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God in my Watching: The Legacy of Legacymakers (Ruth 4:1-22)

Intro

Hello EFC! We are glad to be back with you. Thanks for your prayers for us last weekend. We had a good trip to NY, though it did take us 17 hours to get back to Illinois, while just 13.5 hours to get there. Abbie was a good sport both ways, but this might be the last of our road trips like that for a while, anyway.

Driving back to Illinois, we decided to drive straight through Pennsylvania (the never ending state) so that we can get to Ohio. This was because from our experience in the past, Ohio had great service plazas. It was 2pm and we were all pretty hungry.  So we were so excited to get to Ohio (road trips will do that to you) and were anxiously looking for the next service plaza. The only problem was that everyone else on the road with us that day traveling after the holiday also wanted to stop at the first plaza. All we wanted was fast food from McDonalds to eat on the road. I saw a large number of people waiting in line in one area and a shorter group in another. So I went to the shorter line and put in my order.

After I placed my order, I realized that the large group that was next to me were not people putting in their orders, but people waiting for their orders! One lady walked by saying, “Good luck. I waited half an hour for this Big Mac.” I waited and waited and waited. My patience was growing thin and so were the people around me. Everyone was angry. Some people went up to get their money back. Others simply just walked away. Some went to those in the line making their order to warn them about the wait. But most waited there making friends with others who were in the same predicament. It is good to have community in a crisis. It was pretty funny actually to see people interact. One guy said, “I don’t know why I am waiting this long for something that will taste like cardboard.”

30 minutes went by. Apparently, the reason for the delay was because they were short on staff. At one point I wanted someone to pop up from the back saying, “You’re on Candid Camera! This was a joke!” But that did not happen. Finally I got my order…50 minutes later. This was supposed to be fast food! Looking back on it, yeah we lost some travel time and it was frustrating, but it was really not a big deal. We made it home safely and were not food poisoned.  I am sure there are longer lines in places like Darfur and others of people waiting for a cup of rice.

But the more and more I live I am realizing that our culture is one that focuses on the immediate. Instant gratification. We all want instant meals, instant connection to the internet, instant service on the phone and at restaurants. What can I get right now? What I can I feel right now? What works right now? No concern over the consequences or what it means in the long run. No thinking about patience or waiting. No worries about who is going to get hurt in the process. No worries about what God thinks. It is time of the judges! Everyone does what is right in their own eyes (Judges 21:25).

But the Word of God is counter cultural. God seems to like to take His time with things. He seems to love teaching His people about patience and waiting. Sometimes we may want to ask for our money back. Other times we may be tempted to quit and run away. But really in the end if we hold on, we see that unlike the Mcdonalds at the Ohio service plaza, God is in control and has greater purposes behind it all. He is never short on staff!

Today I am excited to be back in the book of Ruth for the last time.  It has been a great journey traveling with these two widows through their tragedy and now to get into their triumph in Ruth 4. One of the major themes running throughout this book is the providence of God. In this we see that God is both sovereign and good. He is powerful yet very personal. His fingerprints are everywhere!

In Ruth 1 we saw God was in their wandering and in their weeping. In Ruth 2 we saw God in Ruth’s working. In Ruth 3 we saw God was in the two widows’ waiting.  Today we will see God is in their watching, as they wait and watch for God to intervene not just in their immediate situation, for their future generations.

Not only did we see the providence of God in this short book, but also the obedience of man, embodying the hesed of God, to put it in the terms of Ruth. When the providence of God interlocks with the obedience of man, it produces a result. In Ruth 2, we saw the providence of God bringing poor Ruth to the fields of Boaz and allowing them to meet at the right time. At the same time, we saw Ruth was obedient in deciding to go out and glean for the family. Boaz is abundantly generous and kind, showing us he is a man of hesed and exemplary character. In Ruth 3, we see more of the obedience of man as taking risks by faith, maintaining integrity and trusting God with obstacles. We see the providence of God bringing Boaz to sleep at the right place so he and Ruth could speak.

