And just one more quick thing…we're VERY excited about by psf35982

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									Good morning once again, and thanks for being here today.
Before I forget, let’s take a minute to pass around our trusty
clipboards. Also, I’d like to introduce to you Norm
Weatherhead…would you stand for a second, Norm?

Norm is visiting several churches and individuals in the Lower
Mainland, and he currently lives in Calgary with his family. Norm
works with Pioneer Bible Translators, and has spent SEVERAL
years working in Papua New Guinea on the front lines, translating
the Bible for people who never had the chance to read the Bible in
their native language.

So if you’d like to hear more about what Norm is doing, you can
talk to him today. PLUS, we’re meeting at the Tim Horton’s at 64
Ave and 176 St by the new PriceSmart there at 3:00 pm. And
Norm would love to tell you MORE about what Pioneer Bible
Translators is all about.

And just one more quick thing…we’re VERY excited about our
upcoming Kids Bible Day Camp happening on July 14th through
16th. And to get the word out to our community, we need your
help! And if you can deliver 1 or 2 or 5 hundred flyers, it would
make a BIG difference. It takes about an hour to deliver 100. So
on your way out today, please pick up a bunch of flyers and a map
or 2 at the table near the doors there, you CAN’T miss them there!

Now today, we’re CONTINUING our current series called Heroes
of the Old Testament: Frail and messed up people God used to
accomplish great things. So far, we’ve looked at Joshua, Gideon,
and the Biblical badboy and playboy, that Fabio / Clint Eastwood
hybrid: Samson! Now TODAY’S hero is actually a “heroine.” And
HER name is RUTH. Which means that all of you women out
there who say, “Boys drool, but girls RULE!” Then you’ll REALLY
be into today’s message.


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Let me give you some quick background on the book of Ruth here.
Please turn to Ruth in your Bibles…it’s on page 184 in your Chair
Bibles there…those are free for you to take home, by the way.
Well, we’re MOVING ON from one of the most DEPRESSING
books of the Bible (the book of Judges) to one of the HAPPIEST
and JOYFUL books of the Bible (the book of Ruth). And it’s a
CLASSIC short story. In fact, SOME believe that it’s the most
BEAUTIFUL short story, EVER written.

The book is named after one of its main characters, a young
woman of Moab, a nation that bordered the SOUTHEAST part of
Israel. And the story is set in the time of the judges, a 400-year
period in Israel’s history, roughly 1500 BC to 1100 BC…where
Israel was OFTEN far from God and OPPRESSED by
neighbouring nations. However, this story takes place during a
time of TEMPORARY peace between Israel and Moab.

Now before we actually BEGIN telling the story about Ruth, why
should you listen to it. Let me ask you: if you’ve ever wondered
WHERE God IS if you have NOT overtly SEEN His supernatural
activity in a while or ever, like a miracle, then THIS story’s for you.
If you’ve ever wondered WHERE God IS in the midst of a SERIES
of TRAGIC EVENTS in your life…then this story’s for you. If
you’ve ever wondered whether living a life of INTEGRITY in HARD
TIMES is worth it…this story’s for you. And lastly, if you’ve ever
felt like nothing GREAT could come OUT of your ordinary
life…then this story’s for you.

So here we go. The first part of the story is all about the
EMPTYING of Naomi’s life. How was her life emptied? Let me
explain. In Ruth chapter one, if you skim along on Page 184,
we’re introduce to this guy named Elimelech, who’s married to
Naomi. And BECAUSE there’s a FAMINE where they live in a
town called Bethlehem, Elimelech decides to UPROOT his


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ENTIRE FAMILY…and travel about 100 kilometres EAST to a
place called Moab, where apparently there IS no famine.

And this is ironic, because the NAME “Bethlehem” actually
MEANS “house of bread.” Kind of like how Saskatchewan is seen
as the bread basket of Canada with all their wheat. And during
that time in Israel, God was very CLEAR to His people in Leviticus
26: 3–4 that: “If you walk in my statutes and observe my
commandments and do them, then I will give you your rains in
their season, and the land shall yield its increase.”

