Ruth Part 4 – The Price of Grace

What it Cost Boaz to Give Grace to Ruth!

Ruth Chapter 4

May 24, 2015 AM

Pastor Craig Ledbetter

Bible Baptist Church, Ballincollig, Cork, Ireland


I.       Introduction (James 4:6)


A.    For the last three weeks, we have learned about how Grace works!


1.      The whole Book of Ruth is simply about how an unworthy woman, a Moabite woman named, Ruth Accessed, and then Experienced the grace of God.

2.      And then last week we watched how Ruth could do nothing except TRUST the Grace of God to work out all her problems!


B.     What is GRACE?


1.      It is being forgiven and loved, instead of condemned and cursed like we deserve!

2.      It is living free, instead of in bondage

3.      It is experiencing compassion, gentleness and mercy, instead of ruin

4.      It is being accepted, instead of rejected and refused

5.      It is a GIFT


a.       Mercy is NOT getting what you deserve – which is wrath

b.      Grace is getting what you DON’T deserve – which is compassion!

c.       It is absolutely Free to us! (Eph 2:8,9; Romans 3:24)


6.      But it costs the GIVER everything!


C.    Meet Naomi


1.      Naomi is a well to do woman with a husband, and a farm, and two good looking sons

2.      Naomi and her husband get seriously in debt from their failed farm

3.      Naomi and her husband made some poor decisions


a.       When a famine struck the area, they decided to get out of the will of God, away from God’s people, all in the name of financial stability

b.      They moved 75 miles east, into  the country of Moab


4.      There, her husband unexpectantly dies

5.      Then Naomi and her two sons make some more poor decisions – married Moabite girls

6.      And then both of her sons died unexpectantly!

7.      Naomi ends up bitter, angry at God, and worse off than ever!


D.    Meet Ruth


1.      She was a pagan girl from birth – only knew idolatry, abuses, and loss

2.      She was a foreigner – NOT a Jew

3.      She was cursed by God (Dt 23:3,4)

4.      She was a nobody!

5.      That is, until she had met Naomi from Israel!

8.      And now both Naomi and Ruth are poor widows – destitute and without hope unless God intervened


E.     That’s when Ruth stumbled upon the Grace of God, and was invited to enter into it!

F.     She simply ACCEPTED Grace as it was offered to her, and the more she humbly accepted it, the more was given to her! What a principle!

II.    Background – Ruth Chapter 3


A.    Naomi Has a Kinsman (2:1)


1.      God had given Naomi a relative, a kinsman, who could pay off all their debts


a.       A kinsman is someone in your family – Could be a brother, or a cousin, a distant cousin – like “next of kin”

b.      This man is a brother-in-law


2.      His name was Boaz

3.      Boaz is a very kind man – very gracious natured towards everyone, even to his workers

4.      Boaz is a bachelor – that will be important to note!

5.      He extended Grace to Ruth (2:8,9,11,12) – extreme kindness to someone unworthy


a.       Told her she could Stay and work all she wanted in his fields

b.      Warned all the other young men to stay away from her and not to ever bother her

c.       Treated her to lunch

d.      Gave her more grain than she personally had worked for

e.       She was blessed, and so grateful!


6.      Boaz falls in love with Ruth


B.     Naomi Got Busy (3:1) Matchmaking. Wants to get Ruth married to a good man

C.     Naomi Prepared Ruth to Meet Boaz (3:2-4)

D.    Ruth Accepted Naomi’s Advice, in Faith (3:5,6)


1.      There is much Meekness in her spirit and attitude


a.       She could have fought her mother in law

b.      Could have come up with her own plan

c.       She has learned to yield


2.      And that does not mean she is weak and only a rug that will be walked all over

3.      NO! It means that she will receive MORE of God’s help (James 4:6)! Which is what she needs more than anything!


E.     Boaz Gets a Gentle Nudge (3:7-9) – to Act on her and Naomi’s behalf


1.      Ruth sneaks in to the barn when all the men who have been sifting wheat are sleeping – came in softly


a.       She then uncovered Boaz’s feet

b.      And lays down there next to his stinky feet!

c.       Nothing sexual or sensual is going on

d.      Just a widow


1)      Following the instructions of an old, outdated, out of step mother-in-law!

2)      And Waiting on God to show the next step!


