Keeping the Family Intact

Michael Wilcock

READ : Ruth 4:9-10

“. . . that the name of the dead may not be cut off.” (v. 10)

So both the property and the girl were taken care of.

It would probably be very different today. What might happen to the field? Once
Naomi—having nothing else left—had to sell it, it would be snapped up by a
developer and something modern and progressive (and noisy and polluting and money making)
would be made of it. Naomi would have the proceeds, it’s true, but the bit of land that
had been in the family for so long would be lost forever.

And Ruth? In many countries a welfare system would look after her in life, illness, and
old age. The links with such relatives as she might have would be unnecessary.

You have to admire the old Israelite system in its concern to keep the family intact.
Both the property and the people matter. Both you and your goods are the responsibility of
your next-of-kin.

It’s all of a piece with what the Bible tells us about our Father God, and about our
true Kinsman-Redeemer Jesus. They hate to see things that belong together fall apart.
“What does God do all day?” asked the child. And the answer was: “He goes around mending


Lord, thank you for mending us when we fall apart. Amen.