And so the ISSUE in Israel right here is that they have walked
AWAY from God. So God punishes them with a lack of rain, which
results in this FAMINE and people STARVING, even at
Bethlehem, ironically…the house of BREAD. And this is a good
reminder for us, because we EASILY FORGET that when we EAT
dinner at home or EAT at the restaurant…that ultimately, ALL our
food comes from God.

Now ANOTHER irony here has to do with Elimelech’s NAME,
which means “God is king.” Problem is…we see that Elimelech
has very little FAITH in his King here. Because when things get
hard, he makes a run for it…LITERALLY…to greener pastures in
Moab.

Now we gotta UNDERSTAND that THIS is playing with fire.
Because God had called Israel to be SEPARATE from the
surrounding nations. Why. So they wouldn’t WORSHIP their false
gods, and instead remain devoted to the One and ONLY God,
Yahweh. And you see, Moab was considered a godless place,
because its citizens descended from Moab, who as it turns out
was the son of incest between Lot and his daughter…see Genesis
19: 30-38. So we’ve got a NATION here LITERALLY born in
perversion.


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PLUS…the Moabites worshipped a false god known as
“Chemosh.” And WORSHIPPING Chemosh was this WEIRD
mixture of astrology and cult prostitution, which was a very
STRONG temptation for ANYONE to get into. So you can SEE
how this was NOT a good idea for Elimelech and his family.

So Elimelech and Naomi move to Moab with their 2 sons, whose
names are awfully Klingon-like. We’ve got “Mahlon,” which
means “sickness,” and “Chilion,” which means “failing” or “dying.”
And this is really weird, because it’s like naming your 2 sons
“Pneumonia” and “Cancer.” NOT a good idea if you don’t want to
jinx your kids!

And after they move and settle in Moab, the FIRST tragedy
strikes: Elilmech dies. Then Mahlon and Chilion end up marrying
2 Moabite women: Orpah (not to be confused with Oprah), and
Ruth. But just 10 years after arriving in Moab…and perhaps you
could have GUESSED this was going to happen…a SECOND
tragedy strikes the family. BOTH Mahlon and Chilion ALSO die.
And so you can SEE how this is NOT…a HAPPY…SITUATION
here. And this leads us to point number 1 in your notes…

1. Think it through before you move.

Think it through before you move. You know what…Elimelech
stands as a REMINDER…ESPECIALLY for MEN, because we’re
MUCH more prone to get itchy feet…men who want to take their
family in a bad direction. Now am I saying that moving is
ALWAYS a BAD thing? No, not at ALL. I know for Tammy and
myself, we MOVED across the country because we felt God
strongly LEADING us to DO so to start this church.

But HERE’S when moving is a BAD idea. When you think, “Man,
things are HARD right now…so I should run FROM my life.”


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Instead of DEALING with the UNDERLYING SPIRITUAL issues,
like Elimelech REFUSED to do in Israel.

Additionally, another bad motive for moving is when we do it for
strictly FINANCIAL reasons. For example, we look for a cheaper
place to live. Or we take a better paying job elsewhere, which
FORCES us to move. Why do we do this? Because we feel a lot
of PRESSURE here in the Lower Mainland. Vancouver is one of
the most OVER-PRICED CITIES in ALL of North America. For
MOST people here, 70% of our paycheque goes towards housing
costs ALONE. 70%! That’s the AVERAGE! Let alone rising fuel
costs and OTHER growing expenses.

So I can understand WHY a better paying job or a cheaper
mortgage would cause us to be tempted to MOVE. But UNLIKE
Elimelech here…are we willing to ALSO count the SPIRITUAL
COST of relocating our family, NOT just the financial?

