Thursday, August 16
The Witnesses Bless Boaz
Narrative Lectionary Daily Devotions written by Kace Leetch from Clergy Stuff.
The ceremony is nearly done. The witnesses declared that Boaz was free to marry Ruth. They left his with a blessing, that he and Ruth would bear many children like the mothers of Israel. With Jacob, Rachel and Leah bore the children that would become the 12 tribes of Israel.
Tamar's story is interesting and scandalous. She was the daughter-in-law of Judah, one of the patriarchs of the 12 tribes of Israel. When Tamar's husband (Judah's son) died, Judah gave her to his second son. When that son also died (both due to their own wickedness), Judah was reluctant to give his third and only remaining son, believing that Tamar was cursed. When Judah's own wife died, he went into town to "sheer his sheep" (hire a prostitute, actually). Tamar learned of his intentions and went ahead of him. She posed as a prostitute with a veil over her face. She and Judah had sex and she conceived twins. Before leaving, she secured some of his personal possessions. Three months later when she began to show, Judah accused her of prostitution and sought to have her burned. But she produced the personal items he had given her, proving that Judah was the father of Tamar's twins. He released her of her sentence and she secured her position within the family once again. One of her twins, Perez, is in the line of David, also in the line of Jesus.
The witnesses' blessing was ironic. Not only did they pray a blessing for children, but they also named people who would one day be ancestors of Israel's first true king, David, and also ancestor of Jesus himself. The blessing of Messianic ancestry will come to pass -- come back tomorrow to see how this story soon will end!
Narrative Lectionary Text: Ruth 4:11-12
Then all the people who were at the gate, along with the elders, said, “We are witnesses. May the Lord make the woman who is coming into your house like Rachel and Leah, who together built up the house of Israel. May you produce children in Ephrathah and bestow a name in Bethlehem; and, through the children that the Lord will give you by this young woman, may your house be like the house of Perez, whom Tamar bore to Judah.”