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The Scriptorium

Redemption Then and Now

The book of Ruth is about redemption. Ruth 4

Redeemed for Redemption (7)

Opening Prayer: Psalm 132.8-11

Arise, O LORD, to Your resting place,
You and the ark of Your strength.
Let Your priests be clothed with righteousness,
And let Your saints shout for joy.
For Your servant David’s sake,
Do not turn away the face of Your Anointed.

Sing Psalm 132.8-10
(Finlandia: Be Still My Soul)
Arise, O Lord, come to Your resting place; Your holy Presence meet with us in might.
Clothe us with righteousness in Jesus’ grace, and we will shout to Your divine delight!
For David’s sake, turn not away Your face, but look upon us in Your holy light.

Read Ruth 4, meditate on vv. 14, 15

Preparation
1. The word “close relative” in NKJV is actually “redeemer.” Why is this important?

2. What do the women wish for Naomi?

Meditation

The book of Ruth is about redemption. Redemption involves a purchase and a transfer, and when it is accomplished on one’s behalf by another, it shows us the true nature of grace.

How many different ways do we see redemption portrayed in the book of Ruth? Ruth is redeemed from her pagan world by her marriage to Mahlon. His vow purchased her from paganism and transferred her into the community of God’s people. Naomi was redeemed by the Word of God and persistent love of Ruth. The news that God had visited and blessed her people back in Judah moved Naomi to return, and Ruth’s accompanying love was a constant source of strength and grace. Both were purchased from Moab and transferred back to the people of God in the land of promise by the report of God’s visitation there.

Ruth and Naomi were redeemed by Boaz through his kindness and generosity. He was the “kinsman redeemer” of this story. Yet he himself experienced a kind of purchase and transfer by being delivered into marriage through the grace shown him by Ruth.

The purchase of the field and the woman – Ruth – who was attached to it by her former marriage is the clearest act of redemption. Naomi, Ruth, and the heritage of Mahlon were purchased by Boaz and transferred into His possession according to the Law and the approval of God’s appointed judges. With all these various acts of redemption going on, it’s not surprising that the women of Bethlehem would wish for more of the same for Naomi – a “redeemer” to restore life and nourish Naomi and her family throughout their lives. Here the promise of a coming Redeemer for all the lost and straying people of God was put in the mouths of faithful women. They would not have understood the full significance of the blessing they bestowed. Their blessing would come not only in the child Obed, but in his grandson, David, and in David’s greater Son, our Lord Jesus Christ.

Who says we can’t know beauty, hope, grace, truth, peace, restoration, and nourishment in a world which all around is doing whatever people want, and acknowledging no rule or law except themselves? If God chooses to visit us in such a time as this, what great work of redemption might He do? Dare we plead with Him for such a work, and prepare ourselves to receive it – like Naomi, Ruth, Boaz, and the people of Bethlehem – by returning to the Law and promises of God?

Treasure Old and New: Matthew 13.52; Psalm 119.162

Jesus Christ, the descendant of Boaz and Ruth, is the ultimate Restorer of life, and Nourisher of any age!

We, as the future generation of believers, are thankful for the adherence to the Law that all the parties in this story embraced. We, too, must embrace the Law as they did for the sake of the future generations that follow us.

Let us say with David about Jesus:
“He restores my soul;
He leads me in the paths of righteousness
for His name’s sake.”

“You prepare a table before me
in the presence of my enemies;
You anoint my head with oil;
my cup runs over.”

“Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
all the days of my life; and
I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.” (Psalm 23.3,5,6)

Restored to life. Nourished to serve. Redeemed to obey.

“…you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; who once were not a people but are now the people of God, who had not obtained mercy but now have obtained mercy” (I Pet. 2.9, 10).

Reflection
1. How does the story of Ruth encourage and bless us today?

2. Why must grace and redemption go together? How does God use us as agents or channels of His grace?

3. Will you begin praying every day for God to do a great work of redemption and revival in our day?

Here is the descent of David from Ruth. And the period came when Bethlehem-Judah displayed greater wonders than those in the history of Ruth, when the outcast babe of another forlorn female…appeared, controlling the counsels of the Roman master of the world, and drawing princes and wise men from the east, with treasures of gold, and frankincense, and myrrh to his feet. His name shall endure for ever, and all nations shall call Him blessed. In that Seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed. Matthew Henry (1662-1714), Commentary on Ruth 4.13-22

Lord, You are my Nourisher and Restorer! Nourish and restore me today, Lord Jesus, and I will…

Closing Prayer: Psalm 132.13-18
Thank God for Jesus and His salvation. Pray that He will clothe you with His righteousness, be a lamp unto your feet, and cause you to flourish in His grace and truth today.

Sing Psalm 132.13-18
(Finlandia: Be Still My Soul)
God dwells among us, and He will forever, to meet our needs and clothe us with His grace.
He has to us sent Jesus Christ, our Savior, and made us His eternal resting-place.
His foes are banished from His Presence ever, but we shall reign with Him before His face.

T. M. and Susie Moore

Listen to our summary of last week’s study in Ruth by clicking here. You can download all the studies in the Ruth series by clicking here.

Check out the changes in The Ailbe Bookstore. Our workbook, God’s Covenant, can help you to see where the book of Ruth fits into the whole of Scripture’s story. Order your copy by clicking here – free of charge!

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Except as indicated, all Scripture are taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. All quotations from Church Fathers are from Joshua, Judges, Ruth, 1-2 Samuel: Ancient Christian Commentary Series IV, John R. Franke, ed, General Editor Thomas C. Oden (Downers Grove: Inter Varsity Press, 2005). All quotations from Matthew Henry are from Matthew Henry Concise Commentary, E-text version Copyright (c) 1996, 2002 Hendrickson Publishers, Inc. All Rights Reserved. All quotes from Earl Radmacher are from The NKJV Study Bible, copyright ©1997, 2007 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All psalms for singing are from The Ailbe Psalter (Williston: Waxed Tablet Publications, 2006) (available by clicking here).

T.M. Moore

T. M. Moore is principal of The Fellowship of Ailbe, a spiritual fellowship in the Celtic Christian tradition. He and his wife, Susie, make their home in Essex Junction, VT.
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