I preached the final sermon on the book of Ruth chapter 4 yesterday morning.
The man with no name (the redeemer who opts not to take on Naomi & Ruth) is a good illustration of many in the church today. He’s willing to serve Christ… to a point. When all he was required to do was put some money up front and take care of an old woman, he was all about it. In fact, he might even get ahead on the deal. After Naomi dies, he’s got some extra land all to himself, since she didn’t have any sons to inherit it. But when Boaz revealed the fine print (Ruth came along with the purchase, and he would have to provide an heir for Naomi) the man with no name backed out of the deal.
The nameless man saw his finances getting stretched, his inheritance diminishing and said the cost was too high. Boaz had no such qualms and continued to serve the Lord by providing for the poor and the needy – he’d been helping Ruth & Naomi for a while, all without even a whiff of personal gain.
So it is with following Christ. We’re slack when it comes to counting the cost of discipleship (Luke 14:28-33). Instead of cultivating a life where we seek to glorify God (even, gasp! at a personal cost) we cultivate a life where we’ll only go so far. Love your neighbor unless they’re just too annoying. Love one another so long as they meet your personal marks for piety, competence, or personality. Make disciples so long as you’ve got the time, etc. The Christian who lives like this, will be nameless, while the believer who seeks to honor Christ by loving Him and keeping His commands will, like Boaz, be known.
Also: Boaz totally “gets” the importance of having a godly, Proverbs 31 kind of wife.
Also, Also: God is amazing & incomprehensible and Christ’s suffering and love for us are brought into a clear perspective via this chapter. Let me know what you think.
Ruth Finds Redemption, is available for streaming or downloading on the TBPC website.