Ruth - Second
Ruth meets Boaz by gleaning in his field
Naomi starts to be hopeful
Boaz is interested in this Ruth character and instructs workers to “help” her out and be kind to her
Boaz was a kinsman redeemer
Meaning he was a relative of Elimilech, and could “redeem” Naomi and Ruth, and provide for Naomi an heir
Ruth goes and lays down on his feet while he’s sleeping
Boaz wants to redeem her, but there is a closer relative, and that’s where we are picking up the story
Ruth Chapter 4:
Question for you, have any of you ever been on a really windy road before?
Going to my in-laws house, we drive roads that literally go back and forth and back and forth.
And you sometimes think, if this was just a straight line we would have been there 25 minutes ago!!!
And our kids sometimes think we are close because a turn looks familiar, but we still have many more turns to go.
See, the story of Ruth is very much like this
It’s very much back and forth and back and forth as we’re going to see today.
We went to watch the mighty All Blacks, the New Zealand rugby team, who wear all black, hence the name
But, I had a deadline to meet after the game, I needed to be back here for church that morning
Traffic after game due to road being closed
It wasn’t the workers fault that the traffic had been created, but they were the reason right?
Sometimes bad things happen because of choices we make, and sometimes bad things seem to happen regardless of choices we make.
Think back to last week, Naomi and her family had fallen on hard times, partly due to their lack of trust, and partly due to circumstances, but life was tough.
That kind of sums up Naomi’s life.
Her family had made some bad choices and things happened
What we’re going to see today though, is that Naomi’s life, as hard as it was, as windy as it was and continued to be, God was going to bless her, as God blesses all His people, not always in this life, but in eternity
But today, we’re going to see that bad things can creep in even in the midst of good being done.
Boaz is going to try to redeem Ruth, meaning he’s going to take over Naomi’s family property, marry Ruth, care for Naomi, and follow what was required of the redeemer in this day
The problem is, there is someone who is closer in line, and so essentially, he gets first dibs
Naomi and Ruth had developed this plan, but they’ve hit some curves in the road
Long story short:
The guy says yes I’ll be the redeemer
Boaz says, by the way, you have to take Ruth the Moabite as your wife and try to provide an heir
The guy then very quickly says, “No, No, No, I don’t want to redeem anymore”. I’m out
So Boaz takes the guys sandal in victory, puts it on the mantle and takes Ruth as his wife
God allows Ruth to have a child (remember she was married 10 years before and was childless....that was rare)
But then you’d expect maybe to read “And they lived happily ever after”....but the story flips back to Naomi
In fact, look at verses 13-17
“ 13 So Boaz took Ruth, and she became his wife. And he went in to her, and the Lord gave her conception, and she bore a son. 14 Then the women said to Naomi, “Blessed be the Lord, who has not left you this day without a redeemer, and may his name be renowned in Israel! 15 He shall be to you a restorer of life and a nourisher of your old age, for your daughter-in-law who loves you, who is more to you than seven sons, has given birth to him.” 16 Then Naomi took the child and laid him on her lap and became his nurse. 17 And the women of the neighborhood gave him a name, saying, “A son has been born to Naomi.” They named him Obed. He was the father of Jesse, the father of David.
The women in Bethlehem are celebrating saying that a son has been born to who?
Not Ruth, but Naomi!
See, the book may be titled Ruth, but so much of it is about Naomi, and God’s faithfulness
Think back to last week, Naomi even claimed God was against her and had left her empty.
But let’s look at God’s provision, even though she couldn’t see it
God provided Ruth, who wouldn’t leave her side
God provided a lifting of the famine, so they could return from Moab
God provided work and a field to provide food for them when it was just Naomi and ruth
God provided Boaz, who by no chance of fate owned the field that Ruth randomly picked to glean in, who was a kinsman redeemer.
and Boaz was always on the scene, Naomi just didn’t realize it
We won’t always see God’s plan for our lives
God provided a husband for Ruth, and a son for the family line of Elimilech, which was super important in these days
See, Naomi’s life had been rough, yes? To lose a husband and both sons, I think we all would say life was terrible if that happened to us.
But God always had a plan, God was always working, moving the pieces
Ruth was always going to be faithful
Boaz was always in Bethlehem, waiting
A son/grandson was always going to happen
Listen guys, you will go through hard times in life, there’s no denying that
Sometimes it will be because you made stupid decisions and sometimes those decisions have consequences
Sometimes it will be because God allowed hard times to come…whether through illnesses or loss of jobs, or your family falling apart
And when those times come you will not be able to see past that windy part of the road, and even if you could there will always seem to be another corner to turn
But the Book of Ruth is proof to us, that God sees past it all, and God works through it all
says this, “In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of Him who works all things according to the counsel of His will.”
God is active in the world and he’s working all things according to His will
But we have an inheritance
What is it?
It’s salvation through Jesus Christ
And don’t miss this, look at , “They named him Obed. He was the father of Jesse, the father of David.”
David, King David.
Do you know who comes from the line of King David?
Do you see it, Jesus Christ, our inheritance, our hope in the hard times, came by way of Naomi going through her struggles.
God worked through Naomi’s mistakes, and through Naomi’s tough times to bring about the Messiah, to bring about the hope that we have today
So yes, hard times will come, but God is faithful. God was faithful to us even through the life of Naomi, and God will be faithful to us through our lives too.
We may never see it, we may have a hard life from here until we die, never seeing the glimpse of hope that Naomi saw.
But if we are in Christ, we already have it.
Keep your head up, keep your eyes focused on getting to where you are going, through the curves, through the ups and downs, and He will be faithful.