February 3, 2019
2 Timothy 3:16-17
The Bible: Is It Really Inspired by God?
Pastor Bryan Watson
Good morning. Some of you were probably expecting to see Brendon behind the pulpit today, as the original plan was for him to speak on Ruth, Chapter 3. However, with the passing of Brendon’s Grandma this week, we agreed to delay his sermon until next week, so we’re going to be taking a 1-week recess from our walk through the Book of Ruth, and we extend our sympathies to the Galgers.
So this week, I will be preaching on the whether or not the Bible is truly inspired by God. This was something I studied recently in one of my Bible School classes, and I thought it would be really good to do a sermon on it.
Our scripture passage for this morning is from 2 Timothy 3:16-17. For any of you following along in your Bibles today, I’m going to be using both the New King James Version and the English Standard Version in my scripture references. 2 Timothy 3:16-17…
16 All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.
“Is the Bible really inspired by God?” In many ways, this is the most fundamental question of our Christian faith. Made up of 66 books and authored by around 40 people over thousands of years, from priests to prophets, from peasants to kings, the Bible is the Christian’s guide to life. But is it really the inspired Word of God? If is not the Holy Word of God, as critics claim, then in my opinion, we are all lost. If it’s nothing more than a giant collection of scattered ideas and myths written by ignorant and superstitious people, then we are wasting our time on a fool’s errand. If the Bible’s inspiration is nothing more than the same inspiration that caused Charles Dickens to write “A Christmas Carol”, then there’s no basis there for moral authority, and we may as well go out and live life the way we want, and get all we can now, because there’s no real source of right and wrong.
If, on the other hand, the Bible truly IS the inspired word of God, then the consequences are grim if we take it for granted. I’m not here today to prove to you by archeology or linguistics or any other scientific method that the Bible is accurate. I could do that, and maybe I will in a Sunday School class sometime. But I do want to make the case today that the Bible is inspired by a single source – God Himself. And I’m going to do it by examining what the Bible says about itself. It will be for you to judge for yourself whether or not I’ve made my case well.
Dr. R.A. Torrey, who was the first Dean of the Moody Bible Institute, wrote an excellent book called “God, the Bible, and You.” In this book, Dr. Torrey examined several aspects regarding the Divine inspiration of Scripture. I’ll be using these ideas to serve as the outline for this message.
Previously Undiscovered Truth was Revealed
The reality of living in a world that is under the curse is that people no longer have the intimate fellowship with God that we once had. Man was made in God’s image and according to His likeness, as we saw in Genesis 1:26. In this perfect state, which God Himself declared Very Good, man had an intelligence and an understanding that is far superior to what we have now. Evolutionists would tell you that we are more intelligent now than we were thousands of years ago, but that isn’t supported by Scripture. Genesis 2:20 says that “Adam gave names to all cattle, to birds of the air, and to every beast of the field.” This would take a lot of intelligence. Most of the time, I can’t remember my own post office box number, let alone what I had for breakfast this morning. For Adam to name all the animals and birds would require a vastly superior intelligence.
In his fellowship with God before the fall, there is no doubt that Adam would have known things that we can’t possibly imagine today.
So, what’s my point? My point is that there are truths that in our finite, mortal minds, we are unable to discover or discern on our own. Or, to put it another way, there are things we are just too dull to figure out unless somebody tells us. If people were capable of discovering these truths on their own, then we could challenge whether or not the Bible is man’s idea. But we don’t have the capability of doing this. When you see the intricacies of the common threads woven through the books of the Bible by different writers living hundreds of years apart, you have to conclude that mortal man could not make all the pieces fit together. Take the prophecies about just the birth of Christ, for example. Over 100 different prophecies all fitting together perfectly. I can barely comprehend it even when it’s drawn out for me. There is no way I could put all the pieces together on my own. And there’s certainly no way mortal man could have conceived of all these ideas and written them down in a perfect tapestry over the centuries.
The key messages and themes of the Bible could only be recorded because they were revealed to us. Men had not discovered it and could not discover it, except by revelation from God. Let me repeat that. Men had not discovered it, and could not discover it, except by revelation from God.
Paul confirms this in Ephesians 3:3,5 when he says, “… the mystery was made known to me by revelation… which was not made known to the sons of men in other generations as it has now been revealed to his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit.”