So throughout we have been seeing providence and obedience working together. Now we are going to see the results. What is the masterpiece that is created when God brings our tangled threads of life together? ” What is the end result when God’s people step out in faith and live lives devoted and trusting the God of providence? In one word: legacy! The title of the message today is “God in my watching: the legacy of legacy makers.” There is no greater blessing than that. We will see that throughout this chapter. We will see the legacy of the legacy makers. What does it take to make a legacy? Ruth 1 had begun with 3 funerals, but Ruth 4 will end with a wedding and birth. Praise God that for the believer in Jesus Christ, God writes the last chapter!

We were left with many questions at the end of Ruth 3. Will Naomi have an heir? Who will or will anyone marry Ruth? Will Boaz lose Ruth to the unnamed kinsman redeemer? Remember that in the book of Ruth, two laws come into play. One is called the kinsman redeemer law found in Lev. 25:23-34 and the other is called the levirate marriage law found in Deut. 25:5-10. The purpose of these laws was to keep the name of the deceased alive in the land. For a widow, the nearest relative is supposed to step up and buy the land along with marrying the widow and keeping the name of the family alive. In this case, although Boaz is interested in being the kinsman redeemer, there is someone else ahead of him in the line. As a man of exemplary character, he will do it the right way and ask this man first. This is where we left off in Ruth 3.

There are a few of you in law here and you might appreciate that the first twelve verses of Ruth 4 is a legal process, using a lot of legal terminology. There are witnesses, two parties, a contract, property issues, inheritance issues and widow issues. Unlike Ruth 3, the setting in Ruth 4 is not private and secretive like in the dead of night at a threshing floor, but very public in broad daylight at the town square. With that in mind, let’s get to the story.  Jot this first thing down:

I.   The price of a legacy maker is sacrifice (Ruth 4:1-6).

Boaz, the man’s man, the man who delivers results, gets straight to work. He leaves the threshing floor and normally people leaving the fields would get to town, pass through the gate and into their homes. However in Ruth 4:1, Boaz stops by the gate. He wastes no time. This is a good place to wait for people because everyone going to the fields to work would have to pass through the gate.

The early morning was a busy time at the city gate. One can imagine the area abuzz with chattering citizens getting ready for another day of work. Several benches lined right along the walls. Like a modern town square or plaza, it was both a marketplace and civic center inside the gate. You would also do your legal transactions there.

Boaz does not even waste time going home for breakfast. He goes straight to the gate and sits down on one of the benches. And behold, there comes the kinsman redeemer! Just as Boaz sits down, the kinsman redeemer walks by. Again we see the providence of God. He just “happened” to walk by at the right moment.

I wonder if Boaz’s entire body stiffens at this point. He takes a deep breath and calls out to him. Interestingly, his name is not mentioned here. The English translations say, “Friend.” However, in the Hebrew it is the equivalent of “Mr. So-and-So.” I don’t think Boaz called him that, but that the narrator has purposely left out the name. We are not entirely sure, but most probably the narrator did not want the kinsman’s descendants to be embarrassed at his conduct. Remember this book was written well after the events in the book, at least at the time of David, since the genealogy ends at David in Ruth 4:22.

So Boaz calls him over. You can sense determination and authority in his voice. Look at Ruth 4:2. Boaz then gathers together 10 elders, who were the ruling body which governed the local affairs of the town of Bethlehem. Boaz being a man of influence and stature himself, knew of these men and as they passed through the crowd, he summoned them one by one to come and sit down with him on the bench.

The narrator wants us to know that everything was done legally. These men would serve as witnesses, not adjudicators. There was no crime committed. It was just a family issue. So Boaz and Mr. So-and-So would go at it and once they decide on the matter, the elders would serve as the witnesses. Boaz sets up everything in place and begins the discussion.

