Ruth 4:11-22 (End of the Book)
11Then the elders and all those 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 house of Israel. May you have standing in Ephrathah and be famous in Bethlehem. 12Through the offspring the Lord gives you by this young woman, may your family be like that of Perez, whom Tamar bore to Judah."
13So Boaz took Ruth and she became his wife. Then he went to her, and the Lord enabled her to conceive, and she gave birth to a son. 14The women said to Naomi: "Praise be to the Lord, who this day has not left you without a kinsman-redeemer. May he become famous throughout Israel! 15He will renew your life and sustain you in your old age. For your daughter-in-law, who loves you and who is better to you than seven sons, has given him birth."
16Then Naomi took the child, laid him in her lap and cared for him. 17The women living there said, "Naomi has a son." And they named him Obed. He was the father of Jesse, the father of David.
18This, then, is the family line of Perez:
Perez was the father of Hezron,
19Hezron the father of Ram,
Ram the father of Amminadab,
20Amminadab the father of Nahshon,
Nahshon the father of Salmon,
21Salmon the father of Boaz,
Boaz the father of Obed,
22Obed the father of Jesse,
and Jesse the father of David. (NIV)
I am sorry for being a day late posting this study. Spent the day with the doctors finding out I have kidney stone about 1/3 an inch in size. This is what was making me not feel so great on Sunday.
We are at the end of the Book of Ruth.
We begin with the blessing by the elders of the city. They first point to Rachel and Leah. This would be saying that we hope you have 12 sons which is a sign of a great family. 12 is a complete number in the Bible. Many sons at this time was the sign of a complete family. Not so much today.
Then they mention Tamar who was the daughter-in-law of Judah, the son of Leah. Judah had a son named Judah Er and he picked Tamar as Er’s wife. After Er dies, Judah gives Tamar to his second son through levirate marriage. Any son from that union would be Er’s heir. The second son also dies. So Judah doesn’t want to give anymore sons to Tamar because he starts to think she is unlucky. This is when Tamar dresses up like a prostitute to have sex with Judah himself and gets pregnant with twins, Perez, mentioned by the elders here and Zerah. When Judah finally discovers the trick played on him, he says she was more righteous than he was.
So in Ruth and in Tamar, we see some almost unrighteous, irregular behavior at least, in both women, but they both are praised as being righteous and good. Both end up listed in the Genealogy of Jesus and point a bit to the fact that Jesus would be a very righteous person who acts irregularly.
Then we move in the scene to being told about the birth of a son by Ruth who will be named Obed who is the father of Jesse who is the father of David. It is at this point that the townspeople tell Naomi of what a great daughter in law she has, one better than seven sons. Seven is a perfect number in the Bible and so they say that she is the perfect daughter in law. We get the sense that Namoi now sees the blessings of God that she could not see at the beginning of the story. And that is they way life is. In the midst of trials, we cannot see God working because we don’t know the outcome, only God knows where he is leading us. Ours is to trust and follow, even when it doesn’t seem to be going right.
This is what I have found in my ministry. I tell people that 7 to 10 years from now, the angst and worry you are going through will be a distant memory. This happens time and time again. I think this is a wonderful story of trust of God by a woman who did not grow up in the faith. She loved and by her love, was transformed into an instrument of God. Do you feel God is using you right now? I know a lot of people would answer no, but look at your life and the connections and see if God is not using you. This week is Thanksgiving. Take time to count the blessing from God over the past many years. Sometime we forget where God did a good thing in our lives.
I thank you for reading each week. Please comment to let me know what you think, how we can improve this time together. It helps if we talk and respond to one another’s thoughts as we truly learn from one another.
Blessings and Peace