17 Mar The Big Little Love Story (Ruth 4:13–22)
So Boaz took Ruth, and she became his wife. And he went in to her, and the Lord gave her conception, and she bore a son. Then the women said 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.” Then Naomi took the child and laid him on her lap and became his nurse. And the women of the neighborhood gave him a name, saying, “A son has been born to Naomi.” They named him Obed. He was the father of Jesse, the father of David. Now these are the generations of Perez: Perez fathered Hezron, Hezron fathered Ram, Ram fathered Amminadab, Amminadab fathered Nahshon, Nahshon fathered Salmon, Salmon fathered Boaz, Boaz fathered Obed, Obed fathered Jesse, and Jesse fathered David.
The storyline of Ruth goes from a funeral to a wedding both practically and emotionally.
Ruth, which is one of the best-written short stories of all time, concludes with scenes of God’s hand of providential blessing resting upon Boaz, his lovely bride, Ruth, and her mother-in-law, Naomi. Subsequently, the story completes its cycle from barrenness to birth, widowhood to marriage, poverty to riches, bitter to sweet, idolatry to worship, and devastation to redemption. The big idea in this section of Scripture is that piety and providence are inextricably connected. Simply, those who continue to live in holiness, trusting God to bless them, aren’t disappointed because in His time and by His grace, God in His goodness smiles upon them.
Indeed, Ruth and Naomi were first wrecked and then redeemed financially, relationally, spiritually, and generationally. They accepted the reality of their lives, accepted that their lives had forever changed with the death of their husbands, had a funeral to grieve their losses, conducted a life autopsy to learn what had brought their painful circumstances, healed up, moved toward God’s people and presence, and enjoyed a fresh start.
Their little story, which echoes the big story of Jesus, reveals that life comes after death. If you’re reading this amidst a painful season of life, Ruth and Naomi’s example provides hope to keep going until you’re on the other side of the dark valley you’re currently in.
Ruth and Boaz had a love that rivals any love story in human history. And God gave them a son named Obed, who became the grandfather of the great King David, through whom Samuel (2 Samuel 7:1–7) promised would come Jesus Christ. Ruth is mentioned in only one place in the entire New Testament. In Matthew 1, the foreigner Ruth is included with the unwed Mary, the prostitute Tamar, and the adulteress Bathsheba as the only four women included in the genealogy of Jesus Christ. Indeed, the inclusion of each woman reinforces the truth that Jesus Christ saves us by pure grace and blesses even the least likely people from the least deserving backgrounds.
While God is the hero of the story, Naomi, Ruth, and Boaz are wonderful mentors for us to learn from. Although Naomi was bitter about her life, she wisely chose to take her pain and problems to God and His people for healing and help. Although Ruth was a new convert with no guarantee of safety or welcome, she ran to God and His people in faith that somehow He would providentially take care of her if she simply woke up every day to do what was right in the His sight. And Boaz stands above most other men in Scripture as an example for every man—particularly young men who aspire to be godly husbands, fathers, and business leaders. In fact, there are numerous lessons to be learned from the life and love story of Ruth and Boaz, including:
- God loves, saves, transforms, and blesses people from even the worst backgrounds and family histories.
- Older, divorced, and widowed people can find love and godly spouses.
- Character is what counts, especially when you think no one is watching.
- Jesus’ family had some horrible people in it, which means there’s room for us horrible people, too!
- Those without godly parents and/or the input of a godly family can have a God-honoring, romantic relationship with their spouse.
- Work ethic, character, income, and holiness are what show that a man is ready for marriage.
- Sometimes the family of God’s people is a stronger bond than even blood family.
In a day when most adults are single, the timeless story of Ruth is p