For example, “What will it cost my KIDS to move away from this
church where they have strong friendships with other kids and
adults? What will it cost my SPOUSE to break ties with this
church, with relationships that we’ve had for YEARS?” What will it
cost us to move away if TRAGEDY strikes us in a city where we
have little or NO church support? Will my family members
become or remain AS Christians if a tear them away from their
church?”

And when we uproot our family, we’re ALSO choosing WHO our
kids will marry, and who their FRIENDS will be. And with
Elimelech’s 2 sons, they end up marrying 2 Moabite women, who
are NOT Christians. And the fact that they DO this shows that the
whole FAMILY has probably drifted spiritually.

So if you’re considering moving to Alberta or somewhere else, I’m
saying: have you thought it through? Am I moving to run from my

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problems? Will I be mortgaging my OWN future, my FAMILY’S
future? Is there a good Bible-loving Jesus-centric CHURCH in the
city where my family is moving TO? Because in THINKING about
HOW MANY individuals and FAMILIES that I know who have
FAILED to move for the RIGHT reasons…it’s DISTURBING to me
to REALIZE…HOW MANY are NO LONGER connected to ANY
church, and therefore no LONGER connected to Christ. What is
WORTH the lower mortgage payment? What is WORTH the
better paying job?

Back to the story. Naomi now has no HUSBAND. She has NO
SONS. And the great IRONY of Elimelech dying is that he moved
TO Moab so that he and his family would NOT die! So Naomi is
now ALL ALONE with her 2 daughters-in-law. And you see, being
CHILDLESS in ancient times was a cause of embarrassment and
concern. Because without an heir, the family name and lineage
would NOT continue. And the family’s ESTATE would be
COMPLETELY lost. And what we SEE here is that this family is
on the BRINK of CEASING to EXIST. Things are NOT looking
TOO GOOD here.

HOWEVER…Naomi catches word that God has provided food for
His people again…the RAIN has come back to Bethlehem! Now is
it a coincidence that she returns to Bethlehem, which ends up
being the very birthplace of the coming promised Messiah, Jesus?
No it’s NOT! We’ll look at that later. And so Naomi, Ruth, and
Orpah pack up their things. But Naomi says, “Wait a minute,
ladies! Go back home. Start over. Marry another husband and
start a family.”

But Ruth and Orpah REFUSE. And they’re WEEPING and saying,
“We will go back with you to your people!” And Naomi says, “NO!
You’ll have NOTHING if you come back with me. I’m TOO OLD to
get married and start a family. It’s BETTER for you to stay in


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Moab.” And BACK and forth they go. But in the end, Orpah
decides to return home. But Ruth chooses to stick with Naomi.

And Naomi says, “Go with Orpah!” And then Ruth, whose name
PROPHETICALLY means “friendship,” says this in chapter 1 verse
16b…please read this in your Bible with me…and these are words
that you MAY have heard before in a WEDDING ceremony…

Ruth 1: 16b “Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay.
Your people will be my people and your God my God.”

Now what just happened here? Well, Ruth decides to STICK
WITH Naomi…and NOT only THAT…but she CONVERTS! She
becomes a CHRISTIAN, if you will!

Alright, PLACE yourself in Ruth’s shoes here. Your SPOUSE has
just passed away. And following your mother-in-law means
MOVING to a totally different country with a different culture and a
different way of life. You’re a young WOMAN, which means
travelling and then living alone with an older woman in a society
without a POLICE force means you’re TOTALLY at risk ALL the
time. You have hardly ANY money and NO job WAITING for you
in this new country. THEN, you’re gonna have to look after and
SUPPORT your elderly mother-in-law FINANCIALLY.
PLUS…you’re going to have to TURN AWAY from the god that
you GREW UP worshipping by converting to Israel’s God. Do you
REALIZE…HOW MUCH this is gonna COST you…HOW MUCH
this you’re going to have to SACRIFICE?

