Ruth 4=A Happy Ending!
Bible Background: We saw Ruth propose marriage to Boaz; Boaz accepts. In Act 4, he makes it official. They get pregnant; have a son; and name him Obed. Obed will become the father of Jesse-whose son will be David, the King. Amazing!
Digging Deeper: 1. Boaz wastes no time in going to the village gate, and convening court. (Business matters and legal matters were often settled at the village gate, by the elders.) The other kinsman of Naomi’s, who could “redeem” or buy back the family name of Ruth’s late husband-is interested in a piece of property, but will not marry Ruth. Boaz has cleverly put him in a bind!
2. Boaz shows he will go over and above what was expected of him as a relative: He will marry Ruth, and thereby provide a future for Ruth as well as for Naomi.
3. When baby Obed arrives, the woman of Bethlehem celebrate the change of fortune this means for Naomi! She had come home from Moab empty and bitter. This new grandchild transforms her emptiness and bitterness into fullness and blessing! The women remind her that Ruth “is worth more to you than seven sons!” That’s another note on how ‘worthy’ this foreign widow actually is!
4. Hebrew words with extra meaning continue to abound in chapter 4:
+ The word for redeem/redeemer shows up again and again.
+ The word for acquire is used 6x’s in v.4-10. When Boaz agrees to acquire Ruth, it means “to make one’s own.”
+ The word for name appears 7x’s, and the man who wants the property, but does not want to marry Ruth, is left nameless! (Nice put-down by the author!)
5. The only time God acts directly in Ruth is 4:13, where God causes Ruth to conceive. This is how Leah’s and Rachel’s pregnancies were described, like all the mothers in the ‘promised’ lineage of God’s people…right on down to Mary! The ancestry of Boaz includes the illicit relationship of Judah and Tamar (a Canaanite). Ruth’s ancestry includes the incestuous relationship between Lot and his daughters. Messy! But God doesn’t need perfect people or situations-to work!
6. This story summarizes God’s hesed=faithfulness. Everything God provides comes through human interactions. Ruth also underscores the truth of Isaiah 56:6 “Foreigners who joined themselves to the Lord” become an essential part of God’s plan of salvation! Wow!