Ruth 4:3. You can imagine as these 12 men are sitting there, a larger crowd starts to form around them to see what the commotion is about. By the way, most probably, Naomi and Ruth were standing in the crowd already and watching. Merchants are peeking around their customers to see if they can get an earshot of the meeting. Boaz is very formal and begins first with the land issue. He informs the kinsman that since Naomi has returned well past sowing time (it was now reaping time) she cannot use her land for any income and thus is on the verge of selling it.

The sad part about this is that this kinsman had done nothing since Naomi and Ruth returned. No stopping by to see how they are doing. No leftover meals to bring to them. No consideration whatsoever. Nothing. He’s the kind of man who does nothing. Nothing bad or good. Just nothing. I wonder what Boaz thought of this guy? Now he is being forced to take responsibility.

Boaz looks up and tells him that if he is willing he should redeem it. Boaz acknowledges the other people who have been watching and the elders present to be witnesses. We also learn in Ruth 4:4 that there were no other potential redeemers besides Mr. So-and-So and Boaz. So if both waived their rights, Naomi may lose the land to a lesser known relative or even a non-relative. As a result, she will lose the family name (as it is tied to the land) and will live with Ruth as widows the rest of their lives in poverty. This would be the greatest tragedy imaginable.

To everyone’s surprise, the kinsman redeemer says yes in greedy anticipation. You can almost see the drool falling from his lips. This was a win-win situation for him. He can develop the land into a profitable lot of productive harvests and earn more income. The inheritance of his heirs would be enlarged. His reputation would be enhanced. I can picture him grinning from ear to ear.

But Boaz is not grinning though. Naomi and Ruth get worried. Ruth clutches Naomi’s arm. We, the audience, are not grinning. Romance is crushed by legality. Yet another setback! Boaz then reads the fine print in Ruth 4:5. Here is the pivotal point of the story. Boaz leans forward and says, “There is one thing, however.” He continues, “Ruth the Moabite,” motioning to her in the crowd, “comes with the property. When you buy the property, she comes with it. And when you have children with her, they will keep the family name alive.”

Is he willing to pay the price? He was greedy to take it when there was no price to pay. Boaz really says, “Hold on mister, it is not going to be that easy! You have to sacrifice.” Nothing is free. Do you have what it takes to do this? Now comes the moment of truth. What will the kinsman say? The place is quiet. The camera zooms in to his face.Ruth can feel her heart racing.

All of a sudden he says, “I cannot do it.” By his word choice, he stresses not his unwillingness, but his inability to act.He says in essence, “I cannot afford it.” Any addition to the man’s family would ruin his children’s inheritance.

He would, first, here buy Naomi’s property from assets that eventually are part of his estate—only to lose that investment when Ruth’s first child claimed it, presumably without cost, as Elimelech’s heir. Meanwhile, the child’s care and feeding would further drain his wealth. Furthermore, we are not sure, but he may have not been too interested in having Moabite blood running through his family.

Similarly, besides the lost investment in land and child, there will be expenses in caring for Ruth, other children born to her and Naomi too. If there was a child from the relationship with Ruth, the redeemer would lose the field and there would be no benefit to his own children and estate to compensate for the costs involved in taking care of Naomi and Ruth. In other words, Mr. So-and-So was interested in ministry to the poor only if there was a payoff for himself and his family.

He is not willing to have costly ministry without personal payoff. “Forget it! YOU do it” he says in Ruth 4:6. The people in the crowd start whispering among themselves. The ironic thing about this is that in seeking to protect his own legacy, Mr. So-and-So ends up nameless, missing just short of having a share in the biggest legacy of all: a link in the chain of God’s purposes to bring the Messiah into the world.

He is like Orpah in Ruth 1. He took the easy way out. He is a picture of the ordinary guy. He does not do anything bad, but he does not do anything good either. Elimelech is the kind of guy who steps up and acts foolishly. Boaz is the kind of guy (which we will see in a minute) who steps up and acts according to God’s will and ways, taking extraordinary action by faith. Mr. So-and-so is the kind of guy who does not do anything at all.

