We’ve been on an incredible adventure, from the towns of Moab to the fields of Bethlehem. We’ve seen the power of God to direct and control each small detail of life and orchestrate all things according to His plans and purposes. We’ve watched the faithfulness of Ruth, bitterness and sorrow of Naomi, and the mercifulness and graciousness of Boaz. We’ve witnessed an unlikely marriage, the redemption of a former outsider, and the blessing of new life. All this rolled into a single, brief book!
Now as we approach the end of this story, it would seem that Boaz and Ruth had finally reached their happily ever after. Their union was blessed and celebrated by the people of Bethlehem, God granted them the gift of Obed, and Naomi finally received hope and consolation in the birth of her grandson. All seemed perfect, a wonderful ending right in Ruth 4:17.
However, God sees the big picture that goes beyond the short life span of mankind, and according to Him the story, testimony, and blessings of Ruth go far beyond verse seventeen. In fact there are still five more verses to go before reaching the official end of the book. So let’s take a look at those verses.
“Now these are the generations of Perez: Perez fathered Hezron, Hezron fathered Ram, Ram fathered Amminadab, Amminadab fathered Nahshon, Nahshon fathered Salmon, Salmon fathered Boaz, Boaz fathered Obed, Obed fathered Jesse, and Jesse fathered David.”
This passage breaks down the lineage and descent of David showing that Obed became the grandfather of David, thus making Boaz David’s great-grandfather.
(We discussed the significance of Obed being considered Boaz’s in a previous post, so if you need refreshing on that topic pop over to “Too Great a Cost.”)
While we know that David was a direct ancestor of Jesus Christ, let’s review the genealogy of Jesus as recorded by Matthew and focus on the names listed up through David.
“The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham. Abraham was the father of Isaac, and Isaac the father of Jacob, and Jacob the father of Judah and his brothers, and Judah the father of Perez and Zerah by Tamar, and Perez the father of Hezron, and Hezron the father of Ram, and Ram the father of Amminadab, and Amminadab the father of Nahshon, and Nahshon the father of Salmon, and Salmon the father of Boaz by Rahab, and Boaz the father of Obed by Ruth, and Obed the father of Jesse, and Jesse the father of David the king.”
Boaz was not only blessed to have Obed considered his son and become the great-grandfather of David, but he was also destined to be a direct ancestor of Jesus Christ and therefore, an important piece in God’s story of redemption. What an incredible blessing, and one that Boaz probably never thought would happen!
Notice also that Ruth is mentioned in Matthew’s genealogy. Typically women were never listed in genealogies--only the men--so that a concise line of ancestry was provided. However, Matthew (and the Holy Spirit speaking through him) deemed it necessary to include five important women in the listing of Jesus’ lineage. Ruth was one of those five women. She’s ranked right up there with her mother-in-law Rahab and Mary, both women of exemplary character and great faith.
So Boaz and Ruth not only received renown and good repute during their lifetime, but both were honored to be in the direct ancestry of Jesus Christ, the ultimate Redeemer. And Ruth was especially blessed to have her name listed also. She was a Moabite, a foreigner, a non-Jew, yet God chose her to become the great-grandmother to the greatest king of Israel, and then be listed in the genealogy of His Son, the greatest Jew, King, Priest, Savior, and Redeemer that ever lived.
But what does this teach us? What can we learn from this final passage of Ruth? How can a listing of names and descent from over four thousand years ago impact and influence our lives?
When we live according to God’s will and plan, He blesses us not just in our earthly lives but also in history. He uses us to influence and impact not only the people in our immediate sphere and generation, but also those in the generations to come.
Ruth and Boaz never aspired to be great or even dreamed that God would use them as He did. They were simply focused on living their lives in honor and glory to God, following His ways, and walking in His truths. Therefore, God used them in mighty ways. And while they were blessed to leave a physical legacy that eventually culminated with the birth of Jesus Christ, I believe Boaz and Ruth also left a spiritual legacy.
David was considered a man after God’s own heart and was the only one to receive such a title. We know very little about his formative years other than that he was the son of Jesse, youngest of eight sons, and shepherd of his father’s sheep. So I often wonder if Boaz and Ruth were still alive when David was born. Was Ruth at least around for David’s childhood and growing up years? Did he know the story and testimony of his great-grandparents? And if so, how did that influence his faith and trust in God?
We will never know the answers this side of heaven. However, we can seek to walk as Boaz and Ruth did and pray that God uses us just as He used them.
So finally, how are you going to live your life? Are you willing to follow God’s guidance and direction even when it seems impossible, unattainable, or foolish? Will you allow God to work in and through you to impact the next generation? Because of your faithfulness, who will be in your spiritual lineage?
Well, we’ve finally come to the end of our study in the book of Ruth. Thank you for joining me! I hope and pray that you have learned much from this journey and have been blessed, encouraged, and exhorted by the lives and testimonies of our three main characters and by the clear display of God’s mighty hand.
May we rise up to become Boazes and Ruths in our generation who are known by their faithfulness, virtue, valor, worthiness, faith, grace, and excellence of character and reputation. May we unswervingly follow the Lord no matter the cost, and may we always trust God to provide, protect, and redeem. And as we seek and obey our faithful God, may He use us as He sees fit to impact and influence our generation and the ones to come. To God alone be the glory!