The Great Plan
Ruth 3:1-5; 4:13-17 (NRSVA)
3) 1 Naomi her mother-in-law said to her, ‘My daughter, I need to seek some security for you, so that it may be well with you. 2 Now here is our kinsman Boaz, with whose young women you have been working. See, he is winnowing barley tonight at the threshing-floor. 3 Now wash and anoint yourself, and put on your best clothes and go down to the threshing-floor; but do not make yourself known to the man until he has finished eating and drinking. 4 When he lies down, observe the place where he lies; then, go and uncover his feet and lie down; and he will tell you what to do.’ 5 She said to her, ‘All that you tell me I will do.’
5 “I will do whatever you say,” Ruth answered.
4) 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 neighbourhood 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.
The book of Ruth is a love story, but not a conventional one. And that’s not just because the match between Ruth and Boaz was orchestrated by Naomi. It’s the story of the love which grew between Ruth and her mother-in-law. It’s the story of the love which grew between Ruth and Boaz. But overall, and overwhelmingly, it’s the story of the love of God for his people, all his people. In this story we see one of the most significant moments in God’s long and intricate plan for the salvation of the world as Boaz and Ruth give birth to the ancestor of Jesus.
It is also a story of faithfulness.The faithfulness of Ruth to Naomi, of Boaz to his family — accepting responsibility for Ruth, his distant relative — and of God to his faithful ones then and now; his faithfulness to us, the beneficiaries of his plan. Who would have thought that this insignificant foreign girl, Ruth, would have had such a significant part to play in salvation history? Becoming mother to Obed, grandmother to Jesse, and great-grandmother to King David from whose house Jesus was born. Even at this point, early in the outworking of his plan for humanity, God was including the outsider and the marginalised, using the insignificant and overlooked to further his purposes, rather than the rich and powerful.
thank you that you care enough for us
to plan for our salvation from our very birth.
Thank you that you care enough for us
to use anyone and anything to bring that plan to fruition.
Thank you for Ruth’s, ‘Yes!’ to Naomi, to Boaz, and to you,
laying the foundations for the birth of Jesus,
the fulfilment of your plan.
no matter how insignificant
or undeserving we feel
say, ‘Yes!’ to you
that we too may take our place and play our part
in the fulfilment of your plan for humanity. Amen