“Blessed is the Lord who has not left you without a redeemer today"
Ruth 4 from the daily reading in the One Year Bible
Now Boaz went up to the gate and sat down there, and behold, the close relative of whom Boaz spoke was passing by, so he said, “Turn aside, friend, sit down here.” And he turned aside and sat down. 2 He took ten men of the elders of the city and said, “Sit down here.” So they sat down. 3 Then he said to the closest relative, “Naomi, who has come back from the land of Moab, has to sell the piece of land which belonged to our brother Elimelech. 4 So I thought to inform you, saying, ‘Buy it before those who are sitting here, and before the elders of my people. If you will redeem it, redeem it; but if not, tell me that I may know; for there is no one but you to redeem it, and I am after you.’” And he said, “I will redeem it.” 5 Then Boaz said, “On the day you buy the field from the hand of Naomi, you must also acquire Ruth the Moabitess, the widow of the deceased, in order to raise up the name of the deceased on his inheritance.” 6 The closest relative said, “I cannot redeem it for myself, because I would jeopardize my own inheritance. Redeem it for yourself; you may have my right of redemption, for I cannot redeem it.”
7 Now this was the custom in former times in Israel concerning the redemption and the exchange of land to confirm any matter: a man removed his sandal and gave it to another; and this was the manner of attestation in Israel. 8 So the closest relative said to Boaz, “Buy it for yourself.” And he removed his sandal. 9 Then Boaz said to the elders and all the people, “You are witnesses today that I have bought from the hand of Naomi all that belonged to Elimelech and all that belonged to Chilion and Mahlon. 10 Moreover, I have acquired Ruth the Moabitess, the widow of Mahlon, to be my wife in order to raise up the name of the deceased on his inheritance, so that the name of the deceased will not be cut off from his brothers or from the court of his birth place; you are witnesses today.” 11 All the people who were in the court, and the elders, said, “We are witnesses. May the Lord make the woman who is coming into your home like Rachel and Leah, both of whom built the house of Israel; and may you achieve wealth in Ephrathah and become famous in Bethlehem. 12 Moreover, may your house be like the house of Perez whom Tamar bore to Judah, through the offspring which the Lord will give you by this young woman.”
13 So Boaz took Ruth, and she became his wife, and he went in to her. And the Lord enabled her to conceive, and she gave birth to a son. 14 Then the women said to Naomi, “Blessed is the Lord who has not left you without a redeemer today, and may his name become famous in Israel. 15 May he also be to you a restorer of life and a sustainer of your old age; for your daughter-in-law, who loves you and is better to you than seven sons, has given birth to him.”
16 Then Naomi took the child and laid him in her lap, and became his nurse. 17 The neighbor women gave him a name, saying, “A son has been born to Naomi!” So they named him Obed. He is the father of Jesse, the father of David.
18 Now these are the generations of Perez: to Perez was born Hezron, 19 and to Hezron was born Ram, and to Ram, Amminadab, 20 and to Amminadab was born Nahshon, and to Nahshon, Salmon, 21 and to Salmon was born Boaz, and to Boaz, Obed, 22 and to Obed was born Jesse, and to Jesse, David.
“Blessed is the Lord who has not left you without a redeemer today, and may his name become famous in Israel. May he also be to you a restorer of life and a sustainer of your old age.” That is the story of Ruth, redemption, restoration and sustaining life. That’s the story of the entire Bible, redemption, restoration and sustaining life. In the beginning of the story of Ruth, when Naomi and Ruth first returned to Naomi’s home town, Naomi was deep in mourning and bitterness. Ruth 1:20-21 says: She said to them, “Do not call me Naomi; call me Mara, for the Almighty has dealt very bitterly with me. I went out full, but the Lord has brought me back empty. Why do you call me Naomi, since the Lord has witnessed against me and the Almighty has afflicted me?” We too, like Naomi may feel sometimes like the Lord has dealt with us bitterly. Naomi had lost her husband and both sons. The loss of loved ones can cause us to feel like God is against us. Jesus, in His sermon on the mount, in Matthew 5:4 says: "Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.” That is more than a statement of comfort. It is a promise from the God of creation. We are not wrong to mourn the loss of those we love. God created us with emotions. If He did not expect that we would mourn, He would not have promised comfort. So, if you are mourning or in bitterness turn to God and receive the promise of His comfort.
We need to recognize and know that God does not cause the circumstances in our lives which lead to bitterness and mourning. It is not God who is against us. He does not deal with us harshly or bitterly. God created us with a free will. Some of the negative things that happen in our lives are the result of our own choices. Some are the result of the free will of others impacting our lives, some are simply the result of the natural order of things and some are the result of living in a fallen world. Romans 8:28-29 says: God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son. God does not cause the bad things that happen in our lives, but if we will turn to God rather than turning from Him, we will experience His love and His comfort for us. He will actually cause the difficult things in our lives to work for our good. We will be comforted, restored and sustained and in the process we will also be conformed to the image of Christ. As we draw near to God, as we dwell and abide with Him, we become like Him.
Today’s text ends with more than the story of Naomi and Ruth’s redemption. It says: Then Naomi took the child and laid him in her lap, and became his nurse. The neighbor women gave him a name, saying, “A son has been born to Naomi!” So they named him Obed. He is the father of Jesse, the father of David. Now these are the generations of Perez: to Perez was born Hezron, and to Hezron was born Ram, and to Ram, Amminadab, and to Amminadab was born Nahshon, and to Nahshon, Salmon, and to Salmon was born Boaz, and to Boaz, Obed, and to Obed was born Jesse, and to Jesse, David. Surely it is no accident or coincidence that the redemption and restoration of Naomi and Ruth is also part of the plan of redemption which God has for all mankind. Jesus, the Redeemer, has His natural lineage traced through David, the king of Israel. Ruth and Boaz were David’s great-grandparents. Jesus Himself was born through this story and this account of redemption, restoration and love. Our story of redemption and restoration, the promise of comfort for our mourning, may or may not include actual future generations being born to us and through us. But, Deuteronomy 7:9 says: "Know therefore that the LORD your God, He is God, the faithful God, who keeps His covenant and His lovingkindness to a thousandth generation with those who love Him and keep His commandments.” If we will submit to God, allowing Him to comfort, redeem and restore us through His love and His plan, through the finished work of the cross of Christ, we too, like Ruth may be part of God’s plan for the redemption and restoration of others. The natural line of Christ includes those who did and suffered all sorts of things. Each one of us who is redeemed and restored can make a way for others too, to know the redemption and restoration, the comfort and sustaining love of God.
Heavenly Father, Lord Jesus Christ my Redeemer, the One who Restores me; precious Holy Spirit, my guide and the One who sustains me, thank You for the story of Your love, Your comfort, Your redemption and restoration which is woven through Your word. From Genesis to Revelation, Your word tells the story of Your plan for us. May my life too become a story, an account and a testimony of Your love, Your redemption and restoration. May others know Your lovingkindness, even to a thousandth generation. Amen.