THE STORY #9: RUTH AND THE KINSMAN REDEEMER
(Pastor Chris Jordan – Beausejour Church)
To listen to or download the audio MP3, click HERE.
OPENING: Review Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy, Joshua and Judges.
- Ruth = one of only two books of the Bible named after women (the other = Esther).
- Ruth took place during the time of the judges, about 1,000 years before Jesus.
- ACT ONE: FAMINE AND BITTER SUFFERING: Dramatized:
“1 In the days when the judges ruled in Israel, a severe famine came upon the land. So a man from Bethlehem in Judah left his home and went to live in the country of Moab, taking his wife and two sons with him. 2 The man’s name was Elimelech, and his wife was Naomi. Their two sons were Mahlon and Kilion. They were Ephrathites from Bethlehem in the land of Judah. And when they reached Moab, they settled there. 3 Then Elimelech died, and Naomi was left with her two sons. 4 The two sons married Moabite women. One married a woman named Orpah, and the other a woman named Ruth. But about ten years later, 5 both Mahlon and Kilion died. This left Naomi alone, without her two sons or her husband. 6 Then Naomi heard in Moab that the LORD had blessed his people in Judah by giving them good crops again. So Naomi and her daughters-in-law got ready to leave Moab to return to her homeland. 7 With her two daughters-in-law she set out from the place where she had been living, and they took the road that would lead them back to Judah. 8 But on the way, Naomi said to her two daughters-in-law, “Go back to your mothers’ homes. And may the LORD reward you for your kindness to your husbands and to me. 9 May the LORD bless you with the security of another marriage.” Then she kissed them good-bye, and they all broke down and wept.” (Ruth 1:1-9, NLT).
“But Ruth replied, “Don’t ask me to leave you and turn back. Wherever you go, I will go; wherever you live, I will live. Your people will be my people, and your God will be my God. Wherever you die, I will die, and there I will be buried. May the LORD punish me severely if I allow anything but death to separate us!” (Ruth 1:16-17, NLT).
Photo Left: Kilian, Mahlon, Elimelech and Naomi. Right: Ruth and Orpah.
- Names: – Elimelech means My God is King
- – Naomi = delight / sweet and Ruth = friendship.
- – Sons Kilion = sickness and Mahlon = consumption.
- It’s ironic that there was a famine in Bethlehem – as this name means “house of bread.”
- Elimelech took his family to Moab, a place of idol worshippers: The Moabites were born of an incestuous relationship between Lot and his daughter (see Genesis 19:37).
- This had disastrous consequences: He moved to Moab wanting to live, yet he died there!
QUOTE: “It is an evidence of a discontented, distrustful, unstable spirit, to be weary of the place in which God has set us, and to be for leaving it immediately whenever we meet with any uneasiness or inconvenience in it.” (Matthew Henry).
- His sons married Moabite women and later both of them died. They disobeyed God!
- The Bible is brutally honest about the pain and suffering we experience in our lives.
- God had told them to not marry foreigners. God doesn’t want Christians to marry (or date!) non-Christians: “Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers!” (2 Cor. 6:14).
- But we also see the providence of God: “The Lord had blessed His people.” (v.6).
- So Naomi has lost her husband and children, and she goes home to God and His people.
“19 So the two of them continued on their journey. When they came to Bethlehem, the entire town was excited by their arrival. “Is it really Naomi?” the women asked. 20 “Don’t call me Naomi,” she responded. “Instead, call me Mara, for the Almighty has made life very bitter for me. 21 I went away full, but the LORD has brought me home empty. Why call me Naomi when the LORD has caused me to suffer and the Almighty has sent such tragedy upon me?” 22 So Naomi returned from Moab, accompanied by her daughter-in-law Ruth, the young Moabite woman. They arrived in Bethlehem in late spring, at the beginning of the barley harvest.” (Ruth 1:19-22, NLT).
- After what Naomi went through, she was angry at God and blamed Him for her suffering.
- Could it be that they were experiencing the consequences of her husband’s actions?
- But: God still had a good plan for her life! Remember: it ain’t over, ‘til it’s over!
- ACT TWO: GIRL MEETS BOY:
“Now there was a wealthy and influential man in Bethlehem named Boaz, who was a relative of Naomi’s husband, Elimelech. One day Ruth the Moabite said to Naomi, “Let me go out into the harvest fields to pick up the stalks of grain left behind by anyone who is kind enough to let me do it.” Naomi replied, “All right, my daughter, go ahead.” (Ruth 2:1-2, NLT).
- Boaz = in him is strength. He is a type of Jesus in this story – the kinsman redeemer.
“Boaz went over and said to Ruth, “Listen, my daughter. Stay right here with us when you gather grain; don’t go to any other fields. Stay right behind the young women working in my field. See which part of the field they are harvesting, and then follow them. I have warned the young men not to treat you roughly. And when you are thirsty, help yourself to the water they have drawn from the well.” (Ruth 2:8-9, NLT).
