Ruth, Week 4 | Worth
In line with Hebrew custom, the man in closest relation to a widow would marry her and look after her - he would be called a kinsman redeemer.
Boaz promised Ruth that he would marry her if the first man in line declined to do so. The man first in line did decline and in doing so Boaz stood in front of ten elders and declared that Ruth would be his wife! When he did so the elders replied:
“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. Through the offspring the Lord gives you by this young woman, may your family be like Perez, whom Tamar bore to Judah.” Ruth 4:11-12
When we break down the blessings they said, it allows us to see that this marriage between Boaz and Ruth was clearly God’s providence. The elders were blessing the marriage to be fruitful and amiable - to have many children and to have a pleasant marriage. It is significant they blessed “the woman who was coming into his home” to be like Rachel and Leah, because they were women who were not of Jewish lineage who became Jewish, just as Ruth did. Since the beginning of time, God has had his hand on his people and has been intricately weaving our stories together to advance his kingdom. The second part of the blessing from the elders was, “may your family be like Perez.” This was a great honor because Perez bore children and carried on his family lineage (that eventually led to Jesus), after his first three wives did not bare children. This also foreshadows Ruth and Boaz conceiving after Ruth was barren.
“So 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.” Ruth 4:13
The Lord enabled her. The Lord was in control, and the Lord is still in control. The Lord used Boaz and Ruth to conceive Obed.
Obed was the father of Jesse, Jesse was the father of David, David had Solomon, Solomon had Rehoboam, Rehoboam had Abijah, Abijah had Asa, Asa had Jehoshaphat, Jehoshaphat had Joram, Joram had Uzziah, Uzziah had Jotham, Jotham had Ahaz, Ahaz had Hezekiah, Hezekiah had Manasseh, Manasseh had Amon, Amon had Josiah, Josiah had Jehoiachin and his brothers, Jeconiah had Shealtiel, Shealtiel had Zerubbabel, Zerubbabel had Abiud, Abiud had Eliakim, Eliakim had Azor, Azor had Zadok, Zadok had Achim, Achim had Eliud, Eliud had Eleazar, Eleazar had Matthan, Matthan had Jacob, Jacob had Joseph, Mary’s husband - the Mary who gave birth to Jesus.
At the time Boaz had no idea that his obedience to Jewish custom would result generations later in the birth of Jesus Christ.
When Ruth was a widow she had worth to God. When Ruth was married to Boaz she had worth to God.
When Ruth was a pagan she had worth to God. When Ruth was a jew she had worth to God.
When Ruth was a foreigner in the land of Judah she had worth to God. When Ruth called Bethlehem home she had worth to God.
When Ruth was alone, God was with her. God never left Ruth’s side and regardless of her circumstances God always saw worth in Ruth.
“So don't be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.” Matthew 10:31
“Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? And not one of them is forgotten before God. Why, even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not; you are of more value than many sparrows.” Luke 12:6
“For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother's womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.” Psalm 139:13-14
Friends, you have a mighty purpose in your life here on earth. You are made in God’s image and he delights in you. Whatever you are feeling is real, but the truth is simple: You are chosen and loved by God. Just like Ruth, regardless of your circumstances, God always has seen worth in you and always will.