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Summary: You never know what circumstance or what person God will use to accomplish something extraordinary…

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THE BIG FINISH

Ruth 4:13-22

INTRO: At a young age, George Herman Ruth was left at St. Mary’s Industrial School, where he met brother Matthias. It was there that “Babe” Ruth learned about baseball. [Clip from The Babe]

You never know what circumstance or what person God will use to accomplish something extraordinary…

1. GOD PROVIDES RUTH WITH A HUSBAND AND A SON (13)

Read Ruth 4:13

A. Boaz marries Ruth

Boaz makes good on his promise (4:10). No cold feet. God’s providence is seen as Ruth, the Moabitess, ends up with a great husband in Judah! The very reason Naomi told her to stay in Moab was because she wouldn’t be able to find a husband in Judah. Ruth 1:11 This culminates a providential set of events

B. God enables Ruth to conceive

In our society, Ruth’s previous years of childless marriage (1:4) & Boaz’ age would make them prime candidates for a fertility specialist. Emphasis on God allowing her to become pregnant. It was part of His plan! Now, that does bring up a delicate point. If God can enabled someone to conceive, he can also disable someone to conceive.

C. Ruth has a son

The wording moves briskly to this main point - a son is born! This culminates the amazing providence we see in their immediate family. It really is a miracle. All orchestrated by God. The marriage was important, but now we see something viewed as even more important by the author – the birth of the child. Suddenly we see a little bigger reason for the story of Ruth – the birth of a child.

Transition: There’s nothing like the birth of a child – it brings joy and hope, and looks forward to the future. [Show image from Roots]

God’s provision of both a husband and a son for Ruth illustrates the way God’s unseen providence always triumphs! Illus: Like the Mounties who “always get their man.” Wait until the end of the book! This would be a great ending, but there’s more...

Read Ruth 4:14-17a – end with “Obed”

2. GOD PROVIDES NAOMI WITH A KINSMAN-REDEEMER (14-17a)

Naomi was emptied (1:5), now we see God fulfilling her again through:

A. A son

A son was a tremendous blessing to Ruth & Boaz, but the focus here is on Naomi. As far as action goes, Ruth and Boaz actually fade from view at this point. This child is a tremendous blessing to Naomi:

• He will take over for Boaz as her kinsman-redeemer (he is considered Mahlon’s son);

• He will provide for her retirement;

• He will be “one who serves”.

The women rightly say “Praise be to the Lord”, and “Naomi has a (grand)son.”

Illus: How we felt when D.J. was born: following the devastating blow of the death of our oldest son Brian, we saw and felt God’s provision of another son – DJ. And later, Austin and Aimee as well.

Illus: We’ve got some new grandparents around here, and boy are they easy to spot…

B. A daughter-in-law

Ruth, whom Naomi originally tried to dissuade from following her (1:13-15), not only provided for her immediate needs by getting a job, but now in the ultimate sense provides for her - an heir. She is better than 7 sons! (The culturally optimum number of sons to have). This is the ultimate compliment in a patriarchal society.

Who would have thought God would use the people and events he did to provide for Naomi and her family. When we are empty, only God can ultimately fill us.

3. GOD PROVIDES ISRAEL WITH A KING(17-22)

Read Ruth 4:17b-22

God always has the “pressbox perspective.”

Illus.: I was never much of a hockey fan until I went to my first game, and sat up high and saw the whole picture of what was happening. Sometimes you have to back up to see the wider of view of what is happening.

A. God uses Boaz & Ruth to prevent a missing link in the family line of David

Obed becomes the grandfather of David, Israel’s most famous and honored king! This is a record of how God, in His providence, made sure there was no breakdown in the family tree. God had something in mind for Naomi, Ruth and Boaz that they could never have guessed - the son God provided for them would be grandfather of blessed king David!

The family tree hails back to Gen. 49:10; where Judah was told his family would be rulers. It is orderly, ten names, with Boaz in the honored 7th position.

The wider purpose of the book of Ruth, and the events it chronicles, is to show how God providentially prevented a missing link from occurring in the line of David.

It is enormously significant, in light of the promise to Judah that his family would rule. Even when things looked bleak, when it would have been easy for Elimilech to break the chain, God arranged an amazing series of events so that his promise, his purpose, would be maintained and fulfilled.

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