Summary: This is the tenth and final message in our series on the book of Ruth. Today we discover the amazing grace of our God as he brings redemption to Ruth and Naomi, hope out of despair, and life out of death. This can be the story of our lives too!
The Amazing Grace of God! - Ruth 4:9-22 - April 28, 2013
Series: From Heartache to Hope – The Redemption of Ruth - #10
This morning we’re going to wrap up our series on the book of Ruth. And if you’ve been with us through this ten week journey you know it’s not been a straight line to get to where we find ourselves today. I remember, as a child, a family vacation that took us out to Vancouver Island. Once there we drove from Victoria to Ucluelet – anyone ever driven that road before? You’d remember if you had – it’s not a straight line journey either. In fact the road has so many twists and turns in it that someone came up with a poem about it. It goes like this:
“Winding in, and winding out, fills my mind with serious doubt, as to whether the lout, who built this route, was going to hell, or coming out.”
I think perhaps that Naomi and Ruth could relate, in their own way, to the truth of those words. Theirs has been a journey of many twists and turns, filled with much heartache and brokenness, and when our lives are coming to pieces around us, we can begin to feel that life has become a living hell of sorts, can’t we?
You may remember Naomi’s words as she returns to Bethlehem. She says, “I went away full, but the Lord has brought me back empty.” And because of that she is bitter. And that can happen when dreams are shattered and life becomes one never ending struggle after another – we can lose hope and become bitter-hearted.
Today we’re going to see Naomi come full circle. No longer is she going to be empty: God is filling her anew. He is going to bless her beyond anything she could have expected. So let’s open our Bibles, to Ruth, chapter 4, and we’ll begin reading in verse 9. And what we’re going to discover is the amazing grace of our God. And we’re going to find that God is the God of the impossibles of our lives. Because that’s what Naomi and Ruth have been discovering all along, isn’t it? That in the midst of the impossible situations of their story, God is at work behind the scenes to bring healing, hope and blessing. And that’s good news for us, because some of us have our own impossibles, don’t we? In our journey there are many twists and turns and some of them are filled with heartache and sorrow, despair and grief. But know this: you’re not at the end of the journey yet, and with God, you never know what might be just around the next corner.
Now last week we saw how Boaz wanted to marry Ruth but there was a problem that we hadn’t anticipated, wasn’t there? This is another one of those twists in the road. According to the laws of the people, there was a nearer kinsmen-redeemer who had first right of redemption ahead of Boaz. Boaz wants to do what’s right in God’s eyes and so he puts everything on the line to honor God and give this other fellow the first right of redemption. And I appreciate that about Boaz – all his dreams for the future hang in the balance, but above all he wants to honor God, and so he will do the hard things, even though it could cost him everything he had ever hoped for. That’s walking by faith and that’s what we’re called to do.
In return, we discover that God honors Boaz’s faithfulness, the nearer kinsmen-redeemer refuses to step up to the plate, and to do what he ought to have done, and so it falls to Boaz to act as kinsmen-redeemer. That’s where we pick up the story this morning, as his status as redeemer is being confirmed in front of the people. Let’s begin reading in verse 9 …
“Then Boaz announced to the elders and all the people, “Today you are witnesses that I have bought from Naomi all the property of Elimelech, Kilion and Mahlon. 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!” Then the elders and all those at the gate said, “We are witnesses. May the LORD make the woman who is coming into your home like Rachel and Leah, who together built up the house of Israel. May you have standing in Ephrathah and be famous in Bethlehem. Through the offspring the LORD gives you by this young woman, may your family be like that of Perez, whom Tamar bore to Judah.” 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. The women said to Naomi: “Praise be to the LORD, who this day has not left you without a kinsman-redeemer. May he become famous throughout Israel! He will renew your life and sustain you in your old age. For your daughter-in-law, who loves you and who is better to you than seven sons, has given him birth.” Then Naomi took the child, laid him in her lap and cared for him. The women living there said, “Naomi has a son.” And they named him Obed.”