Greg Laswell – Off I Go
If you are tearing through the Bible in a year, it is possible that the story of Ruth (and Naomi… and Boaz) might have barely registered on your radar. All four chapters are easily read in one sitting. And while God doesn’t “appear” to factor much into the story, I stand by the assertion that God is in fact the main character of the Bible… all of it.
So this simple story of tragedy, loyalty, hope, and redemption mirrors God’s much larger story that serves as the backdrop for Ruth. And given that these same themes are found in this larger story, the story of Ruth can be seen in a sense as a microcosm of the human situation.
The key to understanding that this story as the unfolding of of God’s grand purposes in the world, and not just a story of things working out for some specific individuals, is the genealogy at the end.
18 This, then, is the family line of Perez:
Perez was the father of Hezron,
19 Hezron the father of Ram,
Ram the father of Amminadab,
20 Amminadab the father of Nahshon,
Nahshon the father of Salmon,
21 Salmon the father of Boaz,
Boaz the father of Obed,
22 Obed the father of Jesse,
and Jesse the father of David.
David, the king of Israel, is the grandson of Boaz and Ruth. And if we follow the line of descendants long enough… well, you likely know where all this is going.
And in the sort of irony that is typical for God, the unfolding of His story hinges on a person who is the least likely (at least, by Jewish accounts) to be at the center of his cosmic plans – a woman. And not only a woman, but a foreign woman. Right in the middle of a story that will take us straight through David, Solomon, on up through Jesus and beyond, we have Ruth. God takes her very “simple” story and redeems it for the sake of all humanity.
Starting to sound at all familiar?