3 January 2021 PM – Ruth 4:1-22 – Ru20 – Scott Childs
Introduction: In our culture, weddings are usually preceded by busy preparation. Such preparations usually include special clothing, flowers, decorations, rehearsals, etc. The marriage of Boaz and Ruth also included busy preparation; however, because their marriage was a redemption marriage, the busy preparation were much different. Most of the business fell on Boaz.
Transition: This evening I want us to note three steps in Ruth’s redemption that picture our spiritual redemption.
Redemption Declined (Ru 4.1-8)
a. Boaz was prompt
1) He began the redemption process first thing in the morning as he told Ruth that he would (3:13).
2) He found the nearest kinsman at the city gate and asked him to sit down (v.1).
3) He gathered ten witnesses and they too sat down (v.2).
4) Boaz explained Naomi’s request for redemption to the nearer kinsman (v.3-4).
a) We see in v.3 that Naomi was selling a parcel of land that was Elimelech’s.
b) However, the discussion in v.4 was all about redeeming the land. This was obviously a redemption sale not a normal sale.
b. The nearer kinsman was prudent
1) His immediate response was that he would gladly pay the redemption price for Naomi’s land (v.4b).
2) However, Boaz added that the redeemer must also marry Ruth to raise up the name of the dead upon the inheritance (v.5). Everyone knew that in a situation like this, the land and marriage were an inseparable package deal. Evidently, the man did not think about that.
3) This changed things for the nearer kinsman.
a) Whoever redeemed the land and took Ruth to wife, the firstborn son by Ruth would bear the name of Mahlon, and any other sons born to that relationship would be his own. Any present sons he may have would have to divide the overall inheritance with any new sons he might receive.
b) In addition, to take a second wife would very likely cause family problems.
4) Thus, the nearer kinsman prudently declined the request to redeem Naomi and Ruth’s land (v.6).
5) He then yielded his right over to Boaz by handing him his shoe (v.7-8). This does not seem to be the same as a rejected widow taking of the brother’s shoe and spitting in his face. This was a voluntary removal of his own shoe. Evidently, this was similar to our custom of shaking hands over a deal.
It was the Lord’s will that Boaz redeem and marry Ruth. God arranged it so that the nearer kinsman declined his right; therefore, all the pieces of the puzzle came together perfectly. Whenever we are fully yielded to the Lord and wait for His leading, we can be sure that He will work out every complex situation we face perfectly.
2. Redemption Purchased (Ru 4.9-12)
a. Boaz gladly accepted the redemption request
1) The night before, he had promised Ruth that he would redeem her as long as the nearer kinsman declined (3:11).
2) At the city gate, he had already expressed his interest in the redemption if the nearer kinsman declined (v.4).
3) He accepted the nearer kinsman’s shoe showing that he now had the legal right to be Ruth’s redeemer.
b. Boaz formalized the redemption details
1) Before the witnesses in the gate, Boaz redeemed all that had been Elimelech’s and all that was Chilion’s and Mahlon’s (v.9). Perhaps he even brought his redemption money with him that morning. His words sound like the redemption was a completed transaction.
2) Before the witnesses, he also redeemed Ruth to be his wife to raise up Mahlon’s name (v.10).
3) The elders all agreed that they were witnesses (v.11).
4) The witnesses blessed that marriage abundantly not knowing the plans God had in store for the firstborn son.
5) It is interesting that nothing is said about a marriage ceremony. Boaz publically purchased Ruth as his wife. The witnessed acknowledged his marriage. He then took Ruth to himself and she was his wife (v.13). If they had any ceremony, God does not mention it.
6) In the Garden of Eden, God ordained marriage saying, (Genesis 2:24) “Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.” Thus, marriage is a public statement before witnesses of leaving father and mother and cleaving or clinging to his wife. It is agreeing to stick with the wife. God then makes them one flesh. Jesus said, (Matthew 19:6) “Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.“
Ruth had asked Boaz to redeem her. Following the proper course of action, he redeemed her. In this, we see a picture of how Christ redeems a sinner who asks to be redeemed. Christ agreed. He paid the full price of redemption. The Father and the angels of heaven formally witnessed it (Lu 15:7, 10). Christ took that redeemed sinner as His bride.
3. Redemption Fulfilled (Ru 4:13-22)
a. Ruth became Boaz’ wife
1) God confirmed their marriage (v.13).
2) The Lord blessed their marriage with a son (v.13). This was the ultimate fulfilment of the redemption. Ruth needed a son to inherit the land that belonged to their family.
3) Jesus’ words about marriage are important for us to note carefully. (Matthew 19:4-6) “And he answered and said unto them, Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female, And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh? Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.” Jesus confirmed that …
a) Marriage is defined in the Bible.
b) Marriage was God’s plan from the beginning.
c) Marriage is between a man and a woman.
d) Marriage is a public statement of leaving.
e) Marriage is a public promise of cleaving.
f) At marriage, God unites two into one flesh.
g) Marriage must not be put asunder by divorce.
b. The Lord had special plans for their son
1) Note the genealogy (v.17-22).
2) God in His great mercy chose Ruth, a converted Moabitess, to be the great grandmother of King David and ultimately an ancestor of the Messiah. Was Ruth more god-fearing than any other young Jewish woman in her generation or was God simply displaying His amazing mercy and grace? I will let you decide.
When Ruth chose to leave Moab, reject her false gods, place her faith in Jehovah God, and move to Israel, humanly speaking she had little chance of ever getting married. What a wonderful illustration for us that when a person fully yields to the Lord, the Lord can turn things around in amazing ways. Living yielded fully to the Lord’s will, without scheming, without plotting, without compromising, is the sure way to receive God’s best and His blessings on your life.