The great back-story in Ruth

JP: If you appreciate the book of Ruth, this will be a blessing.

Sordid Lineage, Beautiful Legacy

There is a great back-story in Ruth that makes things really interesting. Boaz, who became Ruth’s redeemer-husband, was the son of Rahab. (From the biblical record, it appears that Boaz’s father was Salmon and his mother was Rahab (Ruth 4:21, 1 Chron. 2:11, Matt. 1:5), but since biblical genealogies sometimes skip generations, it’s possible that Rahab was Boaz’s grandmother or great-grandmother. Regardless, her maternal influence in Boaz’s family would likely have had a similar effect on Boaz to the one I imagine here.)

Remember Rahab? She was another non-Jewish woman, a Canaanite and a former prostitute. She and her family were the only survivors of Israel’s conquest of Jericho, because she hid the Jewish spies and helped them escape.

So imagine the stories Boaz heard as he grew up. And imagine how having a mother who had been a foreigner and a harlot, yet was grafted into the olive tree of Israel by the grace of God, affected the way Boaz viewed Ruth that day he saw her gleaning in his field. Other men might have simply seen a foreign woman scrounging for food, like a parasite. But Boaz saw something familiar and dear in a woman who had left her family, her nation, and her gods, to embrace Naomi, her nation, and her God.

It seems Boaz was uniquely prepared by God for Ruth and Ruth for Boaz. Isn’t that beautiful? A marriage made in heaven.

But there was so much more in the works than a fairytale romance. Their union produced a son named Obed, who had a son named Jesse, who had a son named David, who became the greatest king Israel ever had.

Until David’s progeny produced a King named Jesus.

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