The Virtues of Love Personified
PARTS I Ė IV
Love is not some abstract concept or principle that knows no real expression, and serves no real purpose in life, but love is as real as God Himself, and the expression of love in the Christianís life is perhaps the most important of all the graces given to us in salvation. The virtues of the love of God should be manifested in the life of every true believer.
This morning we want to notice three virtues of love that were personified in the life of Ruth. These virtues are; 1) love clings; 2) secondly, love consecrates; 3) and thirdly, love commits. (Mention about applying this message to marriage.)
1.† Love clings (verse 14).
1). Love desires to be with the one you love.
Jesus said in John 17:24: ďFather, I will (or desire) that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I amÖĒ.† Jesus, Who is the love of God personified, desired to be with His people. He is with His people spiritually today, and soon He will be with us physically and bodily when He comes again for us. This is all because Jesus desires to be with His people.
Likewise, Christians desire to be with Christ because we love Him. In this age it is our desire to be with Jesus through the fellowship of the Spirit, and the Word of God, and through prayer. It is also our desire to be with Him where He is with the Father in Heaven.
Christians also desire to be with fellow Christians, and that is one of the wonderful functions of the local New Testament Baptist Church. We love having fellowship around those precious truths, and promises, and blessings of the Lord that we have in common.
True love causes husbands and wives to desire to be together. They would rather be with their spouse than with any one else in this world. If they donít, then there is something wrong with their love!
Love is the bond that holds godly relationships together. In Col. 3:14 love is called the ďbond of perfectnessĒ. Godís love is the bond holds Christ and the believer together. Godís love is the bond that holds believer together with believer. Godís love is the bond that holds churches, and families, and marriages together, or at least it should be!
And so Ruth desired to be with Naomi, because she loved Naomi with a godly love. This aught to be our desire as believers, to be with Christ and His people with whom we share His love.
2). Love also will cause us to go wherever the Lord leads to be with the one we love (verse 16).
Because of Godís love, Jesus came all the way from Heaven to a sin cursed earth, so that He could be with His people, and that through faith in His death on the cross, and His burial and His resurrection, His people would go to be with Him.
Because of their love for God and for one another, missionaries and their wives leave the comforts of their homes to serve on foreign fields, where they must live without these comforts, and suffer many afflictions for the gospelís sake.
One of the greatest tests of love, is whether a person will go with the one they love- to wherever the Lord shall lead them. Even the Lord Jesus made following Him a test of oneís love for Him.
Ruth passed the test by her willingness to cling to Naomi, wherever life with Naomi led her.
Beloved, because true love clings, it will never let go. It will not leave nor forsake. Whatever betide, however difficult life with all of its trials and hardships might become, true love will never let go of the one it loves. God loved us with an everlasting love. The love of Christ for His people shall never fail; He shall never let us go. ďHaving loved His own which were in the world, he loved them unto the end.Ē John 13:1. Godís love shall never grow old or diminish ought, but will see us all the way to Heavenís shore.
The Bible teaches that the love of God is powerful and eternal, and therefore it shall never fail or die. If our earthly relationships are founded upon the love of God, they also will stand the test of time.
2. Secondly, we want to notice that love consecrates (verse 16-17).
To consecrate means to sanctify or to set apart. Therefore, love will set one person apart for another. In our text, Ruth was set apart for Naomi, for Naomiís land, her people, and her God.
Love set Christ apart for His people and His Church. Jesus said in John 17:19† ďAnd for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth.Ē
Love will set believers apart for Christ. We will have no other gods, but He alone is our God and our Savior.
True love will set a husband apart for His wife, and a wife for her husband. In todayís society, husbands and wives often have their extramarital affairs; as seen on TV! We see this slogan on product boxes in the supermarkets ďas seen of TVĒ. If we see it on TV, then it must be good. Hollywood portrays extramarital affairs as the norm, as the way of married life in America. But this isnít true love. This is not the way God designed marriage to be. All such extramarital relationships are wicked sin. Most of these marriages are destroyed by sin, and the lives of their children along with them. But true love will set a husband and wife apart for each other for life.
