Ruth Images

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Surrounded by Fame 

Ruth 4

Don Ruhl • Savage Street, Grants Pass, Oregon • September 28, In the year of our Lord, 2014


  1. Ruth 4.1–12 – Boaz worked for Ruth’s sake

    1 Now Boaz went up to the gate and sat down there; and behold, the close relative of whom Boaz had spoken came by. So Boaz said, “Come aside, friend, sit down here.” So he came aside and sat down. 2 And he took ten men of the elders of the city, and said, “Sit down here.” So they sat down. 3 Then he said to the close relative, “Naomi, who has come back from the country of Moab, sold the piece of land which belonged to our brother Elimelech. 4 And I thought to inform you, saying, ‘Buy it back in the presence of the inhabitants and the elders of my people. If you will redeem it, redeem it; but if you will not redeem it, then tell me, that I may know; for there is no one but you to redeem it, and I am next after you.’” And he said, “I will redeem it.” 5 Then Boaz said, “On the day you buy the field from the hand of Naomi, you must also buy it from Ruth the Moabitess, the wife of the dead, to perpetuate the name of the dead through his inheritance.” 6 And the close relative said, “I cannot redeem it for myself, lest I ruin my own inheritance. You redeem my right of redemption for yourself, for I cannot redeem it.” 7 Now this was the custom in former times in Israel concerning redeeming and exchanging, to confirm anything: one man took off his sandal and gave it to the other, and this was a confirmation in Israel. 8 Therefore the close relative said to Boaz, “Buy it for yourself.” So he took off his sandal. 9 And Boaz said to the elders and all the people, “You are witnesses this day that I have bought all that was Elimelech’s, and all that was Chilion’s and Mahlon’s, from the hand of Naomi. 10 Moreover, Ruth the Moabitess, the widow of Mahlon, I have acquired as my wife, to perpetuate the name of the dead through his inheritance, that the name of the dead may not be cut off from among his brethren and from his position at the gate. You are witnesses this day.” 11 And all the people who were at the gate, and the elders, said, “We are witnesses. The Lord make the woman who is coming to your house like Rachel and Leah, the two who built the house of Israel; and may you prosper in Ephrathah and be famous in Bethlehem. 12 May your house be like the house of Perez, whom Tamar bore to Judah, because of the offspring which the Lord will give you from this young woman.”

    1. How involved are we in our communities?
    2. For whom do we work?
      1. Yes, we should look out for our families, but
      2. do we have an obligation beyond our families?
        1. What should we be doing in the church?
        2. Is not the church our ultimate family?
          1. How do we view our natural families?
          2. Let us then view our spiritual family in the same way, but
            1. truly in a greater way.
    3. Jesus taught that we are the salt of the Earth and the light of the world,

      13 “You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt loses its flavor, how shall it be seasoned? It is then good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men. 14 You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. 16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven” (Matt 5.13–16).

      1. How can we be the salt of the Earth like Boaz,
      2. if we have nothing to do with our communities?
    4. Was Boaz moved primarily
      1. by getting more land,
      2. by getting a new young wife, or
      3. what?
        1. I think verses 9–10 show the heart of this good man of Israel.
        2. Yes, there is no doubt that he loved Ruth, but
          1. what also drove him was maintaining what the Law taught, and
          2. that meant perpetuating the name of Ruth’s first husband!
            1. Boaz was an honorable man.
            2. Ruth was an honorable woman.
              1. They were the perfect match!
              2. Truly, the Lord had joined them together (Matt 19.6).
    5. Because of the kind of people that Boaz and Ruth were,
      1. the people of Bethlehem blessed the couple with wonderful words.
      2. What did they want Boaz and Ruth to be like?
        1. They wanted the couple to be like Rachel and Leah
        2. who built the house of Israel.
          1. They even identified Judah and his son, because
          2. that was the line of Boaz.
            1. Has it come to pass?
            2. It came to pass in a greater way than they ever imagined!
  2. Ruth 4.13 – Ruth begins a new family

    13 So Boaz took Ruth and she became his wife; and when he went in to her, the Lord gave her conception, and she bore a son.

