Recently I turned to Matthew 1 and was tempted to skip over the genealogy of Jesus Christ which I’d read many times but felt a tug on my heart to read it, and I’m so glad I did.
Though, I’d read the words of Matthew 1:5-6 many times, the Lord never helped me make this important and encouraging connection. Let’s read them…
“Salmon begot Boaz by Rahab, Boaz begot Obed by Ruth, Obed begot Jesse, 6 and Jesse begot David the king,” (Matthew 1:5-6).
When we think of the beautiful love story and story of redemption of Ruth and Boaz, we aren’t often thinkin’ of his mama, Rahab the prostitute. But her story carries great influence in theirs.
“As an Amorite, Rahab belonged to an idolatrous people, and had a name meaning “insolence,” “fierceness,” or “broad,” “spaciousness.” Three times over Rahab is referred to as “the harlot,” and the Hebrew term zoonah and the Greek word porne have at no time meant anything else but “harlot”—a woman who yields herself indiscriminately to every man approaching her.” – Rahab, BibleGateway.
Boaz’s mama, Rahab, had a history of prostitution when she’d married his father, Salmon, one of the Jewish spies she hid and protected in Jericho when her people sought to destroy him. Love blossomed between them, and he took her as his wife. But everyone was not as loving and gracious as Salmon.
Many remembered where Boaz’s mother came from and enjoyed reminding her of her darkened past. Those with religious spirits never letting her live it down by excluding her. Women often looked the other way as she approached, pretending not to see her. Plus, she was an Amorite. A foreigner never to be seen as one of them by those with hardened hearts.
From the time Boaz was a little boy, he noticed how people looked at his mama. How her face became flushed and hurt filled her eyes. How she held his hand a little tighter as they’d passed by whispering onlookers.
Boaz never forgot how those women treated his mama nor the pain in her eyes. But he loved his mama, and she loved him like no other. And as he grew, she became strong and fierce like her name and was a great influence in his life, on his character, and how he learned to treat others.
Enter Ruth, a widow, a Moabitess (non-Jewish, foreigner), who returned to Bethlehem with her Jewish mother-in-law, Naomi. They were hungry, so she went to his field to glean some barley and caught his eye.
Now, if he was any other Jewish man, with any other history and any other mama, he probably wouldn’t have had the immediate, protective, and favorable response to Ruth:
“Then Boaz said to his servant who was in charge of the reapers, “Whose young woman is this?” So the servant who was in charge of the reapers answered and said, “It is the young Moabite woman who came back with Naomi from the country of Moab.
And she said, ‘Please let me glean and gather after the reapers among the sheaves.’ So she came and has continued from morning until now, though she rested a little in the house.”
Then Boaz said to Ruth, “You will listen, my daughter, will you not? Do not go to glean in another field, nor go from here, but stay close by my young women.
Let your eyes be on the field which they reap, and go after them. Have I not commanded the young men not to touch you? And when you are thirsty, go to the vessels and drink from what the young men have drawn.”
So she fell on her face, bowed down to the ground, and said to him, “Why have I found favor in your eyes, that you should take notice of me, since I am a foreigner?” (Ruth 2:5-10)
When he discovered Ruth was a Moabite woman, he never flinched. No, thoughts of the hurt in his mama’s eyes and the struggles she faced as a foreigner amongst his people overwhelmed him, and his heart instantly melted for her.
She’d expected the possibility of another response from Boaz – little to no favor – but found great favor instead because the Lord her God had gone before her and made the crooked places straight.
Why? Because the Lord had handpicked Boaz for Ruth the one who was right in every way for HER.
She didn’t have to change anything about herself, her past, where she came from. He loved her as she was because his heart was perfectly prepared by God based on his life and circumstances to do so. And just like our Redeemer, suddenly, she was elevated from poor widow and caretaker of her mother-in-law to a woman of great honor and wealth, the wife of Boaz.
And her redemption was so great, so exceedingly above all she could ask or think, that she as well as her new mother-in-law, Rahab, are forever seen by God as more than fit to be named in the genealogy of Jesus Christ, His one and only, Son.
Oh my heart, Lord. I can’t even, Lord. You are amazingly beautiful.
So the prophetic word for you, “Ruth,” waiting on your “Boaz”:
If you prayerfully wait on the Lord and let him mold and shape you into His image as you wait, He will cause your path to cross with your Boaz who will love you just the way you are, your past, your flaws, and no matter where you came from.
He will be handpicked by God and right in every way for YOU. Hallelujah!
Your Boaz has the right heart and history and will not only love you but cover any shame you may have experienced with the grace of Jesus Christ. You don’t have to worry about becoming someone you are not with him. He won’t pressure you or expect you to do so.
You can be yourself and grow together in Christ becoming more and more like Him as one flesh. And you too, with your past and life experiences, will be right for your Boaz with the ability to love him just as he needs.
This word had me weeping. God is so good.
A reminder here that we can forfeit or delay God’s plans for our lives by not seeking Him on matters like whom to marry, etc. His Word says in Proverbs 3:5-6, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths.”
We have to do the acknowledging Him in all our ways part, THEN He shall direct our paths. We don’t have to choose His will for our lives, but we can. Praise God!