The Divine Destiny
“The Divine Destiny”
(Ruth 4) [on screen]
Rev. Matthew C. McCraw, EdD
Henderson’s First Baptist Church, Henderson, KY
July 30, 2017
This is it, folks! The last week with the second and third string preachers!
Bro. Todd will be here next week.
We will be back in the book of Galatians next week.
Introduction to the message
This morning we are concluding our series from the book of Ruth!
Just a quick reminder of the three main themes of the book of Ruth: (1) It looks at the providence of God in the lives of His people, (2) it looks at God’s providence in His plan, and (3) it looks at the concept of love from the divine viewpoint of God.
Further, we see not only the story of Naomi, Ruth, and Boaz; but also we see the unfolding of God’s redemptive plan through the historical events in the book of Ruth.
Let’s stand now as we read the Word of God. I will read Ruth 4:1-4
Read Ruth 4:1-4b
1 Now Boaz went up to the gate and sat down there; and behold, the close relative of whom Boaz had spoken came by. So Boaz said, “Come aside, friend, sit down here.” So he came aside and sat down. 2 And 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 close relative, “Naomi, who has come back from the country of Moab, sold the piece of land which belonged to our brother Elimelech. 4 And I thought to inform you, saying, ‘Buy it back in the presence of the inhabitants and the elders of my people. If you will redeem it, redeem it; but if you will not redeem it, then tell me, that I may know; for there is no one but you to redeem it, and I am next after you.’”
Let’s stop right here and pray and ask God to be with us.
You may be seated.
You may remember that at the end of chapter 3, Naomi says to Ruth, “Sit still, my daughter, until you know how the matter will turn out; for the man will not rest until he has concluded the matter this day.” (verse 18)
Well, now the day is here. This is what is happening in chapter 4. So, our first little section that we are going to look at is . . .
I. The Day (1-4) [on screen]
The day is here!
This is Boaz’s moment to stand before the council and see what will happen with the woman that he loves.
He assembles ten men of the city, which was probably not unusual for their time when it came to making something official. In fact, Boaz was probably one of the men that others would call on for an occasion such as this.
This was a very important moment for Boaz and he wanted to get it right.
So, he calls this man in and has an important conversation with him.
This man is the legal kinsman for the property, not Boaz.
The man says, “YES! I will take the land!”
But, there is a catch.
Let’s see what the catch is.
Read Ruth 4:5
5 Then Boaz said, “On the day you buy the field from the hand of Naomi, you must also buy it from Ruth the Moabitess, the wife of the dead, to perpetuate the name of the dead through his inheritance.”
This brings us to . . .
II. The Discussion (5-6) [on screen]
Boaz says, “there is more to this.”
He clarifies that the man is also supposed to take Ruth as his wife.
This creates a predicament for the man.
Read Ruth 4:6
6 And the close relative said, “I cannot redeem it for myself, lest I ruin my own inheritance. You redeem my right of redemption for yourself, for I cannot redeem it.”
The man is unable to fulfill his role of redemption because it will mess up the family inheritance that he will pass to his own children.
Owning the land would increase his portfolio as well as the nest egg for his children, but the woman, Ruth, he did not want her involved.
And so, this discussion takes place.
Boaz, probably planned this all along. He probably knew that the man would not take the deal this way.
After hearing the requirement to take Ruth, the man says, “I’m out! You take her and the land.”
Of course, this is exactly what Boaz was hoping for.
But, Boaz still has to make it official.
That brings us to . . .
III. The Decree (7-12) [on screen]
Read Ruth 4:7-12
7 Now this was the custom in former times in Israel concerning redeeming and exchanging, to confirm anything: one man took off his sandal and gave it to the other, and this was a confirmation in Israel. 8 Therefore the close relative said to Boaz, “Buy it for yourself.” So he took off his sandal. 9 And Boaz said to the elders and all the people, “You are witnesses this day that I have bought all that was Elimelech’s, and all that was Chilion’s and Mahlon’s, from the hand of Naomi. 10 Moreover, Ruth the Moabitess, the widow of Mahlon, I have acquired as my wife, to perpetuate the name of the dead through his inheritance, that the name of the dead may not be cut off from among his brethren and from his position at the gate. You are witnesses this day.”
