Summary: Relationships, particularly marriage, are a major part of God’s plan to redeem us
Opening illustration about a wife who rescued/salvaged her husband
Ruth 4 Finish up our series out of the book of Ruth: R&B: the
songs of love. There are certain songs that must be sung and heard
loud and clear in relationships if they are going to be strong and healthy.
There is the song of faithfulness. The takeaway: IN EVERY
RELATIONSHIP, PARTICULARLY MARRIAGE, THERE ARE TIMES
WHEN THOSE IN THE RELATIONSHIP MUST BE FAITHFUL,
REGARDLESS OF THE CHALLENGE. In Week 2 we listened to the
song of grace and discovered this key principle: RELATIONSHIPS,
PARTICULARLY MARRIAGE, CAN ONLY SURVIVE WITH LARGE
AMOUNTS OF GRACE. Last week was the song of trust. The
takeaway: ALL RELATIONSHIPS, PARTICULARLY MARRIAGE, ARE
BRIMMING WITH RISK, PROMPTING PARTNERS TO TRUST AND
BE TRUSTWORTHY, ULTIMATELY TRUSTING GOD FOR THE
And now we turn our attention to the last critical song of any love
relationship, and that is the song of redemption. Think with me for a
moment about the concept of redemption. The root word is what?
REDEEM: TO DELIVER; TO RESCUE. It’s a universal concept that is
universally desired. It runs through literature, from Tolstoy to Uris to ???
who each authored works with redemption in their titles. It runs through
history, from the redemption of the defeat of Napoleon to the
Emancipation Proclamation to the freeing of Eastern Europe when the
Iron wall came crumbling down. It shows up in current events when
someone who has stumbled and fallen gets up and finishes. STORY
Redemption of course finds its richest and deepest expression in
the Bible, particularly in the cross of Christ. In the Bible, there is an
added dimension to the concept of redemption. REDEMPTION
(HEBREW GÂULLAH; GREEK APOLUTROSI): THE PURCHASE
BACK OF SOMETHING THAT HAS BEEN LOST OR TAKEN BY WAY
OF PAYING A RANSOM. A number of verses come
to mind. EPHESIANS 1:7 “IN HIM (CHRIST) WE HAVE REDEMPTION
THROUGH HIS BLOOD, THE FORGIVENESS OF SINS, IN
ACCORDANCE WITH THE RICHES OF GOD’S GRACE.” 1
CORINTHIANS 6:19-20 “DO YOU NOT KNOW THAT YOUR BODY IS
A TEMPLE OF THE HOLY SPIRIT, WHO IS IN YOU, WHOM YOU
HAVE RECEIVED FROM GOD? YOU ARE NOT YOUR OWN; YOU
WERE BOUGHT AT A PRICE. THEREFORE HONOR GOD WITH
YOUR BODY.” REVELATION 5:9 “AND THEY SANG A NEW SONG:
“YOU ARE WORTHY TO TAKE THE SCROLL AND TO OPEN ITS
SEALS, BECAUSE YOU WERE SLAIN, AND WITH YOUR BLOOD
YOU PURCHASED MEN FOR GOD FROM EVERY TRIBE AND
LANGUAGE AND PEOPLE AND NATION.”
But how does redemption show up in relationships; in
marriages? Let’s take a look at our passage this morning and see the
message God has for us.
1. REDEMPTION IS ABOUT OVERCOMING REJECTION AND
UNCERTAINTY. And that’s what marriage is supposed to be about.
VV.1-6 (ON SCREEN)
v.1 Remember, a kinsman redeemer was the next of kin who
had some obligation to marry the widow of his kin so as to provide for
her, protect her, and carry on the family line.
v.2 In ancient times, there was no city hall. The place where the
community leaders gathered was at the gate into the city.
The other kinsmen redeemer wanted the land, but he didn’t want
Ruth. A number of possible reasons. It could be that if he came back
home with another wife, his current wife would kill him! That’s what Sue
would do to me if I walked through the door with another wife. The real
reason is likely that if he took Ruth as his wife, and had a son with her,
that son would lay claim, not only to Naomi’s land, but his land as well,
endangering his estate for his own kids. Either way, he was not willing to
redeem Ruth. Too much baggage.
When you get married, your partner comes into the marriage
with a lot of bags. Scars from past hurts. Fears from past disappointments.
Hang-ups from past failures. Uncertainty from past rejections.
Boaz was willing to step in and be a part of the redemptive
process in Ruth’s life. He was willing to help her overcome the
uncertainty and rejection in her life. In great marriages, that’s what each
partner does: they step in to help overcome the uncertainty and rejection
in the life of their spouse.
2. REDEMPTION IS ABOUT RESTORING WHAT WAS LOST That too
is what marriage is supposed to be about. VV.7-12 (ON SCREEN)
v.11 Rachel/Leah of course, between the 20 of them, gave
Jacob/Israel 12 sons. But there is something else here. Both of them
were barren at one point. And just maybe the reason Ruth and Mahlon
had not children was because she was barren. Regardless, the prayer
of the elders is that God would give Ruth and Boaz offspring that would
significant for Israel. And did God ever answer that prayer in spades.