smiled as she walked back to her house from the well. She had just gotten water
and was heading home. She had been planning this moment for a couple weeks.
Boaz was going to be so happy when he found out! She could imagine his
happiness at the news!
As she passed the market place, she
knew that the town gossips were still there and probably had nasty things to
say about her, but Ruth held her head high and walked on. Ruth no longer cared
what anyone thought about her. She had a husband at home who loved her and
showed her daily. She had a God who took care of her and kept his promises, and
she had a mother who cared and loved her even when she didn’t deserve it. And
now, she had another secret. Wouldn’t the gossips have lots to talk about if
they knew? She couldn’t keep it secret much longer; the secret was going to
grow. She looked down at her waste and smiled again.
“Ruth!” Boaz ran up to her, took the
pail of water off her head, and set it on the ground. Then he picked her up and
spun her around. “I have wonderful news! All the threshing is complete!
The season is finished! Praise God!”
“Boaz,” laughed Ruth, “put me down,
you big ox!” Boaz laughed and placed her feet on the ground again. She went
over to the pail and picked it up. “Come with me to set this water down. I have
some news to tell you.”
“Uh oh, what have you done now,
Ruth,” teased Boaz. “Will I be hearing of how you brought shame to my name?”
“Well... not quite shame.” She
turned and smiled at him, pulling him with her so she could put the pail down.
“Now, can you guess?” She wanted to keep him in his misery as long as she
“Um, you met some amazing man down
at the well, you proposed to him, and he agreed?”
“Boaz!” She reprimand, “Of course
not! There would be no man I would ever propose to again!” He smiled at her and
tucked a wisp of hair behind her ear.
“I give up, what do you want to tell
me?” He took her hands and looked into her eyes, waiting for the answer. She
smiled at him and her face was that of a truly happy person.
Feeling like her smile was going to
rip her face off she said, “We’re going to have a baby, Boaz.” Boaz’s face went
from pleasure to a blank and expressionless stare. Ruth laughed at him and
said, “Aren’t you happy? You look as if you just found out that all your teeth
need to be removed!”
“Ruth, I ... yes!” His smile
returned but it was much larger than before. “Yes, I am so happy! I am just,
surprised. How long have you known?”
“About two weeks now. Boaz, this
means that Mahlon’s name can be carried on! And we now have a baby that is part
me and part you. And we’ll have a child to raise and to love.” Her eyes got
misty and she looked off into the distance. She was so happy and it made it
better that she could share it with this man that she so deeply loved.
Boaz let go of one of her hands and
placed his on her abdomen. “Can I feel it yet?” He looked so perplexed that
Ruth laughed. “No, not yet Husband. It’s only a few weeks old. He’s just over a
Boaz took his hand away and picked
her up. “Boaz! What are you doing? I can walk! I can walk!” She was laughing as
he replied, “Yes, but I don’t want you to injure our baby in any way! I’ll
carry you wherever you go!” He ran over to a chair, set her down, and got on
his knees in front of her. She looked down at him and smiled.
“Now we have a child to give to
Naomi, and the child can carry on her son’s name. Praise the Lord! She will
have a son again!” Boaz stood up after his proclamation and pulled Ruth up with
him. As the two danced around like foolish children, Ruth looked up to her God
and thanked him for her husband and for her child. They were complete, they had
each other, they had their God, and now they had a child.
“Push Ruth! Push! Don’t let that
child win the fight! He must come out!” Naomi was beside Ruth as the town
midwife was pulling the child. “Keep going, Ruth. God of Israel, give
her strength!” Ruth loved the way that Naomi would pray in mid-sentence, but it
was so hard to smile now. How could a baby fit through such a small space? How
would it ever get out? Ruth clenched her teeth and pushed one last time, and
suddenly there was relief and she heard the sound of her child crying.
Ruth took an unsteady breath, but
her smile told everything.
“It’s a boy! Ruth, it’s a boy! Boaz!
You have a son!” Naomi was running around, screaming out the news. Boaz rushed
in, and he looked almost as tired as Ruth did. He went over to his wife and
took her sweaty hand in his. “Ruth, are you okay?” His eyes were full of worry
as he looked at his wife’s frail body.
“Yes,” her voice was soft, but she
was happy. “Yes, I’m happy. You have a son. Go see him. Bring him to me.”
“We have a son, Ruth.” He stood up,
walked over to the child, and picked him up. He held him in his arms and then
said, “His name will be Obed, because he will serve Naomi in her old age. He
will bring her joy and will be the son that she lost. May God bless him and
keep him safe.” He smiled at his small son and then walked over to his wife’s
bed. His eyes had the love of a husband and now a father. Overjoyed, he bent
down and placed his child into his wife’s arms. Ruth kissed her child and then
handed him to the midwife to be washed and cleaned up.
When she had left, Ruth looked to
Naomi. “You now have a son, Mother. Let him take care of you. He will be the
son of your old age.” Naomi smiled and came over to the tired Ruth. She
embraced her and then pulled Boaz into the hug. They were now family, joined
together by the birth of a small, but very important boy.
Robert Jr. The Book of Ruth. Michigan:
William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1988.