Then the elders and all those at the gate said, "We are witnesses. May the Lord make the woman who is coming into your home like Rachel and Leah, who together built up the house of Israel. May you have standing in Ephrathah and be famous in Bethlehem. Through the offspring the Lord gives you by this young woman, may your family be like that of Perez, whom Tamar bore to Judah."
What an amazing blessing the elders bestowed upon Boaz and Ruth. Their blessing is just a glimpse into the reality we now know. Perez was Boaz's ancestor. His birth to Judah was from a union based on the Levirate Law. The descendants of Perez raised the tribe of Judah to a prominent place in Israel. So the blessings of the elders - through their children their family would be like Perez's - is realized through King David and his dynasty. But more importantly than that, it is fully realized through another descendant - Christ.
So Boaz took Ruth and she became his wife. Then he went to her, and the Lord enabled her to conceive, and she gave birth to a son. The women said to Naomi: "Praise be to the Lord, who this day has not left you without a kinsman-redeemer. May he become famous throughout Israel! He will renew your life and sustain you in your old age. For your daughter-in-law, who loves you and who is better to you than seven sons, has given him birth." Then Naomi took the child, laid him in her lap and cared for him. The women living there said, "Naomi has a son." And they named him Obed. He was the father of Jesse, the father of David.
This story has come full circle. At the beginning, Naomi was full. She had a husband and two sons. Slowly, she is emptied and become bitter when she loses her husband and sons. She is left with two childless, foreign daughters-in-law, one who deserts her at her urging. Just when it seems that life could not get worse for her, she decides to return to Bethlehem. God provides for Naomi and Ruth in so many ways. His providence is amazing and most certainly timely. Naomi may not have known it at the time, but each step in this path was setting her up for her redemption. At the end of this story, she if full again. Ruth, the daughter-in-law she loved, provided her with a son. What an an amazing example of redemption. We can learn from this story how when we move away from God, our emptying begins. As we find our way back to Him, He begins to restore and redeem us. We may not always understand each step and recognize it for what it is, but when we turn and look back, it is so obvious all the ways He provides.
What an amazing example of loyalty we find in Ruth. How easy it might have been to turn back like Orpah. But she chose loyalty to a grouchy middle aged woman. She chose to move to a land where she might have been hated. She chose to follow a God that was not a god from her childhood. God provided for Naomi through the covenant that Ruth had made with her. Ruth worked hard, she did as Naomi told her to do, and she provided Naomi a son. God blessed Ruth for her loyalty and covenant.
I just hope and pray that I can be a loyal servant like Ruth, and like Naomi I can always find my way back into His redemptive path. I certainly have the grouchy middle aged woman down pat. If I can just always remind myself that God redeems. God provides. God always loves.
This, then, is the family line of Perez:
Perez was the father of Hezron,
Hezron was the father of Ram,
Ram the father of Amminadab,
Amminadab the father of Nahshon,
Nahshon the father of Salmon,
Salmon the father of Boaz,
Boaz the father of Obed,
Obed the father of Jesse,
and Jesse the father of David.