Do you SEE how big of a DEAL this IS for Ruth to follow Naomi
here? It’s a MASSIVE sacrifice for her. And on paper, there’s NO
REASON to stick with her. Which is why Orpah, who you might
think is the SMART one here, decided to stay home in Moab.



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However, we are now SEEING some TREMENDOUS HEROIC
QUALITIES in Ruth here. And there’s NO reason that she should
follow Naomi…UNLESS it’s because of her devotion to. Her
loyalty to. Her unselfishness for. Her love FOR…her poor
mother-in-law, who needs more help NOW than EVER before.
And this leads us to point number 2 in your notes…

2. When the going gets tough, stick with Christ and your family.

When the going gets tough, stick with Christ and your family. My
grandfather used to say: when your car gets stuck, what should
you do? Just sit there and do nothing? Abandon your vehicle?
NO! You pour on the GAS! Petal to the METAL!

Now I want you to think about all the people YOU know who gave
up on God and gave up on their family when times got tough. The
husband who left his wife and kids for another woman, because
the responsibility was TOO MUCH for him. The spouse who CUT
and RUNS because they JUST CAN’T TAKE the financial
STRESS anymore. The son or daughter who RARELY or NEVER
visits their elderly parent in the nursing home because it’s just
TOO DEPRESSING for them. “HOW could God have ALLOWED
this to HAPPEN?” A close family member or friend passes away,
and the person just SHUTS the DOOR on God and the REST of
the world, and just kind of GIVES UP on life.

But here’s the thing. During adversity, our true character rises to
the surface. The REAL YOU, the REAL ME…is REVEALED. And
so, what does it SAY about our CHARACTER if we just RUN and
HIDE from Jesus, if we just RUN and HIDE from our family, when
hard times come? And they WILL, right? They ALWAYS do at
some point.

And the TIME to POUR ON the GAS is at the EXACT moment
when the going GETS tough! To PRAY to and STICK WITH

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Jesus like we’ve NEVER done before. To BECOME a Christian,
like Ruth did, if we’re not one already. In fact, to become a
Christian DURING adversity is the PERFECT thing to do!
Furthermore, to CARE for our family because they need us more
NOW than EVER before. To SACRIFICE for OTHERS like
NEVER before.

Yes, it MAY cost us a LOT to DO the right thing, like Ruth did. But
do we, or do we NOT…TRUST Jesus and that He’ll take good
care of us, like He promises to.

Moving on in the story. Naomi and Ruth arrive at Bethlehem,
sometime in the spring, probably in April. And like the TYPICAL
small town, Bethlehem is ABUZZ with Naomi’s arrival. And the
women are excited, and they ask, “Could this be Naomi?”

And being a bit of a party pooper, MAINLY because she’s recently
lost her entire family…Naomi says in verses 20 and 21,

Ruth 1: 20 "Don't call me Naomi," she told them. "Call me Mara,
because the Almighty has made my life very bitter. 21 I went away
full, but the LORD has brought me back empty. Why call me
Naomi? The LORD has afflicted me; the Almighty has brought
misfortune upon me."

Now what’s with the name change here? Well “Naomi” means
“pleasant,” and “Mara” means “bitter.” In OTHER words, she’s
saying, “I’m ANYTHING BUT pleasant now. Because God has
EMPTIED my life…He’s taken EVERYTHING AWAY. So call me
‘Mara,’ call me BITTER…because THIS has been ONE HECK of a
BITTER…PILL to SWALLOW here.”

Now can you NOT RELATE to Naomi here? Where ONE THING
after ANOTHER…HITS you like a Mack truck. And you’re like,
“God, what’s going ON here? Are You AGAINST ME or

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something? This doesn’t make SENSE unless you have some
kind of PERSONAL VENDETTA!”

