Summary: 1) The Salutation (Ruth 4:11-12) 2) The Son (Ruth 4:13-17) & 3) the Summary (Ruth 4:18-22).
Weddings are a fascinating custom. With my wife owning a flower shop we know all about weddings. Center pieces, corsages, bouquets, and decorations mean a lot of work and expense. With hall rentals, food, drink, tuxedo, gowns, relatives and gifts, a wedding is probably the most elaborate event any one of us will be involved with.
For my marriage to Lisa, her father performed the marriage ceremony. Although it had a very personal touch, the lead up to it was frustrating. He father liked teasing me that since he legally had the right to perform marriages, how about just signing the paper and be done with it. He is a very frugal and practical man, so for us guys it seemed reasonable. For Lisa and her mother, the concept was a joke on several levels.
The book of Ruth started with a funeral and now closes with the wedding of Ruth and Boaz. It is no accident that it follows the public legal issue of settling her estate. The necessity of public agreements and witnesses, provided an appropriate legally binding agreement. Likewise for the wedding. Until it is affirmed in the presence of a witness, either partner has a right to question how deep the other’s love truly is. (Jackman, David ; Ogilvie, Lloyd J.: The Preacher’s Commentary Series, Volume 7 : Judges, Ruth. Nashville, Tennessee : Thomas Nelson Inc, 1991 (The Preacher’s Commentary Series 7), S. 347)
The wedding preceded the precious news of a new born son. The story of Ruth went from bareness to fruitfulness, through the blessing of God. The offspring produced and the generations that followed are personally significant to everyone who enjoys eternal life. Believers are the generation that follows this Boaz generation. We have seen in this book the hand of God orchestrating events to produce His desired end. When the characters could only see death, despair and hopelessness, the godly faith of Ruth and Boaz’s covenantal faithfulness are rewarded.
Every believer, the Boaz generation, can look to the conclusion to this story and see themselves. When everything about us is death, despair and hopelessness, we can trust God and know that He is working out His divine plan and He will sustain and bless. With these final verses in the Book of Ruth we see 1) The Salutation (Ruth 4:11-12) 2) The Son (Ruth 4:13-17) and finally, 3) the Summary (Ruth 4:18-22).
1) The Salutation (Ruth 4:11-12)
Ruth 4:11-12 Then all the people who were at the gate and the elders said, "We are witnesses. May the LORD make the woman, who is coming into your house, like Rachel and Leah, who together built up the house of Israel. May you act worthily in Ephrathah and be renowned in Bethlehem, and may your house be like the house of Perez, whom Tamar bore to Judah, because of the offspring that the LORD will give you by this young woman." (ESV)
The response to Boaz’s appeal by (lit.) “all the people who were at the gate” and “the elders” was positive in the extreme. First, they answer Boaz’s twofold challenge at the beginning and end of his speech and accept their official role in the legal proceedings.