We want to observe three different aspects of Christian consecration that we can glean from our text:
1). First, there is a consecration from the world, its people, and its gods. Ruth had to leave all these to go with Naomi. To be consecrated unto Jesus, we must be set apart from the devil, and from the world with its lusts. We canít have the best of both worlds. There must be the sacrifice and separation of the one before we can claim allegiance to the other. There are too many double-minded Christians, who wonít let go of the world.
2). Secondly, we must be consecrated unto Jesus. We must be set apart unto Jesus only, and to abide with Him always. Ruth said ďthy God shall be my GodĒ, implying that He will be her only God, and that He alone will she serve.
3). Thirdly, like Ruth we must be consecrated unto the people and the place where Godís people dwell. Godís people become our people instead of the people in the world. The Lordís New Testament Church becomes our peculiar dwelling place with the people of God.
What is so needed today is for Godís people, who are called by His Name, to be consecrated unto the Lord, His Church, His people, and His service. May the Lord help us to be like Ruth in our consecration to the Lord.
3. Thirdly and finally, we want to notice that love commits (verse 17).
At the end of verse 17 we notice the phrase ďif aught but death part thee and meĒ, signifying that Ruth made a lifelong commitment to Naomi, and to her people, and to her God.
She said ďIf anything but death part thee and me.Ē Ruth didnít allow herself any way out of her commitment other than death. But what about tragedy in her family back home- could she go back for that? No. What about a serious illness that might require care in a far away country? No. What if things just didnít work out, and she went hungry, or couldnít find a place to live, or wasnít accepted because she was a Moabite? No. What if she married a man who later was determined to sojourn in a foreign land? No. Ruth made no other provision to excuse herself of her commitment.
Ruthís commitment was so strong and so sure, that she even vowed the judgment of God upon her own head if she were to ever brake her commitment all the rest of her life.
How could Ruth be so bold as to make a life long commitment to a strange people, and a strange land, and a God that she didnít know, unless she did know God, and that the love of God had constrained her to make such a commitment.
How else could she be sure that she wouldnít forsake Naomi, and Naomiís people, and Naomiís God, and return to Moab, except that she first knew the love of God in the free pardon and remission of her sins through faith in Christ, the Lamb of God to come?
Beloved, Ruthís commitment wasnít based on her emotions or on her spur of the moment feelings, but on the love of God, and convicting power of the Holy Spirit, and the truth of Godís Word.
Beloved, where are the Ruthís today, who will commit themselves, and vow themselves to a life long commitment to Christ?
And where is the next generation of committed church members, who will be our church of tomorrow, who will vow their lives unto the Lord, and His Church like the Ruthís of old? Where will our churches be tomorrow, unless God is pleased to raise up committed Christians today to faithfully carry on the work of the Lord in the years to come?
What about our young people? Are we raising them to be committed Christians and church members? Will our young people fill Ruthís shoes in the days to come if the Lord tarries?
Finally, how can a pastor encourage his members to be committed to the Lord and the Lordís Church? I only know one way, and that is, to direct our attention to the love of God.
2 Corinthians 5:14† For the love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead: 15† And that he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again.
In this passage, the constraining power of commitment to Christ, is the love of Christ. Beloved, I must simply conclude this point by saying that, if the love of Christ that He has for us will not constrain us to commit our lives to Him, then nothing else will. If the blood He shed for us to pardon our sins and to make us fit for Heaven, and to save our souls from eternal hell wonít constrain us to a lifelong commitment to Him and His Church, then nothing else will.
True love clings. It clings to Christ, to other believers, to our spouse and to other persons that God has placed in our lives. True love will never let go. Nothing but death should ever separate those who are bonded by true love.
Is our love the kind of love that clings to Christ and to the ones we love.
True love will consecrate. It will set believers apart for Christ, and for His people, and for our spouse, and for others He has placed in our lives.
In our love the kind of love that sets us apart unto Christ and His Church, and to our spouse.
