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July 14, 2021 4:00 am
The Old Testament was first written. The term kinsman redeemer would have made sense to those who were reading it, but what is that strange term mean for us today on Truth for Life.
Alastair Begg explains how the term kinsman redeemer ultimately points us to Jesus and the message of the gospel when we come to something like the book of Ruth we have to nurse ourselves in.
If you like the sights and the sounds and smells and tastes. Ruth invites us to feel deeply and it will then be our understanding of the gospel which will prevent ties from making any kind of wrong applications from the book so that we might be able to apply it properly. We going to have three charcoal sketches right three charcoal sketches.
My first sketch as a title in the title is three women on the road to somewhere three women on the road to somewhere. Now she stands in between Moab and Bethlehem, urging her to daughters-in-law to go back to the place where they would find security and essentially what she's doing is urging these girls to count the cost cost which Sinclair Ferguson puts as they had to choose between Yahweh plus nothing in Bethlehem or everything, minus Yahweh in Moab and with that choice set before them, or as we know goes by, but Ruth refuses to go back no don't urge me to leave you.
I'm going to go where you go, your God is my God and one of the things that we have the opportunity to do in this section I want to take the opportunity just know is to make sure that we recognize how clear is the call of God to respond to his unerring loving kindness and grace and to urge upon people. The necessity of their coming to do as Ruth has done and to trust in this God. Some of us here have a hard time with this pressing upon people.
Vanessa says a take of a decision the necessity of a choice. God does not believe for us. We believe, and Ruth believed. Do you are a you believe have you turned your back on the substitute gods of the world in which you live by nature, have you been embraced by the loving kindness of God as it is being manifest to you in so many different ways.
When I read this again this week. My mind went back to an occasion. Some years ago when with the alliance of confessing Evangelicals. We had gone to Cambridge Massachusetts to Harvard and it was while Jim Boyce was still alive and some of you will of been there.
David Wells was there and many were there and I had the responsibility of speaking I think it was on a Saturday morning I got up early on a Saturday morning I went out and I found a coffee shop and I was sitting in there with my notes in my Bible there was virtually nobody in the place of tall. I was joined. First of all, biased battle that came in and then biased by little girl from China Chinese girl who was a student at Harvard. She saw my Bible and she said to me are you a Christian and I said yes I am and she said I am a Christian to and I said to her, how did you become a Christian in China. I started asking this of sociological pricing on the factors that led up to this and I've never forgotten her response. I said how did you become a Christian in China to know what she said I enter through the narrow gate that you see what happened here. Ruth enter through the narrow gate through the turnstile hundred thousand people at Wembley to watch the soccer but every one of them going in through the turnstile as an individual. What is God doing here.
He's reaching into the life across barriers of race into the life of this Moabite girl and her picture is painted into the great scene in revelation and in this tiny microcosm. We have the indications of this growing developing huge company that no one can count, from every nation and try and people in language who will fall down before King Jesus, who will be from the lineage of this woman who is converted as she goes in through the turnstile. It's just a charcoal sketch. Secondly, charcoal sketch number two. The name of the man is Boese not much of a title. Well my not be much of a sketch will have to see verse 19 that this is chapter 2. Then Ruth told her mother-in-law about the one in whose place she had been working the name of the man I worked with today is ball's now. I grew up 1/3 of my class in Glasgow in elementary school I world Jewish and so I know a lot of Jewish moms and I love them I love their interest and they all have a way about them and this is you can see it here where where were you working today. I was in a field, I bumped into Geico Boese whole boy's ball as it is a nice boy. Naomi Boaz is a kinsman redeemer you should stay in his field, Naomi, that is a good feel easy because the music you change the music at the end of chapter 1 had that it instinctively because we've gone from farming to the barley harvest. So we've we've we've put away that the bagpipe player, which should routinely be done in any case, we put away the bagpipe player and we brought out the minstrels and so the music is change the mood is James. It's no longer plaintiff is just the inkling is not full-blown yet and he returned at the time that the barley harvest was beginning just as wonderful little glimpse of fullness that is about to imaginative emptiness of this discovery of that which will enrich and validations sustain and this chapter 2 begins, we find that the storyteller introduces this new character, Naomi had a relative on her husband side from the clan of Olympic. Interestingly, a man of standing whose name was Boaz and were forced to say on who he is. I wonder what he's like.
I wonder if he is a big part in the story you often wish he didn't know the Bible. I wish I could go back and not know it so I could read it again so I didn't know the end of the story of Joseph so fantastic. Maybe if I live long enough, forgotten the end of the story.
