We're going to be concluding our series on Ruth and Boaz. What a great series this has been. I hope you have read Ruth 4 in preparation for the sermon today.
Ruth has advanced from the heart of heathen Moab to the heart of Godly Boaz. We're going to see how that happens. Her story is in the Bible to help you advance from the depths of sin into the very home of God called Heaven.
Last week we saw Ruth propose to Boaz. How many of you ladies here proposed to at the time of your engagement? Ruth claimed Boaz as her kinsman redeemer. What that did, the proposal freed Boaz, it untied his hands and enabled him to go to work in Ruth's behalf, which he could not have done. The claiming of Boaz released him from the things that encumbered him from gaining her, because he did love her. He wanted her. Until she asked, he could not go to bat for her. He loved her. He wanted her. Her redeemer loved her. Might I say, your Redeemer loves you.
There's a little song that our children sing. "Jesus loves me this I know for the Bible tells me so." That's the greatest message you could ever learn. If you forget everything, just remember, your Redeemer loves you.
And, Ruth's redeemer loved her. Her kinsman-redeemer was Boaz. I think, basically, Salvation is the story of Ruth and Boaz. Salvation is a love story The very day Ruth proposed, Boaz took action. He started in. Love doesn't horse around.
Look at Ruth 4:1. Meanwhile Boaz went up to the town gate and sat there. When the kinsman-redeemer he had mentioned came along, Boaz said, "Come over here, my friend, and sit down." So he went over and sat down. Now, Boaz is going to buy land. I think if I was going to buy land I would go down to see my attorney or my realtor or some legal thing. But here he is, going to the town gate.
Now, I grew up in Hartford City Indiana where we did not have a town gate. In fact, our town, smack dab in the middle of our town was a square, one block in each direction, facing north, south, east and west. Because in Indiana everything needs to be lined up, you know. In the middle of the square was a quaint old court house that still stand this day. Our town didn't have a wall around it, so the city just spread out around that courthouse. I've been in Bethlehem, and I will tell you, that city did have a wall around it and houses could not spread out and so they all jammed in to fit inside those walls so the streets of Bethlehem are vary narrow, the houses are all packed tightly together. If they got a southern California fire in Bethlehem the whole town would be gone in an instance I suppose.
And so, they sat at the gate. Most small towns in Bible days had one main gate. That's where everyone came in and out. So, if you wanted to meet somebody, you just sat at the gate long enough and here they would come. If they're on their way out or on their way in, that's the place to meet them. And the councilmen would assemble like Aldermen or a Jury and make critical decisions (See Deuteronomy 16:18). At that gate Boaz sat down. I think maybe he sat there for hours. He sat there waiting. Folk may have wondered about him. "This is the middle of the harvest. This is a prosperous farmer and the harvest is going on and here is Boaz, just kind of sitting there at the gate. He's not doing anything. What's the matter with Boaz?" People probably started wondering, "What is going on? We don't understand this. Is he sick? He has invited ten people to sit there with him." Ten venerated men sitting there as he sits in the shade of the city wall. "Something fishy is going on here."
Finally his near relative comes by. Boaz is in love with Ruth but his plan of attack is to purchase the property first. Do you know how this works? Naomi left in the midst of a famine, like a depression. She's very poor. She and her husband and two sons fled down to Moab and that's where she met Ruth and Orpah. Her husband and sons died in Moab. She and Ruth come back to Bethlehem. Naomi came back destitute. The two women could not farm the land so, Naomi has to sell her land. She needs to sell her land. She's got to get some money. Naomi can't farm the land, and of course this sale was only temporary due to the Jubilee. So, on a sense it was like a lease. It is tough thing about it was that you can only sell it to a near kinsman, and there are only two eligible people in the world who can buy your land. Now, it's pretty hard to lease your property when there's just two possible buyers. One of them wants it and the other hasn't even heard about it. The redeemers were limited to her cousin Boaz and an unnamed Uncle.
So the second man, being more eligible because he was an uncle, was asked to purchase the land. It was sort of a dishonor to refuse to help a relative. Aren't we supposed to help our relatives? So he said: "I will redeem it!" (Ruth 4:4, last part) The crowd must have applauded. They were so happy, "Naomi is going to get the help she needs. He's going to redeem the land." Boaz's heart must have sunk to the bottom. The destiny of the Moabite maiden quivered in the balance.
God, like Boaz must deal with the legality of our salvation. That's what Boaz was doing. Someone else has rights to us because of the great sin of Adam and Eve. The devil, Satan, has the right to us. We are rightfully the slaves to sin. Satan is the prince of this earth. But God has a plan to redeem us. He is working that plan out. God wanted to redeem us because He loved us. Never forget, your Redeemer loves you.
