RUTH 4: A surpriseful providence

Ruth 4:1-22

Ruth 4:13-17 – 13 So Boaz took Ruth, and she became his wife. And he went in to her, and the Lord gave her conception, and she bore a son. 14 Then the women said to Naomi, Blessed be the Lord, who has not left you this day without a redeemer, and may his name be renowned in Israel! 15 He shall be to you a restorer of life and a nourisher of your old age, for your daughter-in-law who loves you, who is more to you than seven sons, has given birth to him.” 16 Then Naomi took the child and laid him on her lap and became his nurse. 17 And the women of the neighborhood gave him a name, saying, A son has been born to Naomi.” They named him Obed. He was the father of Jesse, the father of David.


The book of Ruth has a very surprising ending. It is the kind of ending that makes you go, “Wait. What? Hold on a second. I thought…” This is what Josh Tie called the “denouement” moment. It is the moment where all the pieces of the puzzle fit together. But it does not stop there. When the puzzles fit together, it shows us that we have been looking at the wrong thing all this time. We thought that we were making A, while it is actually B. The ending of the book of Ruth changes everything. This chapter not only gives us the resolution to the story, but the surprising ending makes us understand the story in a whole new way. It’s like the movie “Memento.” If you haven’t watched it, I am not going to spoil the movie for you. It is Cristopher Nolan at his best. It is a must-watch movie. The movie began with a man who had amnesia and tried to put all the pieces of his memories together. Many things did not make sense at first. We only get to find out what truly happened at the end of the movie. And once we knew the ending, it changed how we understand the whole movie. So, if we watch the movie again from the beginning, we watch it in a new light.

This is the kind of ending the book of Ruth gives us. The author of the book is not Christopher Nolan but he or she is absolutely brilliant. I mean, who would have guessed the surprising ending of the book of Ruth? We thought that this book is about Ruth, Naomi and Boaz. But then the author drops this bomb that makes us go, “Wait. What? Hold on a second. I thought….” We thought that this story is about three different individuals in Bethlehem. And it is. But at the same time, God is writing another story. And once we see the story that God is writing, it is impossible to read the book of Ruth the same way as before. That is why we said that the book of Ruth is the story of providence. This is how John Piper describes providence. “The providence of God is his purposeful sovereignty by which he will be completely successful in the achievement of his ultimate goal for the universe. God’s providence carries his plans into action, guides all things toward his ultimate goal, and leads to the final consummation.” And the two words that sum up providence is purposeful sovereignty. And we are about to see how God’s providence continue to guide this story to its surprising ending. Let me give you my definition of providence for this sermon. Providence is the hidden hand of God that is always at work in our lives to accomplish a far greater resolution than what we could have known. This chapter tells us that all the setback that Christians experience in their life is God setting them up for their greater joy. Even when we thought that things could not get any better, God is showing us that we have no idea of the glory and the joy that he has in mind for our future. For those who love God and called according to his purpose, our best days are ahead of us. But before we get to that, let’s recap what happened so far.

Previously, in the book of Ruth, we saw series of unfortunate events. This story is filled with setback after setbacks. In chapter 1, there was a famine in Bethlehem and Elimelech and his family migrated to the land of Moab in order to survive. And in a matter of three verses, Elimelech and his two sons died, leaving Naomi with her two barren Moabites daughters in law. Then she heard that there was food in Bethlehem and made her way back home. And one of her daughters in law, Ruth, decided to cling to her. So, they went back to Bethlehem broke and starving. And Naomi was bitter toward God for all that has happened to her. In chapter 2 Ruth went out into the fields to find food. And it began the rhythm of coincidences where it began to feel like it was good to be true. Ruth just so happened to find herself in the fields of Boaz, met Boaz, had a little date with Boaz and went home with tons of food for her and Naomi. And Boaz turned out to be a possible husband candidate for Ruth. But three months went by and Boaz did not make any moves. In chapter 3, Naomi had enough. She planned a scheme for Ruth to see Boaz in the middle of the night and proposed to him. It was awkward and risky. But Ruth executed the plan to perfection and Boaz said yes. The plan worked. And just when we thought the story reached its happy ending, Boaz dropped the bomb. There was another man who was more qualified to marry Ruth than him. And Boaz had to talk to this man first and offer him the chance to marry Ruth. So, Ruth knew she will get married, but she had no idea who she will marry. Is it Boaz? Or is it this other man who is more qualified to be her redeemer? Chapter three ended with another setback.

