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Love Prevails (Part B)

Cross Reference Radio / Pastor Rick Gaston
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March 10, 2021 6:00 am

Love Prevails (Part B)

Cross Reference Radio / Pastor Rick Gaston

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March 10, 2021 6:00 am

Pastor Rick teaches from the Book of Ruth (Ruth 4)

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Have you ever been in a spot where you don't want to tell somebody you're a Christian? If you ever feel that sensation, it ain't God telling you that. It's your flesh.

It's Satan, maybe. But God is not going to say, yeah, be ashamed of me right now. I mean, it may be something, someone's connected to some shameful act with a Christian, but that's not nothing to do with Christ.

He's above that. He endured the cross, suffering the shame. So from our point of view, salvation is free, but from God's point of view, it has never been free.

Redemption has cost him. This is Cross Reference Radio with our pastor and teacher Rick Gaston. Rick is the pastor of Calvary Chapel Mechanicsville. Pastor Rick is currently teaching through the Book of Ruth.

Please stay with us after today's message to hear more information about Cross Reference Radio, specifically how you can get a free copy of this teaching. Today, Pastor Rick will continue teaching us the message called Love Prevails in Ruth Chapter 4. Romans 5 says, while we were still sinners, Christ demonstrated his love. He didn't wait and just talk about it.

He went and acted on it. Cross of Christ looking down the telescope of history, seeing each and every one of us and saying, I love him. And if I didn't love him, I wouldn't let anybody lay a finger on me. And the only reason why I'm going to bleed this day is because I care. 1 Peter Chapter 1, verse 18 and 19, knowing that you were not redeemed with corruptible things like silver or gold from your aimless conduct received by tradition of your fathers.

How much is loaded into that? See, that's my statement. The Old Testament without Christ, it's just you can't even imagine it as a Christian.

And that's what Peter's saying. Your fathers, they had the Old Testament, but without Christ. And then he says, the conduct was aimless by tradition of your fathers, but with the precious blood of Christ as of a lamb without blemish and without spot. It's a beautiful story, the Bible is. It's why so many Christians have suffered for it and said it's worth it.

It's worth being ashamed when the world will shame you. How many of you don't want to, have you ever been in a spot where you don't want to tell somebody you're a Christian? If you ever feel that sensation, it ain't God telling you that. It's your flesh. It's Satan, maybe. But God is not going to say, yeah, be ashamed of me right now. I mean, it may be something, someone's connected to some shameful act with a Christian, that's not nothing to do with Christ.

He's above that. He just knows, you know, see, endured the cross, suffering the shame. So from our point of view, salvation is free, but from God's point of view, it has never been free.

Redemption has cost him. Boaz had the resources, so did Jesus Christ. He was holy and pure and undefiled and worthy to be a sacrifice for us. Boaz had the legal relationship. Christ, of course, God the Son, in fulfillment of all that the prophecies from the law of the prophets, the law and the prophets, had spoken.

He fulfilled those requirements. Boaz was willing to pay the price. Christ, of course, was willing to pay the price. Father, if possible, take this cup from me.

Nevertheless, not my will, but your will. It was a sermon. It was not really asked. It was rhetorical. He said, for this purpose I have come, he said, to die.

And how I, at one point he said, I wish it was right now. Unless a grain of wheat falls to the ground, it profits nothing. But if it dies, it brings forth much fruit. And so they're in Gethsemane. When you go to Israel, you say, this is probably Gethsemane. This is probably the spot.

But even if it's not, it's in the vicinity. Somewhere under this sky, my Christ, not only the one who walked upon the sea and cleansed the lepers and did all the preaching and things that he did, but here he prayed for me. And it is a matchless story. Muhammad did not die for you. He was not worthy.

Nobody else could have died for you. None of the Hindu gods were the grotesque, actually, if you look at them. I mean, they're obscene.

You go, I've not been, but I've seen pictures. He loved her. And that's the main thing.