He is the kind of guy who asks, “What’s in it for me? Will it fulfill me? Will I enjoy it?” Such people are detrimental to any community.

Illus: Jenny and I were talking to a couple over thanksgiving, who were my long time friends currently praying about a church plant. They said there was a certain type of Christian they did not want on their team. I asked them to elaborate more about that. They said they were talking about those who come so critical to church, with a certain view about how worship should be done and how they like their sermons preached. They never serve and hop around from church to church never satisfied. These Christians are parasites, draining the blood and life from the church.

I think I have a name for them, “Mr. So-and-So” Christians! To be honest, I am convicted by this guy. I can become like him if I am not careful. I want to be a legacy maker, but the danger is not just avoiding things that will hurt my legacy, but is not doing anything at all.  The danger of indifference and stagnation!

We can easily be a reservoir, just receiving all the time and not a channel, where there is inflow as well as outflow.  We can easily get into a routine where I am going through the motions and not chasing hard after the Lord. I do not want to just get by, clinging to what I have, but I want to be someone who is accelerating to get to the Lord. There is a price to pay for a legacy: everything you have! It will require all of your time and resources, energy and devotion.

In our culture some mock mothers who decide to quit their jobs to take care of their children and invest in the next generation. I say they are legacy makers! They are making a sacrifice. I know a friend who gave up a lucrative career in business and was traveling around the world, but now started a ministry to reach out to hurting families. I call him a legacy maker. He made a sacrifice and is continuing to make sacrifices. It is not about doing the dramatic, but being driven not by the immediate, but by wanting to leave a legacy for others to follow. It is about making sacrifices now for that to happen. Besides, there is no sacrifice too great for the One who made the ultimate sacrifice!

Secondly,

II.  The ultimate legacy maker is God Himself (Ruth 4:7-12)

Back to Ruth 4:7. The Narrator pauses to talk to us directly. He wants to explain the symbolic custom that was about to take place. Apparently, to symbolize the transaction, a person’s sandal was removed and given to the person who received the rights. So he bends down and quickly unties the sandal and hands it to Boaz, publicly validating the transaction. The passing of the sandal symbolized Boaz’s right to walk on the land as his property (cf.Deut. 1:3611:24Josh. 1:314:9). [1]

“Buy it for yourself!” Mr. So-and-So gets up and walks off (that must be uncomfortable with just one sandal) by pushing through the crowd.  He exits the story and we never hear from him again like Orpah in Ruth 1:14. At this point I can see Naomi and Ruth hugging each other. Their hearts leaped with joy! I picture Naomi grabbing Ruth’s hand and whispering, “He did it! I knew he would.” I wonder if Boaz sneaked a quick glance at Ruth at this moment. I can see her looking down quickly after their eyes met. There is a glimmer in his eye, though outwardly he looks so professional.

Gripping the sandal firmly in his hand, he stands up and makes his speech. There were many onlookers the scene had attracted. So he addresses the elders and the crowd as witnesses. These are the last words of Boaz spoken in this story. Look at Ruth 4:9-10. He is solemn, precise and strikingly detailed. This will notarize the contract orally. Boaz formally established ownership of anything (land, houses, movable goods, etc.) which belonged to Elimelech and his sons. Perhaps the comprehensiveness is Boaz’s desire to be legally precise and final about everything.

Boaz recall’s Ruth’s double misfortune: her non-Israelite ethnicity and her tragic widowhood. But this is the last time she will be called a Moabite. She will soon be a wife. He finally answers Ruth’s question in Ruth 3:9. Boaz indeed did accomplish the task that day as Naomi had predicted (Ruth 3:18).

The first child born to Ruth and Boaz would own Elimelech’s family property and keep him and his sons alive in association with it. Naomi’s poor heirless family will survive. The name of the deceased would survive in the land.The names would survive from two important realms: his family circle, the extended family of relatives within the clan. Secondly, the names would survive from the assembly of the town…the community at large. In Ruth 4:11, the elders stand up in their prayer shawls and say in unison, “We are witnesses.” A second later, the crowd joins in, “We are witnesses!”

