Ruth 4, Psalm 30:5, Ruth 4:4, Ruth 4:1-6, Leviticus 25, Deuteronomy 25, Ruth 4:6, verse 6, Hebrews 2:14, Revelation 5, Revelation 5:1-2, Revelation 5:3-6, Revelation 5:7-9, chapter 2 verse 1, I Peter 1:18-19, Ephesians 1:7, Revelation 5:9, I Peter 3:18, Psalm 30:5, Ephesians 2, Ephesians 2:12-13, Deuteronomy 23:3, Ephesians 2:19, Ruth 4:7-8, Ruth 4:10, Ruth 4:11, Ruth 4:16-17
A little boy went into the pet store with his dad and he was looking at a box full of puppies. There was a little puppy that was happily wagging its tail and the boy said, “I want the one with the happy ending.”
Well, the story we have before us today has a happy ending. It didn’t start happily, but it ends that way. It started with a funeral, but it ends with a wedding. It started with a famine, but it ends with fullness. Psalm 30:5 says, “Weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.”
This is a story about two people who get married and we feel like adding a final verse to this Book which says, “And they lived happily ever after.” It is a marriage between Ruth the Moabitess and Boaz the Israelite. Ruth was alienated from the commonwealth of Israel, but Boaz redeemed her. Ruth has become a picture of all of us….she is a picture of the church, which is the bride of Christ. Boaz, who redeems her, is a picture of the Lord Jesus Christ…our Kinsman redeemer.
In this 4th chapter, the key word is redemption. The word redemption is used in this chapter at least 15 times. If we just look at 1 verse you will get the idea. Look at Ruth 4:4. “And I thought to advertise thee, saying, Buy it before the inhabitants, and before the elders of my people. If thou wilt redeem it, redeem it: but if thou wilt not redeem it, then tell me, that I may know: for there is none to redeem it beside thee; and I am after thee. And he said, I will redeem it.”
There are 3 things I want you to see in this 4th chapter. You are going to see a picture of our redeeming Lord, a picture of our renewed life…what happens when we come to Jesus, and then we will see a picture of our restored legacy….what we get when we come back into the family of God.
First, let’s look at a picture of our redeeming Lord. Look at Ruth 4:1-6. “Then went Boaz up to the gate, and sat him down there: and, behold, the kinsman of whom Boaz spake came by; unto whom he said, Ho, such a one! Turn aside, sit down here. And he turned aside, and sat down. And he took ten men of the elders of the city, and said, Sit ye down here. And they sat down. And he said unto the kinsman, Naomi, that is come again out of the country of Mab, selleth a parcel of land, which was our brother Elimelech’s: and I thought to advertise thee, saying, Buy it before the inhabitants, and before the elders of my people, If thou wilt redeem it, redeem it: but if thou wilt not redeem it, then tell me, that I may know: for there is none to redeem it beside thee; and I am after thee. And he said, I will redeem it.”
There were some laws in ancient Israel that you need to understand. There was the law of the kinsman redeemer and the law of the leverite marriage. God would give to a tribe and a family some land. He wanted that land to stay in the family. But sometimes an owner of the land would mortgage the land and go bankrupt, therefore selling his land to someone else. God had a plan, that if a man did this, someone who was a near relative could come and redeem that land by buying it back.
There was also the law of the leverite marriage. If a man married a woman and they didn’t have any children….and if the man died…then, in order to keep his name alive, a brother of this man was to come and take this mans wife and marry her and endeavor to have children so he could have his name perpetuated. So, the land and the name are very important to the Jews.
Boaz is a kinsman redeemer, and he is also the one who is going to marry Ruth. Her husband has died and her estate has been sold.
There are 3 things that are necessary before a man could buy back the land and take the widow. First of all, he had to have the legal qualifications….in other words, he had to be a near kinsman. Number 2, he had to have the money to do it. Number 3, he had to be willing to do it because it was not forced upon him. Friends, that’s a picture of our redeeming Lord.
If you want to study these laws, you can find them in Leviticus 25 and Deuteronomy 25. First of all, let’s see that Boaz was legally qualified. Look at Ruth 4:6. “And the kinsman said, I cannot redeem it for myself, lest I mar mine own inheritance: redeem thou my right to thyself; for I cannot redeem it.”
Boaz had told Ruth that he would be happy to redeem her land and that he would be happy to marry her, but he also told her that he wasn’t the first in line. The one who was nearer had to have first chance, and if he doesn’t do it, then Boaz will do it.