There are two main problems in the book of Ruth. They are the problems of food and security. By the end of chapter 3, the problem of food is taken care of. And chapter four will deal with the problem of security. I separate this chapter into four parts: The nameless redeemer; the formal redeemer; the unexpected redeemer; the ultimate redeemer.

The nameless redeemer

Ruth 4:1-6 – Now Boaz had gone up to the gate and sat down there. And behold, the redeemer, of whom Boaz had spoken, came by. So Boaz said, Turn aside, friend; sit down here.” And he turned aside and sat down. And he took ten men of the elders of the city and said, Sit down here.” So they sat down. Then he said to the redeemer, Naomi, who has come back from the country of Moab, is selling the parcel of land that belonged to our relative Elimelech. So I thought I would tell you of it and say, Buy it in the presence of those sitting here and in the presence of the elders of my people.If you will redeem it, redeem it. But if you will not, tell me, that I may know, for there is no one besides you to redeem it, and I come after you.” And he said, I will redeem it.” Then Boaz said, The day you buy the field from the hand of Naomi, you also acquire Ruth the Moabite, the widow of the dead, in order to perpetuate the name of the dead in his inheritance.” Then the redeemer said, I cannot redeem it for myself, lest I impair my own inheritance. Take my right of redemption yourself, for I cannot redeem it.”

Before we jump into the story, we need to understand the concept of redemption. Throughout the book of Ruth, the concept of redemption plays a prominent part. It is used 23 times in the four chapters. This concept is foreign to us but not to the Israelites. The Israelites had the concept of redemption in their DNA. If you want to know the detail, you can read them in Leviticus 25. Essentially, there are three kinds of redemption that God put in place. First is the redemption of a property. When an Israelite family became very poor and had to sell their land to survive, the nearest male relative was to be a redeemer and had the responsibility of rescuing them from poverty by buying their land back and restoring it to the family. Second is the redemption of a person. If they had become so poor that they had to sell themselves into slavery, the nearest rich male relative had to rescue them by buying their freedom. These two redemptions are obligations that must be fulfilled. But there is the third kind of redemption. And this one is not a moral obligation but to be done voluntarily. One is expected to do it but under no obligation to do it. You can find it in Deuteronomy 25. It is the redemption of a family line. If a man died leaving his widow without children, his nearest male relative was asked to step in and marry the widow and enable her to have a child, so that the child could inherit his or her father’s property and keep it in the family. Let me put it this way. Let’s say there are two brothers named Joshua and Jeremy. So, if Joshua died leaving his wife without a child, it becomes Jeremy’s responsibility to marry Joshua’s wife and have a child with her. But then that child will not be considered as Jeremy’s but as Joshua’s. That child will continue Joshua’s family line and inherit his property and wealth. And this is the kind of situation Ruth and Naomi found themselves in. They need a relative to redeem their property and also voluntarily marry Ruth and enable her to have a child to inherit Elimelech’s property.

Essentially, there are three qualities that a redeemer must have. First, a redeemer must have the right to redeem. It cannot be just a random dude down the street. It has to be a near relative. Second, a redeemer must have the resource to redeem. A redeemer must be able to pay a redemption price. If the redeemer is broke, it is not going to work. Third, a redeemer must have the resolve to do it. Especially regarding the redemption of a family line. Because it is not advantageous to him. When a redeemer marries the widow and the widow have a child, the property of her family will not be under the redeemer’s name but belong to the line of her first dead husband. Therefore, it is costly to the redeemer and not advantageous at all. This is extremely important background information for us to understand what happens in the story. Let’s look at what happens.

