There’s more to this wedding than cake and gifts, there is love.
Meanwhile Boaz went up to the town gate and sat down there just as the guardian-redeemer he had mentioned came along. Boaz said, “Come over here, my friend, and sit down.” So he went over and sat down.
2 Boaz took ten of the elders of the town and said, “Sit here,” and they did so. 3 Then he said to the guardian-redeemer, “Naomi, who has come back from Moab, is selling the piece of land that belonged to our relative Elimelek. 4 I thought I should bring the matter to your attention and suggest that you buy it in the presence of these seated here and in the presence of the elders of my people. If you will redeem it, do so. But if you will not, tell me, so I will know. For no one has the right to do it except you, and I am next in line.”
“I will redeem it,” he said.
5 Then Boaz said, “On the day you buy the land from Naomi, you also acquire Ruth the Moabite, the dead man’s widow, in order to maintain the name of the dead with his property.”
6 At this, the guardian-redeemer said, “Then I cannot redeem it because I might endanger my own estate. You redeem it yourself. I cannot do it.”
7 (Now in earlier times in Israel, for the redemption and transfer of property to become final, one party took off his sandal and gave it to the other. This was the method of legalizing transactions in Israel.)
8 So the guardian-redeemer said to Boaz, “Buy it yourself.” And he removed his sandal.
9 Then Boaz announced to the elders and all the people, “Today you are witnesses that I have bought from Naomi all the property of Elimelek, Kilion and Mahlon. 10 I have also acquired Ruth the Moabite, Mahlon’s widow, as my wife, in order to maintain the name of the dead with his property, so that his name will not disappear from among his family or from his hometown. Today you are witnesses!”
11 Then the elders and all the people 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 family of Israel. May you have standing in Ephrathah and be famous in Bethlehem. 12 Through the offspring the Lord gives you by this young woman, may your family be like that of Perez, whom Tamar bore to Judah.”
13 So Boaz took Ruth and she became his wife. When he made love to her, the Lord enabled her to conceive, and she gave birth to a son.14 The women said to Naomi: “Praise be to the Lord, who this day has not left you without a guardian-redeemer. May he become famous throughout Israel! 15 He 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.”
16 Then Naomi took the child in her arms and cared for him. 17 The women living there said, “Naomi has a son!” And they named him Obed. He was the father of Jesse, the father of David. (Ruth 4:1-17)
Salmon the father of Boaz, whose mother was Rahab, Boaz the father of Obed, whose mother was Ruth, Obed the father of Jesse, (Matthew 1:5)
On the one hand, Boaz and Ruth’s marriage doesn’t sound the most romantic. Instead of a ring on his finger, Boaz gets some guy’s dirty sandal. To an outside observer, it might even look like he’s just made things worse for himself.
Just read how the unnamed guardian-redeemer sees the situation. He’s actually first in line to get Naomi’s property, but once he finds out that Ruth is part of the deal, he backs off. He’s not interested in taking care of a widow, or carrying on the name of Naomi’s sons. All he cares about is how it might damage his own property.
But Boaz sees Ruth as someone precious and worth protecting. And Boaz’s love for Ruth is like just one portion of the love that God has for the whole world. Descended from this lonely widow from a foreign culture, who was readily abandoned by one ‘guardian-redeemer’ who could have saved her, comes the true guardian-redeemer who has saved the world.
Head: How does Boaz and Ruth’s marriage point us towards Jesus?
Heart: What does Jesus’ marriage proposal look like?
Hands: How can we love sacrificially, like Boaz did?
Prayer: Dear Lord, thank you for your perfect, sacrificial love. That you took a loss for our gain. Thank you that you do not abandon us, no matter our circumstances. Lord, as we practise loving the people around us, remind us of the example you’ve shown us through your son and even in the story of his family tree. We pray in your name, Amen.
A song to listen to: O Come All Ye Faithful https://open.spotify.com/track/6t1Ls3PvpUFhJAaAJBLsRl
This Grow Daily was originally posted as part of a previous Christmas series in 2016. During the School Holidays we take the opportunity to look back at the best of Grow Dailys over the years.