2.      At midnight, Boaz’s feet are cold, and he wakes up, terrified


a.       And his feet bump up against someone!

b.      Terrifies him! Scares him – like it would anybody!

c.       When he sat up, he saw “a” woman – had no idea who she was

d.      Now he is REALLY TERRIFIED!


3.      Whispers, “Who are you?”

4.      And Ruth whispers back – pegs Boaz


a.        “I am Ruth”

b.      “Cover me” Cover my shame, my debts, my past

c.       Because you are a kinsman – you are FAMILY!


1)      That meant that he had the God-given responsibility to take over their debts

2)      He had the rights to the farm if he could pay the debt

3)      But it had to be done before the “bank” foreclosed on the debts


F.     Boaz Accepts His Responsibility (3:10-12)


1.      Boaz loved Ruth. Looked for a way to save her mother-in-law, and to save Ruth!

2.      Isn’t it wonderful to have a family? To have people that God has given to you to pick you up when you fall, and fail? You had better not be so quick to walk away from them!


G.    But There was Someone In-between Boaz and Naomi (3:12-13)


1.      Someone who is closer in family than Boaz

2.      This relative, this near kinsman has the first dibs on the debts, on the farm, and on all that Elimelech had – including this lovely young widow named Ruth, and her mother-in-law

3.      This was a real concern


a.       Would this other kinsman (next of kin) even care about Naomi or Ruth?

b.      Would he only want the farm, and not ever take care of Naomi and Ruth?

c.       Would he even have the money to pay off all the debts?

d.      Would this mean Ruth and Boaz could never get married? Ruth might have to remain a widow for the rest of her life!

e.       So many uncertainties – whew! That’s life!


4.      What can Ruth do?

5.      Nothing! She had to completely trust Boaz now, to handle this!


III. Review the typology, Symbolism – Who and what these people amazingly represent


A.    Naomi is the Jews, that knows how to trust and obey God, but she ends up OUT of the will of God, bitter, and full of regret for all her failures

B.     Ruth is the Gentiles, that is foreign to the goodness of God – cursed, and rejected, but now, simply because of God’s grace, and her own humility, she has been allowed to access life and a future in Israel

C.     ALL their husbands were just like our old nature – flesh – only gets us in debts, and away from God. End up dying

D.    Boaz is just like the Lord Jesus Christ, who is wealthy and mighty, and can pay off all debts. Remember, this is all playing out in the little village of… “BETHLEHEM”

E.     Boaz is in love with Ruth, like Jesus loves the Church of all Christians

F.      There is another Kinsman, who has first dibs on us – he is like the Law. He saves NO ONE!

G.    This Week – The Cost of God’s Grace! What it costs for Boaz to get Ruth, is EVERYTHING!


IV. Message – What Grace Costs to Give


A.    Boaz Confronts His Brother (Ruth 4:1,2)


1.      At the city gate – where business transactions were made, and where court was held, out in the open, in public view

2.      Waits for his brother to pass by

3.      Calls to him to sit and make an important decision

4.      Asked 10 men, elders of the city, to sit with them and witn4ess what they are about to decide


B.     Asks His Brother to Redeem Naomi’s Debt (Ruth 4:3,4)


1.      It is ‘Family Debt’

2.      Naomi is offering her land for sale to pay off debt

3.      Advertised – give notice of opportunity

4.      It will become yours, if you are willing to take it over

5.      A near kinsman has the right to take over debts of family members first, before others can bid


a.       Lev 25:25 “If thy brother be waxen poor, and hath sold away some of his possession, and if any of his kin come to redeem it, then shall he redeem that which his brother sold.”

b.      Num 36:8,9 “And every daughter, that possesseth an inheritance in any tribe of the children of Israel, shall be wife unto one of the family of the tribe of her father, that the children of Israel may enjoy every man the inheritance of his fathers. Neither shall the inheritance remove from one tribe to another tribe; but every one of the tribes of the children of Israel shall keep himself to his own inheritance.”


