Today, we move to the end of the story of Ruth. Boaz wants to take Ruth as his wife and do right by his kin, Elimelech, Naomi, and their two sons, by buying the land they should have inherited. Certain customs had to be honored before this transaction could occur. Where we rejoin the story, the customs have been honored and the purchase is being finalized. Then, at the very end, we are told why this story is so important to Jewish history
“ Then Boaz said to the elders and all the people, “Today you are witnesses that I have acquired from the hand of Naomi all that belonged to Elimelech and all that belonged to Chilion and Mahlon. 10 I have also acquired Ruth the Moabite, the wife of Mahlon, to be my wife, to maintain the dead man’s name on his inheritance, in order that the name of the dead may not be cut off from his kindred and from the gate of his native place; today you are witnesses.” 11 Then all the people who were at the gate, along with the elders, said, “We are witnesses. May the LORD make the woman who is coming into your house like Rachel and Leah, who together built up the house of Israel. May you produce children in Ephrathah and bestow a name in Bethlehem; 12 and, through the children that the LORD will give you by this young woman, may your house be like the house of Perez, whom Tamar bore to Judah.”
The Genealogy of David
13 So Boaz took Ruth and she became his wife. When they came together, the LORD made her conceive, and she bore a son. 14 Then the women said to Naomi, “Blessed be the LORD, who has not left you this day without next-of-kin; and may his name be renowned in Israel! 15 He shall be to you a restorer of life and a nourisher of your old age; for your daughter-in-law who loves you, who is more to you than seven sons, has borne him.” 16 Then Naomi took the child and laid him in her bosom, and became his nurse. 17 The women of the neighborhood gave him a name, saying, “A son has been born to Naomi.” They named him Obed; he became the father of Jesse, the father of David.
18 Now these are the descendants of Perez: Perez became the father of Hezron, 19 Hezron of Ram, Ram of Amminadab, 20 Amminadab of Nahshon, Nahshon of Salmon, 21 Salmon of Boaz, Boaz of Obed, 22 Obed of Jesse, and Jesse of David.” NRSV
A Moabite woman, a foreigner, finds favor with God and with God’s chosen people through her love and devotion to her Jewish mother-in-law. Her sacrificial love and loyalty, not her heritage, earned her an exalted place in Jewish history. She was the great-grandmother of Israel’s most beloved king, King David.
Sacrificial love and loyalty are still the benchmarks of our faith. Not ritual, not birthright, not heritage, not wealth, not power, but the pure actions of the human heart.
Be a blessing to someone today!