True love will cause Godís people to commit ourselves to Him, and to His church for life. It will cause husbands and wives to commit themselves to their spouse for life, regardless of what circumstances and difficulties that come their way.
Is our love the kind of love that is willing to commit ourselves to a lifelong commit to Christ and His Church, and to our spouse.
The Virtues of Love Personified
1. Love Serves Others (verse 2)
Love will motivate people to serve others, and to serve the Lord. Love, in fact, is the greatest motivator of all!
Love will serve willingly. Ruth asked if she could go glean in the fields. She didnít have to be asked or told, but she volunteered to serve for the needs of Naomi and herself.
Love will do humble jobs. Gleaning was for impoverished people, who were on the bottommost rung of life. True love isnít proud, but is of a humble spirit, and will do the humble, meager jobs to serve the needs of others.
Love will also do the hard jobs. Gleaning grain in the fields all day in the heat of the sun isnít easy work.
Love will work long hours. Ruth worked in the fields from morning to evening. All this she did out of love and commitment to Naomi.
And so weíve seen that love will serve and work hard, and perform humble jobs for the ones we love.
Out of love for Christ, believers will serve the Lord. We will serve Him willingly and not grudgingly. We will do the humble jobs. We will do the hard jobs. We will work long hours if need be- all because of our love and commitment to Christ.
Out of love for one another, brothers and sisters in Christ will serve one another.
Out of love for each other, husbands and wives will serve each other.
This thing of serving others is not popular in our society today. The only one that most people want to serve today is self!
But beloved, this not the way that we learned from Christ. Our Savior taught us in His Word that we are to serve Him, and then others, and our self last.
May the love of Christ constrain us to be servants. We will see later in our study that there are great rewards for Christian servitude.
2. Secondly, love is compassionate to others (verses 8-11, 14-16, 20).
Loveís compassion comforts and encourages. Boaz spoke gently to Ruth. He spoke words of comfort and made her feel at home on his land. He spoke words of encouragement to her, and words of hope. Of beloved, what people need is hope!
Loveís compassion provides for the needs of others (verses 15-16). Boaz made sure that Ruth had plenty of food for her and Naomi. He went beyond the requirements of the law.
Loveís compassion protects others from harm and abuse (verse 9). Boaz was concerned for the protection of his humble guest, and made sure that she wouldnít be abused.
Loveís compassion sympathizes and understands the sufferings of others (verse 11). Boaz took knowledge of Ruth and Naomi. He understood their hardships, and he sympathized with their circumstances. He didnít condemn them for past failures, but he praised them for trying to do the right thing now.
Loveís compassion is kind (verse 20). Boaz went the extra mile, so to speak, to do all that he could to be a blessing to Ruth and Naomi. His example of kindness is one the finest that in all the Word of God. Boaz is a model Christian for his kindness toward those in need.
May God help us to be like Boaz in our compassion toward others. Perhaps through our compassion others would see Jesus in us in a greater way, and would cause the lost and the wayward to want what we have; most importantly, that they would come to want Jesus.
May God help us not to be cold and heartless, and judgmental toward those in a humble state, but may He help us to be compassionate, and help to lift them up, and be a blessing to their lives.
3. Thirdly, love seeks Godís blessings in behalf of others.
Ruth sought grace in behalf of Naomi (verse 2). We see that she found it (verse 10). We will see in another lesson an even much greater way in which Ruth found grace.
Boaz sought Godís blessings in behalf of Ruth (verse 12). He prayed Godís full reward upon Ruth.
This is a great avenue of ministry for us today, to seek Godís grace and loving favor in behalf of others. Boaz and Ruth both were successful in mediating Godís grace and blessings for others. I believe that we can also be successful, because God takes pleasure in dispensing His grace on humble and needy sinners through the instrumentality of His people.
May the love of God make us servants; servants of the Lord and servants of others as was Ruth.
May the love of God make us as compassionate toward others as was Boaz.
And may the love of God cause us to seek the grace and blessings of God in behalf of others, as did Ruth and Boaz.
