Sounds like another environmental horror, doesn’t it? Perhaps some big corporation yanking all the resources out of a small community and leaving it bare, or some natural disaster brought about by us, the rich, white, Protestant brats of the developed world (according to our friends and neighbors, the liberals). That’s what I would have thought, but … no. The truth is sadder than that, and makes me kind of angry to think about. First, some context, and then an article link.
RU 4:9 Then Boaz announced to the elders and all the people, “Today you are witnesses that I have bought from Naomi all the property of Elimelech, Kilion and Mahlon. 10 I have also acquired Ruth the Moabitess, Mahlon’s widow, as my wife, in order to maintain the name of the dead with his property, so that his name will not disappear from among his family or from the town records. Today you are witnesses!”
According to God’s law, as given by the Lord Himself on the mountain, there was to be no property stripping among the people of His kingdom. That is, when a man with property died, his widow retained the ownership of the land– it did not become the property of the husband’s family once again. Here we see that Boaz paid Naomi for the land once owned by her late husband and sons. In other words, though she had great sorrow, she was not destitute at their deaths. Now read this article, and see for yourself the perversity and sadness caused by the twisted selfishness of the pride of men.
Are you thankful yet for our Christian heritage here in the west, especially if you are a widow? Truly, to be a faithful wife to a pervert husband in a patriarchal culture, to see him die because of his sinful ways, and then to realize you are doomed to a wretched life of prostitution and poverty just to keep your children alive… this a horror few of us will ever know. Yet, your tax dollars to the tune of many billions, will be poured into a solution to this supposedly intractable problem in the years to come, and the proud, arrogant and selfish men of those cultures most affected by it, who wouldn’t even consider the property rights of an innocent and faithful widow, will gladly take it and pontificate about the need for education, free medicine and lots of condoms. AIDS is a terrible problem, and we can all look forward to the day a cure is found. This article clearly shows, however, that sin is an even more terrible problem, whose depths the plague of AIDS most effectively reveals, and whose solution is beyond even the thoughts of the men who require back the widow’s property.
May the Lord, Who found and helped us in our poverty, open our eyes to these who are truly poor.