(June 17, 2020)
“The women living there said, ‘Naomi has a son!’ And they named him Obed. He was the father of Jesse, the father of David.”
The Book of Ruth ends in a beautiful and poetic way. Ruth and Boaz get married, settle down and have children. Now, as with anytime a man and a woman enter the marriage covenant, God is at the center. So while Ruth and Boaz are the two people who are married – the marriage is bigger than them. It effects the larger community. It is this way with every Christian marriage. Through the daily decisions of people like you and me who were just doing their faithful best – God has worked His Providential will in and through the lives of His people.
So consider Ruth 4:13-22. Ruth gives birth, yet one of the responses is: “Naomi has a son!” Naomi has just undergone a great Reversal. She went from having no husband and no sons to having a daughter-in-law who is better than seven sons (4:15). Naomi thought her life was defined by tragedy. But it ends with a great restoration. Chapter 4 is Chapter 1 undone.
Naomi is not longer bitter. She is no longer “Mara.” She is now the many-times-over-great-grandmother of the Messiah. She is part of what Jesus is doing in the world. That is beautiful. That is “Naomi.”
A great change. A re-formed identity. Turning our lives and our hearts upside down like a Great Reversal. Giving us a future and a hope. Though it takes time, that is what God’s grace does in our lives. Hallelujah.
* * *
Father, thank You for revealing Yourself to us. Thank You for bringing us from death to life. Thank You for not giving up on us, even when we want to give up on ourselves.