11 And all the people who were at the gate, and the elders, said, “We are witnesses. The Lord make the woman who is coming to your house like Rachel and Leah, the two who built the house of Israel; and may you prosper in Ephrathah and be famous in Bethlehem. 12 May your house be like the house of Perez, whom Tamar bore to Judah, because of the offspring which the Lord will give you from this young woman.”
Boaz made it official. The moment that he and Ruth, and Naomi, have been waiting on has finally come!
The man says that he doesn’t want it and he gives him his shoe 🙂
Now this is not really how we make deals anymore. If two families are discussing after church where to go for lunch and they can’t decide between Subway and Arby’s eventually someone will give in. They will end with going to one or the other place. If that happens today, I’d love to see one of you give your shoe to someone else.
All joking aside, there was a point to this. The idea behind giving your shoe to the other person was to say, “may my feet never walk upon the land that I am willingly passing up.”
So, he gives his shoe to Boaz and disappears forever. We don’t know anything else about that man.
Boaz says, “You are witnesses! Let’s make it official! Let it be decreed!”
“I will take the land!”
“I will take Ruth as my wife!”
The moment has come. The two that are in love will now be man and wife.
Although Boaz is certainly motivated by his love for Ruth, he also takes on his responsibility to carry on the family name of Ruth’s first husband, Mahlon.
In verse 10 he says that he will “perpetuate the name of the dead through his inheritance.” That is, he will help bring forth a son that will carry on the lineage of Mahlon.
Upon hearing Boaz’s commitment to Ruth, his commitment to be the redeemer, the people pray a blessing over Boaz and Ruth, and Naomi.
First of all, they give credence to the decree, saying, “We are witnesses!”
Then, they declare a blessing on Ruth.
Read Ruth 4:11b-12
11b The Lord make the woman who is coming to your house like Rachel and Leah, the two who built the house of Israel; and may you prosper in Ephrathah and be famous in Bethlehem. 12 May your house be like the house of Perez, whom Tamar bore to Judah, because of the offspring which the Lord will give you from this young woman.”
This is a beautiful blessing declared to Ruth and Boaz.
Rachel and Leah were the two wives of Jacob; they brought forth the sons that would become the 12 tribes of Israel.
They pray for Ruth and Boaz to be as significant and prosperous as Leah and Rachel.
Indeed, the prayer of these townspeople was answered by God.
Ruth and Boaz would have children, and they would be significant.
This brings us to the finale of Ruth and this chapter . . .
IV. The Destiny (13-22) [on screen]
Read Ruth 4:13-22
13 So Boaz took Ruth and she became his wife; and when he went in to her, 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 close relative; and may his name be famous in Israel! 15 And may he be to you a restorer of life and a nourisher of your old age; for your daughter-in-law, who loves you, who is better to you than seven sons, has borne him.” 16 Then Naomi took the child and laid him on her bosom, and became a nurse to him. 17 Also the neighbor women gave him a name, saying, “There is a son born to Naomi.” And they called his name Obed. He is the father of Jesse, the father of David. 18 Now this is the genealogy of Perez: Perez begot Hezron; 19 Hezron begot Ram, and Ram begot Amminadab; 20 Amminadab begot Nahshon, and Nahshon begot Salmon;21 Salmon begot Boaz, and Boaz begot Obed; 22 Obed begot Jesse, and Jesse begot David.
Boaz has redeemed Ruth! They are married, and now they have a son; little Obed.
The women said to Naomi, “Blessed are you by the Lord!”
Not only are Ruth and Boaz blessed, but so is Naomi, because her family name will carry on. Her sons are gone, but she now has Ruth, Boaz, and Obed.
