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And They Lived Happily Ever After!

Wisdom for the Heart / Dr. Stephen Davey
The Truth Network Radio
June 6, 2022 12:00 am

And They Lived Happily Ever After!

Wisdom for the Heart / Dr. Stephen Davey

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June 6, 2022 12:00 am

The story of Ruth and Boaz ends like any good love story should: happily ever after. But there is so much more in this last chapter than two love-birds riding off into the sunset. What we discover in the last few verses is that from Ruth and Boaz's bloodline would come King David . . . and from him would later come Jesus Christ!

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Boaz is a picture of our kinsman redeemer who has taken us into the family of God so that now everything that belongs to him belongs to you and me.

He has given us an inheritance which is imperishable and undefiled and will never fade away. 1 Peter 1 verse 4. The rest of this story is found in the New Testament description of the final kinsman redeemer. Lay on wisdom for the heart, Stephen Davy begins the conclusion to his series through the book of Ruth. One of the things we've seen is that the redemption of Ruth parallels the redemption that God brings us in Jesus Christ.

Jesus became a man, walked among us, obeyed perfectly and died to make our salvation possible. The Old Testament book of Ruth is a picture of that. The last chapter of Ruth is so much more than two lovebirds riding off into the sunset. You're going to be encouraged by what God has to say to you in this lesson called And They Lived Happily Ever After. At the beginning of nearly every fairy tale I read to my little girls as they grew up with the words once upon a time.

Remember that? Just those words alone evoke memories of stories with damsels in distress and some courageous prince coming to a rescue. We've actually seen a fairy tale come true in a very real way and in the days of the judges and throughout the history of Israel not only would they be given the inside piece of the puzzle that Ruth uniquely provides in this genealogical record they would be given an illustration that it's possible to live a godly, virtuous, wholesome life dedicated to obedience to God.

Once upon a time really did, really did happen and we have seen a damsel in distress rescued by a prince of a man. Even though we're dealing with imperfect people, we are sinners in need of God's grace throughout life. It's obvious that Boaz and Ruth followed after God before they were married and they will follow after God after they are married. They will remain together. They'll raise a godly son who will continue on the heritage of following after God all the way down the line until you come to the most famous of Old Testament relatives in the family line of Boaz, their great grandson, the poet king David. Look at verse 13 of Ruth chapter 4. So Boaz took Ruth and she became his wife and he went into her and the Lord enabled her to conceive and she gave birth to a son. Now immediately you notice how quickly this dramatic tale is wrapping up. In 29 English words in our translation, in two sentences, you have a wedding, a honeymoon, establishing a home, conception, nine months of expectancy and the birth of a son.

Wouldn't it be great if it all went that quickly, right, except for the good parts? Well, let's just kind of slow it down here and climb back into this scene and we know from history that the wedding of a couple like Boaz and Ruth would have been a signature event. In fact, the whole village or town would have shown up. The bride and groom would be dressed as much like a king or queen as they could possibly be dressed. That's come down into our own culture where the bride and groom dress in the grandest finery they can possibly afford. If the groom was rich, which Boaz was, he would have worn a headpiece or a crown of gold.

It was also the custom of the groom to have his garments scented with two expensive fragrances, frankincense and myrrh. Just one more picture perhaps of the Messiah, the legal descendant of Boaz, our kinsman redeemer, who as a little boy was presented with gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh as if to speak that he had come to win a bride. For Boaz and Ruth, their marriage was consummated and a few brief words later were told she gives birth to a son. If you look down at verse 17, we're told that the neighbor women gave this boy a name saying a son has been born to Naomi.

Don't you love that? Never mind Ruth. He's been born to Naomi. So they named him Obed, servant. He is the father of Jesse, the father of David. Now it's very unusual, very unusual for the women in the village to name the child.

We're really given absolutely nothing of an explanation. They may have very well just come up with a name and in their excitement and Ruth and Boaz agreed with it. Perhaps you have had family members give you a name that you've agreed to use for your children. Perhaps you've had family members suggest a name you would never use for your children.

