April 7, 2023
Today we begin and end in the book of Ruth.
Chapter 1 –
While living in Moab, Elimelech dies leaving Naomi as a widow along with the deaths of her two sons leave her daughters-in-law both a widows. She hears of a famine back in her native land has ended and she is determined to return home. The famine was a result of God judging Israel.
She desires her daughters-in-law return to their homes but Ruth refuses to leave. Because Ruth was determined to remain with Naomi, she stops trying to dissuade her. Naomi returns to Israel a broken and bitter woman. She blames God for has happened to her. However she realizes both good and bad pass through the fingers of God. In His sovereignty He permits events to happen. She could see that God had ended the famine as it was time for the barley harvest.
Chapter 2 –
Boaz was a wealthy relative of Elimelech, the son of the prostitute Rahab. Ruth wanted to serve and take care of Naomi, so she asked to go into the field and gather fallen grain. When Boaz saw her, he had compassion on her but she had found favor with him. Boaz pronounces a blessing on Ruth asking that the Lord – under whose wings she had come for protection.
As the ‘family redeemer” Boaz could fulfill the law of levirate marriage. This was an ancient provision that meant that if an Israelite man were to die without a son the man’s brother could provide for the deceased by marrying his widow. Then “the first son she bore would carry the name of the dead brother, so his name would not be blotted out from Israel.”
Chapter 3 –
Knowing the hazards faced by being a widow Naomi decides to become a matchmaker for Ruth. Naomi provided instructions for Ruth to follow which she accepts.
Boaz had been impressed with Ruth initially but he was even more impressed with her that night. Boaz was older than Ruth but understood she had not pursued younger men. As she leaves in the morning Boaz gives her a generous provision of barley.
Chapter 4 –
There were no binding legally written contracts in the day – you could not sign one so the ratifying of a contract was done by giving a man your sandal. This is how Boaz agreed to redeem land for Ruth and also take Ruth as his wife. The first man who was offered the land wanted the land but not Ruth since the firstborn son would jeopardize his own inheritance.
Whereas the man was concerned about his own inheritance Boaz acquired both the property and Ruth out of concern for others. The elders served as witnesses of the proceedings and blessed the upcoming wedding. Boaz’s name would become famous see Matthew 1:5-17.
Boaz marries Ruth and God gave them a son who they named Obed. The women of the town rejoiced and said the Ruth had taken better care of Naomi than seven sons, seven being the perfect biblical number of perfection.
The final verse of the book reveals the genealogy beginning with Judah’s son Perez and ending with David.
By submitting ourselves to God we open up ourselves to His agenda for His sovereign purposes in our lives.