Ruth 4 | Surprise
December 18, 2022
The surprising hesed (lovingkindness) of God brings the story of Ruth to a close.
A widow whose life has been so horrible she wants to be identified as Mara (bitter) instead of her given name Naomi (pleasant). But God will not allow her to live into her felt experience. The narrator continues to call her Naomi. There is a grander story of hesed love that she is a part of even if she doesn’t feel it or believe it herself. Eventually she does see it; bitterness is not her true identity, goodness and joy are.
And the person farthest from the covenant community of Israel–Ruth (a foreign woman from despised Maob) becomes the mother through whom God’s blessing comes to her family, the community, and eventually all Israel and the human race. Boaz, the faithful blesser, agrees to redeem Naomi’s lands, marry Ruth and have children. The son born to Ruth is Obed, the grandfather of King David, and great great great….grandfather of Jesus. Ruth is story of God’s surprising love in-grafting a foreign widow into His redemptive plan for all of creation.