- Ruth concludes with genealogy.
- Obed > King David.
- Bethlehem, House of Bread > Bread of Life, Jesus.
- Primary focus = Naomi. Death and emptiness > Life and fullness.
Read Ruth 4:13-22
- Why does history drag out so long? Why doesn’t Jesus return right now? Why does everyone wait?
- Old Testament saints waited for Messiah. Every redeemer potentially the one. None fit.
- Then Christ came, in infant form. He accomplished reconciliation, yet still awaiting consummation. We wait for his return.
- What does God teach us by allowing us to wait?
- Ruth waited at least ten years for a son.
- Boaz waited for a wife (3:10).
- Naomi waited for a redeemer.
- What about you? What are you waiting for? Christmas presents? Diagnosis? Career advancement? Peace? Joy? Hope? Love?
- Waiting = Agonizing, Lonely, Scary > Pessimism (“I’ll never…”).
- Waiting teaches us to live for the Blessor, not the blessing.
- Waiting Teaches Us to Pray
- Waiting Teaches Us to Trust
- Waiting Teaches Us to Be Content
Waiting Teaches Us To Pray (13-15)
- Prayer in 1:8. 2:4, 12, 20. 3:10. Each prayer answered in surprising ways and often involved the one praying.
- Threefold blessing (4:11-12) comes true (13). Obed’s grandchild would make the family name a dynasty. They were ancestors of a ruling dynasty.
- Another threefold blessing (4:14-15)
- Blessing for Yahweh (v.14a).
- Prayer for the child (v.14b).
- Declaration of confidence for Naomi (v.15).
- Maybe, for Naomi, God’s gift of Ruth was just now beginning to sink in.
- Daniel Block,
“In Lev 19:34 Moses instructs the Israelites to love the stranger as they love themselves. Ironically, it is this stranger from Moab who shows the Israelites what this means.”
- Psalm 40:1 “I waited patiently for the Lord; he inclined to me and heard my cry.” Waiting patiently = crying out to the Lord in prayer.
- Patient > Impassioned.
- Is all of this consistent with your prayer life?
- Would you characterize your prayers as crying out?
- Are you seeking the blessings of God upon your home, family, and marriage?
- Are you making yourself available as the means God might use to bring an answer to your prayers?
- In all honesty, most of us struggle to pray. We don’t take prayer seriously. Are we praying faithless prayers?
In their praying they also learned to trust.
Waiting Teaches Us To Trust
- Theme: Providence. God remained in control from beginning to end, from seasons of emptiness to fullness.
- Purpose: There was a remnant of true believers even in the time of the judges.
- By the end, God fulfilling his covenant promises. God is the giver of life.
- Obed = Naomi’s redeemer. One of a long line of redeemers. Where else is Obed mentioned? Matt. 1:5.
- Naomi’s redemption through Obed > our redemption through Jesus.
- Matt. 14:22-33 Jesus praying on mountain while disciples are in boat. Storm gathers and frightens disciples. But Jesus doesn’t come immediately. He makes them wait.
- Was there something they needed to learn in the storm? They were doing what Jesus told them to do (22), then the storm came. Neither the storm/waiting were acts of judgment.
- Had they been praying, like Jesus, maybe they would have been trusting, rather than freaking out.
- Had Naomi, Ruth, and Boaz learned to trust in the hand of providence? By the end, it seems like all of them have. How did they learn trust? Through waiting, oftentimes with pain and heartache.
- Trusting Jesus doesn’t take away all problems. It involves a cross, trials and tribulation.
- Jesus didn’t calm the storm from the mountain, then walk to them on stilled water. He came to them in the midst of the storm!
Pray > Trust > Contentment
Waiting Teaches Us To Be Content
- Naomi: Obed’s foster-mother (16-17). Caretaker of one who will become her caretaker. Not legal/formal adoption, but extraordinary act of love.
- Ruth: Obed represented life after 10 painful years barrenness. Gave birth > gave away. Obed nearby, but Naomi raised. Tremendously gracious. New level of sacrificial love.
- Boaz: Obed perpetuates Elimelech’s name and inherits Naomi’s land. Obed’s birth causes Boaz to lose all financial gain. But Boaz not worldly.
- Each waiting for specific blessing, but willing to risk.
- Ruth: Risked marriage/motherhood. Blessed with both > gives up son. Waiting taught her to live for the Blessor, not the blessing.
- Boaz: Risked marrying Ruth, giving Mr.So-and-So first opportunity. Waiting taught him to live for the Blessor, not the blessing.
- Naomi: Risked last security, Ruth. Marriage no guarantee of child. Losing Ruth (closest companion) > loneliness. Waiting taught her to live for the Blessor, not the blessing.
- Each individual was waiting, but what they were ultimately waiting for was not marriage, a child, or security in old age. They were waiting for God to use them in the furtherance of his kingdom work. In the end each of them was faithful to God’s call. They were blessed, but before the blessings came, they were willing to risk it all to be a blessing to others.
But this story illustrates something much greater.
- Just like Ruth was willing to give up her own son in order to redeem Naomi, Our Heavenly Father, was willing to give up his Son in order to redeem us. And now we await our Redeemer’s return, when all of the earthly blessings we experience in this life will pale to the reality of spending eternity with Him. May God teach all of us, in our waiting, to live for the Blessor rather than the blessing.
- Although we continue to wait for Christ’s return, we do not have to wait to be at peace with him.