The Virtues of Love Personified
From Ruth Chapter 3
This evening we will see once again, the virtues of love personified in Naomi, Ruth, and in Boaz.
Naomi by this time been restored to Godís will. It was by Ruthís labor of love that Naomi was restored. And it was by the providence and mercy of God.
As a result, now Naomi seeks the blessings of God in behalf of Ruth. Here we see that good is returned for good. Beloved, our labors are not in vain in the Lord. Good will come out of our good works for the Lord. So, let us like Ruth, keep up our good works for the Lord. Not only will others be blessed, but we will also be blessed as well. This is not our motive for doing good, but the Lord takes care of those who will serve Him faithfully.
We see that Naomi knew the will and providence of God. She knew, of course, that Boaz was a near kinsman. She knew the custom of the law of the kinsman redeemer (explain). She also predicted where Boaz would be, what he would be doing, and even how he would respond to Ruthís visit. I am not sure exactly how Naomi knew all these things, but I do know that when our lives are in harmony with the Lord, and we are living in close fellowship with Him, that the will and providence of God in our lives are much easier to perceive and interpret.
Ruth continues to be a blessing to Naomi by obeying her instructions.
I believe Ruth that obeyed Naomi in this matter because she knew that Naomi was speaking according to the will of God.
We need to be careful that we only obey the instructions of our masters or elders when they are agreeable to Godís Word, which is His revealed will. Such an advance by a woman on a man would ordinarily be considered inappropriate, and might bring a reproach upon both of their names if they were found out. But† in this case it was a clean and pure labor of love on the part of Ruth, to redeem Naomiís property, and to preserve seed unto Elimelechís family.
There was no evil or wrong in what Ruth did. In fact, she sacrificed her natural desire to take a young man more her age, to be her husband, and took Boaz, who was an older man, in order to redeem Naomi.
Although Ruth would benefit from all this, her motive was strictly the love of God. The love of God will go a long way to redeem one of His children. Of course we are leading up in this book, to a type of the greatest act of Godís love and redemption that this world will ever know.
Boaz was startled when he realized that there was a woman laying at his feet (vs.8).
He was shocked to find a strange woman laying at his feet in the middle of the night. This could be big trouble for Boaz. Keep in mind that Boaz was a godly man. This could mean blackmail. This could mean scandal. What if people should get wind that Boaz was sleeping in the threshing floor with a woman who was not his wife? This would be big news in Bethlehem. Just think of the rumors and the viscous gossip that would circulate around town. What might this kind of news do to his good name?
And after all, how often does a man wake up in the middle of the night with a strange woman laying at his feet? This would startle any sensible man.
Next, Boaz asked her who she was. Ruth replied ďI am Ruth your handmaid; will you marry me? After all, Boaz, it is your God given responsibility to redeem Naomi, and marry me, and give me children to raise up to my dead husband!Ē Now, how would you like to wake up in the middle your pleasant dreams to that kind of news?
Bless her heart, Ruth didnít waste anytime getting to the point of her visit. She was a bold woman. She didnít beat around the bush. To spread his skirt over her was symbolic of a pledge of marriage, so in essence, Ruth was proposing marriage.
Again, ordinarily this would have been inappropriate for a woman, but Ruth was on a mission of redemption, in the service of her Lord.
Then we see the blessed reply of Boaz to Ruth (verses 10-11).
Boaz, being a spiritual, God fearing man, recognized Ruthís love and kindness toward Naomi, and even for him, because she didnít follow after the young men; whether rich or poor. In other words, if it was only money and prosperity she was after, she could have found a rich young man to take her for his wife. If it was only pleasure she was after, she would have taken a young man; rich or poor. But Ruthís action was an evident token of her love for Boaz, which makes the story that much more precious.
And then Boaz agreed to do all that Ruth requested of him. The reason he gave her, is to me the highlight of the chapter. He said ďÖfor all the city of my people doth know that thou art a virtuous woman.Ē (vs. 11).
