the Week of Proper 20 / Ordinary 25
Charles Spurgeon's "Morning & Evening"
“Fear not, for I have redeemed thee.”
By the advice of Naomi, Ruth claimed the protection of Boaz, and he at once engaged to take her in marriage, provided the person who was still more nearly akin would waive the right which the Jewish law gave to him. This was brought about and publicly arranged after the custom of the times.
Ruth 4:1 , Ruth 4:2
Then went Boaz up to the gate where the court of justice was ordinarily kept
Ruth 4:1 , Ruth 4:2
To see that everything was done according to law.
Ruth 4:3 , Ruth 4:4
This he said, not knowing the condition attached to the purchase.
Thou canst not have the land without taking the wife of the deceased, and then the children which thou mayest have will be reputed the children of Mahlon, thy deceased kinsman.
Precisely what Boaz desired to do.
This law will be found in detail in Deuteronomy 25; it was ordained in order that no family might die out in Israel. May God grant that this household may never cease to be represented among the Lord’s people.
Thus was her self-denying faith rewarded. She left behind her both relatives, country, and prospects, to cast in her lot with the Lord’s people, and the Lord not only blessed her, but blessed distant generations through her. Those who follow the Lord at all hazards shall be no losers in the long run. To increase Ruth’s joy and crown her happiness, the Lord gave her a son, which son was also a joy to Naomi.
Thus to point out the line of David, and so of our Lord Jesus this book was written. All the Scriptures are intended to lead us in faith to the great Redeemer. God grant that they may not miss their design in our case.
“Thy word hath quickened me.”
Before beginning the book of Samuel we will take another portion from David’s Holy Alphabet the hundred and nineteenth Psalm. Luther prized this Psalm so much, that he declared he would not take the whole world in exchange for a single leaf of it. May the Holy Spirit impress it upon our hearts while we read it.
The Christians hope is wrought in him by the Lord himself and it is based upon the infallible word of God; hence it is a sure hope which will never make him ashamed; for the Lord will certainly remember and fulfil his promises. Yet he does this in answer to prayer: therefore we must plead the handwriting of the Lord.
Good men have their afflictions, and their best comfort under them is quickening grace. Instead of praying, “Lord, remove the trouble,” we should cry, “Lord, quicken me through thy word.”
He refused to be laughed out of his religion. Mans jeers are scarcely felt when the Lord Jesus smiles upon us. If we decline from holiness because bad men laugh, we shall make good men
Psalms 119:52 , Psalms 119:53
A holy heart is horrified at sin, at sinners, and at the sinner’s doom: those who think lightly of other men’s sins will soon sin lightly themselves.
The Bible is the believer’s song-book, and sweet. to his ear are its psalms and hymns. Let us all sing more, and complain less.
Singing is for the day, and remembering is for the wakeful hours of night, and in this way the godly make the whole twenty-four hours holiness unto the Lord.
Holy songs and devout memories are the fruits cf obedience. Many other comforts come to us as rewards while we keep in the right road.
The Lord gives himself to us, it is but meet that we should resolve to give ourselves to him.
Have we done the same? Is there no neglected duty? In obedience to God, whatever haste we make we shall not be hasty.
Those who love good company have some good thing in their own hearts. We ought to choose those for our companions with whom we should be willing to dwell for ever and ever. An aged woman once said, “I cannot believe that the Lord will shut me up with the ungodly, for I have never loved such company. His people have been my friends on earth, and I expect to dwell with them for ever in heaven”
We are full of wants, and sins, and sorrow, therefore it is beyond measure consoling to learn that the Lord has filled the whole earth with his mercy. Let us seek mercy in the most practical form, by asking him graciously to teach us how to live in his fear.
Behold thy waiting servant, Lord,
Devoted to thy fear;
Remember and confirm thy word
For all my hopes are there.
Thou art my portion, O my God,
Teach me thy righteous way;
My heart makes haste to obey thy word,
And suffers no delay.