This morning we are going to finish looking at the book of Ruth, GOD’S LOVE STORY FOR US.
The story of Ruth is one of the most fascinating stories you will ever read. It’s true that it is a love story, but it is also quite a success story.
We saw in chapter one that Elimelech, his wife Naomi, and their two sons Mahlon and Chilion, tried to run from God’s judgment in Bethlehem to try to make it without Him in Moab.
As a result Elimelech died, his sons married Moabite women and died 10 years later, and Naomi and one of her Moabite daughters-in-law, Ruth, returned to Bethlehem.
Now we already looked at the fact that YOU CAN’T RUN FROM GOD, and that you must come TO THE END OF YOURSELF TO COME TO THE BEGINNING OF GOD. And we even discussed God’s providence.
But I didn’t point out that the biggest example of God’s providence in chapter one is that a poor, Moabite woman would happen to marry a man who was going to die and whose mother would take her to Bethlehem in the first place.
And in chapter 2 we saw that as a result of these circumstances that God had brought into play, Ruth met a man named Boaz and they fell hopelessly in love. We can see in this story the sheltering, caring love of Jesus Christ for us.
And in chapter 3, we found out that of all the men that Ruth could have fallen in love with, she fell in love with a man who was a kinsman-redeemer.
Now let me assure you that none of these happenings were a coincidence. God had worked out all of these events. He did it not only because of His love and care for Ruth, Boaz, and Naomi, but also for a much larger demonstration of His love that we’ll see in a minute.
Now with all of the things that have gone right with Ruth and Boaz, there was still one problem that had to be addressed. There was a kinsman-redeemer who was closer kin than Boaz and he would have to be dealt with first.
So let’s read what happens:
I. MARRIAGE (Ruth 4:1-12)
1 Then went Boaz up to the gate, and sat him down there: and, behold, the kinsman of whom Boaz spake came by; unto whom he said, Ho, such a one! turn aside, sit down here. And he turned aside, and sat down.
2 And he took ten men of the elders of the city, and said, Sit ye down here. And they sat down.
3 And he said unto the kinsman, Naomi, that is come again out of the country of Moab, selleth a parcel of land, which was our brother Elimelech’s:
4 And I thought to advertise thee, saying, Buy it before the inhabitants, and before the elders of my people. If thou wilt redeem it, redeem it: but if thou wilt not redeem it, then tell me, that I may know: for there is none to redeem it beside thee; and I am after thee. And he said, I will redeem it.
5 Then said Boaz, What day thou buyest the field of the hand of Naomi, thou must buy it also of Ruth the Moabitess, the wife of the dead, to raise up the name of the dead upon his inheritance.
6 And the kinsman said, I cannot redeem it for myself, lest I mar mine own inheritance: redeem thou my right to thyself; for I cannot redeem it.
7 Now this was the manner in former time in Israel concerning redeeming and concerning changing, for to confirm all things; a man plucked off his shoe, and gave it to his neighbour: and this was a testimony in Israel.
8 Therefore the kinsman said unto Boaz, Buy it for thee. So he drew off his shoe.
9 And Boaz said unto the elders, and unto all the people, Ye are witnesses this day, that I have bought all that was Elimelech’s, and all that was Chilion’s and Mahlon’s, of the hand of Naomi.
10 Moreover Ruth the Moabitess, the wife of Mahlon, have I purchased to be my wife, to raise up the name of the dead upon his inheritance, that the name of the dead be not cut off from among his brethren, and from the gate of his place: ye are witnesses this day.
11 And all the people that were in the gate, and the elders, said, We are witnesses. The LORD make the woman that is come into thine house like Rachel and like Leah, which two did build the house of Israel: and do thou worthily in Ephratah, and be famous in Bethlehem:
12 And let thy house be like the house of Pharez, whom Tamar bare unto Judah, of the seed which the LORD shall give thee of this young woman.
A. We see that Boaz went to the city gates, which is where all the official business is taken care of. (It was much like the courthouse of the day.)
1. Boaz needed to find this “closer relative” and give him the first opportunity to redeem Elimelech’s land and Ruth as well.
2. Now the city gate was the place not only to take care of business, but it was apparently the most likely place to run in to someone.
3. It was kind of like walking through Wal-Mart today.
You are pretty likely to find anyone you want to see in Wal-Mart if you hang out there long enough.
B. Now when Boaz saw this relative, he asked him to sit down with him in front of the elders and he told him the story.
1. Of course, we weren’t there, but can’t you just imagine that Boaz’s heart just sunk when the kinsman redeemer agreed to redeem the land.
2. However, a quick thinking Boaz reminded him that he couldn’t redeem the land without marrying Ruth, in order to carry on the name of the deceased.
3. After being told that tidbit of information, this other kinsmen’s demeanor changed.
You see if this man were to redeem Ruth and have a son by her, this son would not get the inheritance that he had.