6.      It is the redemption, buying back, paying off, the debt of someone else!

7.      Boaz offers, If you won’t do it, then I will

8.      The other kinsman agrees to it - No problem. Glad to!


C.    The Fine Print (Ruth 4:5)


1.      What is involved is more than just a land deal…

2.      But Naomi is part of the problem to be fixed


a.       Not only is Naomi’s land up for sale, but also Naomi herself needs cared for

b.      Part of family responsibility is to take care of family when they cannot work


3.      AND… Ruth, the Moabitess as well


a.       You “have” to marry her

b.      For her dead husband’s sake

c.       For HER sake

d.      You have to take responsibility to take care of extended family as well – by marriage

e.       Relationships by marriage are binding, no matter who it is to!

f.       She has no child

g.      Her husband has no heir


4.      Responsibility is more than owning THINGS and taking care of lands and cattle and possessions, but PEOPLE!

5.      We have to do things GOD’S way – according to God’s law (Deut 25:5-10)

6.      There is such a mockery today of law – because people mock God’s law, which has been the foundation for all laws until the last 80 years!

7.      You had better pay attention to God’s fine print, because it will come back and haunt you one day that you brushed off what God says is still legally binding!


D.    The Elder Kinsman’s Rejection (Ruth 4:6)


1.      I cannot redeem!


a.       He REPEATS it

b.      Something stops him from taking Ruth to be his wife

c.       Maybe already married. He doesn’t say. Just says, “I cannot”


2.      It will ‘mar’ my inheritance – RUIN!


a.       He realises now that his firstborn would belong to another family, and all of his wealth would pass to HIM, and not to any of the rest of his family, or future children!

b.      It will affect my future, my wealth, my name

c.       It will ruin my name, and my inheritance that I have worked all my life to build up – you are asking me to throw it all away on account of a foreigner?


3.      YOU do the part of the kinsman redeemer


a.       Take MY right to yourself

b.      I yield to you! Since you offered!


4.      He was GLAD to NOT have to take responsibility

5.      It would cost him too much to fix all the wrongs of Naomi and her dead husband


E.     The Shame of NOT Taking Responsibility (Ruth 4:7,8)


1.      GOD determines what is the right thing to do. He sets down LAWS to protect people, especially widows and strangers, children and the weak!

2.      A person should do right, no matter the personal cost

3.      Notice the free will – the stubbornness of the kinsman

4.      He proves that a person can choose to NOT do right, but you should be shamed

5.      Public shame for sin


a.       Philp 3:19  “glory in their shame”

b.      Eph 5:11,12 “is a shame even to speak of those things which are done of them in secret.”


6.      Don’t ever be ashamed of doing right (2Tim 1:12)

7.      Was made a public example


a.       Lost his shoe

b.      Should have been spit at… By RUTH (Dt 25:5-10)

c.       But Ruth has no right to be part of this transaction – not a Jewess

d.      Everything will have to be handled by Boaz!


8.      He willingly gave up his shoe – took it off, himself, and gave it to Boaz

9.      Will always be remembered as the kinsman who could NOT redeem!


F.     The Cost of Taking Responsibility for Other’s Failures – Redeeming (Ruth 4:9)


1.      Boaz here is making it look too easy! Like it was costing him nothing!

2.      It will cost more than can be imagined!

3.      It will cost Boaz EVERYTHING to redeem Naomi and Ruth


a.       Loss of all his personal wealth – transferred to pay off the debts

b.      Loss of importance


1)      His life will no longer be focused on his own name and prestige, but now on restoring Mahlon’s name, and Ruth and Naomi’s lives!

2)      He will lose himself in the process!


c.       Public shame and disgrace – of marrying a Moabitess instead of a Jewess

d.      And the shame of not having an eldest child in his name – but passing all the inheritance to Ruth’s future children


G.    Boaz GLADLY Accepted the Shame (Ruth 4:9,10)


1.      Spoke Publically, in front of 10 witnesses

2.      I have freely and willingly BOUGHT Elimelech’s, Chilion’s and Mahlon’s debts

3.      AND… I have purchased Ruth

4.      Didn’t just love Ruth, he proved he loved her, by freeing her from her debts and her loss, and accepting her into HIS family!

5.      At great personal cost

6.      All he had left to his name… was a shoe!

7.      And he waved it and danced around and rejoiced at such a gift! It was his marriage certificate to Ruth – the greatest treasure in his life!