Most I can find my khaki so there's no real there's a great prospect that is before me, but interjected you. Ruth is been learning the ways of God in the law of God, he has made provision for the poor.
They can go to the fields and get the leftover grain and Ruth is not about to sit on my hands is not about a lie in our bed and say, well, goodness, here I am now stuck with the old lady I got it on back and got a husband I came here with this old lady now what am I going to do now she's up in the morning, washes her face let me go. She says into the fields and collect some grain behind anyone in whose eyes I find fever fever.
They've praise him for his grace and favor to fathers in distress praising still the same forever slow to try even swifter blast. See the word favor is beginning just to send is in a direction and it comes all the way through. Let me go and find favor is verse two.
I am totally amazed verse 10 at the favor. I have found what I have iPhone search favor in your eyes that you notice me a foreigner.
While we consider before he went to sleep and I couldn't read Lord Jesus Christ. While iPhone search favor that you would notice me an alien and a stranger and once she's got this favor going to us to keep it going. Look at verse 13.
May I continue to find favor in your eyes. My Lord, she said, you have given me comfort you have spoken kindly to your servant, and this Hasid loving kindness of God is running all the way through her no pointing out all the time. It would be tedious and and is part of you a painting when you follow this up later and and you showing kindness to your servant. Though I do not have the standing of one of your servant girls I stand amazed in the presence of Jesus the Nazarene, and wonder how he could love me, a sinner, condemned unclean that you would show such favor to me a foreigner. There's a sense in which you know if we knew Boaz personally. We could nudge him and say she ain't seen nothing yet.
You know, because they said this is about the heart and you know it and first of all its pure chances. I mean that's what it says the whole way it happened just it just it just so happened that she did that she picked up field in the authorized version is says summer like as as hot as Would have it, as it fell on her happened or how it felt to.
There's some strange thing. We need we need a new translation. There's no question but that but as it turned out, it so happened that she found herself working in a field behind her belonging to Boris who was from the plan all the limitless note just again.
Parenthetically, we have to decide when were teaching this with her were going to interact with people's view of the world where want to stop and deal with the issues of fatalism and determinism where want to say to people that the Christian view does not have you held in the grip of blind deterministic forces, nor is your life. Just bobbing around like a cork on the ocean of chance but know that God is providentially at work in all of our free human choices.
All of our decisions. All of our responsibilities that all over it all without in any sense coming and trampling over is like a juggernaut. God is at work in all these things and at the end of chapter 2 and into chapter 3. Of course, the drama intensifies. Once again Naomi is up to her tricks. One day Naomi and her mother-in-law sets her. My daughter should I not try to find a home for where you will be well provided for what you have in mind is not Boaz, a kinsman of ours, kind kinsman that when Naomi informed Ruth of this that Boaz was a kinsman redeemer. It may have meant as much to her as that phrase will mean to the average member of our congregation when were preaching. If you're not careful. The danger is that once we've plowed around for 3 1/2 days in levirate law and the kinsman redeemer stuff we've confused ourselves to the point that there is no possibility of is made clear for our congregation and so we just like the kinsman Lawson visit did he say something. There was a just clearing his throat.
Now I think you I think he was trying to get the chapter. So what is the law here. While the law is that we mustn't say more than we should. But we mustn't see less and we must and the great challenges of getting it clear in our own minds so that we can make in a few sentences. The position clear the unfolding story beginning to find a restingplace in our listener's minds letting them know that the Hebrew word for next of kin most often is the word go. Al that that word is used of Yahweh with frequency throughout the Old Testament, reminding the people of God that Yahweh is their divine next of kin that he is the one who comes alongside them as the one who has both revealed himself and will redeem his people, and so from there we make the point that is kinsman redeemer in the immediacy all this familial setting. Boaz has the right responsibility. But mainly the right to intervene in the circumstances of Naomi and Ruth. He has the right, the prerogative to take on all their needs and to take on all their troubles and to take them to himself and to bear them as if they where his very own now. Ruth would've come to an understanding of this and the marriage of Boaz and Ruth gets to the very heart of this concept. That's why. Eventually we have Paul speaking of this great mystery and I'm speaking he says about Christ and the church. I'm speaking here about an amazing marriage where God has taken the divine initiative and it is in this that we would then have the best opportunity to allow our listeners to see the glory of the gospel to let them know that this is something of a foreshadowing of Christ, who in himself is the only one who has the right to take and bear as is on all that spoils and ruins all the loss all the heart all the disaster all the alienation all the brokenness all sinful mass darkness of famous what that this physician heals by taking to himself. Our diseases that he bears them in himself we would be able to explore those things and explore them we would have to but finally last charcoal sketch is in verse 16 of chapter 4 in the heading of historical sketches look at that little bundle look at our little bundle. I will leave you to work this out, but one of the themes that we have to tackle. Is this whole developing thought of moving from emptiness to fullness. Actually, in the case of the family of a limb. The lack finding that there fullness is really an emptiness, so that in the discovery of genuine emptiness. They might find fullness.
