Then Boaz announced to the elders and all the people, ‘Today you are witnesses that I have bought from Naomi all the property of Elimelek, Kilion and Mahlon. I have also acquired Ruth the Moabite, Mahlon’s widow, as my wife, in order to maintain the name of the dead with his property, so that his name will not disappear from among his family or from his home town. Today you are witnesses!’
Then the elders and all the people at the gate said, ‘We are witnesses. May the LORD make the woman who is coming into your home like Rachel and Leah, who together built up the family of Israel. May you have standing in Ephrathah and be famous in Bethlehem.
Ruth 4:9-11 (NIV)
Read: Ruth 4
Consider: In the last post we saw that Naomi advised Ruth to ‘Wait’, in the belief that Boaz would not rest until the matter of the guardian-redeemer had been settled.
Naomi was right, as next morning Boaz went to the town gates and as the closer relative passed he invited him to buy the land of Elimelek from Naomi. Initially this closer relative said he would, but upon hearing that the package included marrying Ruth (Mahlon’s widow), he declined. Boaz then calls upon the town elders to witness that he has agreed to act as guardian-redeemer.
The elders and the townspeople said as part of their affirmation ‘May you have standing in Ephrathah and be famous in Bethlehem’. Their words are prophetic and resonate with those of Micah 5:2 –
But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are small among the clans of Judah, out of you will come for me one who will be ruler over Israel, whose origins are from of old, from ancient times.
We know from other sources (e.g. Matthew 1 and other Gospels) that the lineage of Jesus came through Boaz. Jesus would be born in Bethlehem, in Ephrathah, in fulfilment of the Old Testament prophecies.
The redemption plan set in motion for Naomi and Ruth would ultimately lead to the birth of Jesus. God’s redemption plan leads us to Jesus as the Saviour of the world. Everything points to Jesus!
Pray: Father, we thank you for your redemption plan. May we fully see our need for redemption and so put our trust in your Son, Jesus Christ. Amen