Do You Trust in His Promises?

Day 25 – Ruth 4:13

At the close of a recent wedding ceremony, the minister pronounced a benediction on the newlyweds. Concluding, he emphatically prayed that the couple would “be fruitful and increase in number” (Genesis 1:28), which immediately brought about an even louder chorus of “Amen” from the congregation. No pressure?

As a wealthy guardian-redeemer, Boaz can easily redeem the land for Elimelek. But he also marries Ruth. While in Moab as Mahlon’s wife for 10 years, Ruth did not conceive (Ruth 1:4–5). The ancients attributed fertility and barrenness to God (Genesis 29:31; 30:2), as a barren womb was part of the covenantal curses (Deuteronomy 28:15, 18). If Ruth remains barren and cannot produce an heir, the family line is doomed.

Because God intervened and “enabled her to conceive, and [Ruth] gave birth to a son” (Ruth 4:13). This is the second time in this story that we read of God’s direct divine action and providence (see 1:6). This baby is more than a product of sexual union between man and wife. He is “a gift from the Lord . . . a reward from him” (Psalm 127:3 NLT), and “the Lord’s blessing for those who fear him” (128:4 NLT). God has answered the prayers for Ruth (Ruth 3:10) and Boaz (2:19–20)! With the Lord opening her womb, Ruth has joined the ranks of women in the family line who conceived only because of divine intervention. At 90 and well past childbearing age, Sarah conceived and gave birth to Isaac, the son of promise (Genesis 17:17–19; 21:1–3). Similarly, in response to prayer, God opened the wombs of Rebekah and Rachel to give them sons (Genesis 25:21; 30:22).

These sons born to Sarah, Rebekah, Rachel—and centuries later to Mary (Luke 1:30–31)—tell the story of how God will keep his covenantal promise to Abraham: “I will make nations of you, and kings will come from you” (Genesis 17:4–6). That “the Lord enabled her to conceive” (Ruth 4:13) tells us that this son of Ruth is a continuation of that line of the many “sons of promise”, and that kings will come from him. This son, as we will find out later, is the grandfather of Israel’s favourite king David (4:21–22), from whom the Eternal King will come (Luke 1:31–33).

What God promises, He carries out (Numbers 23:19). Joshua, confident that God will keep His promises, said, “Not one of all the Lord’s good promises to Israel failed; every one was fulfilled” (Joshua 21:45). Paul would agree: “God will make this happen, for he who calls you is faithful” (1 Thessalonians 5:24 NLT). He is the faithful God who keeps His promises.

Think Through:

In the light of the Biblical mandate to “be fruitful and multiply” (Genesis 1:28), do you agree or disagree that Christians today should have more children? Why or why not?

Are children a blessing or a curse in our world today? Why?

Taken from Journey Through Ruth: 30 Biblical Insights by Sim Kay Tee.