Well, they liked this one. What's interesting here is that Ruth and Boaz now for the most part disappear from the story and the focus of the divine author returns to where it started. Naomi. Look at verse 14. Then the women said to Naomi blessed is the Lord who has not left you without a redeemer today and may his name become famous in Israel. May he also be to you a restorer of life and a sustainer of your old age for your daughter in law who loves you by the way and is better to you than seven sons has given birth to him. They're saying basically Naomi because of Ruth you are surrounded by care and protection and love. Now there's another close relative a grandson who will restore your life and and sustain you in your old age. So in these closing verses we not only have a wedding ceremony consummated we have a widowed grandmother invigorated. Can you imagine this reversal for her.

You remember how it started. If this is a fairy tale it started like a nightmare. Naomi is taken by her husband. You remember with her two sons to Moab it was an act of disobedience to the God of Israel. Most Jewish commentaries would believe that he died because of God's discipline and then both of her grown sons one after the other died and she finds herself now traveling back to Bethlehem with little hope of even surviving. What's more there's no heir to her husband's estate and all that they owned in Bethlehem is going to be given to the highest bidder. She has nothing but whatever she and Ruth can scrape together to make a living.

That's how it started. You remember she even changed her name. Call me bitterness. She believed that God had walked away from her. Now look at her. Verse 16.

Look at this. Naomi took the child and laid him in her lap and she became his his nurse. You could render that guardian more than likely the nuance of caregiver would come into play. Suddenly in the space of a chapter she's cared for by Boaz a leading statesman and landowner in Bethlehem. She and Ruth are going to be taken care of royally by this man.

Ruth who didn't or perhaps couldn't have children during her earlier marriage to Naomi's son is suddenly expecting and now delivers of all things a male heir to Naomi's husband's estate. No wonder all the women are saying to her that this little boy is proof that your life has been restored. That little grandson is going to put a bounce back in your step. He's going to he's going to wind the clock back. He's going to reinvigorate your mind and your heart and your your body. Listen you better believe it. This is one invigorated grandmother and she's excited about it so much so that she has taken on the task of helping Ruth and Boaz raise him in a godly fashion then don't hold her back. Warren Wiersbe commenting on Naomi's joy in this text and in fact he's writing as a proud grandparent himself wrote grandchildren are better than the fountain of youth for we get young again when our grandchildren come again and enjoy them without being responsible for their actions. Oh man. Oh let them do that. Oh relax.

I don't want to miss this. Maybe some of you can sit there and immediately think of a grandmother or a grandfather. I don't know how many times I've read a testimony from someone in our greenhouse class and the person that impacted them was a grandparent.

What a wonderful thing. My grandmother on my mother's side lived in our hometown. She also served in the Servicemen Center in Norfolk. She was a widow for many years.

So she served in this flagship center downtown Norfolk that my parents began in 1958. And for us every Friday night we went down to the center stayed until closing eleven o'clock at home around midnight. And just about every Friday night one of us four boys went home with with her spending the night at her home in her little home was icing on the cake.

And I do mean cake. She had for one thing she had a television. Listen that once a month sleepover at Granny's house meant staying in your pajamas and watching cartoons on Saturday morning which we never did at home. And all the while we were able to eat breakfast cereal from the box of our choice that she had picked out earlier in the week.

Your choice. Not bran flakes but my favorite Captain Crunch. I'll tell you as I immediately thought about her when I read this about Naomi the thing that I remember the most was not that she bent you know rules. And then by the way grandparents be careful with that.

There's a fine line between cartoons and Captain Crunch and compromising moral standards that your children are trying to entrust into their children. But what I do remember was that after breakfast was over and it was time to get ready she would come over sit down open her Bible read a few verses and then she'd preach a little sermon. She would tell me how I needed to live for Christ and was I. And then she would pray the longest prayers I have ever heard to this day. She prayed around the world. She prayed for lost people she was witnessing to she prayed for sailors she'd led to Christ. She prayed for all the missionaries we supported. She prayed for every member of the family and then she prayed for me always with tears.

And then she went home. So when I see this little phrase of Naomi taking a bed into her lap let me tell you something that means something to me maybe to you too. What a wonderful asset Naomi provided Ruth and Boaz and raising their son and her grandson to follow after God. So in these closing verses we have a wedding ceremony consummated we have a widowed grandmother invigorated and finally we have a wonderful kinsman redeemer anticipated the book of Ruth ends as quickly as it begins. You have the genealogical record of descendants which is significant because it it places a piece in the puzzle of of the line of the coming Messiah uniquely offered by Ruth. In verse 18 you have Perez the father of his Iran you have has Ronnie's the father of Ram and Ram the father of a minute to add a minute abs the father of nation nation fathers Salomon Salomon fathers Boaz Boaz is the father of Obed Obed to him is born Jesse and the Jesse David. Immediately you're struck by the fact then that that Ruth the Moabitess widow the once impoverished gleaner in the fields of Bethlehem has become the great grandmother of King David.

