Ruth 4:14-15. God intervenes in every life.
length: 64:31 - taught on Aug, 15 2018
Wednesday August 15, 2018
Ruth 4:14-15. God intervenes in every life.
Ruth 4:13 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.
RUT 4:14 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.
RUT 4:15 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 and is better to you than seven sons, has given birth to him."
RUT 4:16 Then Naomi took the child and laid him in her lap, and became his nurse.
The English has this far too mildly. Naomi took the child in her bosom.
The women take the child from Boaz’s home to Naomi’s and she laid the little one on her bosom (cheq) as embracing a loved one.
The picture is Naomi taking her newborn grandson to her bosom in loving embrace. This would have been a joyful event and quite the tear-jerker.
The Hebrew omenet denotes a guardian or a nanny and not a wet nurse. Naomi was to have an ongoing and close relationship with the boy.
Some think that Naomi adopted him as if Obed were completely handed over to her, but there is nothing to suggest that. Ruth would have to nurse him at the least.
Yet the women proclaim, “A son has been born to Naomi.” All this means is that Naomi would care for Obed as if he were her own. She would provide care, affection, discipline, and guidance.
Bethlehem at the time isn’t that big. It would be quite easy for Naomi to have a very active role in the upbringing of her grandson.
In her deep love for Naomi, Ruth sends the newborn to Naomi and the women proclaim him as Naomi’s son, whom she would help raise.
RUT 4:17 And the neighbor women gave him a name, saying, "A son has been born to Naomi!" So they named him Obed. He is the father of Jesse, the father of David.
Obed - “the serving one.” He served spirit and hope to Naomi.
Obed is from the same root as Obadiah, which has the name of God added to it, meaning “the servant of God.”
The genealogy is about to come, but the writer emphasizes that Obed is the father of Jesse, the father of David, indicating the reason why he wrote the book. The book of Samuel never provides a genealogy for David, and so this book provides a genealogical link between the books of Joshua and Samuel.
This book reveals:
1) Naomi’s emptiness is made full. God fills the emptiness in man’s heart if man will let Him.
Man is nothing without God, and yet, no man should ever be without God. Naomi had lost faith in God’s ability after her husband and sons had died. She found herself in a dark place, a place of despair, and she gave up on any hope.
A person who gives up hope will never be abandoned by God. God will intercede in their lives, and when He does, it is up to the person to believe in God, in His Savior, in His promises and providence.
Sadly, some give up hope and no matter how much God intercedes they remain in despair. In some sick way they get used to it and brood and live a gloomy life. Cain is one such example.
When God brings deliverance, rejoice as Naomi does here.
2) The importance of chesed in life and the avoidance of bitterness.
We have seen that God’s chesed will never fail to those who fear Him. Yes, fearing Him is a prerequisite. The man who trusts in the flesh does not see when prosperity passes him by.
Naomi lost her fear of the Lord. If she hadn’t, she would have feared the consequences of being bitter before Him. God is gracious and patient. He revealed Himself to her. He didn’t have to, but Yavah didn’t have to save us either.
God came into this world to make new men. The OT saints had to put their faith in that and so hope for the future. No matter what happens in the short time we have on this earth, all of us are going to be brand new in God’s kingdom forever. Our lifespan is not 70 or 80 years, but forever.
We don’t always see how the lovingkindness of the Lord is going to work things out, but it will. We don’t have to be bitter about anything.
3) The royal line of David and thus Messiah is revealed.
The book opens with RUT 1:1 Now it came about in the days when the judges governed and it ends with “David.” Israel, as well as the world, must have a King, and it would be through David that He would come. We will close with the genealogy and it will show us that no matter what happens in any generation in any part of the world that God is fully in control.
4) God raises up the lowly and despised through the Son of David.
Ruth is a nobody. God made her a somebody. Our reputation among men, a thing that so many people live for, and die for, is meaningless. Just because a lot of people like something doesn’t make it good or worthwhile. Preferences have no weight.