And you gotta appreciate her HONESTY here. Because
sometimes you run into those phony religious types who plaster a
SMILE on their face and say, “I’m doing GREAT!” When in
REALITY, they’re MESSED. But they never tell ANYBODY how
they’re REALLY doing. And THAT’S just not good AT ALL. Which
is why getting in a Community Group during the week is SO
essential when they start up again in the fall. Because it’s a place
where you’re SUPPOSED to share your real life with other people:
the good, bad, the ugly.

Now getting to the question: is Naomi right? DID God in fact DO
all these terrible things to Naomi? Is there a personal vendetta?
Not at all. Because FIRST of all, the REASON things went real
bad for her family has more to do with Elimelech than ANYONE
else. Too often we’re quick to blame GOD for our hard times
when it’s simply our OWN fault for making some really bad and
sinful decisions. SECONDLY, Yes, Naomi CORRECTLY believes
that God is sovereign, that He is COMPLETELY and TOTALLY in
CHARGE of the universe. That God will DO what God will DO.
However, she WRONGLY believes that God is not a GOOD God.
Because as Romans 8:28 states:

Romans 8: 28 And we know that in all things God works for the
good of those who love him, who have been called according to
his purpose.

Which means we don’t always know WHY God allows things to
happen in our lives. But it’s CRITICAL that we TRUST that, at the
END of the day, He is a GOOD and LOVING God. And that He
has a PLAN in place, like He does with Naomi and Ruth here, that
we often can’t SEE or FIGURE OUT when we’re right in the


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MIDDLE of things. But then it makes TOTAL sense AFTER we
experience adversity, and we SEE the GOODNESS of God.

Alright…so Naomi and Ruth are now in Bethlehem, arriving JUST
at the time of the barley harvest. Now enter Boaz into the story.
Isn’t that a great manly name? Boaz. And chapter 2 verse 1 says
he’s RELATED to Naomi’s husband, PLUS…he’s a man of
standing, which means he’s done WELL for himself in terms of his
business as a farmer, and he’s well respected in the community.
He’s a man of standing.

In the meantime, Ruth decides to get to work. And so she goes
and GLEANS the fields of barley, which meant picking up
whatever barley was leftover from the harvesters. Now this was
the equivalent of the food bank in that time. And it was something
that only the poorest of the poor would do, because they simply
had NO OTHER OPTION to get some food and make an income.
So things are REALLY STARK here for Naomi and Ruth if this is
what she’s having to do for a job.

Now here’s the kicker. Ruth JUST HAPPENS to be gleaning in
who’s field? Boaz’s field. Hmmm. Does this happen by chance?
NOT a chance! Because God has a plan. He’s orchestrating
events to bring about His purposes, as we’ll see later. So here’s
Ruth, GLEANING away, when Boaz comes along in his Escalade,
checking out his crops and managing his harvesters.

Now IMAGINE your boss at work greeting you in the morning by
saying, “The Lord be with you!” Can you see that happening? Or
how ‘bout this…imagine YOU RESPONDING to your boss’
greeting with this: “The Lord BLESS you!” You know what? This
is EXACTLY how Boaz greets his workers, and how his workers
respond to him. What does this mean. It MEANS that Boaz loves
JESUS. He’s a God-centred man, to the extent where he’s even


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GREETING his workers with a God-centred HELLO in the
morning. So Boaz is a NOBLE, GOD-LOVING man.

And Boaz GREETS his harvesters, and shortly after, he sets eyes
on Ruth, and BAM! He’s attracted. And he asks his foreman,
“Who’s THAT young woman?”           And the NEXT thing you know,
this God-centred man, Boaz, is striking up a conversation with
Ruth, and the fireworks have begun. And this is ALL orchestrated
by our good sovereign God. NONE of this happens by chance.
And soon we begin to see just how truly KIND Boaz is. And so
men, point number 3 in your notes is this…

3. Men: learn from Boaz…

What can we learn from this God-centred man? First bullet point
under number 3 in your notes…

     Get a good job

Sounds pretty basic, doesn’t it, but I really think it’s essential. And
this goes for both single guys and married guys. For most women,
there’s NOTHING more attractive than a MAN with a GOOD
JOB…have you noticed that? A guy may not be the most GOOD
LOOKING fish in the sea…he may EVEN have BUCK
TEETH…but if he’s got a good job? Watch out! How ‘bout a man
who’s got a good job AND…he’s got some SAVINGS set aside for
a downpayment on a house…or even better, he already OWNS a
house and just needs to fill it with a wife and kids…if you’re a
single woman, does THAT sound good or WHAT?

