Day 14 - Ruth 4:11-22
We finish the beautiful love story of Ruth and Boaz, today. Our section starts with one more startling difference between cultures. After Boaz and the other relative do the exchange of sandals thing and formally declare Boaz the legal owner of Naomi’s property and husband-to-be of Ruth, the witnesses pray. Now, that doesn’t happen in a court of law today, does it?
It’s a beautiful prayer of blessing over Boaz and his bride-to-be! They wish him well. They pray that he has many descendants after that first son who will not be his and Ruth’s but Naomi’s. They honor him also with a prayer for prosperity and success. How kind! They are very warm toward this son of Rahab who is marrying a woman from Moab. I think their stellar characters have won over any reservations the towns people might have had. It’s such a sweet blessing and prayer, isn’t it?
We learn that Ruth does, indeed, have a son. His name is Obed and he brought Naomi, who had lost both sons and a husband, the greatest joy. Her friends were so happy for her and she must have been beside herself with love and gratitude and wonder as she held this baby boy who would carry on her husband’s line. What a turn around for her. She went from full to empty to full again with the gift of this wee baby. She raised him well, evidently. And he was David’s grandfather. Amazing.
But let’s now admire the steadfast love of Ruth, shall we? Ruth lost a husband. She had lived with barrenness throughout her marriage and when her husband died, she had no son by which to remember him. Finally, this beautiful woman gives birth to a child. And what does she do? She gives this baby boy to Naomi. That’s pretty astounding. I don’t know exactly how it worked. Did Ruth and Naomi live together with Boaz and sort of share the parenting duties? I hope so. And I really hope that Obed was the first of many children for Ruth and Boaz, just as the townspeople had prayed for them during their blessing. I wish the Bible told us that part. Nevertheless, Ruth’s continuous showing of sacrificial love is such a beautiful example of Christ’s continuous and sacrificial love for us. In this story, we see a reflection of the greater story of the one true God who never stops loving His children, and sticks by them through good times and bad. Hallelujah!
My verse: Ruth 4:15 “May he restore your youth and care for you in your old age. For he is the son of your daughter-in-law who loves you and has been better to you than seven sons!”
My response: Oh the joy in that home! Ruth’s womb was opened and after ten years with her first husband and no children, she gives birth. And how generously she shares with Naomi, also childless after her two sons’ deaths. Little Obed must’ve been a deeply loved baby. (And Lord, I do hope You granted Ruth and Boaz other children as well!)