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Saturday, September 23rd, 2023
the Week of Proper 19 / Ordinary 24
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Bible Commentaries
Ruth 4

Bell's Commentary on the BibleBell's Commentary

Verses 1-22

  1. Intro:
    1. Story of Redemption:
    2. An orphaned boy was living with his grandmother when their house caught fire. The grandmother, trying to get upstairs to rescue the boy, perished in the flames. The boy’s cries for help were finally answered by a man who climbed an iron drainpipe and came back down with the boy hanging tightly to his neck.Several weeks later, a public hearing was held to determine who would receive custody of the child. A farmer, a teacher, and the town’s wealthiest citizen all gave the reasons they felt they should be chosen to give the boy a home. But as they talked, the lad’s eyes remained focused on the floor. Then a stranger walked to the front and slowly took his hands from his pockets, revealing severe scars on them. As the crowd gasped, the boy cried out in recognition. This was the man who had saved his life. His hands had been burned when he climbed the hot pipe. With a leap the boy threw his arms around the man’s neck and held on for dear life. The other men silently walked away, leaving the boy and his rescuer alone.Those marred hands had settled the issue! -D.C.E. (Galaxie Software. (2002; 2002). 10,000 Sermon Illustrations. Biblical Studies Press.)
    3. Boaz & Ruth, rather than rushing into marriage, waited for God to confirm that their desires matched his will!
      1. So Boaz presented Naomi’s other relative w/the opportunity to buy Elimelech’s property & bring Naomi & Ruth into his household.
      2. That’s a hard trust!
    1. ONE HURDLE! (1-12)
    2. I will Redeem It! (1-4)
      1. The gate – All village business of importance was decided in the gate, where the elders of the community gave advice & judgment.
    3. Reading the Fine Print! (5)
      1. I remember as a young lad learning about “reading the fine print”!
        1. Story - I ordered a car from the back of a cereal box. It finally came & it was only “an inch long”! But the picture took up most the room on the back of the cereal box!
    4. A “Bad Business Deal”! (6)
      1. Q: What will this do for ME? – He thought to himself, “When the boy I give her grows up it will be his inheritance & not my mine!”
        1. “The boy would carry her dead husbands name & not mine!”
      2. That son could also be entitled to part of his own real-estate also!
        1. This was just a bad business deal from his standpoint!
      3. I cannot redeem it! – Anxious to claim the field, but he didn’t want Ruth!
        1. Remember the parable of the field? – “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and hid; and for joy over it he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.” (Mt.11:44)
        2. When our Redeemer purchased the world, was he looking for another Planet? No, He wanted the treasure which was buried in the world…He Wanted You!
    5. Boaz Validates the Transaction! (7-10)
      1. Boaz was willing to pay any price to redeem the woman & her estate simply because he loves her.
      2. What a wonderful picture of Christ & His love for the church!
      3. Here Boaz walks away with Ruth, Real-estate, & a Reebok!
        1. And his Barefoot Brethren limps away.
        2. Q: Are you walking w/a limp in your reputation?
    6. The Witnesses Validate the Transaction! (11,12)
      1. (12) Why mention Perez? – Perez’s birth was an example of a “levirate” marriage(Gen.38) whereby the brother or relative of the dead husband marries his widow.
    8. (13) Boaz & Ruth approached marriage w/complete trust in God.
      1. They followed His law, they maintained purity, & they moved ahead w/confidence as God opened doors. They glorified Him in their romantic desires. And the result? God not only blessed them, but blessed Naomi& us!2
      2. Q: Couples dating: do you ever base your decisions on the effect or witness it will have(or won’t have) on others?
    9. (14) Interesting, Naomi’s blessing came after Ruth’s wedding, just as Israel will be restored & blessed after Christ & His church are united!
      1. (i.e.) After Jesus comes for His church then Israel’s restoration & blessings again during the millennium!
    10. (15) When tragedy strikes don’t ask, “How can God let this happen to me?” Instead, trust Him. He will be with you even in the hard times. (L.A.B. pg. 398.)
    11. 7 sons – 7 sons symbolized the supreme blessing that could come to a Hebrew family (1 Sam.2:5; Job1:2).
    12. (16) Nurse to him? – possible adoption ceremony.
      1. It was also a sign of acceptance.
    13. (17) They gave him a nickname “Naomi’s boy-child”!
    14. They become great grandparents of King David.
    16. The descendants of Perez make Judah a prominent tribe.
    17. This 10 name genealogy presents the royal ancestry of David.
      1. The book ends with a reminder of redemption by focusing on this vital link in which Jew & Gentile unite to share in the ancestry of King David, through whom came Jesus the Christ.
    18. So the Book of Ruth is about a nice girl who got lucky???
      1. No! Remember, the seemingly ordinary events in the book of Ruth (eg., travels, marriages, deaths, harvesting, eating, sleeping, purchasing land) revealed the guiding activity of the Sov God.
    19. Contrast from ch.1 to ch.4!
      1. From tears to Joy; from hard labor to rest; from emptiness to fullness; from fear to peace & assurance; from a funeral to a wedding, life once bitter tasted sweet again!
        1. Bethlehem the place of bread has indeed become a place of satisfaction & nourishment for her soul.
      2. The difference? – Obeying the Word of God. When Ruth put herself at the feet of her Redeemer & entrusted herself to him, he took over & changed everything! (WWW, With the Word; pg.158)
    20. Regarding Naomi!
      1. No matter how difficult the circumstances may be, the only place for God’s people is in the will of God. There is a high cost to backsliding.
        1. However, God is willing to forgive backsliders & restore them to favor. Naomi could never regain the lost time out of God’s will, but she did regain her Joy & Testimony!!! (WWW, Outlines in the OT;)
    21. In Ch.1 Ruth had nothing but her faith; Ch.2 she lived on leftovers; Ch.3 she received generous gifts; But once she belonged to Boaz (Ch.4), everything he owned belonged to her.
      1. Eph.1:3 “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ.”
      2. 2 Cor.8:9 “For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor, that you through His poverty might become rich.”
    22. Happy Ever After, was my title.
      1. Only in Gods plan of redemption do we live happily ever after!
      2. Note all the main characters are winners; there are no losers at all.
      3. It doesn’t mean there aren’t hardships along the way…but in the end, truly Happily ever after!
    23. REDEMPTION! [To buy back by paying a price, and setting free]
      1. Redemption is a Romance; because God loves us he redeemed us.
      2. Originally, the payment of a price to secure the release of a P.O.W.
      3. The word came to be used also of the release of a slave, and sometimes of a person under sentence of death (Ex.21:28–30).
      4. Redemption always means the payment of a price to secure release.
      5. People who sin become slaves of sin(John 8:34); they cannot free themselves from that slavery.
      6. Christ’s death on the cross was the payment of a ransom price (Mark 10:45) by which sinners are set free.
      7. Now that they are redeemed they must live as free people (1 Cor. 6:19–20; Gal. 5:1). (Galaxie Software. (2002; 2002). 10,000 Sermon Illustrations. Biblical Studies Press.)
      8. Our Slave Market - our World System; Our Slave Master - Satan; We were a Slave to – our humanity; Our problem - Sin; The Highest Bidder - Jesus Christ; The Ransom Price - His precious Blood!
      9. One animal sacrifice per man – Cain & Able! (Gen.3) One sacrifice per family - Passover! (Ex.12:3–14) One sacrifice per nation - Day of Atonement! (Tab. in Wilderness) One sacrifice per world – Jesus! (Jn.1:29; Heb.10:1–14)
        1. God is both the purchaser and the price; for Christ, who is God, purchased these blessings by offering Himself as the price of our salvation. (Jonathan Edwards, in Closer Walk, July, 1988, p.15)
      10. Jesus redeemed us; He was related by blood;
        He was able to pay the price; He was willing to pay it;
        He paid it; because He loves us; He is Lord of the Harvest;
        He supplies our needs; He redeems the inheritance for us;
        He gives rest!
    24. Remember in our intro story the man who had saved the little boys life?
      1. His hands had been burned when he climbed the hot pipe.
      2. Those marred hands had settled the issue.
      3. Many voices are calling for our attention. Among them is the One whose nail-pierced hands remind us that He has rescued us from sin and its deadly consequences.
        1. To Him belongs our love and devotion.
    25. Obed = Worshiper, or a servant who worships.
      1. Next week, don’t be late!
      2. Different format for our study & practice on “Worship”!