That beloved, was a mouthful. Do you know how many women in the Bible that were called a ďvirtuous womanĒ? The answer is, only one; and that was Ruth. Enoch and Noah walked with God, Moses was the meekest man that ever lived, David was a man after Godís own heart. I am sure that many women have done virtuously, but only Ruth was called a virtuous woman. And what is a virtuous woman? A description is found in Proverbs 31.
In a nutshell, a virtuous woman is a God fearing, people loving, saint serving, humble hearted, hard working, duty driven woman, who is praised by everyone who knows her. Boaz said that all the city of his people knew that Ruth was a virtuous woman!
Boaz was pleasantly pleased to find such a virtuous woman as Ruth. He knew that her price was far above rubies. Not only this, but Boaz had grown to love Ruth. First, he admired her because of her love and devotion to Naomi. He admired her for her hard work and faithfulness. He admired her for her chastity and purity, and for her virtue. He admired her for her meekness and humility. He admired her because of what a wonderful person she was. And he grew to love her because of the inward beauty of her heart and soul. What a good foundation for the love between a man and a woman, to have a mutual admiration for each otherís godly and virtuous qualities.
His admiration developed and grew into a genuine, godly love for Ruth. It is apparent in his words, that although he cared for her, he didnít think that she would care for him in that way because he was an older man. We donít know how much older, but he called her daughter. He didnít call her granddaughter, so there was probably not more than 20 years difference in their ages. And although there was a distinct difference in their ages, and no doubt Ruth was a pretty lady, yet she loved Boaz also for the same reasons he loved her. She loved him because of his kindness, and goodness, and his godliness, and moral purity, and his many other virtues. This truly was the makings of a wonderful marriage.
But there was a problem! There was one other kinsman who had first dibs on Ruth and Naomiís estate. I donít know if Ruth and Naomi knew that, but Boaz was well aware of it. He had probably already studied it out, and discovered that he was second in line.
Boaz swore to Ruth that he would marry her, and that he would redeem Naomiís inheritance with an oath. He said ďÖas the Lord livethĒ, which was a customary way to seal an oath or vow. Being a man of his word, he would certainly keep his oath, and therefore Ruth could rest in peace and calm assurance.
He bid her not to tell anyone that she had come to the threshing floor, in order to protect both of their good names. Although what they did was pure, and no wrong or sin was committed, for the sake of gossip that surely would get spread around, it was wise to keep this meeting a secret. So we see that true love is concerned about the otherís reputation and good name.
We might all learn a lesson, and beware of what people see or hear that we do. However innocent that it might be, the power of gossip is a mighty and destructive force to the testimony of Godís people. May we be careful what news we feed the gossip monster!
Boaz also gave Ruth an abundance of barley as a token of his love and care for her and Naomi.
Finally, we want to see in verse 18, that love doesnít delay. I have a problem with a man or a womanís love, who makes no effort to see the one they supposedly love, and drag their feet in proposing marriage, or setting the date to be married, when there are no real, legitimate hindrances to their marriage.
When Jo Ann and I fell in love, we didnít wait 5 years to get married. Of course, young people should wait until they are old enough to be responsible persons, and responsible parents, and provide for their own households without mooching off of their parents. But even at that, I donít think they have to wait until they own their own home, or even establish their careers, so long as they can support themselves, and live responsibly and independently in society.
When they are ready to take that on, and they love each other with a godly love, as believer for another believer, such as we have described in the book of Ruth, then I think they should marry.
Next week, Lord willing, we will bring our final study on the virtues of love personified.
Are you a believer in the Lord Jesus Christ as your own personal Savior. This is the only way that you can truly know the love of God, by coming to Jesus by faith in salvation. And this is the only way that you can truly love others with a godly love, whether it be friends and neighbors, or your family and your spouse, is by the love of God that He sheds abroad in your heart in salvation.
If you donít know this kind of love, then repent of your sins, and believe on the Lord Jesus Christ as your personal Savior, and He will give you His love.
