Reading For Friday Ruth 4:13-22
Boaz was an honorable man and true to his word, and he married Ruth. He fulfilled the responsibilities of a Levirate husband, and Ruth conceived a son. Ruth had not been able to conceive by her young husband Mahlon, but she was enabled by God to conceive by the much older Boaz. The Book of Ruth has been filled with bitterness and loss, especially for Naomi. She had left Bethlehem full but had returned to Bethlehem empty. She had lost both her husband and sons. However, with the birth of a grandson, she is filled with a sense of purpose and satisfaction. The women of Bethlehem blessed the Lord and celebrated this wonderful event. This newborn son would assume the responsibilities of the nearest kinsman to both his mother and grandmother. The women pray that he will be renowned in Israel, a restorer of life, and a nourisher to Naomi. The women of Bethlehem considered Naomi blessed, not only because of the newborn child but because she had a daughter-in-law who was more to her than seven sons. Naomi took the child and laid him in her lap. She became his nurse, and she helped raise the child. It may have been some kind of formal ceremony in which guardianship of the child was assumed. The child was recognized as the son of Naomi as well as the son of Ruth. The neighbor women understood this and were given the honor of naming the boy. They chose the name Obed, one who serves. Obed became the father of Jesse and the grandfather of David.
It can be difficult to believe that God is always working, especially in suffering and loss. This concluding genealogy indicates the purpose and meaning of the entire Book of Ruth. The author aims to demonstrate that David came from solid Israelite stock even though he had Moabite blood in his veins. This story points us to Jesus, our Redeemer, who purchased a heavenly inheritance for us which by our sin was forfeited, and which in and of ourselves we could never have redeemed.
Thing To Consider:
- What does this tell us about the gift of children?
- Do you think that Naomi saw that God had not left her?
- What does this teach us about having the support of other Christians?
- How significant is it that this genealogy leads to David?
- What does this point to concerning God's plan and Jesus?