- See what a good, gracious and generous man Boaz is!
- OT Law: “’When you reap the harvest of your land, you shall not wholly reap the corners of your field, nor shall you gather the gleanings of your harvest. And you shall not glean your vineyard, nor shall you gather every grape of your vineyard; you shall leave them for the poor and the stranger: I am the Lord your God.” (Lev. 19:9-10, NKJV).
- There is application for us in this, too: Don’t spend all of your money on yourself only!
“Ruth fell at his feet and thanked him warmly. “What have I done to deserve such kindness?” she asked. “I am only a foreigner.” “Yes, I know,” Boaz replied. “But I also know about everything you have done for your mother-in-law since the death of your husband. I have heard how you left your father and mother and your own land to live here among complete strangers. May the LORD, the God of Israel, under whose wings you have come to take refuge, reward you fully for what you have done.” (Ruth 2:10-12, NLT).
- Boaz was the son of Salmon and Rahab (the prostitute that helped the spies in Joshua 6).
- Boaz knew what it was like to be an outsider to the family of faith!
- We should also be gracious and accept other people, just as God accepts all of us.
- v.14 – Boaz let Ruth eat and drink with his workers
- v.15-16 – Boaz told his workers to let some of their grain fall so Ruth could collect it
- v.18-23 – Ruth went home and told Naomi everything that had happened
- v.20 – “May the LORD bless him!” Naomi told her daughter-in-law. “He is showing his kindness to us as well as to your dead husband. That man is one of our closest relatives, one of our family redeemers.” (NLT).
- ACT THREE: THE LOVE STORY:
“One day Naomi said to Ruth, “My daughter, it’s time that I found a permanent home for you, so that you will be provided for. Boaz is a close relative of ours, and he’s been very kind by letting you gather grain with his young women. Tonight he will be winnowing barley at the threshing floor. Now do as I tell you—take a bath and put on perfume and dress in your nicest clothes. Then go to the threshing floor, but don’t let Boaz see you until he has finished eating and drinking.” (Ruth 3:1-3, NLT).
- Ruth’s mother-in-law Naomi now begins to play matchmaker!
- SONG: Matchmaker (from Fiddler on the Roof).
- Kinsman Redeemer: a male relative who, according to the OT law, had the privilege or responsibility to act on behalf of a relative who was in trouble, danger, or need. One who delivers or rescues (Gen. 48:16; Ex. 6:6) or redeems property or person (Lev. 27:9-25).
“4 Be sure to notice where he lies down; then go and uncover his feet and lie down there. He will tell you what to do.” 5 “I will do everything you say,” Ruth replied. 6 So she went down to the threshing floor that night and followed the instructions of her mother-in-law. 7 After Boaz had finished eating and drinking and was in good spirits, he lay down at the far end of the pile of grain and went to sleep. Then Ruth came quietly, uncovered his feet, and lay down. 8 Around midnight Boaz suddenly woke up and turned over. He was surprised to find a woman lying at his feet! 9 “Who are you?” he asked. “I am your servant Ruth,” she replied. “Spread the corner of your covering over me, for you are my family redeemer.” (Ruth 3:4-9, NLT).
- Spread the corner of your covering: speaks of protection, and here signified protection from a husband. When marriages are solemnized among the Jews the man throws the skirt of his robe over his wife and covers her head with it (Manners and Customs).
“So Boaz took Ruth into his home, and she became his wife. When he slept with her, the LORD enabled her to become pregnant, and she gave birth to a son.” (Ruth 4:13, NLT).
- His name was Obed, the father of Jesse, the father of King David (v.17).
- Incidentally, Boaz’ mom (Rahab the prostitute) and Ruth the Moabitess both ended up in the genealogy of Jesus (see Matthew 1)!
QUOTE: “The inclusion of the Moabitess, Ruth, as a Gentile participant in Israel’s kingly line, pictures God’s love as it reaches out to all the nations of the world.” (Spirit Filled Life Bible).
THE BIG IDEA: The story of Ruth is more than just a simple love story: Boaz is a type of Jesus Christ, our Kinsman Redeemer.
CLOSING: Jesus is our Kinsman Redeemer!
“But when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, that we might receive the adoption as sons.” (Galatians 4:4-5, NKJV).
ILLUSTRATION OF REDEMPTION: ABRAHAM LINCOLN:
The story is told of a man visiting a slave market, who was deeply touched by the agony of a slave-girl, who feared that she should fall into the hands of a rough master. The gentleman inquired her price, paid it to the slave-trader, then placed the bill of sale in her own hands, telling her that she was free, and could now go home. The slave-girl could not realize the change at first, but, running after her redeemer cried, “He has redeemed me! he has redeemed me! Will you let me be your servant?” The man was Abraham Lincoln.
- Pastor’s Blog: https://pastorchrisjordan.wordpress.com/