It's possible that she lived long enough to see him born. That's really not the end of the story is it. Wouldn't you like to know a little bit more about this.

I would. I like to find out the ends to stories and historical nuances facts. Just a few weeks ago Paul Harvey passed away. He was known for his news commentary for over 50 years. He enthralled people for decades with his what the rest of the story.

Right. Lisa listen to him on the radio. I remember years ago hearing him on the radio tell the story of Dick and Allen who worked together repairing watches in the early nineteen hundreds. Successful. They began to repair watches for their relatives and friends and soon discovered they could make more money by selling them and so they began to sell them as well as repair them before longer business expanded. They ventured into selling other items. They eventually came up with the idea of of putting things together in a what they called a catalog mailing it to individuals who could then without ever leaving home choose an item send the money in and they'd be mailed it back. They even opened some stores and began to sell a variety of items their businesses flourished.

Then the Great Depression hit. Allen sold his share of the business to Dick and headed for Europe to spend his money. Dick slugged through the Depression kept the business intact.

In fact he'd never even bothered changing the name of their business. Dick eventually died a multi multi millionaire and Allen over in Europe now an old man read the news and decided to return. He walked into a stunned boardroom and announced who he was and asked for a job of importance.

Poor old Allen had no idea where or how this thriving corporation was managed but for old times sake they gave him a job opening mail and introducing him to the to the hundreds of employees as a co-founder and until he died he was able to tell the stories and he was used often in special events to tell the stories of those early years the early days of Dick Sears and Allen Roebuck. And now you know the rest of the story. I love the rest of the story. I'd like to know more about this eternally significant divinely inspired story between Boaz and Ruth.

I hate to see it end. In fact look at chapter 5 and verse 1. And so it came to pass that Boaz and Ruth were married in the presence of many witnesses. The wedding guests came from all around Judea to add their blessings to the union and future home of Boaz and Ruth.

Verse 2. The morning after all the guests had departed Boaz awakened while it was still early. He searched throughout the house and could not find Ruth anywhere. He began to search diligently for her outside and upon entering his fields he saw his bride gleaning in the fields. Once again she was dressed in rough clothing and her sack for grain was about her shoulders. Ruth, he called as he ran to her, Ruth why are you gleaning in the fields today?

She bowed low to the ground and said my husband surely I must find something to satisfy the hunger I will have this day. Upon hearing this Boaz took Ruth in his arms and said Ruth do you not understand that since you have become my bride all that belongs to me belongs to you. But in a way that is the rest of the story.

Isn't it? Boaz is a picture of our kinsman redeemer who has taken us into the family of God so that now everything that belongs to him belongs to you and me. He has given us an inheritance which is imperishable and undefiled and will never fade away. First Peter 1 verse 4. The rest of this story is found in the New Testament description of the final kinsman redeemer. So let me quickly compare briefly the illustration of Boaz with Christ our redeemer.

There are more than four similarities between Boaz and Christ but I'll just highlight four of them. First kinship with the bride was required. Now in other words in order to meet the condition of the law the kinsman redeemer had to be related to the bride.

Right? So Jesus Christ in order to redeem us had to become our relative which he did. He came and took the sandals of humanity to walk among us. John writes and the word became what? Flesh and dwelt among us. John 1 14. He satisfied then this condition of the kinsman redeemer.

He became a member of the human family so that he could make us members of his family. Secondly a kinsman's desire to redeem his bride was voluntary. He still had to be willing to redeemer. Boaz could have walked away. The other potential redeemer did. Remember?

He walked away barefoot having given his sandals as part of the covenant to Boaz but Boaz didn't walk away. Why? Because he loved Ruth.

That's why. The Bible says it this way. And this is love.

In other words if you want to talk about love this is love. Not that we love God but that he loved us and sent his son our redeemer to be the satisfaction for our sins. That is the son came to redeem us. First John 4 10. And he was willing in fact for the joy that was set before him.