The Revelation to the Prophet was Independent of His Own Thinking
In layman’s terms, this means that sometimes the prophet himself didn’t understand what he had been told to say. He was relaying the message that was revealed to him, but he himself didn’t understand the meaning behind it.
Consider 1 Peter 1:10-12.
10 Concerning this salvation, the prophets who prophesied about the grace that was to be yours searched and inquired carefully, 11 inquiring what person or time the Spirit of Christ in them was indicating when he predicted the sufferings of Christ and the subsequent glories. 12 It was revealed to them that they were serving not themselves but you, in the things that have now been announced to you through those who preached the good news to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven, things into which angels long to look.
So, these prophets of old, although they were the instrument through which the prophecy was given, they themselves didn’t understand all of it. They searched. They inquired. They wanted to find out what they didn’t understand. They knew they were prophesying for a future generation. Even the angels longed to look into these things. But like it said, the Spirit of Christ was testifying to them long before Christ’s physical birth on the earth. They couldn’t reveal to themselves what they themselves didn’t understand.
Prophetic Utterances Were from God Himself
For a prophet to be a prophet, he had to be right. 100% of the time. There was an immense risk to uttering a prophecy if you were just making stuff up.
Let’s look at Ezekiel 13:1-3,6-7 for a description of a false prophet: “1 The word of the Lord came to me: 2 “Son of man, prophesy against the prophets of Israel, who are prophesying, and say to those who prophesy from their own hearts: ‘Hear the word of the Lord!’ 3 Thus says the Lord God, Woe to the foolish prophets who follow their own spirit, and have seen nothing!
6 They have seen false visions and lying divinations. They say, ‘Declares the Lord,’ when the Lord has not sent them, and yet they expect him to fulfill their word. 7 Have you not seen a false vision and uttered a lying divination, whenever you have said, ‘Declares the Lord,’ although I have not spoken?”
So, the false prophet prophesies from his own heart, not from the Lord’s revelation.
And the punishment for being a false prophet? We see that in Deuteronomy 18:20-22. “20 But the prophet who presumes to speak a word in my name that I have not commanded him to speak, or who speaks in the name of other gods, that same prophet shall die.’ 21 And if you say in your heart, ‘How may we know the word that the Lord has not spoken?’— 22 when a prophet speaks in the name of the Lord, if the word does not come to pass or come true, that is a word that the Lord has not spoken; the prophet has spoken it presumptuously. You need not be afraid of him.”
So, for a prophet to be a true prophet, and for prophecies to be true prophecies, the prophecy must come from God. This idea is summarized perfectly in 2 Peter 1:21. “21 for prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.”
The Holy Spirit Was the Real Speaker
The Bible teaches that the Holy Spirit was the real speaker in the prophecies laid out in Scripture. Take Psalm 95, for example. We know that it was David’s human hand that moved the pen in this Psalm, because we are told so in Hebrews 4:7. However, the Book of Hebrews quotes Psalm 95 in Hebrews 3:7-11. In setting up the quotation, the author of Hebrews writes, “7 Therefore, as the Holy Spirit says: “Today, if you will hear His voice,…”” So David wrote it, Hebrews quotes it, but it was the Holy Spirit who actually gave the message.
We see another example of this with Jeremiah 31:33-34. We know that Jeremiah wrote the Book of Jeremiah. But these verses are being quoted in Hebrews 10:15-16, and the author introduces them by saying, “But the Holy Spirit also witnesses to us; for after He had said before,…” and then proceeding with the quote, “This is the covenant that I will make…” So Jeremiah wrote it, Hebrews quotes it, but it was the Holy Spirit who actually gave the message.
One final example of this to underscore my point. Isaiah 6:9-10. Again, we know that Isaiah wrote the Book of Isaiah. In Acts 28:25-27, the Apostle Paul quotes this passage from Isaiah, and introduces it by saying, “The Holy Spirit spoke rightly through Isaiah the prophet to our fathers,” and then he proceeds with the quote, “Go to this people and say, ‘Hearing you will hear, and shall not understand…’”
So Isaiah wrote it, Paul quotes it, but it was the Holy Spirit who actually gave the message.
There is no doubt in these examples that the Bible teaches that the Holy Spirit was the real speaker of these passages.
The Very Words Were Given by the Holy Spirit
If the Holy Spirit merely revealed the ideas to the prophets, and the prophets could express these ideas in their own words, then the original manuscripts of the Bible would be filled with misinterpretations and errors written down by fallible men. How many times have you said something to somebody, but they heard something completely different from what you said? Let me give you an example from my own life.
