Now these are the generations of Perez: to Perez was born Hezron, and to Hezron was born Ram, and to Ram, Amminadab, and to Amminadab was born Nahshon, and to Nahshon, Salmon, and to Salmon was born Boaz, and to Boaz, Obed, and to Obed was born Jesse, and to Jesse, David.
As the book of Ruth draws to a close, Boaz redeems the land and takes Ruth as a wife. Ruth and Boaz have a son who is named Obed.
That last part was seen as great. Obed would grow to occupy the place, legally speaking, of Ruth’s first husband, Mahlon. Obed was treated, in a legal sense, as the heir of Naomi’s husband, Elimelech, so Obed would get the land and be responsible for taking care of Naomi. It was a win all around.
The book closes with something interesting. The book gives a genealogy from Perez, the son of Judah by Tamar, to King David. It may very well be that the author of this book was just putting down a family history when they wrote it and documenting the lineage of King David. Considering the close of the book, it seems likely. But this also allows the reader to keep tracking the lineage of the Messiah. Genesis got us as far as Judah and Perez, the book of Ruth gets us as far as David. Other books will continue the lineage.
The lineage is interesting, in part, because it puts Boaz down as part of that family line. It would probably have been sufficient to bring in Elimelech, as he has an inheritance in Judah and would therefore be in the lineage of Judah. Boaz took a chance that he would have no posterity when he redeemed Ruth and the land. Boaz redeeming the land meant that he would pay for a piece of property that would be inherited by the first son he had (if he had one) and that son would inherit in the name of someone else and be considered a part of that family line. Boaz, for all practical purposes, was willing to chance writing himself and his family name out of history.
Jesus, in redeeming the Church, His Bride, did the same thing. Jesus had no wife and no children and His name lives on in those He redeemed. Boaz was willing to take that risk and the book of Ruth records him for all time. Far from being forgotten by history, Boaz becomes a character in the unfolding drama of our Redeemer.
Sometimes, God is going to ask me to do something that seems like it will write me out of the story. Am I willing to let that happen? If I am content to go where God leads and do what God instructs, then I may very well be written out of the larger story — there are plenty of nameless and unremarked prophets mentioned in passing in the Old Testament. Or, like Boaz, I may end up playing a key role in the story. The only way to find out is to step out and let God do what God is going to do.
Father, thank You that Boaz is included despite his willingness to be left out. Thank You that You show, through Boaz, that You can make a heart willing to do what is right and good no matter the personal cost. Please work in my heart to make it so. Let me be willing to do things that will go unremarked if You are the One Who bids me do them.