Hey BCU family!
Please enjoy the condensed podcast (click on the icon below and hear a special friend of mine kick off the podcast), read through the notes, or do both! Be encouraged in the Lord!
Ruth Chapter 3 takeaways:
God wants us to REST on His word, His promises and in Him. We DO not want to miss any blessings, promises or more importantly Heaven because of practiced disobedience, fear and unbelief.
Without faith it is impossible to please Him. We must believe that He is and a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him.
Wheat (what’s on the inside) is more valuable than chaff (what’s on the outside). Cherish your Holy Ghost and nourish your insides with the Word of God, so we won’t be blown away or burned with the chaff.
God is NOT interested in us staying broken. He is a healer and desires to make us whole–In John 5:6, Jesus asked the impotent man lying by the healing pool of Bethesda “would thou be made whole?” Rather than directly answer, the man told why he couldn’t get to the pool, unaware that Jesus was right there, willing and able to heal. Will we accept His offer?
Follow God’s specific directions. He knows what He’s doing.
God is our kinsman-redeemer. Stay under his covering.
Ladies, keep your reputation intact and menfolk, do what you can to protect a lady’s and your own integrity. I Thessalonians 5:22 states to avoid or abstain from the very appearance of evil.
So we’re coming to the exciting conclusion of Ruth’s story! It’s best to start at the beginning of the series, so you’ll have a full understanding of everything we covered. Let’s look at the highlights:
Elimelech, his wife Naomi and their sons Mahlon and Chilion move from Bethlehem to former arch-enemy, Moab due to a famine. Elimelech passes away and the young men marry Moab natives Ruth and Orpah.
Naomi’s sons then pass away leaving these three women in dire straits, as they had no way to provide for themselves. Naomi decides to move back home to Bethlehem, urging her daughters-in-law to move back to their parents and “find rest, each of them with thier husbands (remarry–Ruth 1:9). Orpah leaves, Ruth stays, takes Naomi as family and starts serving God.
Because it’s harvest time, Ruth decides to glean for grain and “happens” to lands in Boaz’s field. Boaz notices Ruth’s integrity, dedication to Naomi and hard work and he rewards her with special protection, favor during a mealtime and extra grain.
Naomi realizes Boaz was a kinsman-redeemer–someone who could give Ruth the rest Naomi mentioned in chapter 1, and starts on a plan to arrange a marriage. After following Naomi’s instructions, Ruth and Boaz are almost set to marry–but there is another kinsman-redeemer in line ahead of Boaz. And this is where we being chapter 4.
4:1-2–So Boaz got busy right away and went to the gate to look for his relative. The city gate was a bustling hub where all people entered, exited and also served as the city hall, where business was conducted–hence this was the place to take care of his transaction and secure witnesses. After getting his relative, Boaz pulled ten elders of the city to witness this conversation with the relative. What’s interesting about that is along with the numbers that represent completion and perfection, (three– divine perfection, seven–spiritual perfection) and twelve–governmental perfection there are 12 people on a jury), the number ten denotes perfection or completion of “God’s divine order”, or His authority/governmental rule over the affairs of mankind. Here are a few examples:
- There were ten commandments (five dealing with our relationship with God and five relationship with people and man’s responsibility of obedience to God’s law.
- Ten starts a new set of numbers and rounds out the numbers that come before it.
- We tithe ten percent of our income–what is due to God.
- There were ten generations that lived up to the flood
- And to top it off, unlike three, seven or twelve, God’s divine order (ten) is “built-in” to as humans –we have ten fingers and ten toes to do the work of God.
4:3-5–Boaz presents his case regarding that Naomi has come back to sell land that belonged to Elimelech and since the unnamed kinsman was next in line, Boaz was offering it up before he (Boaz) redeemed it. Unnamed kinsman said he’d buy it. Then Boaz brings in the facet that mystery redeemer must also “buy” or marry Ruth to raise up the family name and get the inheritance “back in the family”. Let’s stop here and sketch out how this whole things works.