I mean, for God to tell us to love the unlovable, there's got to be something to it. And it is up to us to research it. Verse 10, Moreover, root the Moabitess, the widow of Malon, 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.

Well, we are. We're witnessing that Malon's name is still connected to that property. And Elimelech's is also, even though the Jews make a few twists and turns, I don't mean in a negative way. We'll come to that naturally before I get to it. But here is the first mention as to which of Naomi's sons married Ruth, and it is Malon. Boaz is still giving his speech there at the city gate, and his love for Ruth is displayed without shame. His declaration that she is a Moabitess, again, without shame. He says it right out. If you've got a problem with that, it's tough.

You're not marrying her, I am. But it does seem like no one in Bethlehem at this time really had a problem with it. These seem to be just great people at this time in history.

But this shameless love is strong love, and it's just remarkable. Boaz became God's answer to his own prayer. Boaz had prayed for this for Ruth. He didn't know at the time he said these words that I'm about to read that he was going to be the one that fulfilled them. And he says, Ruth chapter 2 verse 12, to Ruth, he is speaking, he says, Yahweh, repay your work, and a full reward be given you by Yahweh, God of Israel, under whose wings you have come for refuge.

And now it's being fulfilled, and he's the guy. Yeah, she did come to him that night and say, hey, take me under your wings in response to this prayer. But he still, there were obstacles. But I'm sure he had a glow in his heart, and he just knew.

Boaz, he didn't want the field. He wanted Ruth. He was wealthy enough. He didn't need another lot.

He needed Ruth. And the Lord Jesus Christ, he does not want our things. He wants us.

He's interested in us personally. Is it too much to ask to eat of all these trees except one? You see, what's that one tree? Well, for Adam and Eve, of course, the tree of knowledge, good and evil. But for us, it's that one sin that we know we're not supposed to commit.

But we just like this one. And still he says, don't eat from that thing. And the day you eat of it, it's going to mess you up.

It's not going to be good for you. And we know by faith, we learn that everything he says is right. So we are told in Matthew chapter one that Boaz was a descendant of Rahab, you know, Rahab of Jericho, that is. She was a Gentile. Ruth, another Gentile, enters the lineage of Christ as now she is the wife of Boaz, whom he is not ashamed of. She doesn't know yet. The story reads she and Naomi are back home probably praying.

And he's at the gate taking care of business. And they're going to know by the way he either rides up on his donkey or walks up to the road. They're going to know or maybe he'll send dispatch a runner who will come with the great news that Boaz, you are now Mrs. Boaz.

And she will probably say, she probably said, I've always wanted a Z in my name. Wonderful changes come into Ruth's life because she trusted Boaz. She let him work on her behalf. We don't read about them fussing. We don't read about him, her trying to give him advice. And to be a man like that is a lot of work.

But it's worth the effort. No longer Ruth the Moabitess, now Ruth the wife of Boaz. Overtaken, her past is overtaken by love. And she gets a fresh start.

She was now the wife. And it says that, here in verse 10 at the bottom of the verse, that the name of the dead may not be cut off from among his brethren. You know what's in that? God is mindful of our thoughts about the dead. And you think about that. Because to us, they're not gone. They're not here, but they're not gone. It's not, it's a paradox.

It's not, doesn't contradict. We know where they are. They're not lost.

They're just not present. And this is just a little thing in here that the name of the dead. Well, the worldling would say, who cares?

They're dead. It's about the living. Well, some things are about the living, like preaching sermons on salvation. It continues here, and his position at the gate. Elimelech may have been a leader in Bethlehem. And I think that's what that phrase means. It can be a general thing that he's registered amongst in the records of City Hall kind of thing. But I think he may have been a leader at the gate who owned the field and lived there in Bethlehem as one of the elders. And then when the famine came, that pressure pushed him to Moab.