When I was about 14 years old, my family owned a greenhouse business. In February, it was time to start getting things ready for the season. But there was a couple of feet of snow on the ground, and since nobody had been to the greenhouse yet, a path needed to be cleared. So my Dad sent me out to do just that. And he was pretty reasonable about it, too. “It doesn’t have to be fancy,” he said. “Just make it so that I can get there.” But there was a problem. There was a slight conflict in priorities for the day, because my buddies were out playing street hockey, and that’s where I intended to be, too. But, there were also consequences for not obeying my Dad. So, shovel in hand, out to the backyard I went.
As I’m looking at the drift between me and the greenhouse door about 30 feet away, I remembered his instructions. “Just make it so that I can get there.” Yup. I can do this. So, using my best 14-year-old logic, I shoveled a hole in the snow every 18 inches or so. Dig, step. Dig, step. Dig, step. Until I got to the door. Then I turned around, admired my creativity, glanced at my watch, grabbed my hockey stick, and off I went to play for the Stanley Cup!
When I got home, there was a shovel waiting for me. Apparently, I gave Dad exactly what he asked for, but not what he wanted. And that, my friends, is an example of what would have happened if fallible human beings had been left to interpret the messages revealed by the Holy Spirit. We would have had a scripture full of holes, not a Holy Scripture.
In 1 Corinthians 2:13, Paul says, “These things we also speak, not in words which man’s wisdom teaches but which the Holy Spirit teaches, comparing spiritual things with spiritual.”
But if the actual words are inspired, why do we have such different writing styles between authors? According to R.A. Torrey, “The answer is that the Holy Spirit is infinitely wise, and is able to communicate His thoughts and truths with absolute accuracy through different forms of expression, making use of a person’s individuality.” Quite frankly, the fact that so many different authors and styles were used to develop the Bible, and all of the intricate connections throughout it, is more evidence FOR its Divine inspiration that AGAINST it.
Every Scripture is Inspired by God
Up until now, we’ve been specifically talking about prophetic utterances. However, the Bible is very clear that all of scripture, not just some of it, but all of it, is inspired by God. That includes both the Old Testament and the New Testament. As we’ve already read in 2 Timothy 3:16-17…
16 All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.
The Apostle Peter classified Paul’s writings as being both inspired and being scripture on par with the Old Testament writings in 2 Peter 3:15-16. “…our beloved brother Paul also wrote to you according to the wisdom given him, 16 as he does in all his letters when he speaks in them of these matters. There are some things in them that are hard to understand, which the ignorant and unstable twist to their own destruction, as they do the other Scriptures.”
The Bible is God’s Inerrant Word
Because the entire Bible is inspired by God, and God is perfect, we can have confidence in the fact that it is absolutely inerrant in its original manuscripts.
As David says in 2 Sam 23:2, “The Spirit of the Lord speaks by me; His word is on my tongue.”
In Mark 7, Jesus is rebuking the Pharisees for their hypocrisy. Speaking of the Law as recorded by Moses, Jesus says that they are, “13 thus making void the word of God by your tradition that you have handed down.”
In John 10:35, Jesus is quoting from Psalm 82:6, and says, “The Scripture cannot be broken.” He asserted absolute inerrancy and finality of Scripture. If He is wrong, then He is unreliable as a teacher. You decide.
What it comes down to is this: Either the Bible is inspired by God, or it isn’t. If it is not, then do your thing, I guess. There’s no real authority there.
But if it is, I would think long and hard about the things that are written therein, and examine very closely how my life stacks up against it. There’s no point arguing with me about the teachings of the Bible. I didn’t write them. I’m not going to enforce them. And I’m certainly not in a position to judge you on them. I am just speaking about them, as simple as that. Arguing with me about what God might be whispering to your heart right now is about as effective as arguing with me about the location of a stop sign. What am I going to do about it?
Again, quoting form Torrey, “If our reasoning differs from the statements of the Bible, the thing for us to do is not to try to pull God’s revelation down to the level of our reasoning, but to elevate our reasoning to the level of God’s Word.” <repeat>
Amen. Let’s pray.
