Summary: Final Sermon in the series. Ruth rejoices because she is redeemed. How much more should our redemption bring rejoicing?
Book of Ruth Series
#4 Rejoicing Because of Redemption
Through a series of events, Ruth has come to know Boaz. She has renounced her old life of idolatry and has repented, or turned away from serving the god of death. She has chosen to come to a place where she devotes herself and her life to the True God, the Living God of Israel. In Boaz she has found someone who is a type of the Lord Jesus Christ. He is her near kinsman, someone who is in a position to redeem her, if he will. But she knows that she cannot earn that redemption. It must come by his mercy and grace alone for she has nothing to give but herself. Because she has nothing to give for her redemption and cannot make it alone, she has laid at Boaz’ feet and sought his mercy and grace. Through all this she has been faithful to remain in his fields and to honor her mother-in-law, Naomi. Now it’s out of her hands. That’s all she can do. She has gone as far as she can go in trying to “work out her salvation” and becoming acceptable to Boaz.
Let me remind you once again that Naomi is a type of the church and its ministries. Naomi, like the church, can only point you to Christ, or bring you to the knowledge of Jesus, but the church cannot save you. We have no power outside of that which the Lord gives us. Without that anointing power of the Holy Ghost, we are nothing more than an empty shell.
Bur Jesus has passed his authority, his anointing, and his power on to those who become a part of his church. This anointing and power is not just for the preachers or ministers, but for every man, woman and child who is born again into the Kingdom of God. With that anointing there is nothing impossible for us to do.
Ruth is seeking an answer to her dilemma. She needs a redeemer, someone who will care enough and love her enough to pay the price that she might live among God’s chosen people. She couldn’t do it on her own. She was at the mercy of Boaz. All she could do now was pray and wait to see what happened.
When you have done all you can do and the answer hasn’t come, what do you do then? The only thing you can do is PRAY and WAIT upon the Lord!
When we pray, we must believe in our hearts that God will intervene. We must believe that the answer is on the way.
There’s an old chorus that says it this way:
Oh the answer’s on the way, this I know
Jesus said, I believe it, and it’s so
My Heavenly Father knows the need before I pray
And I praise God; the answer’s on the way
So often we hear people quoting one of my favorite verses in the Bible found in Isaiah 40:31, "But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint." I think that we must understand that the promises of flying high above our circumstances, running the race and not growing weary and walking with the Lord but never growing tired and weak are all dependent upon one thing – FAITH that God will answer our prayer while we wait. Without faith we quickly fall, stop running and are overcome by those circumstances.
Having faith in the answer is the only way to have peace while waiting for a miracle! This is exactly where Ruth found herself. She had practiced love, prayed a lot, done everything she knew to do, and now all she could do is wait and believe.
Praying, waiting and believing all go together. Some people pray, but don’t really believe! Some pray, and even try to believe, but they won’t wait on God and then they short circuit the answer and do it their way. Then when things don’t work out they try to blame God.
There was a church where the pastor called the congregation together to call on God and pray that the new nightclub that had just opened down the street would somehow go out of business. During the prayer meeting, a thunderstorm came up and lightning struck the nightclub causing it to burn to the ground. The nightclub owner heard about the prayer meeting and so he decided to file suit against the church. He claimed that their prayers had caused the destruction of his business and was seeking damages. Of course the church claimed no responsibility in the fire at all. They were in prayer meeting and nowhere near the club. At the end of the arguments presented the Judge finally spoke up and said, “I don’t truly know where the guilt lies in this case but one thing I do know. It seems to me that the nightclub owner believes in prayer more than the church does.”