We have three 'love stories' today from Chapter 4 of the book of Ruth, and the beatitudes taught by Jesus along with His commands for us. WOW what a Sunday! Have a listen if you have the time (www.hiswayonline.org). Or view similar lessons on the church Facebook site The Connection His Way Church.
The Bible study today was on the last chapter in the book of Ruth, Chapter 4. We see that Boaz has a divine meeting with his relative the 'nearest kinsman', asks him if he wants to buy Naomi's land. He says 'yes'. But then Boaz reminds him that he, in purchasing or 'redeeming' the land must also redeem the remnant family including both widows Naomi and Ruth, and he must marry Ruth and complete the inheritance of Elimelech by having children to further the name of that family. Then he says 'no', I cannot 'mar my own inheritance', meaning that he cannot jeopardize his own wife and family by diluting his resources with another. Plus, as Boaz introduces Ruth as a Moabite, I am sure he was very concerned about his standing in the Jewish community as Jews were not suppose to marry gentiles, especially with the bad reputation of Moabite women. Do you think his wife would be keen on this plan? (I think not) Now Boaz knows in the spirit who Ruth is and is in love with her. He is single and has no one to leave his inheritance to, no son to continue his 'name'. So Boaz 'redeems' Naomi's property, becomes the kinsman redeemer of Naomi and Ruth, and marries Ruth! So we have three love stories here: Ruth and Naomi love each other as a family, Ruth and Boaz marry in love, and our Redeemer shows who He is through this story of love! The village women name the first born son Obed, which means 'Servant of God, or Worshiper, or follower". Obed is the father of Jesse, who is the father of king David. So here we have the lineage of Jesus the Messiah! And through this love story, we see our Redeemer, Jesus! God's will is always done, and if we let Him, His will we be done in us and through us!
The sermon today was on the first twenty verses of Matthew Chapter 5. Jesus teaches the beatitudes and then sums them up in two commandments: be salt in the world, and be light in the world. And we can be those things Jesus commands us to be if we take the blessings Jesus has for us in the beatitudes! We will do our work for Him if we go about seeking His blessings of salvation, comfort, meekness, seek righteousness, seek and give mercy, strive for a pure heart, become peacemakers, suffer for His sake, and rejoice in the face of trials. He also says we need to have more 'righteousness' in us than that of the scribes and Pharisees of that day. As near as I can tell by their rejection of the Messiah, those leaders had none. But we believers, by the installing of the Holy Spirit in us by Jesus, become HIS righteousness. Jesus delivered the truth about life, afterlife, salvation, and His love for them, and I am sure it was more than shocking to multitudes gathered on the mountainside. In hind sight, we have the Bible and all of His teachings, yet many are not seeking Him. The truth is that Jesus is easy to find. And we are to be salt and light in witnessing for Jesus so that folks are aware and hopefully think about accepting Jesus as Savior. That's our job, to be salt and light, and it is likely the most important job in God's kingdom for us to do while we are here on this earth.