“Naomi took the baby and cuddled him to her breast. And she cared for him as if he were her own. The neighbor women said, “Now at last Naomi has a son again!” And they named him Obed. He became the father of Jesse and the grandfather of David.” Ruth 4:16-17
Naomi lost all the males she was closest to and now gains a precious little one to foster and love….her grandson. Where she previously felt empty, now she is filled with purpose.
The commentary regarding Obed from Warren Wiersbe explains, “Obed (whose name means ‘servant’) would be a blessing to Naomi in another way (other than her present joy of having a grandbaby): He would one day care for the family that brought him into the world, including his grandmother Naomi. Boaz had redeemed the family inheritance; now Obed would continue the family line, protect the inheritance, and use it to sustain Naomi. He would live up to his name and be a “servant” to Naomi, his “foster mother.”
We can see God at work as He prepared for the birth of David and Jesus. He has a purpose in all that we do, even when we are unaware and can’t seem to figure things out on our own. Just as Ruth was unaware of the larger purpose in her life, we will not know the full purpose and importance of our lives until we are able to look back from the perspective of eternity (Life Application Study Bible, p. 429).
Naomi, who had declared herself “empty” at the beginning of Ruth, now had a baby sitting in her lap, a kinsman redeemer at that! And Ruth was also blessed due to her trust and obedience. Let these two women encourage our sometimes-difficult faith walk. God is always at work.
For further reading: Psalm 23:5-6; Psalm 34:1-7; Jeremiah 17:7
Dear Heavenly Father,
Thanks for your non-stop work in our lives and your reassurance that there is purpose in your works and our lives. Even when I don’t see you at work in the background, I just need to put my confidence in you, resting and trusting that You will work everything out. I don’t need to know all the details. Instead, I’ll claim Your words, “Surely, goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life.”
In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen