As this beautiful story reaches its climax, we cannot fail to see how God takes the tangled web of our lives and the situations we encounter to weave them into the awesome pattern of his great plan for saving the world. At first sight this is the story of a Gentile widow and her mother-in-law, and her relative who becomes a rescuer for them both. It is certainly all of that and much more. But it also offers an insight into the unfolding of a wider and deeper plot. As Miriam’s relative Boaz marries Ruth and secures her inheritance of land into the bargain, God carries forward his unfolding saving purposes for us all. Just as Boaz took the initiative and brings about rescue and redemption for Ruth and Miriam, so God in Christ enters the world – as Romans 5:8 puts it: “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” In the outworking of this, we note that Ruth married Boaz, and that they had a son Obed, who had a son, Jesse, one of whose sons was David, and the line goes all the way to Jesus, Saviour of the world.

Reading: Ruth 4:1 – 17

Questions to think about:

  • Ruth 4 reinforces the truth that God works in and through the tangled web of our lives to fulfil his great purposes for them and for the world. What signs of his blessing and guidance in your life can you identify today.
  • Ruth arrived in Bethlehem penniless and vulnerable, but ends up safe and secure by the saving intervention of Boaz. In what ways are we spiritually poor and vulnerable and what has God done to resolve this in and through Jesus his Son?
  • The story of Ruth and the teaching of Jesus inspire us to be compassionate, loving and generous to people who are poor and vulnerable. How can we be true to this in our generation?