". . . and laid him in her lap, . . ." Ruth 4:16
Small things make a big difference. The acceptance of Ruth the Moabitess into Israel set the stage for bigger things to come. The seemingly small confession of Ruth, that Naomi's God would be her God, opened up a pathway of redemption.
This chapter concludes with the naming of the newborn son. The fact that the baby rested in Naomi's lap, and is named by the women of Bethlehem, rather than by his parents, is an indication that something is going on here that Ruth and Boaz could have never predicted. This child has a larger significance, something more than simply being theirs. This baby, born in Bethlehem, turned out to be the Grandfather of David. And that was only the beginning. The royal line of David continued to run right through the Old Testament and into the New Testament, until it reached its apex of another child born in Bethlehem. And, just in case we are too slow to pick up on the magnitude of the situation, Matthew reiterates the facts of Jesus genealogy:
“. . . Boaz was the father of Obed by Ruth and Obed the father of Jesse, and Jesse the father of King David.” Matthew 1:5-6
What happened in Bethlehem was small, but a very big deal. They called Him Jesus. He would be the One who would save people from their sins. Jesus the Redeemer. The one who would save whoever they were, from whatever background – people just like you.
Think of it, Jesus the Messiah was small enough to fit in a crib and big enough to save the world. Jesus, born in Bethlehem, small enough to be held in the arms of Mary, but big enough to die for our sin, our broken relationship with God. He saved us from the emptiness of a life without God, and from the judgment we deserved for rejecting God. How did He do it? By His death for us on a cross. It cost God plenty to get you out of that dead-end, empty-headed life you grew up in. He paid with Christ’s sacred blood.
We are never to despise the day of small beginnings, you never know how a small thing makes a big difference.