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. 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! 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.” Then Naomi took the child and laid him on her lap and became his nurse. 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. Ruth 4:13-17 ESV
Blessed be the Lord!
For he has heard the voice of my pleas for mercy.
The Lord is my strength and my shield;
in him my heart trusts, and I am helped;
my heart exults,
and with my song I give thanks to him.
The Lord is the strength of his people;
he is the saving refuge of his anointed.
Oh, save your people and bless your heritage!
Be their shepherd and carry them forever. Psalm 28:6-9 ESV
Heidi was only five years old. Her parents were dead and her Aunt Dete was taking care of her. But Dete had a new job and she didn’t want to take care of Heidi anymore. So she hiked up the mountain with her to Heidi’s grandfather. Her grandfather lived alone and everyone thought he was a bad person. The people in the village didn’t think Dete should take Heidi up the mountain to her grandfather. But Heidi’s grandfather was kind to her. He took care of her and gave her a happy life in the mountains. He did good things for Heidi even though no one had expected that he would.
No one would have expected Ruth to be so good to Naomi and to take such good care of her. Ruth was just a young woman, a stranger and a foreigner. But Ruth did everything she could for Naomi. She wouldn’t leave her to go back to her parents. She worked hard in the fields so that Naomi could have food. She married Boaz so that she could continue the family line. When God gave Ruth and Boaz a son, it was almost like he gave a son to Naomi. She knew that her family line would continue. The women in her town said that Ruth was better to Naomi than seven sons. God’s plan reached far into the future. Baby Obed became the grandfather of the great King David, and many years later the promised Savior Jesus was born into that family line.
When Jesus hung on the cross, helpless and dying, it didn’t look as if he could be much help to anyone. It seemed that something must have gone wrong with God’s plan. No one would have expected the promised Savior to die like that. But the cross was the way that God used to help us through Jesus. Jesus’ death won us the forgiveness of our sins and brought us back to God forever. God’s help came from an unexpected place to give us what we needed and bring us into his family.
Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for giving us Jesus, our Savior, to help us and bless us by dying for us. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Spyri, Johanna Heidi New York: Harper Collins, 1827.