The Blessing of Ruth
The elders and all the people who were of the gate said, “We are witnesses. May the LORD make the woman who is entering your house be like Rachel and Leah, who together built the house of Israel. May you be powerful in Ephrathah and famous in Bethlehem…”
The elders at the gate in Bethlehem pronounced this prophecy over Ruth as Boaz contracted to take her as his wife. Boaz gladly and honorably took the obligation to marry her, and he had certainly taken notice of her. While Scripture does not give a physical description of Ruth, her submissive, dedicated, and friendly demeanor indicate a lovely woman. In her we find the foreign widow taken as the bride of the kinsman redeemer. We see a beautiful picture of grace (acceptance of the foreigner) replacing the law by fulfilling it (Levrite marriage to inherit property). Indeed, Christ fulfilled the law that we could not keep so we might receive His grace and become His bride, inheriting all the blessings of heaven.
Leah and Rachel together built the household of Israel, and every son was important as the twelve tribes of Israel emerged. These sons would give birth to the nation of Israel, God’s chosen people. Ruth’s lineage would produce Obed, Jesse, David, and finally Jesus, who would give His life for the entire world. Through Him, Jew and Gentile could become God’s children and receive the blessings promised Abraham.
By prophesying that Ruth would be like both Leah and Rachel, the elders proclaimed wholeness to Ruth. She would not have the void that each woman felt because she would possess the blessings of each and have all her needs met. Salvation in Christ will not only save you from hell, it has the power to make you whole, lacking nothing and equipped to do every good work to which God has called you.
These elders also pronounced Boaz powerful in Ephrathah and famous in Bethleham. Ephrathah means fruitfulness; Bethlehem means house of bread. Their blessing was for Boaz to be powerful in fruitfulness and famous for providing bread. In Christ, we have both. He is able to make us powerful through the fruitfulness of His Holy Spirit and famous among the hungry because we can feed them in the places there they are hurting.
We need the blessing of Ruth, who was like both Leah and Rachel. We need to be made whole and to walk in fruitfulness while providing bread for the hungry, both physically and spiritually. May we be women like both Leah and Rachel and work together to build God’s kingdom.
Have a blessed day!