Ruth 4:11-12 "... We are witnesses! May the lord make the woman who is now coming into your home like Rachel and Leah, from whom all the nation of Israel descended! ...And may the lord give you descendants by this young woman who will be like our ancestor Perez, the son of Tamar and Jacob."
A strange toast for sure when one looks at it. Did the Elder really want Ruth to be barren like Rachel, or unloved like Leah was? Then in v12, it gets more bizarre, for did the Elder want Ruth to do a Tamar number and disguise Herself as a prostitute and bear a child by her father-in-law? This is like saying, "I was your marriage was messed up so that you can do the good that only comes through hard times." So why would this toast possibly be thought of as good?
There is a big obstacle to relating to God. There seems to be no higher goal really than feeling better now ~ the Bible calls this "the flesh." But the problem is that a lot of the times "Gods best" looks far different from we want it to. Could it be that the Elders prayer is for brokeness, the power to trust God no matter what? We pray often for God to maker things better, I know I do, and then things often stay the same ... then we take things into our own hands... We want things to improve! Fixed! Like now ...!
Its like the Elder told Boaz, "You married a lovely, beautiful woman, and I want the best. But if the unthinkable happens and Ruth turns out to be conniving as Rachel or insecure as Leah, God will still being at work to bring about the good He intended." This is a very freeing thing to ponder! I know for myself that having ones dreams smashed around a bit may be God's best after all. The broken dreams are actually just pieces in a bigger puzzle to help us get to the bigger dreams, not really dreamed up yet. The desire for feeling good now may be a limit on us to really fly later!
Just some thoughts ... Tim