At this time, Boaz is resolved to deal with the matter as soon as possible. So, he goes to the gate of the city and sits there. The gate of the city is where people do business transactions. It where they settle disputes between people in the community. And just as Boaz takes his seat, behold, the man that he wants to meet shows up. The word “behold” suggests a sudden interruption. So, Boaz is not waiting for the man to come for hours. Just as Boaz takes his seat, at that moment, here comes the person he wants to meet. What a luck. Is it a coincidence? Hardly. What happened so far in the story tells us that there is no such thing as luck. God’s hidden hand is guiding the story from behind the scenes. So, Boaz approaches him and tells him to take a seat. He also gathers 10 elders of the city because Boaz needs them to be witnesses of the offer he is about to make.

So, they sit together, and Boaz begins to talk. And there is something interesting that the author does intentionally in this part. The author never tells us the name of this other redeemer. When Boaz speaks to him, ESV uses the word “friend” to refer to this other redeemer. But the actual Hebrew word is not friend. The actual Hebrew word is “peloni almoni” which is equivalent to Mr So and So. Boaz surely knows his name. The author of the book surely knows his name. But the author intentionally does not mention his name. So, it is not a term of endearment like “friend” but rather what the author tries to communicate is, “It does not really matter whether you know his name or not. His name is not important for you to know and remember.” It’s kind of like when one of your classmates comes up to you on your graduation day, which is delayed for a year because of Covid, and you can’t remember his name. And you tell yourself, “I need to remember his name, I must remember,” but you just can’t because he is not that important to you. So, when he finally gets to you, you say, “Hey, what’s up, brother? It’s good to see you. How are you?” This may or may not happen to me on my graduation. That’s the picture the author is creating. Whoever this other redeemer is, we do not need to know his name because he is not important. Why is he not important? Isn’t he the one with the right to redeem Ruth and Naomi? Let’s continue with the story.

Boaz begins by giving an offer this guy cannot refuse. Boaz is saying, “You know your relative, Naomi? She has land that needs to be redeemed. And you are her closest relative. This land can be yours if you want to. All you have to do is pay the price of redemption and the land is yours. If you don’t want it, then I’ll take it.” This is a very good deal. Boaz is offering this man a great piece of land that he can cultivate and benefit from for many years to come. He then can pass down this land to his son. And all he needs to do in return is to take care of the old Naomi, who is past child-bearing age. This is a no-brainer. Yes, it will cost him a bit of fortune to purchase the land and taking care of an old widow, but it is nothing in comparison to what he will receive. This is a very good investment. So, Mr So and So replies, “Yes, please. I’ll redeem it.” At this time, the suspense is built. We are left to think, “Boaz, what are you thinking? Do you want the girl or not? Stop playing with Ruth’s heart. Don’t give her false hope. No PHP, please. Why would you offer Mr So and So a deal he cannot refuse?” And if Naomi is there to listen to what Boaz has just said, she would be mad. She would say, “Don’t call me bitter; call me chilli for I will burn Boaz’s life.” But Boaz is not done. He knows exactly what he is doing.


Ruth 4:5 – Then Boaz said, The day you buy the field from the hand of Naomi, you also acquire Ruth the Moabite, the widow of the dead, in order to perpetuate the name of the dead in his inheritance.” So, when the man agreed to Boaz’s offer, Boaz says, Oh, by the way, I forget to mention one little detail. Naomi does not come alone. She also has a Moabite daughter in law named Ruth. And Ruth is still young. So, if you take this deal, you also have to marry Ruth and have a child with her. And her child will be the one who will inherit this land that you are purchasing. So, you get to purchase land out of your own pocket. You have to take care of an old woman. You also have a new Moabite wife. And her child will be the one who will inherit the land in the future. And did I mention that she is a Moabite? Yep, the Moabite who is our sworn enemy and caused 24,000 of our men to die in the past. Do we have a deal?”

