Sermon #18 Ruth Series:
Title: “To Raise Up The Name Of The Dead”
Text: Ruth 4:4-8
Subject: The Purpose of redemption
Date: Tuesday Evening - September 14, 1993
In the fourth chapter of Ruth we are told how Boaz cleared away all obstacles to his redemption of and union with Ruth. Remember, the purpose of his heart was settled. He had made up his mind to redeem Ruth and to marry her. But he was an honorable man. He would not redeem her, he would not marry her, he would not have her unless he could do so in a way that would completely honor God and his holy law. So the nearer kinsman had to be dealt with. Therefore, Boaz came to the gate of the city, called together the elders of the city and spoke publicly to Ruth’s nearer kinsman, the man who was her nearer kinsman by virtue of her marriage to Mahlon. The conversation is recorded for us in our text (vv. 4-8).
Clearly, the prominent subject of this passage is redemption. The word “redeem” is used nine times in these five verses. Tonight, I want to show the purpose, or object of redemption. It is plainly stated in verse 5. The purpose, the object of redemption is “To Raise Up The Name Of The Dead.”
The object of redemption, both typical and real, is to raise up the seed of a man who has died for the honor of that man.
“The kinsman’s part,” the duty of the kinsman redeemer, according to the law of God, (the law of God which was given to portray and point us to the Lord Jesus Christ(), “the kinsman’s part” involved three things. The kinsman redeemer was obligated by the law of God to do three things. If he failed to do these three things he must bear public reproach for his failure (Deut. 25:5-10; Lev. 25:25-26). The kinsman redeemer must…
1. Restore the inheritance of his impoverished relative.
2. Procure the liberty of his brother who through poverty had sold himself into slavery.
3. Marry his dead relative’s wife and “raise up the name of the dead.”
As Boaz did these things for Ruth, so our Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, has done all this for God’s elect. He has redeemed the inheritance we lost in Adam. He restored that which he took not away! He procured our liberty. By his blood he freed us from the curse of the law. And by the power of his grace he has broken the iron fetters that held us in slavery to satan and to sin. By the power of his grace, by his omnipotent Spirit, our Kinsman Redeemer, the Lord Jesus Christ, is raising up the name of the dead in this world.
My message tonight will be very brief, because I want you to see and remember every detail of my message with complete clarity. I have three points. Be sure you get them. I am showing you that the object of redemption is “To Raise Up The Name Of The Dead.”
I. First, I want you to see that REDEMPTION WAS ALWAYS A MATTER OF INDISPUTABLE, PUBLIC RECORD.
God arranged his law in such a way that throughout the history of Israel in the Old Testament, every transaction involving redemption was done in public, attested to by numerous witnesses, and recorded as a matter of public record, so that the transaction could never be nullified or disputed.
As we read this fourth chapter of Ruth, several things stand out as matters of obvious significance.
A. First, the matter dealt with here is a matter of great importance.
Boaz came to the gate of the city, called the elders together, and a large crowd immediately assembled. They knew that something of great importance was about to take place. Something more was involved in this business than Ruth and Mahlon, Naomi and her daughter. That which was about to take place, that which was being discussed had something to do with…
· The glory of God!
· The purpose of God!
· The People of God!
I have come here tonight to talk to you about redemption. I tis a subject of immense importance. This is more than a doctrinal statement. It is…
1. The revelation of God’s glory (Rom. 3:24-26).
2. The declaration of God’s purpose (Rom. 8:28).
3. The hope of God’s people (2 Cor. 5:21).
B. Second, this business was transacted in a conspicuous, public place - “Then went Boaz up to the gate and sat down there.”
Not only is the work of Christ in redemption a matter of vital importance, it has been accomplished in a public manner (Acts 22:26-27, 22-23).
1. The witness of the prophets.
2. The witness of the Apostles.
3. The witness of the sun - The Centurian - The opened graves!
C. Third, redemption was a legal matter.
It was a legal transaction. It was done according to the law and it honored the law.
There is an impressive scene before us (v. 2). Boaz took ten men of the city, ten elders in Israel to be witnesses to this thing. I cannot help thinking that these ten men are suggestive of God’s holy law, summarized in the ten commandments. Our Lord Jesus fulfilled both the law and the prophets when he died as our Substitute and redeemed us.
1. He fulfilled the righteousness required by the law’s commandments in his life (Jer. 23:6).
2. He fulfilled the penalty required by the law’s justice (Gal. 3:13).
3. He fulfilled the prophets, suffering to the last detail “all that was written of him” (Acts 13:29; John 19:28; Luke 24:44-46).
II. Secondly, THE FAILURE OF THE NEARER KINSMAN TO REDEEM RUTH DEMONSTRATES THE INABILITY OF THE LAW TO SAVE MAN.
We are not told what his motives were. But the nearer kinsman preferred to suffer public shame and disgrace rather than redeem Ruth and thus mar his own inheritance. As I have shown you, this nearer kinsman, more than anything else, stands out in the Book of Ruth as a picture of God’s holy law.
A. The law cannot forgive sin or extend mercy without marring its justice - “The soul that sinneth, it shall die!” The law does not consider…
· Extenuating circumstances!
It only considers justice!
C. All who attempt salvation by the law, all who attempt to get to God on their own merits shall, like this nearer kinsman, bear the reproach publicly forever.
What the nearer kinsman could not and would not do for Ruth, Boaz gladly did! And what the law could not and would not do for us, the Lord Jesus Christ gladly did! “I delight” to redeem them!
NOTE: The nearer kinsman pulled off his shoe - A sign of disgrace, slavery, and disavowed ownership. Boaz stepped into his shoes!
· Moses (The law) put off his shoes as a servant before God’s manifest presence.
· You and I, as the sons of God, have had the shoes of liberty and sonship put on our feet in the Father’s house (Lk. 15:22).
· The legalist is a slave. We are the sons of God!
III. Thirdly, AS BOAZ ASSUMED AND DISCHARGED EVERY DUTY OF A KINSMAN FOR RUTH, SO THE LORD JESUS CHRIST ASSUMED AND FULLY DISCHARGED THE WHOLE WORK OF REDEMPTION FOR US.
Not only did he buy the inheritance that Mahlon had lost, he bought it for Ruth particularly. He bought the field and bought Ruth for his purpose - “To Raise Up The Name Of The Dead!” And soon Obed was born to Ruth and Boaz.
Even so, our Lord Jesus Christ redeemed us to raise up the name of the dead, to raise up a seed to serve him, and it shall be done! “A seed shall serve him.” “He shall not fail!”
A. Christ Jesus assumed all responsibility for God’s elect in the covenant of grace before the world began (Gen. 43:9).
B. The Son of God came into this world, lived, died, and rose again to save his people from their sins (Matt. 1:21).
C. God the Father has given his Son, our Savior, the power to give eternal life to all his chosen seed (John 17:2).
D. All whom Christ was given, all whom he redeemed, all for whom he came into this world, he will present faultless before the presence of the divine glory at last (John 6:37-40; 1 Cor. 15:28; “Lo, I and the children!”).
1. The immutability of God’s love demands it!
2. The steadfastness of God’s purpose demands it!
3. The justice of God’s character demands it!
4. The intercession of Christ demands it!
5. The honor of Boaz, the honor of Christ demands it!
Illustration: The Indian Chief and the Worm - 1 John 4:19.
“My Daddy died for me!”
“Blessed be the Lord which hath not left thee this day without a kinsman, that his name may be famous in Israel!
· He is a restorer of life!
· He is a nourisher!