So Boaz took Ruth, and she became his wife. And he went in to her, and the LORD gave her conception, and she bore a son. Then the women said to Naomi, “Blessed be the LORD, who has not left you this day without a redeemer, and may his name be renowned in Israel! (Ruth 4:13-14 ESV)

Years ago I was invited to a wedding in a small town in South Carolina. When I arrived at the local First Baptist Church I realized this wedding was the social event of the year in this small town. The church was filled for the 6 pm formal event. The main floor and the wrap-around balcony was packed. The groomsmen walked in–appropriately attired in long tails. The bridesmaids wore diamond necklaces–because that was only fitting for such a formal event. Once the wedding finished the bride and groom processed to the bride’s family antebellum home for an unbelievable reception. As an outsider to this small town I have never forgotten that evening.

Boaz and Ruth’s wedding most likely created no small stir in the town of Bethlehem. The serious student of the Bible cannot miss the foreshadowing. The LORD gave Ruth conception and she bore a son. Conception was the first act of God, the fact that her child was a boy was the second act of God. The fact that the boy born would redeem Naomi was the third act of God. Obed, whose name meant servant, was an promising foreshadowing of another Redeemer.

Jesus, like Obed, would be born of an unlikely couple. Like Obed, Bethlehem was his birthplace. And better than Obed ever thought about doing, He would redeem his own mother and step-father, and every other person who would place their trust in Him.