The inclusion of Ruth in the deal changes everything for this unnamed redeemer. It was a good investment without Ruth as part of the deal. But with Ruth’s inclusion, this is a bad investment. It will cost the man a lot and he will gain nothing out of it. And as soon as he realises it, he refuses Boaz’s offer. In other words, this man has no concern for the welfare of Naomi, Ruth and the line of Elimelech. The only reason he wants the deal is because it benefitted him. He only has concern for his own interest. He does not want to risk his future for the sake of others. But the irony is, by trying to protect his future, he loses his future. This is why he has no name in the story. He is forever known as the nameless redeemer. He could have his name written in the book of Ruth for thousand years to come. If that’s the case, today we won’t be talking about Boaz. We will be talking about him. But Mr So and So does his math and comes to the conclusion that it is better for him to back out of the deal. As the result, we have no idea who he is.

And before we blame this nameless redeemer too much, this is also often the reflection of our lives. When we are presented with a choice, we often ask the question, Whats in it for me?” We do the math. And we are smart people. We know how to differentiate between a good investment and a bad investment. So, we say yes to the things that seem to please us, and we say no to the things that seem to displease us. But this is not how God’s math works. God’s math is often the opposite. Gods math says that if we want to be great, then be a servant. Gods math says that if we want to be first, then be last. Gods math says that fulfilment does not come by avoiding suffering but through suffering. Gods math says that what seems like a bad investment to the world is actually the best investment we can make today. Or, if I can put in apostle Paul’s words, he says, But whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ. Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord.” (Phil 3:7-8). This is God’s math, and this is the math we need to embrace.

The formal redeemer

Ruth 4:7-10 – Now this was the custom in former times in Israel concerning redeeming and exchanging: to confirm a transaction, the one drew off his sandal and gave it to the other, and this was the manner of attesting in Israel. So when the redeemer said to Boaz, Buy it for yourself,” he drew off his sandal. Then Boaz said to the elders and all the people, You are witnesses this day that I have bought from the hand of Naomi all that belonged to Elimelech and all that belonged to Chilion and to Mahlon. 10 Also Ruth the Moabite, the widow of Mahlon, I have bought to be my wife, to perpetuate the name of the dead in his inheritance, that the name of the dead may not be cut off from among his brothers and from the gate of his native place. You are witnesses this day.”

This is the moment we have been waiting for. You can hear the crowd’s excitement. You can hear a hallelujah chorus playing in the background. The nameless redeemer refuses to take the deal. And now Boaz has the right to take the deal for himself. Boaz resolved to do what is right, even at the risk of losing his chance to marry Ruth. He does not buy into the slogan of our culture, “the end justifies the mean.” For Boaz, the mean is as important as the end. He refuses to take a shortcut and bypass the ethical issue. But at the same time, he does not remain idle. Boaz obeys the law and seizes initiative at the same time.

So Mr So and So takes off his sandal and gives it to Boaz in front of the ten witnesses. I know it sounds weird, but it is the way they sign a contract back in those days. Boaz receives the right to redeem Naomi’s land and he also receives the right to marry Ruth and enable her to have a child. Please note. The child that Boaz and Ruth will have will carry the name of Elimelech and not Boaz. Boaz has to pay a costly price to redeem Naomi and Ruth, but he is willing to pay the price. What Boaz does is he is expressing chesed. He does not prioritize his own interest but the interest of others. Do you know what happens to Ruth the minute Boaz marries Ruth? Boaz is not only paying her debts, but all his wealth, which wasn’t hers, which she had never earned or worked for, becomes her legally immediately automatically. Whatever is true of Boaz is true of her. In other words, Boaz pays the price not only to remove the debt of Ruth but also to give her a whole new life. In one act of sacrifice, Ruth the Moabite turns into Ruth the wife of Boaz. And from this moment forward, the author no longer calls Ruth as the Moabite because Ruth has received a new identity.

