"THE BOOK OF RUTH"
Ruth's Marital Joy: "She Bore A Son" (4:1-22) INTRODUCTION 1. Our brief survey of the book of Ruth has thus far revealed... a. Ruth's noble choice: "I will go..." - Ru 1:1-22 1) Expressing great love for her mother-in-law, Naomi 2) Willing to forego home and religion, and adopt Israel and the true God b. Ruth's lowly service: "Let me glean..." - Ru 2:1-23 1) Exercising her right as a widow to glean after the reapers during the harvest 2) Providing sustenance for herself and her mother-in-law c. Ruth's tender plea: "Take your maidservant..." - Ru 3:1-18 1) Made to Boaz, a near kinsman 2) As part of a careful plan proposed by her mother-in-law, Naomi 2. Noteworthy throughout this story has been the character of Boaz... a. A kind man, with a strong sense of propriety b. A hospitable man, with a concern for duty and reputation c. A man Naomi knew "will not rest until he has concluded the matter this day" - Ru 3:18 3 As we come to the fourth and final chapter... a. We see how Boaz fulfills "Ruth's marital joy" b. Resulting in the birth of a son who became David's grandfather [As the chapter opens, Boaz begins the process promised to Ruth earlier (cf. Ru 3:12-13)...] I. BOAZ CONFRONTS A CLOSE RELATIVE A. AT THE TOWN GATE... 1. Boaz meets the close relative at the gate - Ru 4:1 a. Where people would travel in and out of the town b. Where business transactions were often made c. Where judges and officers were to be found - cf. Deut 16:18 2. Boaz calls together ten elders of the city - Ru 4:2 a. Who were frequently gathered at the gate - cf. Pr 31:23 b. Such elders would serve as witnesses - cf. Ru 4:9 B. REGARDING NAOMI'S LAND... 1. Naomi had sold the land which belonged to her husband, Elimelech - Ru 4:3 a. Some translations (NIV, NASB, etc.) indicate she was about to sell it - cf. Ru 4:9 b. Within her right as one who was poor - cf. Lev 25:25 2. Boaz encourages the close relative to redeem it, or Boaz will - Ru 4:4 a. It was important that land stay within the family
- cf. Lev 25:23-28; Num 27:1-11 b. At first, the close relative is willing to redeem it C. WHO REFUSES TO REDEEM THE LAND... 1. Boaz points out the obligation involving Ruth the Moabitess - Ru 4:5 a. To buy (or acquire) Ruth (cf. NRSV, NASB) - cf. also Ru 4:10 b. To marry her and perpetuate the name of her dead husband by giving him a son - cf. Deut 25:5-6 2. Prompting the close relative to refuse to redeem it - Ru 4:6 a. Concerned about ruining his own inheritance 1) Perhaps because he knew the land would belong to Elimelech's family 2) Thus spending money for land that would not long be his b. Who then gave the right (and responsibility) of redemption to Boaz [With the refusal of redemption by the close relative...] II. BOAZ REDEEMS NAOMI AND RUTH A. THE TRANSACTION FOR NAOMI'S LAND... 1. Confirmed by the removal of a sandal - Ru 4:7-8 a. A custom "in former times" 1) Evidently not when the book of Ruth was written 2) Possibly traced to the practice of taking possession of land by walking on the soil of the land being claimed (F. B. Huey, Jr., Expositor's Bible Commentary) b. Similar to another custom involving the removal of a sandal - cf. Deut 25:7-10 1) Regarding the refusal to marry the widow of one's brother 2) An expression of shame for such refusal to accept responsibility c. Yet such shame does not appear to be the purpose in this case 2. Witnessed by the ten elders and all the people - Ru 4:9 a. They witnessed that Boaz purchased all the land of Elimelech and his sons b. That he bought it from the hand of Naomi B. THE ARRANGEMENT FOR RUTH'S HAND... 1. Boaz has acquired Ruth as wife - Ru 4:10 a. To perpetuate the name of the dead (Mahlon, Ruth's dead husband) b. To maintain Mahlon's (family?) position at the gate 2. Witnessed and blessed by townspeople and the elders - Ru 4:11-12 a. The people proclaim themselves witnesses b. They bless Ruth and Boaz 1) That the Lord make her like Rachel and Leah 2) That Boaz prosper and be famous in Bethlehem Ephrathah 3) That their house be like the house of Perez whom Tamar bore to Judah - cf. Gen 46:12; Num 26:20-22 [With the transaction for the land witnessed, and their union as husband and wife blessed by the people at the gate...] III. BOAZ MARRIES RUTH A. THEY HAVE A SON NAMED OBED... 1. With conception given by the Lord - Ru 4:13 a. Fertility and barrenness were sometimes attributed to the Lord - cf. Gen 29:31; 30:2 b. Perhaps in this way the writer was implying God's acceptance of the union of Boaz and Ruth 2. With praise and prayer offered by the women - Ru 4:14-15 a. Praise to the Lord for His kindness to Naomi through her daughter-in-law b. Prayer that the child be a restorer and nourisher to Naomi in her old age 3. With nursing by Naomi - Ru 4:16 4. With his name "Obed" (servant) given by the neighbor women
- Ru 4:17 B. WHO WILL BE GRANDFATHER TO DAVID... 1. As mentioned at the close of Ru 4:17 2. As illustrated in the genealogy of Perez - Ru 4:18-22 a. Perez (son of Judah) b. Hezron c. Ram d. Amminadab e. Nahshon f. Salmon g. Boaz h. Obed i. Jesse j. David CONCLUSION 1. At the beginning of our study, we noted that the book of Ruth serves two purposes... a. To illustrate how God rewards those who make wise spiritual choices and show steadfast filial loyalty b. To explain how Ruth, a Moabitess, came to be an ancestor of David, and ultimately, of the Messiah - cf. Ru 4:21-22; Mt 1:5-6 2. The book also reveals examples of commendable character... a. Nobility of character in Ruth, who proved to be better to Naomi than seven sons! b. Nobility of character in Boaz, as an employer, and believer in God's promises and commands Remember that such character was manifested during a dark period in Israel's history... "In those days [there was] no king in Israel; everyone did [what was] right in his own eyes." (Judg 21:25) May their example of character encourage us to do what is right when we live among people who seem to be little different than those in the days of the Judges...!