However, another problem existed. Remember Ruth and Mahlon were married about 10 years and they did not have any children. Ruth was barren! Here is another obstacle to the legacy. We have seen so many setbacks in this story, but Ruth preservers throughout! So the people are going to pray three prayers of blessings in Ruth 4:11-12. The first prayer is for Ruth to become like Rachel and Leah, who were the founding mothers of the tribe of Israel. Ruth is no longer a Moabite, but in every way an Israelite. She has full status now! From nothing, Rachel and Leah built the house of Israel, i.e., through 12 children. So they are praying for Yahweh to open the womb of Ruth to bear many children who will leave a legacy like the 12 sons of Jacob.

Next they pray for Boaz. Again he is called a man of “worth.” Ephrathah is another name for Bethlehem. They are praying for him to continue to be a man of integrity and hesed and through Ruth, to have a host of worthy sons that will make your name renowned in Bethlehem. In other words, they are praying for Boaz to be a legacy maker!

Look at Ruth 4:12. The last prayer is for the family line of Boaz. The people recall another story where someone’s husband died and a brother was asked to marry the widow. The story is found in Genesis 38. It is about Judah and his daughter-in-law Tamar. When following Tamar’s husband’s death none of his brothers stepped up to marry her, she pretended to be a prostitute and seduced Judah her father-in-law and got herself pregnant through him. She bore twins and one of them was named Perez.

Although the whole situation was scandalous, Perez nevertheless became one of the leading families in Bethlehem. In fact, Boaz came from that line (Ruth 4:18ff). But notice the key here is that the people realize that only Yahweh can give the offspring. They recognize that every good and perfect gift comes from Him (James 1:17). He is the ultimate legacy maker!

At the end of the day, it is God who will make the legacy for us. Both Boaz and Ruth were incredible devoted followers, but they realized that to make a legacy, God had to do it.  See, we can either try to make our name great or make His name great in our lives. At the end, only one name will stand and that is the name of Jesus (Phil. 2:10-11). The last thing I want to do is to drag the name of Jesus in the mud with my life and destroy the legacy. Instead, I want to lift that name so high in my life that my children and children’s children can say that their grandparents lived for the stuff that matters and that will last. By then, that is all that is going to matter.

Illus: Jenny went to India a few years ago and was spending with her grandfather. He passed away a couple of years ago, but he lived to be about 106 years old, a believer to the end. But during that time, Jenny found out that his father was also a believer, even dying as a martyr. He paid the price. Now his great-granddaughter, whom he never met, is a believer, saved across the ocean! Praise God for His providence! I have no doubt in my mind that he prayed for his future generations. That is what legacy makers do.

My family became believers through a man named Joy back in 1995. He came to NY with his wife to be with his daughter who had just given birth. The providence of God brought us all together. He shared the gospel with my family. My grandmother was living with us at the time and she was talking to Mr. Joy about her relatives one day. It turned out that Mr. Joy is actually my grandfather’s (who had passed away several years ago) first cousin! What are the chances? How can you explain that? The man who brings our family to Christ is also related to us. When I heard that, the first thought in my mind was that someone in my mom’s family line was praying for us. That person is a legacy maker! All I can say is that to God be the glory!

All of this to say that God will often put us in a position where He gets all the glory. Boaz and Ruth had done everything they could, but at the end of the day, God had to intervene by opening up her womb. Even until the end of this story, the people are in a place where only God can get the glory.

Some of you are waiting for things in your life. I want you to remember today that God loves to put you in a position where it will not be your education, your charming personality, your looks, your know-how, your financial stability, your resources, your connections or anything else you can think of that will get you through, but God Himself stepping in. You will often find yourself brought down to nothing, before God can bring something out of it. You just make sure you’re desire is to be a legacy maker.

