Friday, June 22, 2012

The Bridegroom

The Book of Ruth, A Love Story
The Bridegroom 
Ruth 4:11-22
And all the people that were in the gate, and the elders, said, We are witnesses. The LORD make the woman that is come into thine house like Rachel and like Leah, which two did build the house of Israel: and do thou worthily in Ephratah, and be famous in Beth–lehem:And let thy house be like the house of Pharez, whom Tamar bare unto Judah, of the seed which the LORD shall give thee of this young woman.
So Boaz took Ruth, and she was his wife: and when he went in unto her, the LORD gave her conception, and she bare a son.  And the women said unto Naomi, Blessed be the LORD, which hath not left thee this day without a kinsman, that his name may be famous in Israel. And he shall be unto thee a restorer of thy life, and a nourisher of thine old age: for thy daughter in law, which loveth thee, which is better to thee than seven sons, hath born him. And Naomi took the child, and laid it in her bosom, and became nurse unto it. And the women her neighbours gave it a name, saying, There is a son born to Naomi; and they called his name Obed: he is the father of Jesse, the father of David.
Now these are the generations of Pharez: Pharez begat Hezron, And Hezron begat Ram, and Ram begat Amminadab, And Amminadab begat Nahshon, and Nahshon begat Salmon, And Salmon begat Boaz, and Boaz begat Obed,  And Obed begat Jesse, and Jesse begat David.
There is a moment of suspense in the love story of Ruth and Boaz. Ruth waits through the long night with anticipation and excitement as she longs to know if Boaz will be her kinsman-redeemer. Not once in this little book is the nearer kinsman’s name given, but he has definitely made it clear to the city officials in the town square, and to Boaz, he cannot and will not redeem Ruth. 
Ruth would go from poverty to riches in one seemingly endless night. What a strange wedding  ceremony would occur at the gate of Bethlehem, because it was more than a wedding, it was a legal business transaction. The legal matters had to be settled before the marriage could be completed. Boaz had to assume the responsibility of paying the past debts of the family and redeem the lost property of Elimelech. Boaz made two purchases on this wedding day–––a lost inheritance and a bride for himself. Boaz had to purchase Ruth as his bride because she was hopelessly in debt.
What a wonderful story of love and devotion but as all stories, it must come to an end. This touching story that started with tragedy, sorrow and disappointment will end with joy and blessing. It began with a famine in Bethlehem, then death, in the land of Moab. In the end, we see love blooming, redemption prevailing and wedding bells ringing in the little town of Bethlehem. 
A child is born to Ruth and Boaz and amazingly the genealogy following one small child leads to the great king of Israel, King David. The book of Ruth was written to prove the legal genealogy of God’s coming king of Israel, confirming Ruth as King David’s grandmother. The lineage of King David will bring us again to the small town of Bethlehem where the King of Kings, the King of all the ages will be born and His name shall be called, JESUS. 
Thought: What a beautiful picture Ruth gives of our so great salvation. From the moment she left her old life in Moab until the day she entered her new home as Boaz’ wife, she illustrates for us true salvation. We were once pagans, aliens without hope and in need of a redeemer. We could not pay the sin debt we owed–––the price was beyond what we could bare. Nothing less than the precious blood of the Son of God was sufficient to pay the debt we owed for our sins. Man makes light of it, and many refuse to accept it, but the fact remains, without the shedding of the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ there is absolutely no remission for sin––there is no salvation. (Hebrews 9:22) 
Thank you, Lord, our Bridegroom, for the extreme sacrifice you paid that we may experience forgiveness of sin and life eternal in our new home in glory. May we so live as to never bring shame upon Your name our Redeemer and Bridegroom. Amen!

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