Sing Redeemed

When A. J. Gordon was pastor of a church in Boston, he met a young boy in front of the sanctuary carrying a rusty cage in which several birds fluttered nervously.

Gordon inquired, “Son, where did you get those birds?” The boy replied, “I trapped them out in the field.” “What are you going to do with them?” “I’m going to play with them, and then I guess I’ll just feed them to an old cat we have at home.” Gordon offered to buy them, and the lad exclaimed, “Mister, you don’t want them, they’re just little old wild birds and can’t sing very well.” Gordon replied, “I’ll give you $2 for the cage and the birds.” “Okay, it’s a deal, but you’re making a bad bargain.” The exchange was made and the boy went away whistling, happy with his shiny coins. Gordon walked around to the back of the church property, opened the door of the small wire coop, and let the struggling creatures soar into the blue.
The next Sunday he took the empty cage into the pulpit and used it to illustrate his sermon about Christ’s coming to seek and to save the lost—paying for them with His own precious blood. “That boy told me the birds were not songsters,” said Gordon, “but when I released them and they winged their way heavenward, it seemed to me they were singing, ‘Redeemed, redeemed, redeemed!”

You and I have been held captive to sin, but Christ has purchased our pardon and set us at liberty. When a person has this life-changing experience, he will want to sing,
“Redeemed, Redeemed, Redeemed!”

Our Daily Bread

Bibliographical Information
Bell, Brian. "Commentary on Ruth 4". "Bell's Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/cbb/ruth-4.html. 2017.
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