Even for you MARRIED women…if your husband has a DUD
dead-end JOB…NO room for promotion, NO educational
opportunities, NOT enough money to make ends meet and be
generous to the church let alone SAVE money for retirement, etc,

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etc? But your hubby isn’t DOING anything to look for new and
better opportunities? Or your husband is unemployed and isn’t
even LOOKING for A job? Is that an attractive quality in your
husband? NO! But if he’s SEEKING better opportunities, he’s
moving UP in the company, he’s getting more EDUCATION to
HELP himself progress…wow!

Guys, you KNOW that getting the highest score on World of
Warcraft, or living with your Mom when your 30 or 40 and you’re
still a MOMMA’S boy…is THIS the best way to find the wife of your
dreams? Men like Boaz…men of STANDING, men who are
WORKING hard to move FORWARD in their career…THIS is what
we must strive for, for the sake of our families and to honour
Christ. Get a GOOD job like Boaz. Next bullet…

     Protect your family

Look at what Boaz tells Ruth here in Ruth 2: 9a…

Ruth 2: 9a “Watch the field where the men are harvesting, and
follow along after the girls. I have told the men not to touch you.

Men, a big PART of your job, if you’re married or PLANNING on
getting married…is to PROTECT your wife. To keep a close EYE
on her…NOT because you don’t TRUST her, but to ENSURE that
NO one is DISRESPECTING her or HARMING her or even
PLANNING to harm her. Men, WE are our wives PERSONAL
SECURITY guard, alright? Which means if your WIFE is always
having to STAND UP for your family in different situations because
you WON’T, or because you don’t have a SPINE…then it’s TIME
to MAN UP and start DOING your job, which I know probably ALL
of you are already doing like Boaz. LAST bullet in your notes…

     Show generosity


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Look at Boaz’s generosity in Ruth 2 verse 15 there…

Ruth 2: 15 As she got up to glean, Boaz gave orders to his men,
"Even if she gathers among the sheaves, don't embarrass her. 16
Rather, pull out some stalks for her from the bundles and leave
them for her to pick up, and don't rebuke her."

Did you notice what Boaz did? He NOTICED Ruth’s need. But
did he IGNORE it? NO! Instead, he initiated GENEROSITY TO
her. Which means GUYS: we should be the FIRST ones to
RESPOND with generosity when our FAMILY and EXTENDED
family needs financial help. To be the FIRST one to offer to pay
the restaurant tab when everyone else is being cheap in trying
NOT to be the first one to offer to pay. To be the FIRST one to
respond to a need our next door NEIGHBOUR or FRIEND, and
the person in our CHURCH family. And so as Jesus EMPOWERS
us, men, let’s SHOW our generosity, LIBERALLY within REASON.

Back to the story. Boaz and Ruth REALLY hit it off. And he
CONTINUES to show favour towards her. And Ruth comes home
that day VERY excited. And TALKING in a very HIGH
VOICE…she TELLS Naomi all about this older, sophisticated hunk
of a man, Boaz. And Naomi says, “Boaz is my husband’s close
RELATIVE, which means he’s one of our kinsman-redeemers.
Hmmmm.” And I’ll explain the kinsman-redeemer thing LATER.

