Apr 7 (Daily reading: Ruth) The book of Judges ended with some rather sad stories that are summed up in the last verse: “Everyone did what was right in his own eyes” (21:25). Then comes the story of Ruth, as if to say, not everything was bad in those days! The book of Ruth tells a wonderful story which could almost end with “Boaz and Ruth lived happily ever after!” But the story is not a fairy tale; it is evidence of God’s redeeming grace.
Ruth was a Moabite woman who had married a Jewish man, the son of Naomi. Naomi’s situation was grim after the death of her husband and two sons, and she decided to return to her homeland. Ruth expressed her loyalty to her mother-in-law and said: “Where you go, I will go … Your people shall be my people, and your God, my God” (1:16).
When Ruth returned to the land of Judah with Naomi, Boaz, a relative from Naomi’s husband’s side of the family, enters the story. In a dramatic love story, “Boaz took Ruth and she became his wife” (4:13). Naomi was comforted in all her loss when Ruth gave birth to a son, Obed. “Then Naomi took the child and laid him in her lap and became his nurse” (4:16). The book of Ruth concludes with a genealogy: “Boaz fathered Obed, and Obed fathered Jesse, and Jesse fathered David” (4:21-22). Boaz was David’s great-grandfather.
We see the grace of God in the genealogy listed by Matthew: “Salmon the father of Boaz, whose mother was Rahab, Boaz the father of Obed, whose mother was Ruth, Obed the father of Jesse, and Jesse the father of King David. David was the father of Solomon, whose mother had been Uriah’s wife” (Mt. 1:5-6). In a relatively short period of Jewish history, three women—Rahab, a Canaanite prostitute, Ruth, a Moabite, and Bathsheba, wife of Uriah and later David—all had a role in the coming of Jesus to be the Savior of the world.
– Al Gary