When land was sold in Israel, it was more like a lease since all land reverted to the original owner in the year of Jubilee, every 50th year, so the original owner and his family still possessed title to the land. Elimelech sold his land due to the probably due to famine and it was redeemable by Elimelech’s family through paying the balance owed to the current occupant. According to the law, the title would have passed to Elimelech’s sons and on down to the nearest of kin. Recall our previous lesson that widows were not listed in the line of inheritance (Numbers 27:8-11), so although it would seem the nearest relative aka kinsman-redeemer would be “willed” the property automatically, he still needed to purchase it from the widow.
It seems that there was not a clear law established for property distribution for Israelites who died childless–in this case, Mahlon and Chilion. So local custom prevailed and the widow, in this case, Naomi owned the property as long as she lived and could sell as needful. And…Ruth has a share in this transaction as the widow of Mahlon. So, with Naomi selling the land because she has no other means to support herself, a relative could come in and redeem that land. In the redemption process, the kinsman was also contracted to take care of the widow and depending on her age, marry her and have children (namely a son) so the first born son could properly inherit the property, and carry on the family of the deceased name.
All of the sudden now, mystery kinsman now does not want to redeem the property, because it would “mar his own inheritance” and tells Boaz to redeem the property for himself. (v6) Scripture is unclear as to why the mystery kinsman reneged, but it reveals a couple of points. While the business part in these verses is what had to be done, the fact was Boaz truly loved Ruth. Boaz was very aware once they married and had a son, the property belonged to his son and his son’s children after that–there was no long-term monetary gain for him. Yet he was willing to pay for the land and redeem his future bride. ALL FOR LOVE and in return for HER LOVE.
Are ya’ll connecting the dots?!
Since the law could not redeem us, Jesus, OUR kinsman-redeemer was willing to pay the price–for all of us–you, me, us, like him or not, the President, the thief, the murderer, the liar, clerk who was mean to you, the guy that dumped you, the “good” sinner (you know, the ones who didn’t drink, party, swear, et cetera) all in the name of LOVE and wants is to LOVE Him and keep His commandments (John 14:15). Glory!!!!
4:7-9–The mystery kinsman told Boaz to “buy it for yourself” (v 8) and the deal was sealed by the shoe LITERALLY given to the neighbor as a testimony in Israel. In other words, this man would prefer to go home without a shoe, rather than go back on his word. This is ancient Israel and my thought is, folks did not have a closet full of shoes like we do today to be giving away–and ONE shoe? What could he do with one shoe? This signified serious business! Boaz declared that the elders and people gathered were witnesses to the land purchase and he would now take Ruth to be his wife in order to raise up the name of Elimelech and keep the inheritance in the family, and the witnesses agreed. Similar to a wedding ceremony–there are always witnesses.
4:11–The witnesses “spoke life” that Ruth would be like Rachel and Leah who built the house of Israel. This goes back to Genesis 35 where Jacob’s wives children were among the twelve tribes of Israel started, so they wanted Ruth to be fruitful child wise. Additionally, they spoke that he do worthily in Ephratah (meaning a place of fruitfulness) and be famous on Bethlehem. Boaz was already known for his wealth and character, so they blessed him even more so with his new family coming aboard. Regarding the house of Pharez, (Genesis 38), he was a twin whose mom was Tamar and dad was Judah–and as you’ll see coming up is a part of Boaz’s and eventually Jesus’ family line.
In ancient times, people referenced historical people as they spoke life or a blessing over someone. What a honor for the witnesses and to Boaz to hear wonderful words of blessing and encouragement. Are we aware of what we can speak over someone’s life–especially those of us who have Christ down on the inside? I recall a story from a deacon who said a woman called one son “Doctor so and so”, and her other son “attorney so and so “and that’s exactly what they became. Death and life are in the power of the tongue and they that love its fruit shall eat of it (Proverbs 18:21).