February 17, 2019
Pastor Bryan Watson
Our scripture passage for today’s message is Ruth, Chapter 4. We will be going through the chapter verse by verse as we conclude our study on the Book of Ruth. Would you please bow your heads with me in prayer:
Loving and Eternal God, it is a tremendous honour for us to be able to examine Your Word, and we thank You for providing us with the truths that You would have us know and understand. Please help us to rightly divide Your Word of Truth, and may Your Holy Spirit speak to each person here today. Help me to be faithful to Your Word. In Christ’s name I pray, Amen.
Carrying on from Brendon’s message on Ruth chapter 3, why was Boaz, a man of power and wealth, so attracted to Ruth that he pursued this marriage with urgency? Was she from a powerful Hebrew family? No, she was descended from the vile Moabites. Was she wealthy? No. She was a poor widow who depended on gleaning for her sustenance. Was she visually beautiful? Possibly, but the Bible never says so. But as Brendon pointed out, Ruth exemplified the qualities of the Proverbs 31 wife, and Boaz recognized that she had a value “above rubies.” In his generous and noble character, he wanted to care for her, but he was also no stupid man. It is a wise man indeed who finds and marries a woman of faithfulness, diligence, and honor. Boaz knew that he was helping himself as much as he was helping her. Let’s pick up the story now in Chapter 4.
1 Now Boaz went up to the gate and sat down there; and behold, the close relative of whom Boaz had spoken came by. So Boaz said, “Come aside, friend, sit down here.” So he came aside and sat down.
Going back to Chapter 3, we know that Boaz has promised Ruth that he was going to get this situation resolved for her, one way or another. But as with any good Hallmark romance movie, there is always the drama to come because there is “the other guy” who needs to be dealt with.
So Boaz heads to the city gate. Why the city gate? After all the excitement of the night before, did Boaz realize what he had committed to and decide to make a run for it? Well, no. The city gate served as a place where the elders often gathered and conducted business, exchanged wisdom, and played checkers… kind of like what happens at Chicken Chef on coffee row every morning, but with more actual business and less….. ummmm…. wisdom!
We see this referenced in Proverbs 31:23, in speaking about the virtuous wife, where it says, “Her husband is known in the gates, When he sits among the elders of the land.” This is why Boaz went to the gate, and soon enough, the man he is looking for comes by, and Boaz, in full negotiator mode, says, “Come aside, friend, sit down here.”
2 And he took ten men of the elders of the city, and said, “Sit down here.” So they sat down.
I’m not sure why Boaz invited these 10 elders to join in. According to the laws in Deuteronomy, only 2 or 3 witnesses were required for judicial proceedings. Perhaps “leave no doubt” was the theme in Boaz’ mind, as these 10 elders would no doubt present a quorum of elders to witness the transaction that was about to go down.
Verses 3 and 4
3 Then he said to the close relative, “Naomi, who has come back from the country of Moab, sold the piece of land which belonged to our brother Elimelech. 4 And I thought to inform you, saying, ‘Buy it back in the presence of the inhabitants and the elders of my people. If you will redeem it, redeem it; but if you will not redeem it, then tell me, that I may know; for there is no one but you to redeem it, and I am next after you.’”
And he said, “I will redeem it.”
If this really was a Hallmark movie, we would have a really inconvenient commercial break right now, as it looks like the man in the black hat is going to win. And I bet most of the men watching the movie are thinking, “Makes sense. Dude is a farmer, and has a chance to buy some land for a decent price. Good for him!” And the women are thinking, “Noooooo! What about Ruth! What about Boaz! Black Hat Man doesn’t love her! He doesn’t even KNOW her! Stop the movie, we need to re-write the script!”
But eventually, the commercial break ends, and we can watch Boaz go to work to save the girl from Mr. Black Hat.
5 Then Boaz said, “On the day you buy the field from the hand of Naomi, you must also buy it from Ruth the Moabitess, the wife of the dead, to perpetuate the name of the dead through his inheritance.”
That sound you hear… is the sound of the shoe dropping, as the other man is coming to the realization of the price required to redeem the land. Does he see it as an opportunity? He gets the land AND the girl? Or does he see it more like, “Oh… To get the land I have to take the girl, too???” Let’s see.
6 And the close relative said, “I cannot redeem it for myself, lest I ruin my own inheritance. You redeem my right of redemption for yourself, for I cannot redeem it.”
