As the Lord Lives, I Will Act as Next of Kin for You

This meditation is based on a passage for February 25, 2011 in the Daily Lectionary Year 1 from the Book of Common Worship for the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) (1993).

Text: Ruth 3:1-18

Reflection and Question: The storyline in the Book of Ruth hinges upon a rule for marriage still practiced in some cultures today. Called Levirate marriage, it is when a widow without children is required by law to be taken as wife by the brother of her deceased husband. This is possible because men could take more than one wife. So Naomi and Ruth seek out Boaz who, Naomi thinks, is the closest male relative to her husband. With Naomi’s scheming advice, Ruth succeeds in getting Boaz to promise to fulfill his duty. Is the Bible teaching us in this passage to institute Levirate marriage? Why or why not?

Prayer: Great God of all generations that have been and will be, make us wise so that we may understand Scripture. Open our eyes to Your truth embedded in this ancient story of two widows left unprotected in the world. We ask this in Jesus’ name. Amen.