Restorer of Life
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. Ruth 4:13-16
God’s order of marriage is covenant, consummation, then conception. For the first time, Boaz and Ruth enjoyed the gift of marital intimacy as husband and wife. And God blessed their union by enabling Ruth to conceive a son. In this we see that God is indeed the author of life. Although Ruth had previously been married for 10 years, she remained childless. But, here we are told that the providential hand of God opened the womb of Ruth thereby enabling her to conceive.
Consequently, Ruth stands with such great women of Scripture as Sarah (Genesis 21:1-7), Rachel (30:22), Hannah (1 Samuel 1:1-2:10), and Elizabeth (Luke 1:5-25) as women who conceived by the miraculous hand of God’s providence. The statement that “the LORD gave her conception” is a clear revelation that this was God’s work. And God’s provision of a son here stands along with His provision of a harvest in Ruth 1:6 as the only overt declarations of His handiwork throughout the book. Together, they serve as a thematic introduction and conclusion to the book revealing God’s invisible hand of providence at work in each line of the story.
No longer without godly friendships to support her, the women approached Naomi to bless and encourage their friend. Although Naomi’s life had been very difficult with a decade of hardship in Moab, burial of her husband and sons, and resulting impoverishment, Naomi was now blessed by God. The women rightly saw Naomi’s grandson as her redeemer who would be a source of life and joy to her and a constant reminder of God’s loving provision for her. Furthermore, the women declared the blessing Naomi had in her daughter-in-law, Ruth. Ruth was declared by the women to be of greater value than seven sons, which is a remarkable because seven sons is, according to Scripture, synonymous with a perfect family (1 Samuel 2:5; Job 1:2, 42:13).
The final portrait of Naomi in the book of Ruth is one of the most moving in all of Scripture. The older woman who had shed many tears and felt much pain was no longer stressed and depressed, but rather finally blessed and at rest. She who was bitter with God for leaving her empty-handed now wept in gladness for His goodness as she rubbed the back and stroked the head of the grandson resting in her lap. As a young woman who married and birthed two sons, Naomi assumed that one day her daughters-in-law would bear her grandchildren. And, despite 10 long years, God didn’t grant her grandchildren before the death of both her sons. Although it seemed as if all hope had been lost for Naomi to ever hold a grandchild, God was indeed faithful and granted Naomi the desire of her heart. In the end, she was a redeemed woman, protected by the proverbial wing of the great Boaz, loved by her daughter-in-law, Ruth, and blessed by her baby grandson.
- God works generationally, and we are all links* in a chain of faith. Share what kind of chain you came from. *A discussion of the legacies we came from and the legacy we want to continue could easily frame the discussion for a group time. This is a really good way to uncover the family history of people in your group and strengthen relationships by increasing understanding. Feel free to take your time and hear everyone’s story.