And when the contract has been sealed, the elders and the people at the gate bless Boaz and Ruth. Ruth 4:11-12 – 11 Then all the people who were at the gate and the elders said, We are witnesses. May the Lord make the woman, who is coming into your house, like Rachel and Leah, who together built up the house of Israel. May you act worthily in Ephrathah and be renowned in Bethlehem, 12 and may your house be like the house of Perez, whom Tamar bore to Judah, because of the offspring that the Lord will give you by this young woman.” There are three blessings. First, for Ruth to be like Rachel and Leah. It is a blessing of fruitfulness. If you remember, Rachel and Leah gave birth to a lot of sons. So, this is a blessing for the barren Ruth to have a son. Second, for Boaz to be renowned in Bethlehem. It is a blessing of a good name and reputation. And third, for Boazs family to be like Perez. It is a blessing of inclusion. If you want to know the detail of the story, read Genesis 38. It is the most bizarre chapter in the whole Bible. Basically, Tamar the Canaanites was included in the story of Israel because she gave birth to Perez through Judah, her father-in-law. So, this is a blessing that Ruth the Moabites might be included in the grand story of Israel as she gives birth to a son. And listen. God is about to bless Boaz and Ruth with all these blessings in a way that they could have never imagined.

The unexpected redeemer

Ruth 4:13-17 – 13 So Boaz took Ruth, and she became his wife. And he went in to her, and the Lord gave her conception, and she bore a son. 14 Then the women said to Naomi, Blessed be the Lord, who has not left you this day without a redeemer, and may his name be renowned in Israel! 15 He shall be to you a restorer of life and a nourisher of your old age, for your daughter-in-law who loves you, who is more to you than seven sons, has given birth to him.” 16 Then Naomi took the child and laid him on her lap and became his nurse. 17 And the women of the neighborhood gave him a name, saying, A son has been born to Naomi.” They named him Obed. He was the father of Jesse, the father of David.

Verse 13 is massive. We have all the resolutions of the story packed in one verse. What we have in one verse is an entire year of blessing. First, Boaz and Ruth get married. Second, they do what husband and wife do when they get married. And third, Ruth gives birth to a son. And note the reason why Ruth is able to conceive. In her previous marriage, for how many years it was, Ruth was barren. She was not able to conceive. But this time it is different. Remember the blessing that Boaz speaks over Ruth that she may receive the full reward from God in chapter 2. Remember the blessing that the people speak over Boaz and Ruth earlier. And here now Ruth is being richly rewarded by God. The moment she is married to Boaz, God opens her womb and enables her to conceive a son. And this is the second time God appears as the subject of the verb in this book. The other being when God provided food for his people. In other words, God is the one who answers all the tension in this story. God is the one who provides food, and he is also the one who provides security. It tells us that God is consistently working behind the scenes for the good of his people and his glory.

So, Ruth receives her happy ending. What about Naomi? Naomi also receives her happy ending. And something unexpected happens. In this passage, we are introduced to an unexpected redeemer. Ruth 4:14 – Then the women said to Naomi, Blessed be the Lord, who has not left you this day without a redeemer, and may his name be renowned in Israel! When the women of the town bless Naomi, they refer to the son of Boaz and Ruth as Naomi’s redeemer. The presence of this child redeems Naomi’s life. It changes everything about Naomi. When Naomi first returned to Bethlehem, she thought she was empty. She did not realize that she had Ruth with her. And by the end of the story, the presence of Ruth and her son have brought restoration and wholeness to Naomi. At the end of the story, having Ruth with her means more than having seven sons. And seven is the number of perfections. In other words, for Naomi, having Ruth who loves her means more than having a perfect family. And not only that but Ruth also gives birth to a son. And the women of the town refer to Ruth’s son as Naomi’s son. The author uses poetic expression to communicate the joy of Naomi at having her grandson on her lap. It is as if the boy is Naomi’s own son. The picture we have here is a picture of a joyful grandmother who is enjoying her grandson.

