The story of Ruth begins with weeping but concludes with a wedding, in which Boaz and Ruth get married, and Naomi finds her empty heart full of joy and her empty hands full of a baby boy. This chapter focuses on three persons: a bridegroom, a bride, and a baby.
Ruth 4:1-10 Then went Boaz up to the gate, and sat down there: and, behold, the kinsman whom Boaz spake came by; unto whom he said, Ho, such a one! turn aside, sit down here. And he turned aside, and sat down. And he took ten men of the elders of the city, and said, Sit ye down here. And they sat down. And he said unto the kinsman, Naomi, that is come again out of the country of Moab, selleth a parcel of land, which was our brother Elimelech’s: And I thought to advise thee, saying, Buy it before the inhabitants, and before the elders of my people. If thou wilt redeem it, redeem it: but if thou wilt not redeem it, then tell me, that I may know: for there is none to redeem it besides thee; and I am after thee. And he said, I will redeem it. Then said Boaz, What day thou buyest the field of the hand of Naomi, thou must buy it also of Ruth the Moabitess, the wife of the dead, to raise up the name of the dead upon his inheritance. And the kinsman said, I cannot redeem it for myself, lest I mar mine own inheritance: redeem thou my right to thyself; for I cannot redeem it. Now this was the manner in former time in Israel concerning redeeming and concerning changing, for to confirm all things; a man plucked off his shoe, and gave it to his neighbor: and this was a testimony in Israel. Therefore the kinsman said unto Boaz, Buy it for thee. So he drew off his shoe. And Boaz said unto the elders, and unto all the people, Ye are witnesses this day, that I have bought all that was Elimelech’s, and all that was Chilion’s and Mahlon’s, of the hand of Naomi. Moreover Ruth the Moabitess, the wife of Mahlon, have I purchased to be my wife, to raise up the name of the dead upon his inheritance, that the name of the dead be not cut off from among his brethren, and from the gate of his place: ye are witnesses this day.
First, let’s look at the bridegroom. Not everybody could perform the duties of a kinsman redeemer. To begin, he had to be a near kinsman. This was the major obstacle Boaz had to overcome because another man in Bethlehem was a nearer relative to Ruth than he was. We see in this chapter, the nearer kinsman was not willing to redeem Ruth, so Boaz was free to purchase both the property and a wife.
Boaz is a picture of Jesus Christ, our Kinsman Redeemer. Jesus wasn’t concerned about jeopardizing His own inheritance; instead, He made us a part of His inheritance. Like Boaz, Jesus did what He did because of His love for His bride.
Ruth 4:11-12 And all the people that were in the gate, and the elders, said, We are witnesses. The LORD make the woman that is come into thine house like Rachel and like Leah, which two did build the house of Israel: and do thou worthily in Ephratah, and be famous in Bethlehem. And let thy house be like the house of Pharez, whom Tamar bare unto Judah, of the seed which the LORD shall give thee of this young woman.
Second, let’s look at the bride. The people prayed that Ruth would be fruitful in bearing children, for in Israel children were considered a blessing and not a burden. It was important that the wives bear children, not only to perpetuate the nation, but also because it would be through Israel that God would send the Messiah to earth.
Ruth 4:13-22 So Boaz took Ruth, and she was his wife: and when he went in unto her, the LORD gave her conception, and she bare a son. And the woman said unto Naomi, Blessed be the LORD, which hath not left thee this day without a kinsman, that his name may be famous in Israel. And he shall be unto thee a restorer of thy life, and a nourisher of thine old age: for thy daughter in law, which loveth thee, which is better to thee than seven sons, hath born him. And Naomi took the child, and laid it in her bosom, and became nurse unto it. And the women her neighbors gave it a name saying, There is a son born to Naomi; and they called his name Obed: he is the father of Jesse, the father of David. Now these are the generations of Pharez: Pharez begat Hezron, And Hezron begat Ram, and Ram begat Amminadab, And Amminadab begat Nahshon, and Nahshon begat Salmon, And Salmon begat Boaz, and Boaz begat Obed, And Obed begat Jesse, and Jesse begat David.
Third, let’s look at the baby. God would use this baby to be a source of blessing to many. Obed was a blessing to Boaz and Ruth. What a great privilege it is to bring new life into the world and then guide that life so it matures to become all that God has planned! Obed was also a blessing to Naomi. His grandmother informally “adopted” him as her own son and the women of Bethlehem shared Naomi’s joy. Obed would also bring blessing to Bethlehem. The child would bring fame to both the family name and the name of his native town. This happened through the life and ministry of King David and of David’s greater Son, Jesus Christ. Obed would also be a blessing to Israel. Obed was the grandfather of King David, one of Israel’s greatest rulers. Obed would also bring blessing to the whole world. The greatest privilege God gave him was that of being the ancestor of the Messiah.
Never underestimate the power of the grace of God.