The Virtues of Love Personified
From Ruth Chapter 4
Title: The Kinsman Redeemer
Read Verses 1-10
1.† First, the kinsman redeemer must be a brother or close kin to the deceased.
Boaz was a close relative to Naomiís dead husband Elimelech, but their was another kinsman who was even closer than Boaz. The only problem was, the other kinsman could not redeem Naomi and Ruth, because he said it would mar his inheritance.
Like Boaz, Jesus was a close kinsman to Adamís race. Adam was the first father of the human family. He died because of his sin, and because of his sin, all the human family died in him. Therefore, Adam needed a near kinsman to redeem his fallen family. Jesus, the Son of God, took upon Himself a body and became a man like as we are, in order to be our Kinsman Redeemer. Please notice the following verses with me:
(Galatians 4:4-5; Philippians 2:5-8; Hebrews 2:14, 17).
We can see from these Scriptures that Jesus truly was our near Kinsman.
But was there anyone who was a closer kinsman to Adam than Jesus?
There was a Noah, who was a close kinsman to mankind. Through his loins came the entire post-diluvian world of mankind. But Noah had to be redeemed himself. This was dramatically pictured in the great flood, when God saved Noah and his family in the ark. The entire world and all of life on earth was destroyed in the flood. Only those people and animals inside the ark were saved. So Noah could not be our redeemer, because he himself was redeemed.
Then there was Moses. He was a close kinsman to the human race. But Moses was a type of the law, and the law could not redeem a single soul. In fact, the law condemns and pronounces judgment upon lost, dead sinners. The law was never intended to save, but rather to point us to the One Who can save. So Moses could not be our redeemer, but he points us to our Kinsman Redeemer, the Lord Jesus Christ.
Then there was King David. He was a close kinsman, even a Jew of the tribe of Judah, from which the Redeemer was to come. And David was a man after Godís own heart. But David could not be our redeemer because he was a sinner. He was guilty of adultery, and murder, and every other abominable sin. He too, needed to be redeemed, and therefore, he was disqualified from being our Kinsman Redeemer.
Perhaps there are many close kinsmen to Adamís fallen race, but none would have been able to redeem us from our sins, ďfor all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.Ē We must have a Kinsman Redeemer Who is perfect and sinless, and undefiled with sin. There was only One such Person ever born of woman, and He is the Lord Jesus Christ.
Jesus was the only Kinsman who qualified and was able to redeem sinners from Adamís fallen race.
2. Secondly, the kinsman redeemer had to redeem both Naomi and Ruth (Verses 4-5).
Boaz was able and willing to redeem both Naomi and Ruth. He recognized the virtue and honor in the life of Ruth. He didnít see her as just another Gentile woman, but he saw her as one who has come to trust in the Lord, and to abide under the shadow of His wings. And therefore Boaz was willing to redeem them both.
Jesus, in like manner, was able and willing to redeem both Jew and Gentile. Naomi represented the Jewish people and Ruth the Gentile people, and Jesus was willing to purchase them both for Himself, and to raise up spiritual children unto them.
Ruth was purchased to be the bride and wife of Boaz. Likewise, out of the Gentile nations, Christ has purchased his church, which is His bride. This was also typified in the Song of Solomon, with Solomonís Shulamite bride. Christ has redeemed the nation of Israel, which shall abide through all eternity, and He has redeemed His Gentile Church, which as His bride, shall live with Him in New Jerusalem for all eternity.
The nearer kinsman said that He couldnít redeem Ruth because it would ďmarĒ or ďruinĒ his inheritance (verse 6). He didnít want the Gentile woman and her children to inherit his estate. But Boaz was honored to raise up children to Ruth, and to give her and her dead husband an inheritance among the living.
Likewise, Jesus was not concerned about ďmarringĒ His inheritance, but rather He has divided His inheritance among all His chosen people, Jews and Gentiles alike. Paul said to the Ephesian Gentile church in Ephesians 1:11:
ďIn whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will:Ē
How wonderful is our Kinsman Redeemer, who was not ashamed to purchase us Gentiles, and to give us an inheritance among the saints.
