In the final chapter of the book of Ruth (Ruth 4:1-22), the final outcome of Ruth’s appeal to Boaz for proptection (and therefore marriage) is told. By the city gate where business transactions were carried out, Boaz deals with the man next-in-line to take over Elimelech’s property (which includes a marriageable young Moabitess). True to his word, Boaz carries through with the deal and marriage is followed by the birth of their son, Obed, and the family line is established that leads to David and, of course, to Jesus.
Great movies often use certain plotlines to make the story stand out among others, and the writer of the book of Ruth did also. in the third chapter (Ruth 3:1-18), the reader is given three scenes by which they might understand what is happening; and these three scenes cover the events in one 24 hour period. In the second of those scenes Ruth makes a move that could be interpreted to be something rather risky. It could all go so terribly wrong…but in the culture of the day, can also be viewed as something fuilled with faith and an appeal from a helpless woman to one who could redeem her. But will he?
After telling of Naomi and Ruth’s tragic loss and their eventual trip back to the land of Judah in Israel, the text of chapter two (Ruth 2:1-23) brings us face to face with three central characters. The two widows, Naomi and Ruth, and one man, new to the plot line of the story, Boaz, a wealthy landowner. While Naomi and Ruth’s plight has been noted, now there is a silver thread, a small shining light of hope introduced, and Boaz begins to notice and care for Ruth. Could this be God’s plan for the continuation of the line of Elimelech?
Welcome to this series on the book of Ruth, a book that gives us hope in the face of despair and disappointment – just where the book’s first chapter (Ruth 1:1-22) takes us. It introdueces us to Naomi and to her husband Elimelech fleeing from their native Judah to the land of Moab along with their two sons, Mahlon and Chilion, who eventually marry to Moabitess women, Orpah and Ruth. With Naomi intent now on returning to Judah, what is Ruth to do? And how will God begin to bring about good from the sadness and loss that she and Naomi knew?