It seemed like a good idea at the time, I'm sure. Verse 11, and all the people who were at the gate and the elders said, we are witnesses. Yahweh make the woman who is coming to your house like Rachel and Leah, and the two who built the house of Israel, and may you prosper in Ephrathah and be famous in Bethlehem. So where do you go to court and you win the case and everybody starts praising and blessing you?

That's what's going on. This turns into a blessing. It's a church service in the courthouse at the city gate. A beautiful blessing from godly people, and we consider the words of Naomi in chapter 1 of Ruth, verse 19. Now the two of them went until they came to Bethlehem, and it happened when they had come to Bethlehem, that all the city was excited because of them, and women said, is this Naomi? But Naomi said to them, do not call me Naomi, call me Mara, for the Almighty has dealt very bitterly with me. Well now it's all changed. It slowly changed, and then it rolled completely right into place, just like that. Here they are saying that there's going to be a blessing on this house, may it be like Rachel and Leah who built Israel.

I had a nice comment about that in a minute. So they say, may you prosper in Ephrathah. That's an ancient name of Bethlehem.

It means fruitful. Bethlehem means the house of bread. Verse 12, they continue with the blessing. May your house be like the house of Perez, whom Tamar bore to Judah because of the offspring which Yahweh will give you from this young woman. That's quite powerful. It is connecting her future with their past as a people, the patriarchs and the matriarchs of the Jewish people.

Perez, he was the child of a similar marriage, not identical, but similar with the, you know, the family involved, the one dying and another one having them, but the sordid details are left out. The historians as well, you know Genesis, you can go read the story, but I'm just making that connection and I think that's kind of a classy act or move on the part of the historian. As I mentioned, this book of Ruth is one of the most pleasant books in the Bible to read. Put it next to Lamentations. Quite a contrast and Lamentations is not, doesn't cover it up.

It just tells you, listen, if you're coming in here, I'm telling you right now, nothing but, you know, wooden nickels and hard times, so that you can't buy anything with wooden nickels and hard times or what they are. Verse 13, so Boaz took Ruth and she became his wife. Yahweh gave her conception and she bore a son. Having married a Jewish man, Ruth is not received now as a Moabitess. Even though there's a curse on the Moabite people, she is now sort of, it's overruled.

It's overruled because of her, this statement, your people should be my people and your God should be my God. Isaiah, he preaches on this thing, this very thing. In Isaiah 56, in verse 3, God's speaking through Isaiah, do not let the son of the foreigner who has joined himself to Yahweh speak saying Yahweh has utterly separated me from his people. So God said to Isaiah, listen, there are people that are coming to me that are not Jewish, they're Gentiles.

I don't want them feeling like I don't love them as much as I love you. This is back in the Old Testament. The treatment of Ruth by Boaz and the other Israelites of Bethlehem demonstrates that what Isaiah will say centuries later was never meant to exclude the one who came to the Lord, as Ruth did. Curses upon the Moabite people did not exclude the one who came under the wings of Yahweh. And Ruth, she could now, I mean life was just going to change for her all along.

After a long period of barrenness, 10 years she was married to Malon and now she's going to have a child with Boaz and it is God's blessing on her. That's how everyone perceived it. Verse 14, then the women said to Naomi, blessed be Yahweh who has not left you this day without a close relative and may his name be famous in Israel. Probably while Boaz was winning the case and it looked and everybody knew okay he's going to win this, word started getting back to Naomi. That's where now the scene changes. So if we were watching a movie, we wouldn't be at the city gate. We'd be at the house where Naomi was staying, which might have been the ruins left behind by Lamelech.

That's one possibility or another family member's house. But anyway, here the women, the women said to Naomi, blessed is Yahweh who has not left you without a close relative. You're not bitter anymore, Naomi.

You are back to being Naomi. The faithfulness of God, able to receive what the locusts have eaten and after that lamentation is nothing she can say. The women, even Orpah, who made the wrong decision and on a small scale she's like the thief on the cross that made the wrong choice.