4:12-15 So the two marry and the Lord gave her conception–He is the giver of life and Obed was born. The women circled back to Naomi saying blessed be the Lord who has not left the without a kinsman-redeemer, that his name would be famous in Israel. Notice this is the second reference to famousness in the area–this is a reference to Jesus! The other significant remark is that the redeemer was a restorer of life and nourisher in Naomi’s old age, since Ruth love for her was better than seven sons. That’s significant because, seven comes from a Hebrew word meaning to be full, satisfied, to have enough–it represents a complete cycle. While it is other places in the Bible, read Joshua 6:1-20 and take note on the use of the number seven. Finally, regarding us, Jesus us a restorer of life–for those of us who are saved, we were the walking dead with a one-way ticket to Hell! Oh, but heeding His call, Jesus cancelled that reservation! GLORY!! Get on board for this train bound for glory! Start with Acts 2:38-39 and go from there–contact me on BlenCouragesU.com for more info!
And finally, we see that Obed was the father of Jesse which begat King David. Further, Ruth’s author recalls the genealogy back from Pharez to David–which happens to be 10 generations–God’s divine order.
Takeaways: Boaz took care of business–and did not delay. The kinsman even went shoeless to illustrate the seriousness of keeping a promise. All through this series, God has constantly brought up integrity and keeping your word. This extends to our obligations to God, our responsibilities, family, paying bills–even as small as not leaving that meat you decided not to buy in the cereal section to go bad. Throwing paper out of the car window or cleaning up behind yourself. A co-worker and were in the cafe one day and he left his garbage claiming “that’s why we pay people here to clean that up”. No, that’s not how that works! I am not saying that dropping a paper on the ground is a heaven/hell issue, it’s more about the fact that as saints we are set apart and called to be examples of light in this dark world. If I’m not keeping my word with the Lord’s help then how am I a good witness to others. People pay attention, even you don’t think they are looking. God, of course is looking all the time. Would you leave that meat in the bread if God was shopping with you? Provide all things honest in the sight of all men (Romans 12:17b). Providing honorable things, not only in the sight of the Lord, but in the sight of all men (2 Corinthians 8:21).
Also notice that Ruth was home waiting and resting!!! She had no idea what was happening with the Boaz and the kinsman. There is no record of her running to the gate to see what was going on or sending folks to the gate for an update. Rather she apparently she trusted that Boaz would do what he said. Isn’t that a good reminder for us with Jesus? If He said He is going to do something, we don’t have keep checking up, laboring and “wrasslin” with it, just REST (lesson 3) on His word. Numbers 23:19 says, “God is not a man, that He should lie, neither the son of man, that He should repent. Has He said and shall not do it? Or has He spoken and shall he not make it [His word] good?”
Boaz loved this woman–it was not an issue that he would not inherit anything once his son was born..he was buying the field to get the treasure that was in it–RUTH!! Similarly, Jesus told the parable of the man who found a pearl in Matthew 13:45-46. Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a merchant man, seeking goodly pearls: Who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had, and bought it.
Positive speaking–Let’s be aware of how we speak to people and ourselves. We can be such a blessing to someone else, if we allow the Lord to speak through us. Proverbs 25:11 says, “a word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver.” Imagine what a beautiful picture that is–would it not be amazing to speak that way? It’s possible when we let God have His way.
What’s interesting about the lineage through which Christ came through, there some faithful ones, like Ruth, shady ones, like Tamar, outstanding ones, like Boaz and just ordinary ones like Salmon, yet no perfect ones. God can use you regardless of your background, past, struggle or situation. We just have to yield to Him.
Well family, that concludes our class and study of Ruth. God has blessed us and we have been challenged, healed and delivered! Stay tuned for our next study and topic..and please…do not keep this all to yourselves–tell a friend!
God bless and make His face to shine upon you, and give you peace in Jesus name!
Until next time….#StayOnTheWall