We would want to work out in greater detail. If we had the opportunity and the time the wonderful juxtaposition not only of the place of Bethlehem itself that it was in this precinct here that David would tend to sheep the king who was to come, but that it was out in these same hillsides that the shepherds would saying of the birth of the Messiah, and so on, but also that we were going to work out this whole notion of provision. There's so much about grain her so much about Bradenton and everything else and somehow in a way that would be legitimate. I think we would want to punch right through into Luke 15 and see that fellow in all of his alienated mass saying to himself. In my father's house there is bread enough and to spare, but I perish with hunger. I will arise and I will go to him and these elements.
These glimpses these nudges in that direction.
Are there to help us help us to be able to speak about the fact of alienation which is apropos our time.
I just listened this afternoon to an interview on NPR with Paul Simon and they were pressing, how is it that is written so many songs that are religious knowingly says these are not religious songs. These are spiritual songs. The man pressed him. He said well you thinking more about spiritual things. Now in silence and well I suppose I need is and were still saying and you know they've all gone to to look for America, Kathy, I am lost.
I said though I knew she was sleeping and empty and aching and I don't know why counting the cars on the New Jersey Turnpike. They've all come to look for America laughing on the bus playing games with the faces. She said the man in the gabardine suit was a spy. I said be careful.
His bowtie is really a cam and what this reminds us of is when we look at Ruth we find a more the test and that's one of the reasons it comes again and again.
She was a morbid says she was a morbid test because the writer is making it clear that, by nature, she was naturally excluded from the Fellowship of God and from the blessings of the covenant and God because of his loving kindness reached down and made her his own is interesting.
I mentioned all things shining that one of the observations made by Dreyfus, and Kelly is that when you go in search of all the shining moments.
You need to be very clear about the fact that none of them cohere, and none of them combine to make really any sense at all.
It is really nothing other than existentialism. But when we tell the story to our congregations.
We can tell them that this is a different story that Jesus is the mediator of a new covenant, extends his blessing the blessing of Abraham to sinners by bringing them in to a covenantal relationship with himself and that if they will turn to him that he will welcome them with open arms. Let me just quote Calvin to finish. If in doubt, you should call Calvin saw just quote Calvin to finish.
This is this is Calvin and I got this this is this is purposeful. Calvin says when we have preached in such a way as for somebody be to be brought under conviction of sin.
What then do we do.
He says then we show that the only safe haven. The only safe haven.
She had come to take refuge under the wings.
The only safe haven is in the mercy of God is manifested in Christ, in whom every part of our salvation is complete as all mankind are in the sight of God lost sinners, we hold that Christ is their only righteousness since by his obedience.
He has wiped off our transgressions by his sacrifice appeased the divine anger by his blood washed away our stains by his cross borne our purse and by his death made satisfaction for us. We maintain that in this way man is reconciled to God the father but by no merit of his own, and by no volume of works but by gratuitous mercy saying peace and comfort that comes to us when we realize we can rest safely God's mercy from today's message on Truth for Life with Alister back if you have found yourself strengthened by this study, we want to encourage you to pass Alister's teaching along to others. One way to do that is for you to join our faithful team of truth partners.
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Removing cost is a barrier to anyone who wants to hear more about Jesus, you can sign up today to become a true partner by visiting Truth for Life.org/partner when you do sure to request the book we been recommending. It's called our ancient phone will find this is an excellent resource for every believer's library teaches us about who Satan is and why we struggle against him in this world. The book our ancient foe is available for a couple more days our way of saying thanks when you support Truth for Life donate to request the book online Truth for Life.org/donate or when you call 88858788 there are eternal questions that all of us will find ourselves asking one point or another. Questions like where we come from, where are we going for most of us leaving these questions unanswered is unsettling. Tomorrow we moved to Ecclesiastes chapter 12 to help us find answers to these questions. Be sure to listen Bible teaching of Alister bag furnished by Truth for Life. Learning is