Part of God's Family
Then Boaz said to the elders and all the people, “You are witnesses this day that I have bought from the hand of Naomi all that belonged to Elimelech and all that belonged to Chilion and to Mahlon. Also Ruth the Moabite, the widow of Mahlon, I have bought to be my wife, to perpetuate the name of the dead in his inheritance, that the name of the dead may not be cut off from among his brothers and from the gate of his native place. You are witnesses this day.” Then all the people who were at the gate and the elders said, “We are witnesses. May the Lord make the woman, who is coming into your house, like Rachel and Leah, who together built up the house of Israel. May you act worthily in Ephrathah and be renowned in Bethlehem, and may your house be like the house of Perez, whom Tamar bore to Judah, because of the offspring that the Lord will give you by this young woman.” Ruth 4:9-12
Filled with joy for his legal victory and thrilled to be marrying Ruth, Boaz launched into a speech before those he had assembled to witness this great day of redemption. He promised to lovingly care for Ruth as his wife, as well as Naomi as his mother-in-law, and to honor Ruth’s deceased husband, Mahlon, and Mahlon’s deceased father, Elimelech. In this, the nobility of Boaz shines forth as he was a blessing to everyone in the book—from his employees to Ruth, Naomi, and their deceased husbands. In doing so, Boaz took upon himself great expense and responsibility and proved himself to be a man “worthy” (2:1) of respect, trust, and imitation for every man.
Those present responded to the speech of Boaz by asking God’s blessing on Ruth, Boaz, and the child that everyone trusted God to provide. In asking that Ruth be blessed like Rachel and Leah, the women accepted Ruth as not merely a Moabite, but rather a converted spiritual sister in faith equal to the mothers of the very 12 tribes of Israel. The request that Boaz’s name be known throughout the earth has indeed occurred, as some 3,000 years later he continues to mentor men in his example. And, in asking God to make Boaz’s home like that of Perez, they asked that the family legacy of Boaz, who himself along with many of the Bethlehemites was a descendant of Perez (Genesis 38; 1 Chronicles 2:5,18), be continued through his son.
- How have you seen God’s providence at work in your life?
- It is easy or difficult for you to trust in God’s providence? Why?
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