That joy included winning his bride. He endured the cross. Hebrews 12 2. He became obedient unto death even if you can imagine it death on a cross. Philippians 2 8.

That's how willing he was. Boaz was related to Ruth and he was willing to redeem her. So Christ related by flesh and blood fully God yet fully man God incarnate come in the flesh is now related to us and also willing to redeem us his bride. Thirdly not only must the Redeemer be related and willing the kinsman Redeemer had to be capable of paying the redemption price. Listen no matter how much Boaz loved Ruth he had to buy her land.

He had to settle Naomi's estate. It cost that other near kinsman Redeemer might have given Boaz his sandal to seal the covenant but Boaz gave him silver. According to the law the redemption price was paid in silver to settle the deal. There was no IOU.

There was no let's let's settle this later and see how it happens. No Boaz had to have enough money to pay the debts of the widow he wanted and her family's estate. Fortunately then Boaz was wealthy enough to pay off the debts against the property of a limelock and settle the estate of Naomi and Ruth. Listen bride of Christ you have been bought with a price. First Corinthians 6 20. Christ who is infinitely wealthy can handle any cost and the purchase price was not money was it. The legal tender for our redemption was the blood of Jesus Christ. Paul wrote in him we have redemption. We had been redeemed by our kinsman Redeemer through his blood.

Ephesians 1 7. I found it interesting to discover that according to Jewish custom it was the responsibility of the kinsman Redeemer to also buy out of slavery any member of the bride's family who had been forced to sell themselves into slavery to pay off some debt. So a kinsman Redeemer literally stepped in and settled any and all debt against his beloved and her family. He literally wiped the books clean. So also our Lord hung on the cross and said it's finished to Telestai it's paid in full. Literally every debt all the debt of sin paid for every single legal claim against us every legality of the law broken every debt of sin attached to his beloved's name was completely paid off.

The books were wiped clean. Jesus Christ is both willing and he is capable to pay the redemption price in full. Number four the provision of a kinsman Redeemer was comprehensive.

It was comprehensive. Boaz lifted Ruth to his high estate. He condescended to marry her and then raised her to his estate as Jesus Christ condescended to win us and then raises us to his estate as co-regions. She's no longer a Moabite widow. She is the bride the wife of Boaz. She's made a legal partaker in his name. Her status is now altered from alien foreigner to accepted because he made provision for all her debts past present and future.

He comprehensively wins her to himself. So also Christ Jesus has comprehensively raised our status as any from sinner to saint from stranger to friend from outcast to child from lost to redeemed from a beggar to becoming the bride of Christ. Most fairy tales I read to my girls when they were little began with those words once upon a time and nearly all of them that I can remember ended with these words and they lived happily ever after. You know it occurred to me that those words are an absolutely appropriate ending for every one of us who are the bride of Christ. Every one of us will live happily ever after.

That's the rest of the story for all of us. No matter how difficult your biography has been or is at the end of the book that records your life on earth after you've taken your last breath your book can close with the words and he lived happily ever after and she lived happily ever after taken away by your prince swept away by your bridegroom kept eternally in the joy of your Lord forever and ever. Now as I thought about this the only thing about your life and mine and the fairy tales I read to my girls that's different is that after the words and they lived happily ever after there were always those two final words on the last page the end not for you not for me. Imagine that frankly we can't but we believe by faith in our kinsman redeemer our Lord Jesus Christ and we cling to his promises of grace and mercy and love and purpose and we know that one day we will enter the glory of heaven forever.

Why? Because he was related to us because he was willing to redeem us because he was capable of redeeming us because he was able to comprehensively cover all our debts. So listen the last words on the biography of the church the bride of Christ and every individual member of the bridal party those who belong to him are not the words the end. It just strikes me that the words are and we lived happily ever after. I sure hope this lesson has encouraged you today.

This is wisdom for the heart. Today's lesson is entitled and they lived happily ever after. With this lesson Stephen Davey concludes his series through the book of Ruth. We've taken all of these lessons and bound them together as a set of CDs. Call us today for information on how you can get a copy. Our number is 866-48-Bible and we'd love to help you over the phone. That's all we have time for today. Please join us again next time as Stephen begins a series from Revelation called, Is Hell for Real? Here on Wisdom for the Heart.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-04-08 20:29:52 / 2023-04-08 20:39:00 / 9

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