Summary: What lengths would you go to in order to secure God’s blessing on what you do? Do you want God to bless your desires? How can we be sure of God’s blessing in what we pursue?

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Ruth 4:1-12

INTRO: Film clip showing something going the great lengths to get someone’s blessing: Meet the Parents.

I’m always surprised at the lengths people sometimes go to in order to get my blessing on something. I guess they think that, since I’m the pastor, if they get my approval, that will satisfy God…

My first counseling appointment with an adult was a man who wanted me to bless his affair subsequent abandoning of his wife.

One former church member constantly sought my blessing on his shady business pursuits.

How far would you go to get God’s approval on your pursuits?

What lengths would you go to in order to secure God’s blessing on what you do?

Do you want God to bless your desires?

How can we be sure of God’s blessing in what we pursue?

In Ruth chapter 4 we approach the stunning conclusion to our story, and find out who gets to marry who.

How far are you willing to go for God’s blessing on your pursuits?

As we pick up our story in the book of Ruth, we remember that Ruth has, in one of the funniest and most surprising scenes in the Bible, proposed marriage to the much older Boaz. Thrilled, Boaz accepts, but must first deal with a closer kinsman who has right of first refusal. So their excitement is tempered by the tension of this little wrinkle – another man who has the ‘right’ to marry Ruth.

Let’s see what happens today, as Boaz, the groom-to-be, heads into town early on the morning following Ruth’s proposal.

Let’s read Ruth 4:1-4a.

1Meanwhile 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.

2Boaz took ten of the elders of the town and said, “Sit here,” and they did so. 3Then he said to the kinsman-redeemer, “Naomi, who has come back from Moab, is selling the piece of land that belonged to our brother Elimelech. 4I thought I should bring the matter to your attention and suggest that you buy it in the presence of these seated here and in the presence of the elders of my people. If you will redeem it, do so. But if you will not, tell me, so I will know. For no one has the right to do it except you, and I am next in line.”

A. Boaz pursues his desires with integrity

First, Boaz approaches the kinsman-redeemer.

He’s unnamed – this translate, roughly to “Mr. so-and-so”

Like Jack Webb in “Dragnet”, the names are changed to protect the innocent…

This Mr. So-and-So. has right/obligation to redeem land sold or about to be sold out of the family, and other family debts.

Boaz was forthright and didn’t avoid the proper channels.

He went to the city gate – the large, open space at the gate; a significant place of meeting and business.

He convened an official, legal proceeding. Elders had lots of authority, and served a judicial function. This was on the record!

Imagine Ruth’s (& Naomi’s) anxiety at this point.

He presents the situation to the kinsman-redeemer. Its very important - keeping land in the family was a big deal, because God had given the land to them.

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