You will often find yourself at the end of the rope and see God holding the last strand. So don’t be alarmed. Don’t be surprised. God loves to get the glory alone! He is the ultimate legacy maker.

Turn to 1 Kings 18. We are back to the story of Elijah. There is a contest between Yahweh and the prophets of Baal. Look at 1 Kings 18:32. Before God set the altar on fire, he made them pour water on it three times! In other words, when the fire comes you cannot say it was because there was a secret lighter at the bottom or it was some magic trick. Let it be known that God is God! Only God can get the glory! Often in life you will feel like God is continually pouring water on you with one setback after another. Just remember that He is just working on getting glory for Himself!

So a legacy maker pays a price of sacrifice and realizes that God is ultimately the one that does it and lastly,

III.   The path of the legacy maker is never straight (Ruth 4:13-22).

So Boaz and Ruth finally marry and she becomes his wife. By the way, I am a fan of short engagements, but this was a really short engagement! Ruth becomes his wife. Notice the status changes in the life of Ruth. In Ruth 2:10 she is called a “foreigner.” In Ruth 2:13, she calls herself lower than a “servant.” In Ruth 3:9, she called herself a maidservant, i.e. someone eligible for marriage. Now she is called a wife. Praise be to God who takes foreigners and outcasts and brings them to the highest place of privilege! All that Boaz is and has is now hers.

Look at Ruth 4:13 again. Yahweh does in fact step in and helps her conceive and conceive a son! This was a honeymoon baby. Wow, she was barren for 10 years and gets pregnant on the first try. Prayers are answered for a legacy. In Ruth 4:14, the scene shifts to Naomi and her friends. What a tender God we have who really ministers grace to this broken women in this story. Naomi is the last focus of the story.

We had seen these neighborhood women in chapter 1 with Naomi as well. They had heard her cry of emptiness (Ruth 1:20-21), but now they rejoice regarding her fullness. They give all credit to Yahweh for everything that has happened. They call the son a redeemer because he will carry on the family name and inherit the property and save this family.

They again pray for him, but say a prayer greater than the earlier prayer for Boaz. Remember for Boaz they prayed for his name to be renown in Bethlehem, but for this child, they ask for his name to be renown not just in Bethlehem, but in all of Israel!

In Ruth 4:15, they see the little child as an answer to two prayers in the life of Naomi. First of all, he is a restorer of life, i.e. one who causes life to return. Naomi would be consoled to know that through this baby, her family, once on the verge of extinction, will continue in the land for at least another generation. He was the answer to the problem of the lack of family. Secondly, he was the “nourisher of your old age,” i.e. provider of food. He was the answer to the food problem mentioned earlier as well. Even if Boaz dies, he can work and be the male provider for this family. The blessing of the providence of God interlocking with the obedience of man is now embodied in this child!

They also give a tribute to Ruth. We see what true love is through her haven’t we? It was not just about emotions, but actions demonstrated through costly commitment (Ruth 1: 16-17), determined initiative (Ruth 2:7), courage on the threshing floor (Ruth 3:5-6) and dedication to preserve Naomi’s family (Ruth 3:9-10). Ultimately it was her hesed love, putting others ahead of herself. Israel was encouraged to love the Lord with all of their being (Deut. 6:5) and to love the neighbor as themselves (Lev. 19:18), including strangers and foreigners (Lev. 19:34). Here, it is the stranger from Moab who shows Israel what God truly wanted. They compare Ruth to seven sons, the ideal number of sons for an Israelite family. In a society where sons were valued above daughters, to say this about a woman was the ultimate tribute.  Remember in Ruth 1:21, Naomi totally forgot about Ruth and said she was totally empty? Here Ruth finally gets the recognition! The women tell Naomi that having Ruth with her was better than having Mahlon, Chilion or even seven sons.