She's not in the picture anymore, but I just bring her name up to say there was nothing that was distasteful with Orpah as a person goes. Her religion's another story. Religions another story. Anyway, the women in this book of Ruth are all portrayed as kind people. Every one of them.

There's some of the men, except for that little thing about I've told the men to leave you alone, which kind of like, you know, they don't do that on their own. Then they say, may his name be famous in Israel. Whose name? Obed's, not Boaz. That's who's being referenced there.

What an understatement. His name be famous because he's associated with King David and with the King of Kings, the Messiah himself, Jesus the Christ. Verse 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 born him. So, a strong statement in favor of Ruth, the value of Ruth, that she's better than seven sons, Naomi. Do you know it?

You've got a gem here. None of these women are saying, yeah, but you know she's from Moab. Nobody hits her with that. They're still talking about Obed here in verse 15, which is may he be a restorer of life and a nourisher provider for you.

That's Obed, this little baby at the moment. Psalm 92 verse 13, those who are planted in the house of Yahweh shall flourish in the courts of our God. Now, this is applying especially to Naomi right now. He continues in Psalm 92. They shall bear fruit in old age. They shall be fresh and flourishing to declare that Yahweh is upright.

He is my rock and there is no unrighteousness in him. So there the psalmist is saying that those who are faithful in the house of God, even into their old age, God's going to be using them to bear fruit and the bitterness is going to be knocked out. And that's what we see in Naomi, the bitterness knocked out. God's using her. She's been a big part of this story. Again, take her out of the story and this is no book of Ruth. Verse 16, then Naomi took the child and laid him on her bosom and became a nurse to him. This is a grand gesture of care. She scoops up the child and holds him close to her heart. There's Naomi, still in the midst, still in the family.

Ruth loved her and she loved Ruth and they loved this child. And Boaz is not left out of the picture as, okay, well, you know, you're stuck with us now. It's a legal deal. Not at all.

You get none of that. And they love this child born in the house of Boaz in the house of love. And the book emphasizes the vital role that women play in God's plan for humanity. That's one of the great themes of this little book. And just because the little book doesn't mean it's somehow, okay, well, it's only, you know, 10% of the worth. No, it's not.

It's 100%. It can be 2% of the Bible and 100% of its value. Paul said, nevertheless, she will be saved and childbearing if they continue in faith, love and holiness and self-control. Yeah, Eve may have goofed up, but that doesn't carry over just like that. Faith overcomes these things. And the evidence of faith surfaces in love and holiness and self-control.

That's what Paul is saying. What I love about these women heroines in the faith is they weren't trying to be one of the guys. I don't know about you.

You need to see what is preference, but I don't know. I think we're reaping the fruits of it as a society. But when the women try to be one of the guys and one of the guys tries to be one of the girls, it ain't right.

And it ain't necessary either. Oh, look, she plays pool like us. Well, she's one of the guys. I don't want her to be one of the guys. That's why I'm with the guys. No need for such silliness. And yet the world is dictating this left and right.

You know, if you want to be valuable, get the men to think like women and then you think like men. And look at the mess we're in now. It's just people, you know, they can't even put on a birth certificate, male or female anymore, without asking you, what do you want it to be? Cat.

Put cat down. Verse 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. The ladies seem to have been given the honor of naming the lad. What do you do with that? You know, call your friends and say, hey, what would you like to name my child?

I don't know. I'll get some of the other ladies together. Okay. Well, then you ladies get together in five years, maybe you come up with something and you.

Okay. I was going good until I did that. So anyway, either they gave him a nickname that stuck or they actually named him. But what an honor, both ways. What an honor for the ladies to be invited to do this. And what an honor that they did.

Ruth was willing to receive mercy and grace and the ladies just made it easy for everyone. Verse 18, now this is the genealogy of Perez. Now we're going to skip some of this, but it's Perez again, he's the ancestral, you know, anchor of the whole story.

