said to the women of the town, “Do not call me Naomi; call me Mara, for the Almighty has dealt very bitterly with me. I went away full, and the Lord has brought me back empty. Why call me Naomi, when the Lord has testified against me and the Almighty has brought calamity upon me?” Call me Mara. Call me bitter. Naomi was at a point where her bitterness and the tragedy she experienced had become her identity, to the point that she corrects those who called her by her name.
But by the time we turn the page to Ruth 4, after Boaz had married Ruth and their son had been born, we hear the women of the town saying to Naomi, “Blessed be the Lord, who has not left you this day without a redeemer, and may his name be renowned in Israel! He shall be to you a restorer of life and a nourisher of your old age, for your daughter-in-law who loves you, who is more to you than seven sons, has given birth to him.” Before, Naomi’s bitterness led her to object strongly to being called by her own name. Now, the women are celebrating the Lord’s provision of a redeemer in Naomi’s life. Before, Naomi was empty, but now she is filled with life and love.
What changed between Ruth 1 and Ruth 4? The easy answer is everything. Naomi was empty, but now she is restored. Naomi was bitter, but now she seems grateful. What changed? God provided a redeemer. The son of Ruth and Boaz changed everything about the way Naomi saw her life. That’s the way redemption works. Colossians 1:13-14 says, “He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.” We were in darkness, but now we walk in the light of His kingdom! We were defined by our sin, but now we have been forgiven!The Son of God changes everything about the way we see our lives! That’s the way redemption works. Redemption changed everything for Naomi, and it does the same for us. Blessed be the Lord, who has not left us this day without a redeemer!