At this point, it’s like Naomi is figuring things out. Perhaps the
WAY that God has directed her and Ruth’s life is only now
BEGINNING to make sense. And we see here that Naomi is ONE
SMART COOKIE. Because she comes UP with a plan. And she
says, “Ruth…we gotta get you a man, and we gotta get you a
FAMILY. And you know what? BOAZ is the MAN you gotta GO
after!” And read what Naomi says to Ruth in chapter 3 verses 3
through 5 on Page 185…


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Ruth 3: 3 “Wash and perfume yourself, and put on your best
clothes. Then go down to the threshing floor, but don't let him
know you are there until he has finished eating and drinking. 4
When he lies down, note the place where he is lying. Then go and
uncover his feet and lie down. He will tell you what to do." 5 "I will
do whatever you say," Ruth answered.

And so Ruth WORKS the plan…probably because she LIKES
Boaz, being the older successful sophisticated MAN that he IS.
Which means that if this happened TODAY, she’d be putting on
nice clothes and makeup and sandblasting and painting NAILS
and whatever ELSE woman do to make themselves pretty.

And Ruth is LOOKING her BEST here, and she goes DOWN to
the threshing floor, NOT to be confused with the DANCE floor.
And Boaz is here. And he’s just ate and drank, and he goes over
and lies down by the grain pile, probably to PROTECT his
investment of grain. And it’s VERY comfortable, because it’s like a
giant BEAN-BAG chair…aren’t those great? Bring back the bean-
bag chair! And Boaz goes to sleep. But then Ruth comes along,
UNCOVERS his feet, and she lies down BY his feet.

Now probably BECAUSE his feet are cold, Boaz wakes up. Same
thing when Tammy steals pulls the covers OFF my feet, I wake up
RIGHT AWAY. I can’t STAND it when my feet are cold. So he
wakes up, and notices a woman down by his feet, and he’s
thinking, “WHAT in the WORLD is GOING ON here? WHO ARE
you?”

And she says, “I am your servant Ruth. Spread the corner of your
garment over me, since you are a kinsman-redeemer." In other
words, she’s REMINDING Boaz of his special RIGHTS as a
KINSMAN-REDEEMER here. And BECAUSE the garment
comment is symbolic of him providing PROTECTION for her, she’s
saying in effect, “Protect me by MARRYING me!”

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And Boaz, being a little slow, FINALLY clues in, and says, “Hey,
that’s a GREAT idea! But you know what? There’s ANOTHER
kinsman redeemer who is TECHNICALLY in CUE AHEAD of me.
But if he DOESN’T claim his right, then YEAH, let’s DO this!” So
THINGS are going really well here. And this leads us to point
number 4 in your notes…

4. If you’re unmarried and you find a Christian you want to marry,
pray and make things happen.

Let me ask you…did you know that Vancouver is the loneliest city
in the world? This is according to a show I listened to on CKNW
about a year ago. And they said that it’s because Vancouverites
are by nature, SHY and RESERVED. And so many people have
MOVED here and just simply are not PLUGGED IN to ANY social
networks AT ALL. And so for single people, it’s a VERY lonely
place to live in, and it’s not EASY.

Now I mention this point ONLY because there are some Christian
single people who are literally doing NOTHING to find a good
Christian man or woman to marry. I’ve seen this in my 9 years of
ministry where they just kind of WAIT for a spouse to drop out of
the SKY or something. Or they’re ATTRACTED to another single
Christian, but they do NOTHING to PURSUE the person. And this
may be ANNOYING to single people, but when I see NOTHING
but INACTIVITY, it just FRUSTRATES me.

Because look at Ruth! She’s MAKING things HAPPEN. And it’s
EXACTLY part of the PLAN that God has put TOGETHER for her!
And lo and behold, she’s got a great Christian man who’s CRAZY
about her and wants to MARRY her.

So my POINT on this is this: PRAY and make things HAPPEN!
Get ON the Christian singles websites…you’d be AMAZED how

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WELL this has worked for SEVERAL Christian singles I know.
Search out and FIND local Christian singles events. If there’s a
Christian you’re attracted to and could SEE yourself being
MARRIED to…PURSUE that person like Ruth did, all the while
PRAYING to God for discernment and so forth.

