Ruth 4 brings us the resolution of the story. It’s a beautiful ending to a beautiful story.
In many ways we can look at the book of Ruth through the lens of overcoming obstacles. In chapter four there are two more obstacles to overcome.
Boaz Proves Naomi's Words True (Ruth 3:18-4:6)
Here is where we see the removal of the second obstacle. Boaz goes to the city gate which is where business takes place. The other redeemer walks by, Mr. So-and-so, walks by. Boaz addresses him impersonally calling him friend. The author goes to great lengths to keep the name of the other redeemer from us.
The redeemer is not willing to redeem the land because he does not want to marry Ruth to impair his own inheritance. And here we see that the first obstacle, who will marry Ruth, is removed. And it resolves in a most happy way.
The Deal is Sealed (Ruth 4:7-12)
Verse 7 brings us to the Resolution in this second plot line.
The transaction takes place in front of and is witnessed by the elders of the city. And with that the other redeemer fades into obscurity, never to be heard from again.
In verses 11-12 we find words that are most interesting (Ruth 4:11-12). They are a blessing. But why were they said? The blessing is essentially saying, “may you have important children. May Israel be built because of your marriage to Ruth.”
But this is where the second obstacle comes into play. Can Ruth have children? We know she was married for at least ten years and had no children. The text is not explicit if she may be barren of if there was a health issue with her husband. But it appears to be an obstacle.
Ruth and Boaz marry and as the marriage is consummated the LORD gave Ruth conception (Ruth 4:13). The second obstacle is removed. Ruth and Boaz are going to have a son.
Who is Missing? (Ruth 4:14-22)
As we come to the conclusion of the book we need to answer two important questions.
The first is, who is missing from the closing words of the book? Ruth is, as well as Boaz. The narrative turns its attention once again to Naomi. We are ending where we began. Now we see the resolution of the story for Naomi. Now we see that she who once said she was empty is now full. Her arms are full with her grandson Obed.
But in verses 14 and 15 we have another question to answer. Who is the redeemer the women of Bethlehem are referring to? Don’t answer too quickly. Observe from the text.
If you are like me, you probably assumed it was Boaz because the word redeemer has focused on him throughout the book. But the context shows us that the redeemer is the baby boy, Naomi’s grandson. His name will be renowned in Israel.
The answer lies in the shorter and longer genealogy which brings the book to a conclusion. Obed was the grandpa to David. Not just any David either, King David! This David through who the true King one day would come, King Jesus.
And with that, we understand the true purpose of Ruth. God was quietly working to keep His promise He made to Abraham (Gen. 12:1-3). The promise which went through the line of David straight to Jesus Christ, the Son of God.
Ruth is about God’s sovereign faithfulness to His promises.