So, I finally finished Ruth. Chapter 4 isn’t long, and it is very interesting to read about how the story is resolved between Ruth, Boaz, and Naomi. We left chapter 3 with the knowledge and expectation that the resolution would be taken care of the next day – Boaz was going to make sure of that. With everything we have been given about Boaz and the type of man he is, we fully expect him to keep his word.
No surprise, he does. That next morning after sending Ruth away and telling her to not let anyone know where she had been, he heads to the city gate. Now, the city gates have an important role in the Bible pretty frequently – they are a gathering place, and a place where “legal and commercial transactions” took place. From here, Boaz calls out to the man that he had told Ruth he was going to ask to be the redeemer first, and if he said no, then Boaz would gladly take Ruth as his wife. This guy shows up (we don’t know what his name is), and beforeBoaz starts the conversation, he gathers 10 elders from the community to be witnesses for the upcoming transaction. He wanted to be sure that there was no way that this guy could go back on his word! From here, Boaz states that Naomi is selling the land of Elimelech, her late husband, and that with this land Ruth the Moabite was to be taken as his wife. The guy originally said yes, until hearing that he would have to take in Ruth as his wife. He then changes his mind, and says that if he takes this offer, he would be jeopardizing his own inheritance, and so he would have to pass. Then he hands Baz his sandal, yards yadda, the deal is done. Boaz then marries Ruth.
After their marinate, Ruth gives birth to a son, and it is stated that Naomi was given the baby to be his nurse, but then states that Naomi was given a son. So, I’
After finishing this story, I’m choosing to believe that Naomi was truly acting in the best interests of Ruth by trying to hook her up with Boaz. Maybe she sent Ruth into a questionable situation because she rusted Boaz to be a man of God. Maybe she hoped that Ruth would know the line. Maybe she didn’t care. We may never know her intentions. But if Ruth had not followed Nami back to Bethlehem, David would never have been born. And thus, Jesus wouldn’t have been sired. God’s hand is all over and throughouut this story. It’s amazing to watch his Providence and his plan be fulfilled, exactly the way he wants it and plans it.
Because honestly, if his people had had it their way, a Moabite wouldn’t have been the heroine in this story. It would have been a “good Jewish woman.” They were told not to take foreign wives, for crying out loud! But a foreign woman came and saved the day, and ended up with an amazing story and an amazing redemption that couldn’t have happened if she hadn’t followed her heart to follow Ruth and adopt her way of life. God called her out of darkness and gave her his light. That’s the only explanation.