Texts: Ruth 4:13-22
July 7/8, 2012
Pastor Matt Erickson
"The women living there said, 'Naomi has a son!' And they named him Obed.
He was the father of Jesse, the father of David." (Ruth 4:17)
God is Always at Work around Us (Ruth 1:6; 2:3; 2:12; 4:11; 4:13)
- God in human history
- God in our sorrows
- God in our joys
- God accomplishing His purposes
Our Part in God’s Work
- A life of trust: God is at work
- A life of hesed: loyalty and faithfulness
- A life of other-ness: it’s not about me
God Brings Unexpected Outcomes
- Redemption for Ruth and Boaz (Ruth 4:13; 1:9; 3:1) – a home, spouse, and child
- Redemption for Naomi through Obed (Ruth 4:14-17; 1:5, 20-21) – a child, fullness, and a role
- Redemption for Israel through David (Ruth 4:17-22; 1:1; Judges 21:25) – a child, a king, and order in chaos
- Redemption for the World through Jesus (Matthew 1:1-18) – a child, a king, and a redeemer
- This week we bring our series on Ruth, “Unexpected,” to a close. Whether you are on your own or in a small group, take time to read Ruth 4:13-22 aloud.
- These last verses in Ruth bring together many themes and loose ends from the book. The first theme relates to God’s provision for Ruth and Boaz (Ruth 4:13). Compare the end of Ruth and Boaz’s story to their beginnings (Ruth 1:3-5, 8-9, 16-18; 2:1-2, 8-12, 19-20; 3:9-13). How do you see God at work in their story?
- A second theme relates to God’s restoration for Naomi, moving her from emptiness to fullness. How has God been at work in Naomi’s life? Look specifically at Ruth 1:1-5, 19-21; 2:20-22; 3:1-5, 16-18; 4:14-16.
- Naomi’s restoration does not necessarily bring answers to all of her suffering. Part of her restoration involves a new ‘calling’ as a primary caregiver – perhaps even a foster-mother of sorts – for Ruth’s new child, Obed. How does Naomi’s experience of restoration relate to your life?
- The women who celebrate with Naomi speak a significant phrase about Ruth: “For your daughter-in-law, who loves you and who is better to you than seven sons, has given him birth” (Ruth 4:15). In the ancient near-east, a mother of seven sons has received the greatest blessing of fullness from God. How has Ruth loved Naomi in such a way as exceeds seven sons in this story?
- The significance of the genealogy of at the end of chapter four brings a connection between the times of the judges (Ruth 1:1) and the times of the monarchy (Ruth 4:22). It also points to a larger reality about how God works in the middle of ordinary circumstances. What is most striking to you about how God is at work through the broader picture of Ruth’s role in Old Testament history?
- Take a moment to read Matthew 1:1-17. As New Testament believers, what is the significance of the story of Ruth for us?
- What is the biggest thing God has been speaking to you through our study of the book of Ruth? If you are in a small group, discuss this with one another. If you are on your own, write it down, reflect on it, and put it into practice this week.
Next week we will be hear from Bertil Enqvuist as part of our Global Initiatives Gathering (GIG). Pray that God would prepare us as a church to hear from Him.