The women said to Naomi: “Praise be to the Lord , who this day has not left you without a guardian-redeemer. May he become famous throughout Israel! He will renew your life and sustain you in your old age. For your daughter-in-law, who loves you and who is better to you than seven sons, has given him birth.” (Ruth 4:14-15 NIV)
The book of Ruth is a book of blessing. Throughout the book blessings are expressed and the final chapter incorporates two key blessings. Unlike the previous blessings, these are not uttered by the key characters in the book. They are uttered by joyous observers.
The first blessing is given by the elders and other witnesses to Boaz completing the responsibility as a guardian-redeemer to the property of Elimelek. The blessing given to Boaz is not a regular kind thought for pleasant wishes. Within the blessing is a desire for legacy. Not only do they want him to do well they want his offspring to do well.
The second blessing brings things to a full circle. Naomi had started off with family and now ended it with family. Where once she had lost everything now she had gained much more than she lost through the love of the daughter-in-law and now the son, Ruth had birthed. The joyous blessing that she received was recognition of the goodness of God expressed in this son she now embraced. It was a blessing for generations.
Character had produced loving, responsible relationships that now had repercussions that would go beyond the lifetime of Naomi, Ruth and Boaz. Their great grandson would exhibit the qualities these three had exemplified – devotion, commitment and responsibility to God that would establish him as the standard that all the kings of Israel and Judah would be judged by.
Such is the capacity of blessing to those who seek God and endeavour to reflect that pursuit in loving and committed relationships. From bitterness of loss to abundance in blessing, though it all there are lessons to learn about character and responsibility.
For His Name’s Sake
C. L. J. Dryden