God redeems His people – a sermon on Ruth 4 by Rev. Colin Pretorius.
Let’s start with a brief recap of the story so far. A famine in Judah causes Elimelech and his family to seek greener pastures in Moab. There he and his two sons die, leaving Naomi with just her two Moabite daughters-in-law. Naomi returns to Bethlehem, feeling, in her own words, empty. But yet not quite empty, for we see that she’s joined by Ruth, who’s described in chapter 4 as one who is better than seven sons. Ruth cares for her mother-in-law and goes to work in the fields of Boaz. When Naomi hears that it is Boaz, a family member, who’s taken an interest in Ruth’s well-being, she makes a plan, sending Ruth to essentially propose to Boaz by convincing him to act as their redeemer. Righteous Boaz agrees but there’s a hitch, for there’s a closer redeemer. The matter would have to be resolved with the other redeemer and that’s where chapter 4 starts today with Boaz on his way to the city to Bethlehem. The hope of redemption that the narrator foreshadowed in the previous chapters is now being realised.
Like the other 3 chapters, chapter 4 is also divided into 3 parts:
- Verses 1-10 tell us about the negotiations at the gate;
- 11-17 tell us about blessings and marriage; and
- 18-22 gives us the genealogy of David.
Or to put it another way: negotiations, celebrations and generations.