Let’s move on…the next day, Boaz gets to work. He’s HIGHLY
MOTIVATED. And he FINDS the kinsman-redeemer who’s
technically AHEAD of him in line to Naomi’s family. And Boaz
EXPLAINS to him: “Here’s the deal. Elimelech and his sons have
died. And Elimelech’s widow is SELLING his land. And
BECAUSE you’re a closer RELATIVE TO Elimelech, you are
FIRST in LINE to PURCHASE, to REDEEM the property. But if
you DON’T want to purchase it, let me know, ‘cause I’m NEXT in
line here.”

And the man, in the presence of all the people at the gate there,
says, “I will REDEEM it.”

But Boaz, being the SMART BUSINESSMAN he IS…says, “OH,
by the way…if you BUY it, it ALSO means you acquire the widow
Naomi, and her daughter-in-law, Ruth, to keep the family name
CONNECTED to the land.” At WHICH point, he says, “No, YOU
can have it.” And the reason is PROBABLY because if he has a
new son WITH Ruth and this new son OUTLIVES him, then all of
the REST of the land he ALREADY owns, will fall into Elimelech’s
family’s hands.

And LONG story SHORT…Boaz ANNOUNCES to the elders at
the gate that he is going to BUY and REDEEM Naomi’s property,
and that he’s going to MARRY Ruth, to MAINTAIN the NAME of
Elimelech. Which he wastes NO TIME in DOING. And NEXT
thing you know, Ruth is PREGNANT and gives BIRTH to a son,

named Obed.       Who becomes the direct ANCESTOR of NOT

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ONLY the famous King David…but ALSO of the MORE famous
King of Kings: Jesus!

And remember how we the story of Ruth BEGAN? With Naomi
saying, “God has EMPTIED my life!” But the story ENDS with God
FILLING her life again. And we SEE the amazing and providential
HAND of God, turning something TERRIBLE into something
BEAUTIFUL and GOOD…ALL of which occurs according to God’s
sovereign plan to usher in Jesus as the eventual Messiah and
Saviour of the world. And now the LAST point in your notes is
this…

5. Like Boaz, will you let Jesus be your Kinsman-Redeemer and
redeem you from sin and death?

The great preacher from the 19th century, Charles Spurgeon,
FREQUENTLY referred to Jesus as our “Boaz,” our Kinsman-
Redeemer. You see, Spurgeon saw Boaz as a
FORESHADOWING of EXACTLY what Jesus would do for HIS
Bride, the Church!

Where’s the connection? Well, FIRST, Jesus is our Kinsman, in
the sense that He is fully God, but He’s ALSO fully human, which
makes Him our fellow KINSMAN. And SECOND, as our
REDEEMER, where Jesus would PAY the price of our sin, which
is death. Which meant He DIED on the cross, FOR our sins. And
in SO doing, Jesus REDEEMED and RESCUED us from sin and
death and hell…he PURCHASED our salvation and He ADOPTED
us into the family of God and MADE us something again. Giving
us HOPE again.

And so today, like we try to do EVERY Sunday, we INVITE you to
become a Christian. And the REASON we DO this every Sunday
is because we don’t want someone to walk away from here who
may have been WANTING to become a Christian, or at the VERY

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least wanting to know HOW to become a Christian. And we would
HATE to miss helping someone to MAKE the most IMPORTANT
DECISION they can MAKE in life…PERIOD.

So my question to you is simply this: will you let Jesus be your
Kinsman-Redeemer and redeem you from sin and death…by
simply BELIEVING that Jesus LIVED the perfect life you should
have lived. That He DIED the death you should have died, FOR
your sin. And that He ROSE again to DEFEAT Satan, sin, and
death forever. If you believe IN Jesus, you’re ready to be baptized
and become a Christian. Let’s pray…

[Explain Communion.]




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