What is good, right, holy, and just is worthwhile, and every person has been given the gift of life, life full of these things in Christ Jesus, if they will accept it by faith. God called the not so many wise, noble, or strong according to the world. God shames the wise. We just have to let Him.
5) There is a Kinsman-Redeemer for the entire human race.
Some of the girls, Jewess’s in Bethlehem, might have envied Ruth. What a lucky girl. Redeemed by Boaz, she was rich and secure overnight. The riches of Christ far exceed all of that on the earth. Jesus has paid the price for the sins of the whole world. All who believe are set free and become recipients of unfathomable riches and grace.
The book closes with a short genealogy.
The writer emphasizes that Obed is the father of Jesse, the father of David, indicating the reason why he wrote the book. The book of Samuel never provides a genealogy for David, and so this book provides a genealogical link between the books of Joshua and Samuel.
RUT 4:18 Now these are the generations of Perez: to Perez was born Hezron,
Perez is the son of Judah through Tamar from whom Elimelech and Boaz descended. We know that Hezron was born in Egypt.
RUT 4:19 and to Hezron was born Ram, and to Ram, Amminadab,
We know nothing of Ram. We know Amminadab to be the father-in-law of Aaron the first high priest. His son Nahshon was the tribe prince of Judah during the time of Moses.
RUT 4:20 and to Amminadab was born Nahshon, and to Nahshon, Salmon,
Every genealogy leaves out unimportant members. Four generations span 430 years in Egypt (Hezron to Nashon) and only two generations cover 250 years (Salmon to Boaz).
Boaz lives around the time of Gideon.
According to the genealogy of Christ in Matthew’s gospel, Salmon, son or grandson of Nahshon, married Rahab.
This also means that the genealogy from Obed to Jesse may also be missing a member.
RUT 4:21 and to Salmon was born Boaz, and to Boaz, Obed,
RUT 4:22 and to Obed was born Jesse, and to Jesse, David.
Yet, as will all genealogies given there is a reason and a pattern. However, we must be careful not to read into it things that we can’t know without revelation from God.
There are ten generations given (Perez to David). Five from Perez to Nahshon belonging to the 430 years in Egypt, and five from Salmon to David belonging to the 476 years from the exodus to David’s death. Ten being the number of perfection and completion.
As with the genealogies of Cain and Seth, as well as the ones for Christ given in Matthew and Luke, symmetrical division is used intentionally. It reveals order and completeness, which only the hand of God could do.
The order and number of the genealogies reveal that God has all of human history under control, even though humans have free-will and can choose sin and evil with their will.
Man’s perversion of God’s good and his pursuit of good things in a wrong way create havoc on planet earth in every generation, yet God continues to accomplish all His good pleasure.
Just as Obed was born at the right time, so was Jesus, who was in fact born at the fulness of times.
The last word in the book is “David” while the book started with “Now it came about in the days when the judges governed …”
The great contrast between the Judges and David is the faith and chesed of Ruth and Boaz. In any life, in any family, and in any nation, darkness can become life, faithlessness can become faith.
One of the intensions of the book of Ruth was to give a family picture from the life of the pious ancestors of this great and godly king of Israel.
And yet, God the Holy Spirit had still a higher design in mind, for the genealogy of Matthew matches this genealogy man for man, also leaving out the same members as the writer of Ruth.
The passage is given by Matthew word for word in the genealogy of Christ, that we may see that this history looks not so much to David as to Jesus Christ, who was proclaimed by all as the Savior and Redeemer of the human race, and that we may learn with what wonderful compassion the Lord raises up the lowly and despised to the greatest glory and majesty.
MAT 1:1 The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham.
