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Ruth 4:1-12, The Marriage of Ruth and Boaz

Narrative Lectionary Key Verse for Today

I have also acquired Ruth the Moabite, the wife of Mahlon, to be my wife, to maintain the dead man’s name on his inheritance, in order that the name of the dead may not be cut off from his kindred and from the gate of his native place; today you are witnesses.
— Ruth 4:10

NL Daily Devotion for Friday, October 18, 2019

by R. Fergus Moir, Clergy Stuff

Acquired. A woman. Yikes. Such was the culture in Ruth’s time. Women were seen as possessions to be inherited from dead siblings or relatives along with land. But the only way a woman could have her needs adequately met was to be “acquired” by a man in marriage. So despite the inherent injustice of the system, Boaz is doing right by Ruth—a widow and a foreigner—in the only way he knows how.

We can never put any sort of stamp of approval on the oppressive nature of the sexism which is still rampant in our world. Like Boaz, God calls us to do right by those with the least power. But more so than Boaz, we are called to work to change the systems that oppress.

God of Justice, empower me to do right by all who are oppressed. Amen.