Summary: What God can do with a heart full of hope!
Last week, we looked at how Ruth stepped forward and in a bold move, visited Boaz at the threshing floor in the middle of the night to propose marriage.
Scene 1: Taking Care of Business (vv. 1-12)
Boaz went to the city gates where the official business was taken care of.
In the presence of several elders, he makes the offer to the closer relative to redeem the land having to be forfeited by Naomi. (Notice his name is never mentioned? There is probably a significant reason for that… I’ll just call him John Doe).
John Doe agrees to redeem it!
(No wait!!!! We don’t want him to do that! We want Boaz to be the redeemer!)
Oh, yeah… by the way… Boaz tells John Doe that on the day he redeems the land, he must also marry Ruth, the widowed daughter-in-law and raise up children who will one day inherit the land!
Well John Doe had a fast change of mind! He didn’t want it after all – it would jeopardize his own inheritance. So he gave his redemption right to Boaz.
To finalize the deal in the presence of all the elders and other witnesses, they traded sandals. This custom probably signifies that the man is given the authority to walk on the other man’s property as the new owner.
· (YES!!!!!!) Don’t you know that Boaz was doing cartwheels in his heart!
The elders blessed Boaz’ endeavor by wishing upon him great wealth and fame in Bethlehem with many children, as Rachel and Leah gave.
Scene 2: Marriage and a Child (vv. 13-22)
So we read in the next scene that Boaz and Ruth are married. So little is said of it, but you know that it must have been a beautiful and meaningful ceremony for all of them. It was a day of great rejoicing and happiness.
It also says that Ruth bore a baby boy. Think about it… for ten years she was barren in her marriage to her husband back in Moab. Suddenly God allows there to be a child born from her. Let’s remember that children indeed are a gift of the Lord, and not a one of them is born “accidentally” as far as God is concerned.
And all the women praised God for the baby because he would be a restorer of life and sustainer of old age. Furthermore for the faithfulness of Ruth, who turned out to be better than seven sons. (A common expression for the supreme family blessing).
Then Naomi became the baby’s nurse (v. 16). What joy that must have been for her!
So out of the brokenness and sorrow of chapter 1, God faithfully brought hope and a future to the family name! The text tells us that Obed would be the grandfather of King David!
When we come into a relationship with God, we realize:
1. God has a way of working things out!
This picks up much of what we looked at in the first message out of Ruth 1. God is provident over the affairs of our lives, to accomplish all things to work together for our good and His glory.
God’s purposes cannot be thwarted. What God wants done – WILL BE DONE!
This matter of settling the legal issue between Boaz and the nearest kinsman was but a bump in the road. From a human perspective, it was probably the cause of much anxiety for Ruth and Naomi, waiting at home, and Boaz as he talked the matter over with the man.
But it was not a cause of any anxiety in the mind of God.
He has a way of working things out just the way He purposes them to. The only way that this could not be so is if somebody were smarter or stronger than Him.
· Can you just imagine God saying,
“Oh no! I’m so sorry Boaz and Ruth… I couldn’t fulfill my plan for your life because your relative “John Doe” outwitted me and figured out a way to sneak in and botch things up!” or…
“Oh no! I’m so sorry Boaz and Ruth… I couldn’t fulfill my plan for your life because your relative “John Doe” outmuscled me and yanked you two out of my hands to have his way instead of things going the way I intended them…”
And yet, if we were truly honest about it, I would bet that we’ve all struggled at times at wondering if God’s will had been thwarted in our own lives:
· God just may have overlooked something in my life… It seems that Satan snuck in and craftily outwitted God’s plan for my life.
The counsel of the LORD stands forever, The plans of His heart from generation to generation. (Psalm 33:11)
· Or, “God may have just lost a battle with Satan. I guess you can’t win them all…”