The Story - Chapter 9
I recently saw on television a show called Best in Film. It chronicled poll results in film categories, one of which was best film ending. Personally I think the end of Field of Dreams is the very best - father and son reunited and reconciled over a game of catch. Or what about Planet of the Apes when Charlton Heston discovers he's really on a futuristic earth as he glimpses a broken and fallen Statue of Liberty? You have to love the ending of Rocky - Rocky loses in the ring but who cares because Adrian is racing to his side. Great endings really can make a movie memorable.
As far as books of the Bible are concerned, I think Ruth has one of the greatest endings. Down and out Ruth and Naomi. Both widowed. Both desperate for the security of a husband. Both childless. They've experienced the death of loved ones, a devastating famine, and financial hardships. This book has all the makings of a real downer.
But there's that ending.
Boaz enters to save the day. He seems instantly taken back by Ruth. At their first meeting you can sense that love is in the air. Boaz cares for Ruth and eventually takes her as his wife and the two have a baby. But what is really great about this ending is that not only does Ruth have a child, but Naomi has a grandson. The grandson she thought she would never have after her two sons died. This woman who, refusing to be called by her given name, took the name Mara (bitter) experiences nothing but the sweetest of endings.
The book of Ruth ends with Naomi holding her grandson Obed. Bitter Naomi certainly never looked so blessed. What makes this ending even more wonderful is that Obed will have a son, Jesse, who will also have a son, David -- the great King of Israel. A simply wonderful ending.
What’s more bizarre is that this wonderful ending all takes place in Bethlehem - the place where all of our endings are changed from bitter to blessed!