This man was so concerned about preserving his own inheritance and not wanting to split it with any firstborn child of Ruth’s, that he chose to turn his back on his right… his opportunity… his obligation… as the rightful kinsman-redeemer. He was worried about his estate and his name, and yet I ask you… based on this text, what was his name? What was his name??? We don’t know. It wasn’t recorded and is lost to history. Boaz, on the other hand, became the great-grandfather of King David, and one of Christ’s earthly ancestors, and we speak his name in glad tidings even today. The other man wouldn’t mind having the land, as it might increase his net worth, but he wouldn’t want a widow, even a virtuous one, to mar his inheritance or interfere with his convenience. Bible commentator Matthew Henry says that this fits right in with the popular view of the modern world, in that most people are quite fond of the idea of Heaven, but they would be equally eager to dispense with holiness. I can’t say that I can argue with him in this age of cheap grace.
Boaz, on the other hand, was more interested in Ruth than in her property, and in the end, got both because he had his priorities straight.
Verses 7 and 8
7 Now this was the custom in former times in Israel concerning redeeming and exchanging, to confirm anything: one man took off his sandal and gave it to the other, and this was a confirmation in Israel.
8 Therefore the close relative said to Boaz, “Buy it for yourself.” So he took off his sandal.
I find that a bit of an odd way to conduct business, but the scripture says that was the custom of the day. I can just imagine that conversation when he gets home, one shoe off and one shoe on, to sit down to a meal of diddle-diddle dumplings.
Verses 9 and 10
9 And Boaz said to the elders and all the people, “You are witnesses this day that I have bought all that was Elimelech’s, and all that was Chilion’s and Mahlon’s, from the hand of Naomi. 10 Moreover, Ruth the Moabitess, the widow of Mahlon, I have acquired as my wife, to perpetuate the name of the dead through his inheritance, that the name of the dead may not be cut off from among his brethren and from his position at the gate. You are witnesses this day.”
The transaction is completed, and Boaz has legally become Ruth’s redeemer. No more is her future in doubt, for Boaz has willingly paid the price, in full, to redeem her and bring her into the family of the chosen people, Israel. And he charges the witnesses with their task of being witnesses, that there would be no doubt as to what has just taken place.
Verses 11 and 12
11 And all the people who were at the gate, and the elders, said, “We are witnesses. The Lord make the woman who is coming to your house like Rachel and Leah, the two who built the house of Israel; and may you prosper in Ephrathah and be famous in Bethlehem. 12 May your house be like the house of Perez, whom Tamar bore to Judah, because of the offspring which the Lord will give you from this young woman.”
Look at how the witnesses respond, welcoming Ruth into the company of Israel. They bless her, asking for God to prosper her like He did with Rachel and Leah, who birthed the leading tribes of Israel. Notice how they even referenced Tamar, who like Ruth, was widowed and required a kinsman-redeemer in order to preserve her dead husband’s lineage. And even though Tamar’s Father-in-law, Judah, dealt unfairly with her by withholding his youngest son from marrying her in a levirate marriage, and even though Tamar in turn dealt deceitfully with Judah and tricked him into conceiving a child with her, God used their offspring, Perez, to become the father of the Bethlehemites. Remember how this story takes place in Bethlehem? Boaz and all the witnesses were descended from Perez. And so they all prayed that Ruth would be blessed through her offspring like Tamar was.
And was she? Let’s see:
Verses 13 - 17
13 So Boaz took Ruth and she became his wife; and when he went in to her, 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 close relative; and may his name be famous in Israel! 15 And may he be to you a restorer of life and a nourisher of your old age; for your daughter-in-law, who loves you, who is better to you than seven sons, has borne him.” 16 Then Naomi took the child and laid him on her bosom, and became a nurse to him. 17 Also the neighbor women gave him 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.
What a tremendous reversal of circumstances for Naomi. Remember how she was poured out in chapter 1? How she had changed her name to Mara, meaning “bitter?” Now here she is, with an unexpected grandson. Her land and family was redeemed. The love and devotion and loyalty of her daughter-in-law, Ruth, was declared to be better for Naomi and seven sons!
And Ruth, now married to a man who loved her enough to redeem her, not because of the land he would get, but because of the bride he would get, has a son. And this son, named Obed, became the father of Jesse, the father of David, who became the greatest king of Israel.
And although it isn’t explicitly stated in the book of Ruth, we know that there was another very important descendant… the most important descendant of all. Throughout Scripture, who was known as the Son of David?
We find the answer in Matthew 1:1 – “The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the Son of David, the Son of Abraham:”
So, was this prayer for Ruth answered? Yes. In ways these people could never have imagined.
