1 Now it came about in the days when the judges governed, that there was a famine in the land. And a certain man of Bethlehem in Judah went to sojourn in the land of Moab with his wife and his two sons. 2 The name of the man was Elimelech, and the name of his wife, Naomi ; and the names of his two sons were Mahlon and Chilion, Ephrathites of Bethlehem in Judah. Now they entered the land of Moab and remained there. 3 Then Elimelech, Naomi's husband, died ; and she was left with her two sons. 4 They took for themselves Moabite women as wives ; the name of the one was Orpah and the name of the other Ruth. And they lived there about ten years. 5 Then both Mahlon and Chilion also died, and the woman was bereft of her two children and her husband. 6 Then she arose with her daughters-in-law that she might return from the land of Moab, for she had heard in the land of Moab that the LORD had visited His people in giving them food. 7 So she departed from the place where she was, and her two daughters-in-law with her; and they went on the way to return to the land of Judah. 8 And Naomi said to her two daughters-in-law, "Go, return each of you to her mother's house. May the LORD deal kindly with you as you have dealt with the dead and with me. 9 "May the LORD grant that you may find rest, each in the house of her husband." Then she kissed them, and they lifted up their voices and wept. 10 And they said to her, "No, but we will surely return with you to your people." 11 But Naomi said, "Return, my daughters. Why should you go with me? Have I yet sons in my womb, that they may be your husbands ? 12 "Return, my daughters ! Go, for I am too old to have a husband. If I said I have hope, if I should even have a husband tonight and also bear sons, 13 would you therefore wait until they were grown ? Would you therefore refrain from marrying ? No, my daughters ; for it is harder for me than for you, for the hand of the LORD has gone forth against me."
14 And they lifted up their voices and wept again ; and Orpah kissed her mother-in-law, but Ruth clung to her. 15 Then she said, "Behold, your sister-in-law has gone back to her people and her gods ; return after your sister-in-law." 16 But Ruth said, "Do not urge me to leave you or turn back from following you; for where you go, I will go, and where you lodge, I will lodge. Your people shall be my people, and your God, my God. 17 "Where you die, I will die, and there I will be buried. Thus may the LORD do to me, and worse , if anything but death parts you and me." 18 When she saw that she was determined to go with her, she said no more to her. 19 So they both went until they came to Bethlehem. (Ruth 1:1-19 NASB)
1 Now Naomi had a kinsman of her husband, a man of great wealth, of the family of Elimelech, whose name was Boaz. 2 And Ruth the Moabitess said to Naomi, "Please let me go to the field and glean among the ears of grain after one in whose sight I may find favor." And she said to her, "Go, my daughter." 3 So she departed and went and gleaned in the field after the reapers ; and she happened to come to the portion of the field belonging to Boaz, who was of the family of Elimelech. 4 Now behold, Boaz came from Bethlehem and said to the reapers, "May the LORD be with you." And they said to him, "May the LORD bless you." 5 Then Boaz said to his servant who was in charge of the reapers, "Whose young woman is this ?" 6 The servant in charge of the reapers replied, "She is the young Moabite woman who returned with Naomi from the land of Moab. 7 "And she said, 'Please let me glean and gather after the reapers among the sheaves.' Thus she came and has remained from the morning until now ; she has been sitting in the house for a little while." 8 Then Boaz said to Ruth, "Listen carefully, my daughter. Do not go to glean in another field ; furthermore, do not go on from this one, but stay here with my maids. 9 "Let your eyes be on the field which they reap, and go after them. Indeed, I have commanded the servants not to touch you. When you are thirsty, go to the water jars and drink from what the servants draw." 10 Then she fell on her face, bowing to the ground and said to him, "Why have I found favor in your sight that you should take notice of me, since I am a foreigner ?" 11 Boaz replied to her, "All that you have done for your mother-in-law after the death of your husband has been fully reported to me, and how you left your father and your mother and the land of your birth, and came to a people that you did not previously know. 12 "May the LORD reward your work, and your wages be full from the LORD, the God of Israel, under whose wings you have come to seek refuge."(Ruth 2:1-12)You may have heard this story before. Can you tell me how it ends for Ruth?
Boaz marries her, and God give her a son, and Naomi is happy, and that son turns out to be the great, great grandfather of a king! (Guess who Boaz's great great grandmother was? She used to live in Jericho. Boaz and Ruth are the continuation of her story, just as they are the continuation of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob's story of promise.)
This story takes place in the time of the judges, when much of Israel was forgetting to obey God and doing wicked, wicked things to each other. But here we have Ruth, who isn't even from Israel, choosing to stay with her old mother in law and take care of her because she has no one left who will. Even though she doesn't have to. We also have Boaz, who has remembered God's law, and allows the poor in the community to go after his laborers and pick up the grain that they miss. Do you remember when we talked about how God commanded them to take care of the poor like that?
So Boaz is keeping God's law, and Ruth is caring for her old mother in law who is poor and has nothing left. These 2 people see each other and care about each other right away. Boaz likes Ruth, not just because she's probably pretty, but because she has the kind of character and heart that care about others. Ruth likes Boaz because he is kind to her, and protects her and takes care of her and Naomi. It works out very well then that the law puts Boaz in a position where he can marry Ruth, and redeem what was lost to Naomi by raising up a family in honor of her lost husband and sons.
The children of these 2 people will remember to follow God. These 2 people will have grandsons and great grandsons who obey God and know him as they do.
God blesses them, because they remember Him. The promised blessing will come through them as well.