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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.


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