Thursday, August 29, 2013

ruth: true love under His wings (part 13 - conclusion)

Meanwhile Boaz went up to the town gate and sat there. When the kinsman-redeemer he had mentioned came along, Boaz said, "Come over here, my friend, and sit down." So he went over and sat down. Boaz took ten of the elders of the town and said, "Sit here," and they did so. Then he said to the kinsman-redeemer, "Naomi, who has come back from Moab, is selling the piece of land that belonged to our brother Elimelech. I thought I should bring the matter to your attention and suggest that you buy it in the presence of these seated here and in the presence of the elders of my people. If you will redeem it, do so. But if you will not, tell me, so I will know. For no one has the right to do it except you, and I am next in line."

"I will redeem it," he said. Then Boaz said, "On the day you buy the land from Naomi and from Ruth the Moabitess, you acquire the dead man's widow, in order to maintain the name of the dead with his property." At this, the kinsman-redeemer said, "Then I cannot redeem it because I might endanger my own estate. You redeem it yourself. I cannot do it." (Now in earlier times in Israel, for the redemption and transfer of property to become final, one party took off his sandal and gave it to the other. This was the method of legalizing transactions in Israel.) So the kinsman-redeemer said to Boaz, "Buy it yourself." And he removed his sandal. Then Boaz announced to the elders and all the people, "Today you are witnesses that I have bought from Naomi all the property of Elimelech, Kilion and Mahlon. I have also acquired Ruth the Moabitess, Mahlon's widow, as my wife, in order to maintain the name of the dead with his property, so that his name will not disappear from among his family or from the town records. Today you are witnesses!"

Then the elders and all those at the gate said, "We are witnesses. May the LORD make the woman who is coming into your home like Rachel and Leah, who together built up the house of Israel. May you have standing in Ephrathah and be famous in Bethlehem. Through the offspring the LORD gives you by this young woman, may your family be like that of Perez, whom Tamar bore to Judah."

So Boaz took Ruth and she became his wife. Then he went to her, and the LORD enabled her to conceive, and she gave birth to a son. The women said to Naomi: "Praise be to the LORD, who this day has not left you without a kinsman-redeemer. May he become famous throughout Israel! He will renew your life and sustain you in your old age. For your daughter-in-law, who loves you and who is better to you than seven sons, has given him birth." Then Naomi took the child, laid him in her lap and cared for him. The women living there said, "Naomi has a son." And they named him Obed. He was the father of Jesse, the father of David.

This, then, is the family line of Perez: Perez was the father of Hezron, Hezron the father of Ram, Ram the father of Amminadab, Amminadab the father of Nahshon, Nahshon the father of Salmon, Salmon the father of Boaz, Boaz the father of Obed, Obed the father of Jesse, and Jesse the father of David. (Ruth 4)

Once Ruth proposes to Boaz, he promises to take care of her and immediately leaves to address the one obstacle that may prevent their marriage. You see, there is another kinsman who is a closer blood relative with rights to claim Ruth and Naomi. So what does Boaz do? He wisely gathers ten witnesses to join him and approaches the unnamed kinsman. Then, Boaz simply trusts God to handle the details as he honestly explains the terms to his bretheren. He does not manipulate or try to persuade anyone in a dishonorable way merely to get what he wants. No, he acts respectfully and within the structure of the law. For to act manipulative would only exhibit a reverse of Boaz's faith in God's ability.

Watch Boaz as he informs the kinsman of Elimelech's estate. Upon hearing the news, the kinsman is excited and ready to take ownership of the property. (Who wouldn't want to inherit a lot of land? Especially when farming was crucial to their survival and status of wealth?) But then, Boaz continues to inform his blood relative of the remaining terms of the deal. In assuming ownership of the land he must also assume the responsibility to care for widow Naomi and the Moabite woman, Ruth. With this news, the kinsman rejects the land and all responsibility for their welfare. He is not at all interested in caring for two widows. He could care less about them. (Some family, huh?)

There is such a difference between how these two men treated these two women. Boaz clearly shows honor and love not only to Ruth, but to Naomi. He has consistently made the effort to care and protect these women. The other kinsman, not so much. Boaz shows us a very important character in how a godly man should protect and provide for their wives and family. He reflects Christ's example - covering His future bride with complete love and provision. Just as important, notice how Ruth (and Naomi) respect and love Boaz. Naomi coaches Ruth to honor him by going to him quietly with her proposal. She instructs her on how to be godly in her actions while remaining attractive, attentive, assertive and available to Boaz. Notice how no one acts inappropriately or manipulatively to get what they want. Rather, even in their initial sorrow... even in their uncertainty... these three walk in faith and trust God to handle the details of their lives.