MAT 1:2 To Abraham was born Isaac; and to Isaac, Jacob; and to Jacob, Judah and his brothers;
MAT 1:3 and to Judah were born Perez and Zerah by Tamar; and to Perez was born Hezron; and to Hezron, Ram;
MAT 1:4 and to Ram was born Amminadab; and to Amminadab, Nahshon; and to Nahshon, Salmon;
MAT 1:5 and to Salmon was born Boaz by Rahab; and to Boaz was born Obed by Ruth; and to Obed, Jesse;
MAT 1:6a and to Jesse was born David the king.
Matthew’s genealogy is comprised of three groupings of fourteen. In Hebrew the letters all have a numerical value. The numerical value of David’s name is fourteen.
David is emphasized (numerical = 14) and so repeated in the list as the first division. The second division is not a man but an event, the captivity.
MAT 1:6a and to Jesse was born David the king.
MAT 1:6b And to David was born Solomon by her who had been the wife of Uriah;
MAT 1:17 Therefore all the generations from Abraham to David are fourteen generations; and from David to the deportation to Babylon fourteen generations; and from the deportation to Babylon to the time of Christ fourteen generations.
In the three groups of fourteen, the points of division are David and the captivity. In the one case a man and in the other an event. The event takes the place of Jechoniah (Coniah), who was cursed by God that he would not have a son to sit on the throne.
MAT 1:11 and to Josiah were born Jeconiah and his brothers, at the time of the deportation to Babylon.
MAT 1:12 And after the deportation to Babylon, to Jeconiah was born Shealtiel; and to Shealtiel, Zerubbabel;
Whereas David’s name is repeated in the first division, so the captivity is repeated in the second division, emphasizing the sin and rejection of Israel.
Since Joseph is a descendant of Jechoniah (Jeconiah, Coniah), Jesus would not qualify as Messiah as his descendant, Jer 22.
So why would Matthew even list it, and that, at the very beginning of his gospel?
Yet the Lord is born of a virgin. Joseph is not the Lord’s father. The curse remains upon Coniah, but the One to remove the curse, who would become a curse for us, was still born perfect.
Matthew’s genealogy: four questionable women with Gentile origins and the Coniah curse. Solution: virgin birth and cross.
We should note that in Matthew’s genealogy there are four women, which is extremely odd for a Jewish genealogy. Three of them were involved in sexual sins (Bathsheba - adultery; Tamar - incest; Rahab - prostitution) and one was a foreigner, Ruth. Yet, we know Ruth to be a Moabitess, which race is the product of the incestual relationship of Lot and one of his daughters. Matthew is pointing out, not the sexual sin is a good thing, but that Jesus came to save sinners. Matthew purposely omitted some name and inserted others in order to include these women.
In each of the OT records that involve these women, there is a Gentile of extraordinary faith. Tamar had faith which Judah did not, Rahab had faith, Ruth had faith, and Bathsheba is not listed as herself, but as the “wife of Uriah,” a Hittite of great faith.
Matthew writes his gospel to a Jewish audience and he begins with questionable women who are exceptional Gentiles or in one case, married to one.
Of course, the key point of the genealogy is not Gentiles or sinners, but Jesus Christ. Jesus could not qualify as the Messiah through the ancestry of Joseph, Miriam’s husband. Matthew opens his gospel with the genealogy of Joseph to reveal that God overcame the curse by the virgin birth.
Think about it. God is in control. He could have arranged it so that a man who was not a descendant of Jechoniah fell in love with Miriam. God is revealing that all curses are overcome by the cross of the Messiah.
Only Matthew and Luke give birth narratives of Christ and so only they of the four Gospels contain genealogies, being concerned with origins. Matthew contains the genealogy of Joseph while Luke has that of Mary (Miriam).
Genealogies reveal God’s complete control of human history. No matter what happened with the line of Cain, Noah, Abraham, David, or any of the Gentile lines throughout history, Messiah would be born at the fulness of times.
We began our study of Joshua on June 21, 2015. We have completed Joshua, Judges, and Ruth in a little over three years.