ďMay your family be like that of Perez, whom Tamar bore to Judah.Ē Ruth 4:12
This is the blessing that the women of Bethlehem gave to Ruth and Boaz when their marriage was announced. It is an unusual blessing in that it refers to the rather unsavoury story in Genesis 38 where Tamar became pregnant by her father-in-law. Tamar gave birth to twin boys called Perez and Zerah. Perez was actually born first although initially it appeared that Zerah was going to be the firstborn. (Being the firstborn in this culture was an important privilege.) Perezís birth was a complete reversal of what should have happened. He should not have been the firstborn and should not have enjoyed the privileges of that position.
When the woman of Bethlehem blessed Ruth they were saying that God was doing a complete reversal in Ruthís life. She was born a Moabite and should have had no part with Godís people. But God turned around her circumstances. The full extend of this reversal becomes clear when we read the genealogy in Matthew 1:5 where Ruth is mentioned in the line of descendants that leads to Jesus.
Today we are like Ruth, in that we have done nothing to merit being included in Godís family. Yet because of Godís great mercy and grace He sent Jesus so we could be part of his chosen people. God has made a complete reversal in our circumstances. ďOnce you were not a people, but now you are the people of GodĒ (1 Peter 2:10).