Boaz goes to the gates of the city where the elders of the city sat and made judgments. Boaz sees the nearer kinsman and says, “Hey, you! I want to talk to you.” He talks to him about Naomi and Ruth and the land and such. He says, “Do you want to buy this property? You can do it. You have the right.” He says, “All right, I will buy it.” But then Boaz says, “Wait, along with the land comes a woman…Ruth. If you buy this land you must marry Ruth.” So the man says, “I cannot redeem it lest I mar my own inheritance.”
Who is this nearer kinsman? If Boaz pictures the Lord Jesus Christ, then who is the nearer kinsman who cannot redeem? He is Adam. Everybody is either in Adam or in Christ. We’re all related to Adam…and in Adam all die.
Boaz gathered 10 witnesses in the gate that day. Who are the ten witnesses? They are the 10 commandments. And all of us are guilty of breaking all 10 of the commandments. You say, “I have never committed adultery and I have never killed anybody.” But the Bible says that if we’ve broken the law in one point we’ve broken them all. God demands perfection. If you’re hanging over a fire by a chain of ten links and 9 of those links are forged steel and one of them is crepe paper, how safe would you feel? You say, “I’ve only broken one or two of the commandments.” But how many of those links has to break before you fall into the fire?
There are 10 witnesses that say that we can’t redeem ourselves. Look how full of himself this near kinsman is in verse 6. He says, “I, I, I mine, my, etc.” This one who is full of self can’t do it. But Jesus became a human being that He might become our near kinsman. Hebrews 2:14 says, “Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil.”
The Bible now calls Jesus Christ our Brother. He became a man so that He could be our near Kinsman. Jesus is legally worthy. He could not redeem us as God….He had to redeem us as man. Our estate was lost by man and it has to be redeemed by man.
I want to read something to you from Revelation 5 that talks about our Lord who is legally worthy. The Apostle John is on the island of Patmos when he has a vision of things to come. Look at Revelation 5:1-2. “And I saw in the right hand of him that sat on the throne a book written within and on the backside, sealed with seven seals. And I saw a strong angel proclaiming with a loud voice, Who is worthy to open the book, and to loose the seals thereof?”
This book is the title deed to the whole world. It is the official document that determines the outcome of all history. John sees this book and asks, “Who is worthy to open this book?” Now look at Revelation 5:3-6. “And no man in heaven, nor in earth, neither under the earth, was able to open the book, neither to look thereon. And I wept much, because no man was found worthy to open and to read the book, neither to look thereon. And one of the elders saith unto me, Weep not: behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, hath prevailed to open the book, and to loose the seven seals thereof. And I beheld, and lo, in the midst of the throne and of the four beasts, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent forth into all the earth.”
The word for lamb here means a little lamb. Now look at Revelation 5:7-9. “And he came and took the book out of the right hand of him that sat upon the throne, and when he had taken the book, the four beasts and four and twenty elders fell down before the Lamb, having every one of them harps, and golden vials full of odors, which are the prayers of saints.”
John sees this book and no one is able to open it…..no one in politics, no one in religion, no one in science, no one in philosophy, no one in economics….no one can open the book! The question is not “Who is willing?” but “Who is worthy?” John sees that no one is worthy until he sees the lamb. Then the angel says, “Don’t cry, John, the Lamb is able to open the book.”
Folks, our world is in a mess. You know that don’t you? Satan is described as a dragon and the coming antichrist is described as a beast. Do you know who the Lord sets against the dragon and the beast? A little lamb. Folks, that Lamb has redeemed us with His blood. He alone is worthy. Jesus is legally worthy.
But not only is Jesus legally worthy, He’s lavishly wealthy. In order to buy back Ruth, Boaz had to have money. In chapter 2 verse 1, Boaz is not just called wealthy; he’s called a mighty man of wealth. Remember that the redeemer had to be a near kinsman and he had to have the sufficiency to buy back the estate. Jesus is lavishly wealthy. He paid a greater price for us than Boaz paid for Ruth. I Peter 1:18-19 says, “Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot.”
Ephesians 1:7 says, “We have redemption through his blood.” Revelation 5:9 says the same thing. There is no redemption without a price, and Jesus paid that price. I Peter 3:18 says, “For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God.”
