The great love story - Ruth 4:13-22
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The fairy tales that we listened to as children, many times ended by saying "and they lived happily ever after." None of those stories take into account the 'forever', it is simply a hyperbole that emphasizes the happy ending of the story. In our case, in this story, we really can say "they lived happily ever after." Because their zeal to act correctly opens a window to eternity for all of us. Here we will learn how normal people can illuminate the history of all humanity. A better way to summarize this beautiful story is to say ‘thanks to them, we are living happily ever after’. Let's enjoy this reading.
1. How does this dramatic story end?
This story ends with Boaz taking Ruth as his wife. We would love to have had details of the ceremony, so we could have cried with joy! These last verses do not give us many details. We do not know how long it was since these two widows arrived in Bethlehem (although Ruth 1:23 informs us that they arrived when the barley harvest began). Actually, it is not necessary to have more information, for what we have received in the story is enough. We must take note of v. 13 "The Lord allowed her to become pregnant, so she had a son." This baby is a gift from God.
2. What do we know about Naomi here?
Once again, we see the women of Bethlehem, the same ones who received Naomi when she came back totally bitter. Now they bless Naomi and share her happiness. Let's see who is praised here: ‘Praise the Lord, who has not left you today without a redeemer! May he become famous in Israel!' These women praise God because they can see God's blessing in everything that has happened. The Lord brought abundant blessing to Naomi's life, so now the heartbroken widow has a future, because God in his mercy has arranged it. This is also part of the conclusion of this love story: God cares for the needy who returns to him.
As is the case with Naomi, many times our great joys arise in the context of pain. It is not the main lesson of this book, but it is something to which we must pay attention. In Romans 8:28 we read "we know that God works all things for the good of those who love him." Let us always keep in mind this great truth.
3. Why is this son of Ruth and Boaz so important?
The women called this baby "redeemer." Naomi was redeemed by him, as was Ruth. But, from this side of the cross, we see a "redemptive" baby pointing to the great redemption of the Bible which came into the world when Jesus was born. When the child Jesus was presented in the temple, Simeon (who was waiting with hope for the redemption of Israel, Luke 2:25) said: ‘Sovereign Lord, you can now dismiss your servant in peace. For my eyes have seen your salvation, which you have prepared in the sight of all peoples: a light that enlightens the nations and the glory of your people Israel.'
The last verses of Ruth point to David, from whose lineage the Savior of the world would emerge. There are those who consider that this book is just a ‘beautiful story’, which tells us about the joy of a young woman. But, as we have seen, this beautiful story is linked to the great love story that is Jesus. Reading Ruth we have learned that we must trust God and act as he expects his people to do. That is the way of redemption.
Think: This story started badly, with a man making decisions that negatively affected his entire family. But it ends well because our ‘heroes’ (Boaz and Ruth) trust in the Lord. Here we are told that Ruth was David's great-grandmother. So she is an ancestor of Jesus, the true rescuer of all humanity. Do you consider the big picture when making decisions?
Ideas for Prayer: Thank God for the happy ending to this story. Ask him that, like Boaz and Ruth, what stands out in you is your obedience to God and that your story may also have a happy ending.
The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing.
He makes me lie down in green pastures,
he leads me beside quiet waters,
he refreshes my soul.
He guides me along the right paths
for his name’s sake.
Pray with us today's prayer request:
Thank God for the Bunda Girls Secondary School in Tanzania (supported by Anglican Aid). In an environment where few girls have the opportunity for secondary school education pray that each pupil follows Jesus (there are 320 at the school) and uses their education in His service.
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