That’s why he said in vs. 6, “I cannot redeem it for myself, lest I mar mine own inheritance. . .”
C. We can just imagine that Boaz is now turning cartwheels inside.
Finally he would be able to marry the girl of his dreams!
D. Now there are some things here that we need to apply in our own lives.
1. The first one is this: WE HAVE TO DEAL WITH THE ISSUES THAT GOD PUTS IN FRONT OF US.
a. Boaz could have asked Ruth to run away to Moab with him, but remember that’s how Ruth got in such a mess to start with.
b. But rather than do that, Boaz dealt with the issues that faced him openly and honestly.
c. And when we face problems in our lives, we need to deal with them in the same way.
d. When we have a cut, we go ahead and clean it and put antiseptic on it. And while that might cause it to sting for a few minutes, its better than allowing it to get infected and make us sick.
e. Our spiritual lives work the same way.
There are some, maybe even Christians, that God is convicting about the way they live, and they have decided to wait and see what He will do to them.
f. Friend, listen to me, the sin in our lives will only make us sicker and sicker until cleansed by the blood of Jesus.
WE HAVE TO DEAL WITH THE ISSUES THAT GOD PUTS IN FRONT OF US.
2. The other thing that we need to learn from Boaz’s situation is this: GOD HAS A WAY OF WORKING THINGS OUT.
a. God knew that the nearer kinsman would not redeem Ruth so that Boaz could. God was in control. He had planned it that way.
b. The only way that this could not be so is if somebody were smarter or stronger than God.
c. Can you imagine God saying, “I’m sorry Ruth and Boaz. Your nearer kinsman outwitted me so now you can’t get married.”
d. Or, “Oh no! This near kinsman just out muscled me and took control of you, so now I don’t know what is going to happen.”
e. That’s ridiculous isn’t it? Folks, God has a purpose and plan.
II. THE MOTHER. (Ruth 4:13-14)
A. Once all of that business with the nearer kinsman was concluded, Ruth and Boaz got married.
Can’t you just imagine what kind of wedding these two had?
There is no doubt that probably just about everyone in Bethlehem was there.
B. After getting married, we see that Ruth immediately conceived and they had a brand new son named Obed.
C. What an unlikely story! It started out with a poor Moabitess who married a man who was on the run from God. We might look at the situation and say, “How in the world could this turn out good,” right?
1. Ruth was only married to Naomi’s son for 10 barren years, and then he died. It didn’t appear that her future was getting any brighter.
2. She and her mother in law traveled back to Bethlehem.
They had no possessions, and the only way that they could survive was for Ruth to glean wheat and barley in the fields of others.
They were at the mercy of the owners and workers in the fields.
At first appearance, it was not much of a promising career.
3. And then came Boaz, a man who saw Ruth and was willing to pay any price, to do anything to have a relationship with her.
4. And suddenly life became good. Even when there was the problem of the nearer kinsman, you just knew everything was going to be all right.
5. God is good isn’t He?
D. The application for us is simple: Trust in God! Trust God with your whole life. You can’t be in any safer place than in God’s hands.
1. Psalm 46:10 says, “Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth.”
2. Give God your health, your marriage, your family, your possessions, all that you have. Rest in His faithful caring hands.
“Be not dismayed what’er betides, God will take care of you.”
“Beneath His wings of love abide, God will take care of you.”
III. THE MESSIAH. (Ruth 4:15-22)
Let’s look at something else amazing in this sweet little love story.
A. Boaz was the great-grandfather of King David.
That made him (in the line) of Jesus.
B. God loved Ruth and Boaz so He caused them to be together.
C. Through this unlikely pair, God brought redemption to (His people).
1. The women told Naomi that Ruth loved her and was “better to thee than seven sons.” (Vs 15)
2. They were right, because God would use the lineage of Ruth and Boaz to bring the redeemer of all mankind into the world.
Naomi had had a rough life. But now she was restored through the new life she held in her hands.
Look at verse 16 again.
Naomi was holding the link to her redemption in her hands.
Think about where Naomi had come from.
Remember in chapter one and verse 20-21 that Naomi said, “And she said unto them, Call me not Naomi, call me Mara: for the Almighty hath dealt very bitterly with me. I went out full, and the LORD hath brought me home again empty: why then call ye me Naomi, seeing the LORD hath testified against me, and the Almighty hath afflicted me?”
Naomi had given up all hope of ever pleasing God. Her life had become so dark.
But God stepped in…isn’t that great! God had …plans of redemption.
This story doesn’t end with the picture of Naomi holding this newborn it continues on.
Redemption by the kinsman-redeemer gave a new life so that redemption may continue.
Jesus Christ is our Kinsman-Redeemer who redeems and gives new life to all who come to Him.
This story of redemption isn’t over. The story of redemption continues to give new life today!