3. Thirdly, the transaction of redemption was sealed with a public testimony (verse 7-8).
Boaz made the transaction of redemption publicly before all his people. And the kinsman sealed the transaction by taking off his shoe and giving it to Boaz, thus symbolizing that he gives up his right as kinsman to Naomi and Ruth.
Jesus made the transaction of redemption publicly on the cross of Calvary, where both Jews and Gentiles witnessed His suffering and death to seal the covenant that He made with His people. And Satan was made to give up his claim on Godís people, when on the cross Jesus conquered Satan, and took away his power, and his right, and his hold on the people of God.
Boaz redeemed Naomi and Ruth with money. But Jesus redeemed His people with His precious blood, as of a Lamb without blemish, and without spot (1 Peter 1:19). Beloved, we know that we could never be redeemed with corruptible things such as silver and gold. Only the blood of Godís sacrificial Lamb, could pay the debt of sin we owed. Nothing else would do. Nothing else could satisfy Godís justice, and His righteous wrath that we so deserved.
4. Fourthly, Boaz was blessed and Ruth was honored by all the people (verses 11-12).
What Boaz did in redeeming Naomi and Ruth, was a blessed and honorable deed. It was worthy of praise and blessing. And Ruth, though a mere Gentile woman, who was unworthy of such an honor, became the object of much honor and praise by all the family and people of Boaz.
What Christ did in redeeming Godís children, both Jews and Gentiles, was the most honorable deed in the entire history of the world. For this He shall be eternally glorified and praised. He shall be honored and worshipped for ever and ever. And His gentile bride shall also be honored and blessed by all of Godís people. His Church shall be adored and highly esteemed by all, and she shall be honored and praised for ever and ever in the eternal state (Psalm 45:17).
5. Fifthly and finally, a servant was born to Naomi (verses 13-17).
Honorable and blessed relationships in the sight of God, often bear honorable and blessed fruit. The result and Boaz and Ruthís marriage was a baby boy. This child was said to be a son born to Naomi. Ruthís child became a substitute for Naomiís dead children, and in this way the name of her dead husband would now be remembered among his people.
This child was also referred to as a kinsman, or that is, a redeemer, and a restorer of Naomiís life, and a nourisher and sustainer in her old age. Therefore, the women gave the child a name. They called him Obed, which means a servant. Obed would be a servant to Naomi. He would be a redeemer, a restorer, and a sustainer to her the rest of her life.
I wonder if any of them had any idea that this child would be the grandfather of the second greatest king of Israel, king David, and a direct ancestor in the lineage of the greatest King of Israel, the King of Kings, and Lord of Lords, Jesus Christ.
I wonder, when they named this child Obed, if they envisioned Jesus Christ, Obedís seed according to the flesh, Who was born into this world a servant to mankind. And how that Jesus would be their redeemer, and Israelís restorer, which Naomi typified. Yes, beloved, Jesus redeemed Israel, and one day He is going to restore her in His millennial kingdom. I wonder if they saw Jesus in the child Obed, Who would be Israelís nourisher and sustainer through all the years of time, and eternity.
We didnít mention Israel in our sermon this morning, but Israel is another work of God that shall be forever. The very fact that Israel has been preserved, and nourished, and sustained all these years, is a testimony to Godís mighty power, and His great, sovereign grace. Men ought to behold Israel and fear, because God has caused that little nation of people to endure all the afflictions, and all the persecutions that this old world could give her. She was made to drink all the dregs of manís wrath over the centuries. Yet she has endured, and she shall endure because Christ nourishes and sustains her.
In conclusion, I hope you-all enjoyed this wonderful love story. You know, great things are bound to happen when love is manifested in the lives of Godís people.
Who would ever have thought, that a story with such a miserable beginning would have such a happy ending? But that is what we might expect when the virtues of love are personified in the lives of Godís people. May God help us to be like Ruth, and Boaz, and Naomi. And may we be servants of God, and of one another like Obed, and our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.