So, we have an unexpected redeemer. The son of Ruth is said to be Naomi’s redeemer. But if we think carefully, the little boy cannot be the one who redeems Naomi. The little boy is not able to do anything. There must be someone else who redeems Naomi using the little boy. The one who redeems Naomi is none other than God. God is the unexpected redeemer in the story. It is God who gave Ruth to Naomi. It is God who gave Boaz to Ruth. It is God who gave the child to Boaz and Ruth. In every step of the story, God is working even though Naomi was oblivious to it. It may seem that God is not in the story, but it is his sovereign hand that guided every event in this story. Just because we cannot see it, it doesn’t mean God is not working.

Pay attention to the contrast between the beginning and the end of the book of Ruth. David Platt points out that there are four contrasts between the beginning and the end of the book. First, the contrast of death and life. The book opens with funerals and ends with a wedding. Second, the contrast of curses and blessings. The book opens with famine and barrenness and ends with plenty of food and a son. Third, the contrast of emptiness and fullness. The book begins with Naomi saying that she has nothing, and she is empty, and its ends with the women saying Naomi has everything and more. Fourth, the contrast of despair and hope. The book begins with an unbearable past, and it ends with an unimaginable future. These contrasts tell us that God is always working for our good even when we do not feel like it. It doesn’t matter what our past may look like, it does not disqualify us for the unimaginable future when we have God as our redeemer. How can we have God as our redeemer? It leads me to my last point.

The ultimate redeemer

Ruth 4:18-22 – 18 Now these are the generations of Perez: Perez fathered Hezron, 19 Hezron fathered Ram, Ram fathered Amminadab, 20 Amminadab fathered Nahshon, Nahshon fathered Salmon, 21 Salmon fathered Boaz, Boaz fathered Obed, 22 Obed fathered Jesse, and Jesse fathered David.

This is a surprising ending to the story. When we think we know what the story is all about, the author tells us that we don’t know. This is like watching Marvel’s movie post-credit scene. You thought the story ends already. You start gathering your belonging and make your way out of the theatre. But as you make your way out, another scene pops up on the screen. So, you stop, and you watch the scene. Does anyone know what I am talking about? But this post-credit scene is unlike all Marvel’s post-credit scene. Usually, in all Marvel’s post-credit scene, we get a glimpse of what might happen in the near future, but it doesn’t change the way we watch the movie that we just watched. But the post-credit scene of the book of Ruth changes how we read the book of Ruth. We discover that the name of Ruth’s son is Obed. And Obed is none other than the grandfather of David, the greatest king in Israel’s history. That means that Ruth is King David’s great grandmother. Did anyone see this coming? This must have been a real shocker to the original audience. Because it means that if there is no Ruth, there is no David. This is the moment that we realized that the book of Ruth is so much more than a heartwarming story between Naomi, Ruth and Boaz. And to make sure we do not miss the point, the author ends the book with the genealogy of King David. Don’t miss this. The book that began in the days when the judges ruled, where every man did what is right in his own eyes, ends with the introduction of the greatest king in Israel’s history. The author is telling us that something is happening in the story that is far greater than what we can see on the surface. Even in the darkest time of Israel’s history, God is not absent; He is constantly working from behind the scenes to accomplish his good purposes for Israel. A king is coming.

When we read the story of Ruth, we often think of it as a story of one family. And that is not wrong. But at the same time, the story of this family carries far greater significance than what we could have imagined. This is not only a story of God’s providential care for one family. It is the story of God’s providential care for the nation of Israel. We think this story is mainly about Naomi, Ruth and Boaz. But God has King David in mind when he thinks of Naomi, Ruth and Boaz. God is a multitasking God. He is doing a million different things at the same time. In the days where there is no king and every man does what is right in his own eyes, God is preparing to bring about a king after his own heart through the story of one small family in Bethlehem. In other words, get this. God uses all the events in the book of Ruth to bring about his own goals that are much bigger than any characters in the story could have imagined. God’s providence is guiding every little detail in the story to accomplish his good purposes.