18 Now this is the genealogy of Perez: Perez begot Hezron; 19 Hezron begot Ram, and Ram begot Amminadab; 20 Amminadab begot Nahshon, and Nahshon begot Salmon; 21 Salmon begot Boaz, and Boaz begot Obed; 22 Obed begot Jesse, and Jesse begot David.
Verses 18-22 were written in the Book of Ruth simply to provide a genealogical history of Perez through to David, thus establishing David’s right to the throne, through Judah, and by extension, Christ’s earthly right to the throne of David.
I want to take a few moments now and summarize what we’ve learned through our series on the Book of Ruth.
The first thing we need to realize is that Ruth was a historical book. I’ve made a lot of fun references to Hallmark romance movies, but this wasn’t fiction. This was about real people, in a real situation, with a real genealogy leading up to King David.
The second thing we realize is that God is serious about obedience and trust in His promises. When Elimelech took his family and went to the land of Moab, he wasn’t going there as a missionary. He was going there because He didn’t trust God to provide for him in the Promised Land. Yes, God was punishing Israel for their national disobedience and apostasy, but God also has specific promises to faithful individuals. But Elimelech didn’t believe these promises, and went to the land of the enemy, where disaster found him.
Thirdly, God cares about all people, regardless of their ethnicity or background. By redeeming Ruth and including her in the genealogy of Christ, God demonstrated that there is no room for anybody to judge the redemptive value of any other person based on ethnicity. In Genesis 12:3, when God was making a covenant with Abraham, he said, “And in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.” That includes every nation, and every tongue, and every tribe. And in 2 Peter 3:9, we are told that God “is long-suffering toward us, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.” While we don’t have to put up with sin, nor should we tolerate behavior that flies in the face of God’s Word, we also need to let God be God. Our job is to point people to repentance, and then let God take care of the final decision making.
Finally, the Book of Ruth provides us with a beautiful illustration of the Redemptive Work of Christ.
In chapter 1, Ruth doesn’t even know that Boaz exists. A lot of people today are still waiting to hear about the Good News of Jesus. Even here in Canada, so many people, especially young children, have never heard of Christ. Or if they have, they really don’t know who He is.
In chapter 2, Ruth began working in Boaz’s field, and began receiving some of his blessings, but there was no real relationship, and she was still not redeemed. Today, many people, even in the church, know about Jesus, but they don’t know Jesus. They are working in His field, and receiving some tangible benefit, but they still don’t belong to Him.
In chapter 3, Ruth submits herself at the feet of Boaz. Boaz promises to redeem her, and she believes him. This is what we need to do. We need to submit ourselves to Christ, and believe the promises He makes to us:
John 3:16 - For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.
Mark 2:17 – “I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance.”
John 10:20 – “I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.”
In Chapter 4, Boaz completes his redemptive act in response to Ruth’s submission and belief. Ruth is no longer a poor foreigner and gleaner. She is now his bride, and everything he owns belongs to her.
Isaiah 62:5 - as the bridegroom rejoices over the bride, So shall your God rejoice over you.
Ephesians 5:25-27 - A beautiful imagery of Christ and the Church - Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish.
Boaz paid the price in full to redeem Ruth. He paid the full price from his wealth to cover her debts and redeem her land. He gave her his name. He gave to her and her descendants his inheritance.
Jesus Christ paid the price in full to redeem all who would believe in Him. Isaiah 53:5 says, “But He was wounded for our transgressions; He was bruised for our iniquities; The chastisement for our peace was upon Him, And by His stripes we are healed.” The Bible also tells us in 2 Corinthians 8:9, “For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor, that you through His poverty might become rich.”
This is the redemption that is available to each one of us. Not just to glean in His field and receive some temporal benefit. But to submit ourselves to His Lordship and receive His full redemptive promise, a promise that only He can fulfill, and that He will fulfill. If you would like to know more about this promise, I invite you to stick around after the service. Come and find me and let’s talk and pray about it. There will be some people here by the piano after the service who would love to spend some time with you in prayer. But you can also pray about it in your own heart. You don’t need elegant speech. God is a God who meets you right where you are. He proved that by sending His Son in the form of a man. He’s a lot more relatable than the Queen of England. You don’t need a whack of protocol and rules. He doesn’t have guards and barricades to keep people at bay. Revelation 3:20 says, “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me.” Is He knocking at the door of your heart this morning? Go ahead and open the door. It’s the best dinner guest you will ever receive.