In Ruth 4:16, we see a tender scene. Gray-haired Naomi with the little child nestled against her. She would care for him like his very own mother. She had her bread basket emptied by famine and her womb basket emptied by death. Now she is full again. Famine, barrenness and death are now replaced by new birth, life and hope.

The women of the neighborhood rejoice with Naomi. Before Naomi had cried out in despair and the women listened. Now Naomi listens as the women cry out in joy! What an amazing turn of events for her! The Psalmist says, “Weeping may endure for a moment, but joy comes in the morning” (Ps. 30:5). After Good Friday is Resurrection Sunday!

The child’s name is Obed is given in Ruth 4:17. It would be strange for the women of the neighborhood to be naming this child. More likely it was given by his parents, but the author is writing it in such a way that shows the whole community rejoicing and celebrating his birth. It is tough to decipher exactly what Obed means, but most likely it means “one who serves.” He is the one who will serve Naomi and her family line. But notice the author immediately telling us the legacy he leaves. He will become the father of Jesse, who will father David, the great king Israel!

Lastly, in Ruth 4:18-22, we have the genealogy of Perez, the son of Judah. One thing you need to know about genealogies is that usually authors tailor them with a 10 number scheme, thus leaving out some names. Also, number 5 and 7 in the list are placed there to show honor and significance. Notice number 5 here is Nahshon. We don’t have time to go over it, but Nahson married to the sister of Aaron the priest and brother of Moses. He was a good guy, taking the census (Num. 1:7), first to bring the offering to the temple (Num. 7:1217) and a leader (Num. 10:14). So he is highlighted. Who is number 7? Boaz! We know why he shines. He was a legacy maker!

Turn to Matthew 1. Usually we skip over these names when they read them, but in this chapter we see the legacy made by Boaz and Ruth eventually led to the birth of the Savior of the world. Jesus indeed was born to a shady woman named Mary (called shady by people though she wasn’t) who was married to Joseph, who came from a line of shady women like Tamar, Rahab, Ruth and Bathsheba. Praise God for a Savior who welcomes shady people to Himself! Another interesting tidbit here is that Boaz is the son of Salmon, who was the husband of Rahab (Matt. 1:5), the prostitute! Perhaps he was so kind to Ruth because his mother was also a foreigner who showed extraordinary courage and faith in Yahweh? What a legacy!

But Naomi and Ruth would tell you that the path to this point was never a straight line. It came traveling through the valleys, storms and jagged mountains. And so for us, we need to remember that God writes the final chapter. He is not done with us yet. He is still taking our tangled threads and weaving it together for His purpose. Perhaps he will use us to do greater things for Him with the next generation? Obed’s name means one who serves. This is appropriate because he actually served God’s greatest purpose in sending Jesus to us.

Yes we too have a Redeemer! We were foreigners, strangers and outcasts. He has bought us with a price, not with silver or gold, but with the blood of His Son (1 Pet. 1:18-19). He gave everything so that we could be His. Now just like all that Boaz is and had was Ruth’s, all that the Lord Jesus is and has is ours. Why did He do all that? So that we can be part of His plan to bring His glory and light to this dark world. This is the life of the legacy maker! I want us to end our time in Ruth to start a habit maybe we have never thought about before.

Let’s pray for our future generations. Let’s pray that they will be legacy makers for the Lord. Let us not be people of instant gratification just trying to get by. John Piper compares those to people in Europe staring through a store window, looking intently at wooden figurines sold for a dollar and ignoring the great Swiss Alps behind them. Jonathan Edwards, the great preacher, would pray for his third and fourth generations. Let’s do that right now. Let’s pray at the same time for our lives to be so marked with passion for the Lord, love for His Word and the lost that we will leave behind something for our future generations to talk about…better yet, someone to talk about that fueled our passion.

 
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[1]Walvoord, J. F., Zuck, R. B., & Dallas Theological Seminary. (1983-c1985). The Bible Knowledge Commentary : An Exposition of the Scriptures           (1:427). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.

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