An Official Seal, and What It Means

Michael Wilcock

READ : Ruth 4:11-12

“May your house be like the house of Perez.” (v. 12)

The names in this ceremony of witness all belong to the national history of Israel.
They are like the design of a coat-of-arms, or a flag, or a seal. They remind the present
generation of the past events which have made it what it is.

The townspeople’s words sealed Boaz’s right to his new field and his new wife. To Ruth,
they wished a big family, like the children of Jacob’s wives. To Boaz, they wished fame
and fortune in Bethlehem; though the part he was to play in making his town one of the
most famous and fortunate in the whole world, nobody could yet guess. To the children,
their wish was that they should be “like the family of Perez.” Now what does that mean?

Perhaps the most thrilling thing of all. For Perez was illegitimate, and others
despised him (see Gen. 38:24-29). But God didn’t. God is the righter of wrongs. He brought
Perez back into the family and made him an honored member of it (see Gen. 46:12; Matt.
1:3).

Ruth, in a different way, was an outsider too. God could bless her children as he had
blessed Perez’s. There it is in the seal, the coat-of-arms: the Lord is the one who brings
outsiders into his family.

PRAYER

Lord, may we all know what it is to be an outsider brought in. Amen.