It shows what it means to “love your neighbor as yourself.” God’s Perhaps the most surprising twist in the story is that Ruth isn’t being rescued.
Ruth proposes marriage, Boaz accepts, and the man who threatens to spoil it all walks away.
The genealogy at the end delivers the startling news that this baby is the great grandfather of King David and, as we now know, the ancestor of King Jesus. Under patriarchy, a woman’s value is gauged by counting her sons. The fate the ancients feared most was for a man to die without a male heir to perpetuate the family for another generation.
Within the patriarchal culture, a woman’s chief contribution in life was to produce sons for her husband. So when a post-menopausal Naomi loses her husband and both her sons, she plummets from the status of an honored mother of two sons to a zero. That changes the entire book and makes God the rightful focus of the story. Realistically, the “happily-ever-after” evaporates. Life goes on, but these kinds of losses reconfigure a person’s life.
Naomi, Ruth’s widowed mother-in-law, interprets his unexpected generosity towards Ruth as romantic interest.
Nothing more comes of it until Naomi gives the hesitant lovers the nudge they need, offering Ruth what Driscoll considers very bad and morally questionable counsel.