Summary: Final in a four-part series from Ruth. Boaz fulfills his promise to redeem Ruth and illustrates Christ’s redemption of us.
Trinity Baptist Church July 1, 2007
Ruth: God Redeems
The best is yet to come
I love a good read. And I really like stories with good endings. The book of Ruth gives us both. We’ve seen what a great piece of drama it is. Ruth is one of the Bible’s shorter books -- it only has 85 verses. If you did the homework I assigned when we started, you discovered that you can read through the book in about 20 minutes. But tucked into it is serious Truth about Jesus Christ.
We observed when we began that Ruth follows the book of Judges -- and its events happened In that same time frame. But Ruth’s events, compared to the ones in the book of Judges couldn’t be more different. Reading Ruth after reading Judges is like walking a river bank littered with thousands of common rocks and then suddenly stumbling on a rare gemstone.
I read a story involving this little book. Benjamin Franklin, who never professed to be a Christian, still understood how excellent and valuable the Bible is. According to the story, he was in Paris, representing the new American Republic. Franklin was dismayed to hear supposedly educated Frenchmen ridiculing the Bible. Some even expressed contempt for anybody who would read it.
Franklin decided he’d test how well they knew the book they condemned. He told some of them that he had obtained a copy of an ancient manuscript. He invited they to come to his apartment one evening where he would have a dramatist read the manuscript. Those polished and educated people came. The reader read the “manuscript“ with great ability. When he finished, Franklin’s guests gushed with praise for the old manuscript. The most critical man among them proclaimed it was a better story than anything they had ever read or heard. They asked how to get copies.
Franklin shocked them beyond belief when he said, with a twinkle in his eye, they had heard read one of the 66 Biblical books for which they had such contempt.
They had heard this book of Ruth, with God’s name omitted, and a few other minor alterations so they wouldn’t suspect it was the Bible that was being read to them. The beauty of the book is gripping. The story contains tears and toil and triumph.
In chapter 1, Elimilech and Naomi left God‘s land and people and promise and went off to a pagan country to find provision. The husband and two sons died there, leaving three widows behind. Naomi and one daughter-in-law made the trek back to the land of Israel, arriving like a two beggars with no hope. But in chapter 2, hope was restored.
Ruth demonstrated faithfulness and love -- she went out t glean in the barley harvest to help meet their needs. She moved and God directed. She came to the field of Boaz and it was there that God demonstrated to Naomi and Ruth that He had not abandoned them.
At the close of harvest in chapter 3, Ruth sought out Boaz in the dark of night. She approached him with a bold request -- that he fill the role of kinsman-redeemer. Like we saw, if he were to take that role it would include him taking Ruth to be his wife. In her approach and words, she asked that he do precisely that.