*There are times when I preach about the events surrounding Calvary…and I weep when I get to thinking about it. Sometimes people have wept with me as I preach on these things. But at other times I will tell the story and people’s eyes just sort of glaze over.
Once a fisherman went out to fish and he took his dog with him. He was a great fisherman. Catching fish was very important to him. The dog caught sight of some movement on the shore…maybe some water foul or something…and the dog began to bark while this fisherman was trying to be very quiet so he could catch some fish. It irritated the fisherman and he spoke to the dog, but the dog kept barking. He hit the dog, but the dog kept barking. In a fit of rage, the fisherman took out a hatchet that he had in the boat and cut off one of the paws of that dog and threw it in the water. Then he cut another paw off the yelping dog and threw it in the water. Then he cut the other two paws off that bleeding dog….so that now he had nothing to swim with…and he threw that dog into the water to drown.
I’ve been watching your faces as I’ve told this story to you, and some of you have been cringing. I’ve seen people get more upset over a dog getting it’s paws chopped off than they do over the Son of God hanging upon a cross in agony and blood.
What’s wrong with us? We’ve heard the story of Calvary so much that we now fail to understand the price that was paid for us. Jesus, with the silver of His tears and the gold of His blood, redeemed us.
He was legally worthy, He was lavishly wealthy, but He was also lovingly willing. You see, Boaz didn’t have to buy Ruth, nor did the Lord Jesus Christ have to buy us.
He doesn’t love us because we’re valuable; we’re valuable only because He loves us. He just loves us by His sheer grace…just as Boaz loved Ruth before Ruth ever knew his name. We love Jesus because He first loved us.
Boaz is a picture of our redeeming Lord. He’s legally worthy, he’s lavishly wealthy, and he’s lovingly willing. But here’s the second thing I want you to see. Not only do we have a picture of our redeeming Lord, we also have a picture of our renewed life.
*Find Ephesians 2. Ruth had 3 major problems, and if you’re an unsaved person, you have the same 3 problems. We see them in Ephesians 2:12-13. Paul is describing what we were before we met the Lord Jesus Christ. Ephesians 2:12-13 says, “That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world: but now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ.” Folks, that’s the story of Ruth.
Ruth had 3 problems…her past, her present and her future. Every unsaved person has the same 3 problems. What was her past? She was *born a Moabitess. She was an alien from the commonwealth of Israel. Deuteronomy 23:3 says, “An Ammonite or Moabite shall not enter into the congregation of the Lord.” The Moabites were descendants of Lot who had a child through an incestuous relationship with his daughter. They were a thorn in the side of Israel and there was a curse upon them.
The law could not admit Ruth. By the law she was shut out! Spiritually, she was born on the wrong side of the tracks….and so were every one of us. “In Adam, all die.”
She was an alien…and that is her past. But Ephesians 2:12 also says, “strangers from the covenant of promise.” She didn’t enjoy the things of God. She was a stranger to these things. The joys of life in Christ were not hers. Hers was a life marked by tragedy, and sorrow. Her dreams had turned to dust and her hopes had melted away. That’s her present. If you are without Christ, that’s also your present.
*But Ephesians 2:12 goes on to say, “having no hope.” That was her future….hopeless. Her past was cursed, her present was crushed, her future was condemned. God help people to understand where they are! If you are unsaved, that’s where you are, and sitting in church won’t change that. You need Jesus.
Ruth is a picture of all of us. She had 3 problems that you could sum up in 3 words….sin, sorrow and death. Those are the enemies that *all of us have. But wait. I want you to see what happens now. Look at Ephesians 2:19. “Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints, and of the household of God.” Why? Because Boaz had redeemed her.
The word redeemed means to purchase. There is another word for redeemed that has an x in front of it and it means to take out of the market place…or to take off the slave block. The Lord not only bought us, but He took us out of the marketplace. We are no longer for sale…and that speaks of our eternal security.
The word redeemed also means to set free. That’s what happened to Ruth and that’s what happened to Gary. I have been bought, I have been taken off the market place, and I have been set free in Jesus Christ. That is the doctrine of redemption.
Now let me show you something very interesting that will help make this clear. Remember that the nearer kinsman said, “I can’t buy her back…I don’t want to ruin my own inheritance.” Look at Ruth 4:7-8. “Now this was the manner in former time in Israel concerning redeeming and concerning changing, for to confirm all things; a man plucked off his shoe, and gave it to his neighbor: and this was a testimony in Israel. Therefore the kninsman said unto Boaz, Buy it for thee. So he drew off his shoe.”