8.      That shoe proved he had redeemed Ruth when all others had failed!


H.    Married Ruth Right Then and There (4:11,12)


1.      Covenanted with her – agreed to all the legal conditions of marriage

2.      In front of 10 witnesses

3.      With her blessing and desire

4.      With the blessing and desire of all the witnesses – listen to them


a.       Be fruitful – have loads of children

b.      Build a home – not a house, but a home

c.       Do heroic things – worthy things – be famous in Bethlehem

d.      Pass on the marvellous heritage of our family, from Judah on down


1)      Rachel and Leah – quite imperfect mothers, who experienced the GRACE of God

2)      Tamar – a messed up time back in Genesis 38 – became a trophy of Grace

3)      Boaz’s mother, Rahab the Harlot (Matt 1:5) – more grace!


5.      That’s what a great wedding it like – doesn’t cost €30,000


I.       A Son is Born – Obed (Ruth 4:13-17)


1.      Conception is not a dirty thing – it is of the Lord

2.      Ruth gets pregnant, and gives birth to a baby boy

3.      And Naomi is now known as the child’s mother – Ruth allows it

4.      Called the child, Obed – someone who gives help

5.      Look at the Family Tree – TEN generations of GRACE!


a.       Pharaz (son of Judah)

b.      Hezron

c.       Ram

d.      Aminadab

e.       Naashon

f.       Salmon – married to Rahab the harlot

g.      Boaz

h.      Obed

i.        Jesse

j.        David


V.    Conclusions About All This


A.    Naomi made some wrong decisions in her life, and had paid dearly for them


1.      Loss of her husband

2.      Loss of her only two sons

3.      Ever growing debts and no way to pay them off – about to be the loss of her farm and all home of ever having a family!


B.     Naomi had become bitter and broken – Naomi had only found failures in herself

C.    But, Ruth found Grace (2:10)


1.      Notice how Ruth accessed and experienced grace

2.      Meek and soft and desperate

3.      Not as someone with rights and privileges


a.       But as a foreigner, stranger – not knowing the promises of God

b.      As someone in grave debt

c.       As someone whose life is only a failure – a poor, foreign widow

d.      As someone cursed, and forbidden by God from being a Jew

e.       As someone dead


4.      Rejecting all other possibilities – all other sources of hope, and help

5.      At his feet! Not as an equal!

6.      Asking him alone to take responsibility for all your mess

7.      Ruth is like you and me!


D.    It took a foreigner, a Moabite girl, to love Naomi back to God

E.     And it took a Boaz to restore her life and family!

F.     Before Boaz could do anything, there was Someone Who had Rights Over Naomi and Ruth – a nearer-kinsman


1.      He is like the God’s Perfect Law

2.      It has rights over us –

3.      The Law Could Not Help


a.       Not just wouldn’t, But could not help

b.      To forgive us, it would end up ruining its perfection – would change it and mar it


G.    HE, the nearest kinsman (the Law) had to be exposed that he could NOT redeem anybody!

H.    Comparisons With Jesus  - Look what Grace does


1.      It does ALL that the law demands – to the letter

2.      It does more than what the law demands – never less!

3.      What the Law could not do, Jesus did (Romans 8:3)

4.      The law demands that the debtor pays his own debts

5.      Grace pays debts personally (2Cor 3:9) – redeems us (Isa 49:7). No matter the how much

6.      Jesus redeems us (2Cor 8:9)

7.      Grace goes all the way to death for a bride (Ephesians 5:25,26)

8.      Accepts US with all our baggage


a.       Takes the curse – OUR curse upon Himself (Gal 3:13)

b.      Gladly accepts all our shame (Heb 12:3)

c.       Ignores all the public shame of His choice for us – people will never understand Jesus choice of US


9.      Produces fruit in our lives – Obed, and king David… all the way to Jesus the Messiah!


I.       How to Receive GOD’S Grace RIGHT NOW (2Cor 6:2)


1.      Look only to Jesus – rejecting all others (boyfriends, government, feelings, religions, Mary)

2.      Come Lowly – at His feet

1.      Thank God that Jesus accepted the burden of responsibility for MY sins and failures. He is just waiting for you to ASK Him, nudge Him to cover you! Save you now!

3.      Ask Him to cover you – take responsibility for all your debts


a.        “Cover me” is the cry of a sinful man or woman to the Son of God

b.      Cover my shame, my embarrassment, my sinfulness, my past, my failures, my weaknesses

c.       Psa_32:1  Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered.

d.      Psa_85:2  Thou hast forgiven the iniquity of thy people, thou hast covered all their sin.


2.      If you don’t ask Him, the law will condemn you and you will be cast out for ever (Mt 25:41, “Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels.”)