Sons were a big deal at that time, yet the people say, “Ruth is more valuable to you than seven sons!”
Naomi was truly blessed.
Then we learn this significant bit of information: Obed is the father of Jesse, who is the father of David.
David, as in the David anointed by Samuel to be king.
David, as in David and Goliath.
David, as in the greatest king that Israel ever saw.
David, as in the one who would perpetuate the family line all the way to the Messiah.
What God did through Ruth and Boaz, was more than simply a blessing to Ruth and Boaz. God brought about David, the greatest king in Israel; and Jesus, the King of the Universe!
So, the destiny of Ruth and Boaz is revealed! A destiny that not only blesses their family, but blesses the world, forever!
The beginning of Ruth’s story in the book of Ruth is far different than the end! God brings blessing out of tragedy; blessing that is multiplied by the birth of Obed, and later King David, and later King Jesus!
As we conclude the book of Ruth, there are a few things that we should remember:
First, God can and will work all things together for good for those that are committed to Him!
Trust Him! He has demonstrated time and again (both in Scripture, and in this life) that He is faithful. He will work all things together for good.
Similarly, God rewards those who are faithful to Him.
As Ruth and Boaz were rewarded, so are others who are faithful to Him.
It may not be the timing that we expect, or in the way that we anticipate, but God will reward those who are faithful to Him.
Finally, we all need a redeemer, and God is our Redeemer.
We are lost and stuck. We are helpless and we need someone to cover us with their wings; to care for us and provide for us.
God will do that!
Bro. Jacob pointed this verse out to me this week:
Read Psalm 36:7 [on screen]
7How precious is Your lovingkindness, O God! Therefore the children of men put their trust under the shadow of Your wings.
Put your trust in God and seek redemption in the shadow of His wings.
This brings us to our one major takeaway . . .
Major Takeaway: God has a divine destiny for me and the world! [on screen]
God has plans for you and He has plans for the world.
Every decision you make matters. Trust God with your day to day and see what He does.
Let Him work in your life and work through you to change the world!
Here are some Applicational Actions to help you apply the passage this week: [on screen]
- Take time to recall God’s faithfulness to you [on screen]
Remember what God has done. This will encourage you as you move forward and cause you to give praise to God as He blesses!
2. Identify what needs to be redeemed in your life [on screen]
Don’t hold anything back. God can fix every part of your life. Turn it all over to Him.
Trust Him to protect you from hurt.
Trust Him to provide for your feeling of meaninglessness or insecurity.
Trust Him to redeem you from your addictions.
Trust Him to set you free from the bondage to past sins.
Trust Him to be the ultimate provider for you.
Trust Him! Trust Him! Trust Him!
Christian, trust Him with everything in your life!
Friend who is not a follower of Jesus, you need a redeemer! Turn to Him! Trust Him!
3. Commit your future plans to the Lord [on screen]
He knows what’s best for your future. Commit it all to Him!
4. Share the story of our Great Redeemer [on screen]
We all need a redeemer. You do, I do, your neighbor does, and the 6,000+ unreached people groups of the world need one. Share the story of our Great Redeemer.
There are resources available in the Missions Center, and I would love to talk to you about how you can do that.
Ruth was helpless to get out of her current situation. She needed Boaz; she needed a redeemer. In the same way, we are helpless to get out of our situation; our sin situation. We need a Redeemer; we need Jesus Christ!
(present the gospel)
Stand and sing with me now.
Response song – Only Trust Him
Come tonight for our prayer service led by our Summer interns
Three quick things:
Back to school swim party is this Wednesday night at 7:00 at Atkinson Pool
New bulletin format—helps us to focus only on worship while we are in this room but remember to pick up a copy of First Facts in Sunday School or as you leave the sanctuary this morning for all the announcements.
Bro. Todd returns this week so let’s make every effort to welcome him back with record attendance next Sunday morning.
Thanks for coming! God bless you all! Have a great day!
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