Taking off your shoe was a way of confirming the deal. Have you ever said, “I would hate to be in his shoes” or “If I were in his shoes, here’s what I would do?” This is where those expressions came from. It speaks of one person taking the place of another person. That’s what Jesus did when He saved us….He stood in our shoes. He took all the hell and punishment that we have coming…He paid the price that we couldn’t pay. He stood in our shoes just like Boaz stood in the shoes of that nearer kinsman. He said, “I will do for you what you can’t do for yourself. I will stand in your shoes.”
Here’s Ruth. As far as her past is concerned, she’s an alien. As far as her present is concerned, she’s outside the commonwealth of Israel and the promises of God. As far as her future is concerned, she has no hope. But Boaz says, “I will take her place. I will redeem her.”
So far we’ve seen our redeeming Lord and our renewed life, but now I want you to see our restored legacy. Quickly, let’s see some things that Ruth got back. She got 5 gifts. First, look at the family she received. Look at Ruth 4:10. “Moreover Ruth the Moabitess, the wife of Mahlon, have I purchased to be my wife, to raise up the name of the dead upon his inheritance, that the name of the dead be not cut off from among his brethren, and from the gate of his place: ye are witnesses this day.”
Ruth came into a family. And friend, when you get saved, you come into the family of God. She also received a fortune. Boaz is a mighty man of wealth and he marries Ruth. She is not just gleaning in the field for leftovers anymore, she now owns the field. She’s married to him and shares his wealth. The Bible says we’re heirs with God and joint heirs with Jesus Christ. Everything that belongs to Jesus belongs to us.
The Bible says that the meek shall inherit the earth. She received a family and she received a fortune. Next, she received fame. The last part of verse 11 talks about how Ruth will become famous in Bethlehem. The name of Ruth is spoken of with reverence around the world. We are talking about her now some 4,000 years later. She’s famous!
Without Jesus, your body’s going to rot in the grave while your soul burns in hell. But if you know Jesus, you’ll shine as the brightness of the stars forever, and ever.
But the next thing she received was fruitfulness. Look at Ruth 4:11. “And all the people that were in the gate, and the elders, said, We are witnesses. The Lord make the woman that is come unto thine house like Rachel and like Leah, which two did build the house of Israel: and do thou worthily in Ephratah, and be famous in Bethlehem.”
The word Ephratah means fruitful. Jesus said, “You have not chosen me, I have chosen you and ordained you that you should go and bring forth fruit.”
Lastly, she received a future. In verse 16 we find that she had a little baby. Look at Ruth 4:16-17. “And Naomi took the child, and laid it in her bosom, and became nurse unto it. And the women her neighbors gave it a name, saying, There is a son born to Naomi; and they called his name Obed: he is the father of Jesse, the father of David”
And David, as you know, is the ancestor of Christ. What a future this woman has! She is up in heaven right now serving and glorying in the Lord.
If people only knew what they had in the Lord Jesus Christ and if they had any sense, you couldn’t keep them away with a machine gun!
Your past…you are an alien. Your present….you are a stranger to the covenants of promise. Your future…you’re without hope. But there’s a Boaz…a kinsman Redeemer…who’s legally worthy, who’s lavishly wealthy, who’s lovingly willing. He says, “Hey, I want to marry you. I want to give you a family, I want to give you a fortune, I want to give you fruitfulness, I want to give you fame, and I want to give you a future.”
Jesus is saying to you today, “I gave my life to redeem you, and I want you to be my bride.” That’s what the church is…the Bride of Jesus Christ.
When they got married….according to verse 11….all those witnesses were standing around. Can you imagine Ruth saying, “I want to be married to you, Boaz, but I don’t want anybody to know it. Could we just do this in secret?” No, she was happy that everybody knew that she loved Boaz. That’s why we have a public invitation and ask people to come forward.
That’s why we have weddings where the bride is all dressed in white and coming down the aisle. She’s not hoping that no one sees her…she’s hoping that everyone sees her! Here she comes to her bridegroom….she’s not ashamed of him!
Jesus said, “If you are ashamed of me and my work before this sinful and adulterous generation, I will be ashamed of you when I come in the glory of the Father with the holy angels.” How can you be ashamed of the One who died in agony and blood on that cross for you? He said, “I do,” to you. Don’t you think it’s about time you said, “I do,” to Him?