Then Boaz let the cat out of the bag. He said, "There is one little impediment. Ruth 4:5,6. "On the day you buy the land from Naomi and from Ruth the Moabitess, you acquire the dead man's widow, "I do? I didn't know that." you acquire the dead man's widow in order to maintain the name of the dead with his property."
At this, the kinsman-redeemer said, "Then I cannot redeem it because I might endanger my own estate. You redeem it yourself. I cannot do it." Well, he changed his mind in a hurry, didn't he.
Twice he publically declines. "I can't do it." At that, dignified Boaz must have been tempted to jump up and down with joy. "I've got her! I've got Ruth! She's going to be my wife."
I think the other kinsman may have been childless. If he married Ruth her first son would be classified as Ruth's son, Elimelech's son. Then when the kinsman eventually died, all his land would pass to Ruth's children. He said, I cannot redeem it for myself, lest I mar mine own inheritance. - Ruth 4:6 KJV. What he had inherited would be lost. Everything would be jeopardized. "I don't want to lose my inheritance."
Are you losing your inheritance? You know, we don't want to lose our inheritance. Do you realize that you inherited from your parents something special. Maybe you inherited a good constitution. A lot of you did, from your parents. Are you losing it do to intemperance? Due to pumping drugs into your body? Are you losing what you have inherited. Maybe from evil habits or indulgence you are losing your health? Still other lose their moral inheritance that their parents worked so hard to instill in them. All the years of church school and family worship are sent down the drain. Don't lose your Christian heritage. Keep that. Retain that. I had a book in my hands this morning that belonged my great grandmother, Almeda Gettys. She was a fine Seventh-day Adventist saint. I do not want to be the first in many generations to tarnish my Christian heritage. Don't lose your inheritance!
Do you know that Boaz risked everything he owned by taking Ruth as his wife. He may have already had grown children. We don't know. He was an older man. When Ruth gave birth to a son the family will would automatically be changed. If he married a heathen Moabite he might even risk being ostracized from his people, the church. According to the genealogy in Matthew 1:5 he was a son of Rahab the harlot. His mother was a prostitute. Boaz's mother. Apparently when Rahab escaped Jericho, remember that red cord that hund out of the window, when she escaped Jericho, apparently she married one of the Israelite soldiers who rescued her.
Boaz turned out god, didn't he. And so did his mother. She changed her ways. It doesn't matter how many harlots you have had there in the dark recesses of your family tree. It doesn't matter how many pirates you find back there. It doesn't matter if every one of the people in your family tree were all alcoholics. You don't have to be an alcoholic. You can break that trend. You are not chained to your family tree. With Jesus Christ your life can bear good fruit. You don't have to be a nut tree.
Boaz risked everything for Ruth. Boaz is a symbol of Jesus Christ. He risked it all to redeem Ruth. Jesus took a great risk. He risked everything. Jesus risked His eternal life for us. Our redemption did cost Jesus his very life on the painful Roman cross. Why did Jesus redeem us? Because Jesus loved us. Never forget, your Redeemer loves you.
If Boaz is a type of Christ, then who is this unnamed kinsman redeemer who said "I cannot redeem it" - verse 6? Boaz is a type of Jesus, so, who is this unnamed kinsman who can't do it? He was unable to save. I think He is a type of the Law. T0 me, that would be the case. He said, "I can't do it.." He's unable to save. He's a type of the law because the law cannot save. Romans 3:20 KJV. Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin. Law keeping can't save anyone. In 2 Corinthians 3:9 it is called "the ministration of condemnation." The best the law can do is point to the Redeemer; to point out your sin. The kinsman pointed to Boaz as the one who would be the Redeemer.
Ruth 4:7 says that "for the redemption and transfer of property to become final, one party took off his sandal and gave it to the other." So the kinsman redeemer who could not do it gave his sandal to Boaz in public with all these witnesses who were by now a large crowd gathered around. He gave his sandal as a public testimony that never again would his feet step on that property because that property would now belong to somebody else. So, you see, that's the symbolism. And then the shoe, the sandal was handed back.
I remember when we bought our first home, we had to sign our signature at least 20 to 30 times. We got things notarized to make them legal. In Bible times you met before 10 venerated men which was a quorum. The first man took off his sandal and gave it to Boaz. That was like a handshake. I think I like a handshake better.