Of course, God delivers! Boaz is free to take Ruth as his wife. Naomi gains a family again - which proves to be a great example of God's provision and love to her entire community. (Look at how involved all the women around them are!) Finally, after all the trials and uncertain moments... Ruth is blessed with a baby boy. Family is restored. Love endures.

But does God stop there? No! Not to His faithful. God gushes over dear Ruth and Naomi and Boaz! God grants a Moabite women honorable lineage to the Savior of the world! There are no boundaries to how God can use and bless a life, are there? For we read in scripture that Ruth and Boaz are to be the great, great grandparents of King David. The line of Christ is revealed and the testimony and hope of this family is seen even to this day! Hallelujah!

While finishing this last chapter in the book of Ruth, I can't help but remember how this whole story started with famine, death, separation from God, and emptiness. And yet, here we are with a once dry land now fruitful. With a once grieving household full of life. With ungodly surroundings changed and the once lost now abiding in God's promised land. With empty, barren arms made full. Furthermore, as I look to this story and read about these real people from a real time, I'm amazed at how God still uses their Old Testament story filled with multilayers of lessons, warnings and blessings to demonstrate the significance of the coming Messiah. Only God could intertwine such precision while remaining mindful to share His everlasting message of grace and redemption. What an awesome God, huh? What a Royal Husband! What a Kinsman-Redeemer! What a Comforter, Protector, Provider, Judge, Healer... What a love story we have in Jesus! What a Savior, indeed!

Just like Ruth, without our Kinsman-Redeemer we are helpless, outcast, cursed. Just like Naomi, without faith and family we are barren, empty, removed. But just like Boaz, Jesus fulfills all our needs. He is a man, a God, of honor! He made Himself man so that He would become flesh like us. He took on our sins so that He could assume role as our Redeemer. He removed the rightful grasp of Satan and death in order to restore us to His home and welcome us into His kingdom. Jesus loves us eternally, indefinitely, and undeniably. He wants more than anything to be our Heavenly Husband and spread his covering of love, protection and provision over our lives FOREVER! Have you jumped at the chance to pledge yourself to Him? Have you received Him and all that He offers? Have you confessed your barrenness and bankruptcy to Him and proposed to take His perfect hand in marriage? Are you part of His kingdom? Oh, I hope so. I hope you are anxiously waiting for Him to return to you and sweep you off your feet! I hope you are hopelessly devoted to rest faithfully in His promise to renew, restore, refresh your life. Welcome in His headship and allow Him to take full control and care. He will make good, I promise.

The final and most important blessing given to us in the book of Ruth is the revealing of Jesus. He is the Son of Man - our brother and kinsman... and yet He is also the Son of God! He chose to become one of us, through the bloodline of Ruth, Boaz, David. Why? To find us... to save us... to free us of this sinful world... to love us and be with us forever! How majestic is His Name in all the earth! For we can see His love demonstrated in every dew drop... every ray of sunshine... every field, every creature, every constellation, every moment!

How could anyone deny the love of the King of kings? He is the hope... the One! There is no greater love than with Jesus! So, glean in His field. Know His character. Drink and eat of His bounty. Cover yourself under His cloak. Trust in His promises. Wait on His timing. Love Him more than life... for He is worth it! Receive Him, DW! Let your life be a testimony of His everlasting love! Let your love story be shared and shared and shared forevermore!

"Under His wings, I am safely abiding;
Tho' the night deepens and tempests are wild.
Still I can trust Him; I know He will keep me;
He has redeemed me and I am His child.

Under His wings, what a refuge in sorrow!
How the heart yearningly turns to His rest!
Often when earth has no balm for my healing,
There I find comfort and there I am blest.

Under His wings, O what precious enjoyment!
There will I hide till life's trials are o'er;
Sheltered, protected, no evil can harm me;
Resting in Jesus I'm safe evermore.

Under His wings, under His wings.
Who from His love can sever?
Under His wings my soul shall abide,
Safely abide forever."
(Author Unknown)

Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind, strength. Know His love in return. He is your Kinsman. Allow Him to be your Redeemer today and every day! And all God's people say.... AMEN!

Blog Posting Written By Victoria Anderson

1 comment:

  1. I loved rereading Ruth and really liked your words after each section