Salmon there in verse 20, he is the husband of Rahab of Jericho. This is a truncated list, this genealogy. It's not an exhaustive list. There are 900 years of history between Perez and this moment here. And so it's condensed. This condensed record is picked up by Matthew. Matthew does not lay all the relatives out for us.

He skips over, he puts them in groups. And that's just a literary tactic of the historians. Verse 21, Salmon begot Boaz and Boaz begot Obed. While the inheritance belongs to Malon's name, the father is still Boaz and Obed is regarded not only as the one who inherits what belonged to Malon, but also the heir of what Boaz owns. And so he's, now Boaz may have had other children. Again, he could have been a widower himself. It's left out of the story.

It doesn't read like he has any though. Verse 22, Obed begot Jesse and Jesse begot David. So the story perpetuates the names of Elimelech and Malon but the genealogy really does not because we don't hear of these men anymore.

It's Obed we do hear of. But consider the impact from this story, we get David. And when you consider how remarkable it is of just the names associated with David, let's just look at some of them. The characters, Boaz of course, and then Ruth and Naomi. But there's Samuel, Nathan the prophet, Gad the prophet, Jesse David's father, Solomon, there's Jonathan the son of King Saul, Saul himself, there's Joab, Shimei, the one that cursed David and threw rocks at him. There's Michelle, the daughter of Saul, David's first wife.

There's Abigail, my favorite, did I ever tell you that? There's Bathsheba, Abishag, you know, David couldn't stay warm. I believe she was the Shulamite of Song of Solomon.

There's Absalom and Ahithophel, Ahithophel whose council was like anybody, David had to send Hushai to try to counteract Ahithophel's advice and because of God at work and Ahithophel knew it and he went out and killed himself. Ittai, the Gittite, probably not even a Jew from Gath, a man from Gath, Goliath's hometown. Goliath, a name associated with David. Beneniah, one of the mighty men of David. And then of course, you know, Uriah who touched the ark, Uzzah pardon me, and Uriah the husband of Bathsheba whom David betrayed. And so you think about these names and the stories surrounding them and the times they lived in and you say this David is coming from Obed, then Jesse, and of course then we have this David and the historian has captured this and he says, watch your step, you don't know who you are and on the line of history, who are you going to be? In the name, in the list of names that I just read, are you a Jonathan or are you a Goliath?

You know, are you a Joab or maybe a Hushai or an Ittai? You say, I don't even know who these people are. Well, we're going to find out who they are and some of them are just grand characters. Proverbs 10, 7, the memory of the righteous is blessed but the name of the wicked will rot.

And it does because you mentioned Absalom, it's a rotten name. He left no sons. The story shows that God desired to incorporate outsiders into his family. It was his grace, it was his doing, they really had little if anything to do with it and he brought them in anyway. Well, we finished the book of Ruth, this little town of Bethlehem, of course that will produce Messiah and what does Bethlehem, you know, every Christmas, every child in this country, in the western civilization, well it used to be this way, knew what Bethlehem was and Satan is working hard to get people born into this world who never heard of Bethlehem and the Christ of Bethlehem and may we upset their plans, may we ruin the devil's agenda any chance we get. Thanks for tuning in to Cross Reference Radio for this study in the book of Ruth. Cross Reference is the teaching ministry of Pastor Rick Gaston of Calvary Chapel Mechanicsville in Virginia. To learn more about this ministry visit our website crossreferenceradio.com. There you'll find additional teachings from Pastor Rick and we encourage you to subscribe to our podcast. When you subscribe you'll be notified of each new edition of Cross Reference Radio. You can search for Cross Reference Radio on your favorite podcast app or just follow the links at crossreferenceradio.com. That's all the time we have for today but we hope you'll join us next time as we continue to learn more from the book of Ruth right here on Cross Reference Radio.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-12-17 01:55:36 / 2023-12-17 02:06:03 / 10

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