If you've got a stable marriage you've got to make sure that all legalities are taken care of beforehand. And so, Boaz is making sure that everything in order. He was lining up his ducks. He was making sure that everything was legal. Boaz did not want to have a knock on the door later from this other kinsman redeemer, "Hey now. Wait a minute. I wanted that land. I deserve that. You don't deserve that. I'm going to sue you." No, Boaz wanted everything to be right. Otherwise the uncle could try to annul the new partnership. So, take time to have a proper courtship. Make sure everything is the way it ought to be.
At this moment Boaz pretty well had Ruth, so he sent for Ruth to come. I am sure she and Naomi spent most of the morning in a prayer band. As she fearfully came up she saw the broad big beaming face of Boaz. All was well.
At that point, she was in line to become the great, great, great, great grandmother of Jesus just by marrying Boaz. It's an amazing story. The great grandmother of David. Quite an interesting thing.
Well, they had a wedding. The story of Ruth and Boaz and their wedding is beginning to sound more like purchasing a piece of land or a car. In Ruth 4:10, Boaz said, "I have also acquired Ruth the Moabitess, Mahlon's widow, as my wife, in order to maintain the name of the dead with his property, so that his name will not disappear from among his family or from the town records. Today you are witnesses." By now there must have been quite a crowd there at the gate. I can imagine the crowd applauding and they all witnessed the transaction. And they all called down their blessing to this couple, this new home. The heart of Boaz must have swelled with pride and joy.
Look at Ruth 4:13. So Boaz took Ruth and she became his wife. Then he went to her, and the Lord enabled her to conceive, and she gave birth to a son. You know, God is the ultimate fertility doctor, isn't He. He enabled the conception.
Ruth 4:16. Then Naomi took the child, laid him in her lap and cared for him. The child was named, Obed. Obed means, servant, and he became the grandson of Naomi. Naomi became deeply involved in raising Obed. Now isn't that a switch? A lot of you grandparents are raising your grandchildren. Many of you grandparents are just about raising your grandchildren. This is happening more and more as we get into modern times. Things happen, and a lot of you grandparents are raising your grandchildren. This is a different day and age that we live in. If you are raising the grandchild and you are the primary care-giver, and you are doing this, then you do the best you can do. Their salvation might depend on you. Maybe the only values they get in life will come from you. Remember Timothy caught the faith of his grandmother Lois. 2 Timothy 1:5.
I don't know why Naomi seemed to become his chief care giver. I don't understand that. As he grew older Obed possibly became her care giver. Maybe it was sort of a mutual thing. Eventually the tables turned and he began to care for his aged grandmother. The Bible calls Obed a good servant. The birth of Obed changed Boaz. He was no longer the terminal bud in his family tree. It was going to go on. Obed was now the heir of two separate estates; the estate of his mother and of his father..
Maybe Ruth and Boaz ran the farm together. She was a very hard worker. They must have been a very successful team. God blessed their union.
Have you thought deeply about exactly what it was that qualified Boaz to be the kinsman redeemer? There were at least three qualifications:
The price of our redemption is high. I imagine naomi wanted a lot for that land. Boaz gladly paid it. The cost of our redemption is so high that it cost Jesus everything He had to pay for our debt of sins. He gave His blood and His life to redeem us.
Boaz was very willing. He did not say, "Give me a few months to think about your proposal. I'll let you know some day." Boaz took immediate action. Why did he do that? Within 10 to 12 hours he had the whole thing ironed out. Why? He loved Ruth. Boaz wanted to redeem her.
Our Saviour Jesus is willing to redeem us. A text in Mark illustrates Jesus willingness to save. Mark 1:40, 41. A man with leprosy came to him and begged him on his knees, "If you are willing, you can make me clean."
Filled with compassion, Jesus reached out his hand and touched the man. "I am willing," he said. "Be clean!" Instantly the man was saved from leprosy.
If you come to Jesus and ask Him to save you how long do you have to wait? There is no waiting. Ask and you shall receive. Salvation is instant because we have a willing Savior. He wants to redeem us because He loves us so much that He died to save us. I don't know why He loves us, but He does. He loves us so much that He died for us. Redemption is actually a romance. Jesus is in love with you. Jesus loves you. The message of the book of Ruth is this:
Your Redeemer loves you.
He does. And if you want in His kingdom someday, then you invite Him into your heart today. Ruth entered the home of Boaz, and if you want to enter the home of God, then invited Jesus to enter your heart. Invite Him to do it today. All you have to do is pray. Revelation 3:20. "I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me."
Hymn of Praise: #227, Jesus Shall Reign Scripture: Ruth 4:13-17 Hymn of Response: #236, I Love Thee 031101 Ruth-4 #544
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last updated 4/12/04 by Bob Beckett.