    1. Do you realize that we have been blessed because of this union?
    2. The Lord brought a woman from Moab
      1. to the land of Judah
      2. who helped to usher in the sweet psalmist of Israel, David, and
        1. all that he brought to Israel and the world,
        2. especially one of his descendants, Jesus of Nazareth.
  3. Ruth 4.14–15 – The blessedness of Ruth

    14 Then the women said to Naomi, “Blessed be the Lord, who has not left you this day without a close relative; and may his name be famous in Israel! 15 And may he be to you a restorer of life and a nourisher of your old age; for your daughter-in-law, who loves you, who is better to you than seven sons, has borne him.”

    1. The blessing of these women also amazes us.
      1. They, like Naomi and Boaz, put everything in the framework of the Lord.
      2. Do you think we should be blessing the Lord more than we do?
    2. The women saw something special in Naomi and Ruth, but
      1. these women also saw something special in the son of Ruth.
      2. They were putting everything together, and
        1. in their minds
        2. something wonderful would come from all of this.
    3. What would the son of Ruth be to Naomi?
      1. He would be a restorer of life to her.
      2. He would be a nourisher of hers in her old age.
        1. This poor woman had lost her husband and both sons, but
        2. she had gained a wonderful daughter-in-law, and
          1. shortly she would gain a grandson,
          2. whom she would love and he would love her and take care of her.
    4. What the women said about Ruth being better than seven sons to Naomi,
      1. sounds similar to something that Elkanah said to his wife Hannah
      2. in the very next chapter of the Bible,

        8 Then Elkanah her husband said to her, “Hannah, why do you weep? Why do you not eat? And why is your heart grieved? Am I not better to you than ten sons?” (1Sa 1.8).
  4. Ruth 4.16 – Naomi and her grandson

    16 Then Naomi took the child and laid him on her bosom, and became a nurse to him.

    1. How can we describe or picture the way grandparents see grandchildren?
    2. She loved to hold her grandson, and
      1. the experience took away her sorrow of her great losses.
      2. The Lord blesses us with children,
        1. then He blesses us with grandchildren,
        2. as it is written in the Book of Proverbs,

          6 Children’s children are the crown of old men,
          And the glory of children is their father.
          (Pro 17.6)
  5. Ruth 4.17 – Something wonderful

    17 Also the neighbor women gave him a name, saying, “There is a son born to Naomi.” And they called his name Obed. He is the father of Jesse, the father of David.

    1. The Book of Ruth had to have been written after David became famous.
    2. Sometimes in ancient Israel others named the child.
      1. Remember when John the Baptist was born?
      2. Luke 1.59 shows that the naming would happen at John’s circumcision.
    3. This again shows the strong sense of community that they had.
      1. In modern America, we have a strong sense of independence
      2. from one another, and
        1. that has benefits, but
        2. it also has its drawbacks.
  6. Ruth 4.18–22 – David

    18 Now this is the genealogy of Perez: Perez begot Hezron; 19 Hezron begot Ram, and Ram begot Amminadab; 20 Amminadab begot Nahshon, and Nahshon begot Salmon; 21 Salmon begot Boaz, and Boaz begot Obed; 22 Obed begot Jesse, and Jesse begot David.

    1. Both Matthew and Luke use this closing sentence
      1. in their genealogy of Jesus,
      2. showing His part in this awesome family.
        1. The Lord worked in every generation
        2. from Eve to Noah, and
          1. from Noah to Abraham, and
          2. from Abraham to Boaz
            1. to keep the promise that He had made first to Eve,
            2. as found in Genesis 3.15 and then
              1. to Abraham as found in Genesis 12.3 and related passages.
              2. Through all those generations
                1. various things happened that would have seemed
                2. to have cut off the promise, but
                  1. the Lord worked behind the scenes
                  2. to keep what He had promised for the world.
    2. The Book of Ruth shows love.
      1. Love for family.
      2. Love for abiding by the Law.
      3. Love for Israel.
      4. Love for the Lord.
    3. Therefore, although the players in the story
      1. may have only seen themselves in the context of their immediate lives,
      2. the Lord worked through it all.


  1. What do you think of the Book of Ruth? 
  2. What shall we do to be like these people?