June 22, 2018

Empty to Full

By: Larry Shaffer

Ruth 4, part 2

Boaz has successfully negotiated the terms of his right to redeem the land of Naomi and to marry Ruth. Boaz fulfills the role of a kinsman redeemer for Naomi financially and to Ruth through marriage. It wasn’t long ago that Naomi returned to her homeland after the deaths of her husband and two sons. Back then she said, “The Lord Almighty has dealt very bitterly with me. I went out full, but the Lord has brought me back empty…the Lord has witnessed against me and the Almighty has afflicted me.” To Naomi there was no hope, no joy and the future looked bleak. 

From last to first

But today, the fullness of redemption has flooded Naomi’s life. 4:14 says, “then the woman 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 a restorer or life and a sustainer of your old age; for your daughter-in-law, who loves you and is better to you than seven sons, has given birth.”

The chain is unbroken

There is also the redemption of Ruth. 4:13 says, “So Boaz took Ruth, and she became his wife, and he went in to her. And the Lord enabled her to conceive, and she gave birth to a son.” This fulfilled the blessing that the elders gave to Boaz at the gate when they confirmed Boaz’ legal right to marry Ruth. The elders said in 4:12, “May your house be like the house of Perez whom Tamar bore of Judah, through the offspring which the Lord will give you by this young woman.” Now, what does that mean? The elders knew the line of Judah, which comes from Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, and was connected to Boaz. That means that the first-born son of Boaz would be in the line of the Messiah. If Boaz didn’t have a son, the line would be broken. But the Lord enabled Ruth to conceive a son. Through the redemption of a Moabite woman, a former idol worshiper, an outsider and foreigner, the Messianic chain is unbroken. Boaz and Ruth named their son Obed, who became the father of Jesse, the father of David from whom our Messiah will be born. The story of Ruth and Boaz is our spiritual heritage. I’m getting chills right now writing this. WOW.

You prepared the way

Praise You Lord for fashioning history to prepare the way for our Savior. All the energies of Satan were directed against thwarting Your plan of redemption through the Messiah. But no force in heaven or hell can stand against You. You have made a way for us to be saved, to know you and experience complete forgiveness of our sins. May we all accept and embrace You by faith. Amen