Sermon Follow Up- Week 52, 2021
The book of Ruth ends with a baby named Obed who symbolized the end of Naomi's emptiness. His grandson would end the time of Israel languishing without a king. More thn that, his great great descendant would be Jesus, our redeemer.
“Now Boaz had gone up to the gate and sat down there. And behold, the redeemer, of whom Boaz had spoken, came by. So Boaz said, “Turn aside, friend; sit down here.” And he turned aside and sat down. And he took ten men of the elders of the city and said, “Sit down here.” So they sat down. Then he said to the redeemer, “Naomi, who has come back from the country of Moab, is selling the parcel of land that belonged to our relative Elimelech. So I thought I would tell you of it and say, ‘Buy it in the presence of those sitting here and in the presence of the elders of my people.’ If you will redeem it, redeem it. But if you will not, tell me, that I may know, for there is no one besides you to redeem it, and I come after you.” And he said, “I will redeem it.” Then Boaz said, “The day you buy the field from the hand of Naomi, you also acquire Ruth the Moabite, the widow of the dead, in order to perpetuate the name of the dead in his inheritance.” Then the redeemer said, “I cannot redeem it for myself, lest I impair my own inheritance. Take my right of redemption yourself, for I cannot redeem it.”
Now this was the custom in former times in Israel concerning redeeming and exchanging: to confirm a transaction, the one drew off his sandal and gave it to the other, and this was the manner of attesting in Israel. So when the redeemer said to Boaz, “Buy it for yourself,” he drew off his sandal. Then Boaz said to the elders and all the people, “You are witnesses this day that I have bought from the hand of Naomi all that belonged to Elimelech and all that belonged to Chilion and to Mahlon. Also Ruth the Moabite, the widow of Mahlon, I have bought to be my wife, to perpetuate the name of the dead in his inheritance, that the name of the dead may not be cut off from among his brothers and from the gate of his native place. You are witnesses this day.” Then all the people who were at the gate and the elders said, “We are witnesses. May the LORD make the woman, who is coming into your house, like Rachel and Leah, who together built up the house of Israel. May you act worthily in Ephrathah and be renowned in Bethlehem, and may your house be like the house of Perez, whom Tamar bore to Judah, because of the offspring that the LORD will give you by this young woman.”
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. 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! 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.” Then Naomi took the child and laid him on her lap and became his nurse. 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.
Now these are the generations of Perez: Perez fathered Hezron, Hezron fathered Ram, Ram fathered Amminadab, Amminadab fathered Nahshon, Nahshon fathered Salmon, Salmon fathered Boaz, Boaz fathered Obed, Obed fathered Jesse, and Jesse fathered David.” (Ruth 4:1-22 ESV)
Jesus, the son of David and the king of Kings, is your redeemer.
SUBPOINTS AND REFLECTION QUESTIONS
1. The Selfish Redeemer
At the threshing floor, Boaz introduced the reality of a redeemer ahead of him in line. It was this redeemer who had the right to redeem Naomi's land, but he refused to marry Ruth the Moabite "lest it impair" his inheritance. He is a lesson in contrast of God's sacrificial love embodied in Boaz leaving behind making a name for his family line by upholding the family line of Elimelech.
- What if Jesus responded to the possibility of redeeming us like this man?
- What are ways we can immitate Boaz's Christlike willingness to do whatever it took to spare/save/restore Naomi and Ruth?
2. The Done Deal
Finally the moment we've been waiting for! Boaz finally wins the day and claims Ruth to be his wife but it's all for the purpose of perpetuating the name of the dead in his inheritance. As a result, the elders of the towns bless this family, particularly this young woman Ruth.
One blessing that's spoken upon Ruth is that her house owuld be like the house of Perez, the oldest twin born to Tamar and her father-in-law Judah. So why would harkening to Perez be a blessing? Because Judah was promised a ruler would come from his family.
- How does Jesus' geneology sound after studying Ruth?
3. The Emptiness Filled
This story partially culminates in Naomi holding onto her new grandson who symbolizes God's lovingkindness to her. This child was the antithesis of where Naomi had found herself at the beginning of this story and is proof that God was set on restoring Naomi from the moment she was grieved.
- How does reflecting on Naomi's journey inform your own hope to be restored, made well, etc. Ask God to deepen your assurance that he will truly work things for your good in the end and for his ultimate glory.
- How has Jesus been a nourisher and restorer of life to you?
- How would you summarize Ruth's love for Naomi? How can you grow to embody such Christlike love?
4. The Long Expected Jesus
Ruth ends with David, but David is far from the end of the story. From Ruth and Boaz comes the most important man in Israel's history, that is until his andestor comes onto the scene as a child. David was promised someone from his family who would sit on his throne forever and establish his kingdom. Only Jesus could do this. The same Jesus who was predicted to come as a child...from the tribe of Judah...from the town of Bethlehem.
- As you trace these prophecies (Isaiah 9, 2 Samuel 7, Micah 5), what does it teach you about God and his plan along with this person he had prepared?
- What does it mean that Jesus was "born a child, and yet a king"?
- Worship the son who came to us not just as an innocent baby, but as the King of Kings.
We tend to treat Christmas as if we worship the God who sent this child to us but not the child himself. The three kings that came to Jesus and presented gifts to him to show us that the baby in a manger named Jesus is worthy of our worship.
- Study Ruth and other Old Testament books with anticipation.
I've heard Ruth described in such a way that it's a nice neat story that gets buttoned up at the end. When in reality, it does end well but in a way that is forcing you to peer ahead. So read the Old Testament with a sense of leaning forward and anticipating what's coming next in the story.
- Reflect on your Christmas
How has Ruth enriched or influenced your thoughts about Christmas?
Is there more room to consider Jesus as the King of Kings rather than simply an innocent child? This is the great mystery of God coming to us and taking on flesh. Somehow Jesus was fully God and fully man and we want to be careful not to overephasize either side!
- Genesis 49:10
- Isaiah 9:2-7
- Micah 5:2-4
- 2 Samuel 7
- Matthew 1