Shame and regret are a part of most our stories. We know when we have done or said the wrong thing, and sometimes we write a future for ourselves that leaves out God’s redeeming power. We think there is nothing that anyone can do to change the course we are on, and we resign ourselves to the thought that there’s just no going back.
- What’s your story? Is there something you are unable to let go of that makes you question whether or not God can still use you, bless you, or work in and through your life?
READ THE WORD: RUTH 4:13-17 (ESV)
13 So Boaz took Ruth, and she became his wife. And he went in to her, and the Lord gave her conception, and she bore a son. 14 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! 15 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.” 16 Then Naomi took the child and laid him on her lap and became his nurse. 17 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.
- What does the passage say about the benefits to Naomi provided by the birth of this child (vss. 14-15)?
- Boaz and Ruth conceived the child, but who is ultimately given credit for him (vss. 13-14)?
- What is the significance of the genealogy in verse 17? (See also Matt. 1:1-16.)
- From earlier chapters in Ruth, we know that Naomi was a childless widow who felt bitter and empty. How did the birth of her grandson, Obed, bring restoration and hope to Naomi?
- In what ways do you doubt God’s goodness to you for your future? Do you think your story is unredeemable?
RESPOND TO GOD
At the beginning of the book, Naomi, an Israelite, left Israel to live in a Gentile area (Moab), and had to live through a long season of loss, despair, and hopelessness. What we see in these few verses, however, is God’s restoration of Naomi following that season. She returned to the Lord, believed that things could be different for her daughter-in-law, Ruth, and acted in faith. God not only blessed her, but ultimately blessed all families, as seen in the birth of Jesus, whose lineage includes Obed.
- Ask God to give you confidence today that he can do great things in your life to bless you and to bless others.