A generous friend offered to babysit our kids so my wife and I could go on a date. “You should go somewhere fancy!” she gushed. Being practical people, we decided to go grocery shopping instead. When we returned, grocery bags in arms, our friend asked why we hadn’t done anything special. We told her that what makes a date special isn’t so much what you do, but who you’re with.
One of the few books of the Bible that doesn’t record God directly saying or doing anything, the book of Ruth could seem to be pretty ordinary. So some read it as a touching but largely human drama of two people coming together in a relationship.
But in truth, something extraordinary is taking place. In the final chapter of Ruth, we read that Ruth and Boaz’s union results in a son named Obed, the grandfather of David (4:17). And as we read in Matthew 1:1, it’s from David’s family that Jesus was born. It’s Jesus who unveils the ordinary story of Ruth and Boaz and reveals the extraordinary story of God’s amazing plans and purposes at work.
So often we see our own lives in the same way: as ordinary and serving no special purpose. But when we view our lives through Christ, He gives eternal significance to even the most ordinary situations and relationships.
When has God turned an ordinary situation into one of extraordinary significance for you? How has He made all moments in life something sacred and extraordinary?
It’s helpful to contrast the long view of the book of Ruth with its immediate context. In the long view, Ruth’s child would be the grandfather of David—Israel’s great king. This connection also prepares the way for the birth of Jesus, who would come from David’s kingly line (see Matthew 1:1-16). The result of Ruth and Boaz’s union prepared for the rescue of the world; in a more immediate sense, the birth of Obed also provided a kind of rescue for Naomi. Her life decimated by loss and grief, she’s delivered from despair and heartache by the gift of this new life (Ruth 4:16-17). Her joy restored, Naomi was once again able to live up to her name, which means “pleasant.”