But that is not the end. For us who lives in the New Testament, we not only get to see the post-credit scene. We get to see the post-post-credit scene. In Matthew chapter 1, the genealogy of Ruth, the genealogy of David, continues. Few hundred years after David, another son is born in Bethlehem, and he is called the Son of David, the ultimate Redeemer. This Son of David is the Redeemer who will redeem the world. And the redeemer in the book of Ruth foreshadows the ultimate Redeemer. Just like Boaz redeems Ruth, Jesus Christ comes into the world to redeem us, his bride. But unlike Ruth, we are not worthy. We are sinners who rebelled against God. We are unworthy but Jesus loves his unworthy bride. He loves the unlovely. And he redeems sinners.

Does Jesus have the right to redeem us? Yes, he does. Jesus comes near to us and becomes one of us. He left the glory of heaven and took on the form of man. He identifies with us and comes alongside us. He becomes our relative.

Does Jesus have the resources to redeem us? Yes, he does. Jesus is not only fully man, but he is also fully God. He lived the perfect sinless life on our behalf. He is God in the flesh who fulfil all the requirement of the law without blemish.

The main question is, does Jesus have the resolve to redeem us? On the night before the crucifixion, Jesus says to God the Father, “Father, all things are possible for you. Remove this cup from me.” Jesus knows exactly the price that he has to pay to redeem us. He knows it is going to cost him dearly. That’s why he says to God that if there is any other way, then he would prefer not to take the cross. Jesus is in deep agony to the point that he sweats blood. But he doesn’t stop there. He continues to say, “Yet not what I will, but what you will.” So, does Jesus have the resolve to redeem us? Yes, he does. And Jesus does not redeem us with riches. He redeems us with something far more costly. 1 Peter 1:18-19 – 18 knowing that you were ransomed from the futile ways inherited from your forefathers, not with perishable things such as silver or gold, 19 but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without blemish or spot. Jesus redeems us with his blood. He becomes our substitute and takes the punishment that we deserve so that we can become his holy and spotless bride. Do you know the love of Jesus today? If you don’t, today there is an invitation for you to receive his love. It doesnt matter who you are and what you have done, nothing and no one is beyond the redeeming love of Jesus. And you don’t have to be good enough to receive his love. You cannot earn his love. You can’t pay for this love. All you can do is to trade your emptiness for his fulness. Come to him just as you are and receive his redeeming love for you.

Let me close with this. Christians, do you what this story teaches us? The book of Ruth teaches us that we can trust God in our worst moments because we know that the end of our story has been written. Jesus guarantees our happy ending. God does not write a bad ending story. The last chapter of our story is infinitely good. And our last chapter is only the opening chapter of another book that is filled with the fullness of joy and pleasure forevermore. And today, in every little detail of our lives, God’s providence is faithfully guiding us toward this consummation. There is not a single moment of our life that is outside his providence. We might not know what he is up to, but everything we do in obedience to God has a cosmic impact. Therefore, we should live our lives with a sense of purpose. God wants to use us who have experienced his love to extend that love to others. God has redeemed us so that we can be a channel of that redeeming love for others. Listen. We have the right to extend that love because Christ has loved us and make us his. We have the resources to extend that love because the Holy Spirit lives inside of us and empowering us. The question is, do we have the resolve to extend the love of Christ? We have no idea how God desires to use our lives in the grand scheme of his story. We might think we are nobody. We might think we are just one little family in Sydney. But God is always using ordinary people to accomplish his extraordinary purposes. Under Gods sovereignty and providence, what we do for God can have impacts far beyond our lifetimes. Let’s pray.

Discussion questions:

  1. If you have to explain what providence is to someone who never heard of it, how would you explain it?
  2. Explain the difference between the world’s math and God’s math. Give daily life examples of God’s math.
  3. Why is Ruth’s son being called Naomi’s redeemer? Can you see glimpses of an “unexpected redeemer” in your life? Share your story.
  4. The book of Ruth has an unexpected ending. What does it teach us about our story and God’s story?
  5. How can we live in God’s providence today? Be specific.
  6. From our study of the book of Ruth, what is the one thing that struck you the most? Share with your group.
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