So Boaz took Ruth, and she became his wife. … Then the women said to Naomi, “Blessed be the Lord, who has not left you this day without a redeemer, and may his name be renowned in Israel! He shall be to you a restorer of life and a nourisher of your old age, for your daughter-in-law who loves you, who is more to you than seven sons, has given birth to him.” Then Naomi took the child and laid him on her lap and became his nurse. And the women of the neighborhood gave him a name, saying, “A son has been born to Naomi.” They named him Obed. He was the father of Jesse, the father of David. – Ruth 4:13-17 ESV
In the book of Ruth, an Israelite woman named Naomi loses her husband, Elimelech, along with her two sons, all while living in the land of Moab. Left with two Moabite daughters-in-law, Naomi plans to return to Israel alone and encourages her daughters-in-law to make a new life. But famously, her daughter-in-law, Ruth, insists on returning to Israel with Naomi to serve the God of Israel.
They arrive in Israel without husbands, which left them vulnerable and with little prospects for carrying on the family name of Elimelech. This was a big deal in their culture. In fact, there was a law in the book of Leviticus that commanded the closest kinsman to marry a widowed woman, thereby ‘redeeming’ the husband’s bloodline. In the Lord’s providential working, Ruth meets just such a ‘redeemer’, Boaz, who was related to Elimelech. Without Boaz, the family line would have ended.
The Lord’s provision is significant in two ways. First, it was significant for Naomi and Ruth, who had dedicated herself to both Naomi and to God. They could now have a family, the care of a loving man, and the prospect of a continued family line. In 1 Peter, we’re encouraged to cast all our cares on God because He cares for us! God cares for you, for your children, for your students. Second, even more significantly, through this new family arrangement would come a king, David, and ultimately, a Messiah, Jesus! Through desperate circumstances, God provided salvation to the whole world. So be encouraged: you don’t really know what amazing thing God might do in your life, through you, or in the lives of those you serve!