A careful reading of Scripture, even the lists of genealogies, reveals beautiful gems of God’s grace. While some names are prominent, others appear to be rather obscure. Yet each individual had an important and essential role in bringing Messiah, the Christ, into the world. All of those listed in Scripture had failures that would appear to disqualify them from being a part of God’s plan … “But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places, in Christ Jesus, in order that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus” (Eph 2:4-7 NASB).
Rahab, who came to faith in the God of Israel, (the pre-incarnate Christ) was transformed by His grace from an unbeliever and prostitute to a believer and in the lineage of Messiah. She would become the mother of Boaz, and he would marry Ruth a Moabite. That is significant for the Moabites opposed the Jews in the Exodus (Judg 11:17) Because of Naomi, a Jewess from Bethlehem, whose husband had taken to Moab, Ruth heard of the God of Israel and placed her faith in Him. Dismissing any thought of retuning to Moab at the insistence of Naomi, Ruth replied ... “Entreat me not to leave you, or to turn back from following after you; For wherever you go, I will go; and wherever you lodge, I will lodge; Your people shall be my people, and your God, my God. Where you die, I will die, and there will I be buried. The LORD do so to me, and more also, if anything but death parts you and me” (Ruth 1:16-17 NKJV).
God was at work in the life of a young woman of faith in order to bring Messiah into the world through the line of David… “Boaz the father of Obed, whose mother was Ruth, Obed the father of Jesse, and Jesse the father of King David” (Matt 1:5-6 NIV). The prophet Samuel had told David … “The LORD declares to you that the LORD himself will establish a house for you: When your days are over and you rest with your fathers, I will raise up your offspring to succeed you, who will come from your own body, and I will establish his kingdom. He is the one who will build a house for my Name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever” (2 Sam 7:11b-13 NIV).
This was a prophecy that would extend beyond the reign of Solomon to a future time when Jesus Christ would reign as King of Kings and Lord of Lords. Eternity would unveil to Ruth the entire picture of God’s power in her life as an instrument of His grace in bringing the Savior to earth so that He could go to the Cross and accomplish salvation for all mankind. God was weaving a magnificent tapestry of His love and grace and it included Ruth.
God’s plan called for her to provide for Naomi and a relative, Boaz, offered for her to glean in his field… “At this, she bowed down with her face to the ground. She exclaimed, "Why have I found such favor in your eyes that you notice me — a foreigner” (Ruth 2:10 NIV)? Boaz, a godly man, having heard of Ruth’s care and love for her mother-in–law responded … “May the LORD repay you for what you have done. May you be richly rewarded by the LORD, the God of Israel, under whose wings you have come to take refuge” (Ruth 2:12 NIV). Ruth, an ordinary young woman, rose from obscurity to greatness, forever honored in the Word of God and in the genealogy of Jesus Christ.