A Song of Thanksgiving: 1 Chronicles 16:8-36
November 22nd, 2020

Unfortunately due to technical difficulties this week’s service audio was not recorded.

The books of chronicles are a retelling of the history already recorded in the books of I,II Kings and I and II Samuel to a very specific audience—those who had returned from the captivity in Babylon and were re-establishing the nation of Israel. 

So, the picture we see of Israel, this point is as a nation that had been judged by God, and had given up much of it’s former glory.  The chronicler wanted to tell a people who were wondering if they would ever be great again that the path back to greatness for their nation is the path of repentance, of turning back to God. 

He calls them to remember one of the greatest days in Israel’s history:  The day when they brought the Ark of the Lord to the city of Jerusalem.  

Although praise and worship is referred to in several places in Chronicles, this is the only place in the books where we see actual praising and worshiping God taking place, in this Psalm of Thanksgiving

We are told to give thanks to God, and then we are given some reasons for giving thanks.  Notice that we are told to give thanks first, before all of the reasons are given.  We first give thanks to God because He is Good—because of who He is—apart from anything that He does for us.  It’s because we know that He is Good, and that we delight to get to know God that we praise Him, worship Him, and give Him thanks.  And then we consider His lovingkindness—what He does for us.

So, our praise to the lord starts with thanksgiving.

List one thing that the Lord has done for you personally that you’d like to praise Him for, one thing that God has done for His People that you’d like to praise Him for, and one of His wonders or beautiful things that you’ve seen that you’d like to praise Him for:

Something that God has done for me:  ________________________________

Something that God has done for His people:  __________________________

Something God made that is wonderful:  ______________________________

Between verses 8-12, there are 10 exhortations—imperative verbs that tell us to do something: 

  1. Oh, give thanks to the Lord
  2. Call upon His Name
  3. Make known His deeds among the peoples
  4. Sing Praises to Him
  5. Speak of All His Wonders
  6. Boast in His Holy Name
  7. Let the heart of those who seek the Lord be glad.
  8. Seek the Lord and His Strength.
  9. Seek His face continually
  10. Remember His wonderful Deeds which He has done

It’s as if David, the Psalmist of Israel is giving the whole nation of Israel a class on how to worship and praise God.  And this is how we should give thanks to God and praise Him, since this is how He wants to be praised and thanked.

And  then we’re given the reasons why we should be thanking Him and praising Him.  He reminds them of who they are:“remember that you were chosen by God”.  And we must remember that we were chosen by God.  We see God, over and over again protecting and providing for those who are His—and He will do the same for us. 

We’re called to sing and proclaim that God has made a way to be saved—salvation through belief in Jesus Christ, His Son, whom He has provided as the payment for sin.  And we’re to announce this Salvation every day.  We’re to announce it to whomever the Holy Spirit directs us to—sharing the Good News.  And notice that it’s not just the pastors who are supposed to do this—it’s everyone.  So when is the last time that you proclaimed or announced the Lord’s Salvation—when’s the last time you told someone about your Savior Jesus? 

So we are encouraged to bestow upon God, or ascribe to Him, or acknowledge that He has all Glory and Strength.

So, we read, that the people followed David’s instructions, his pattern for praising and giving thanks to God.  The time of rebuilding after the destruction by the Babylonians was one of the lowest in the history of Israel.  They were rebuilding a destroyed land.  But God was still on His throne, and whether it was during the highlight of Israel’s history while David was dancing with all of his might before the Ark of the Lord, or whether it was during the dark days of rebuilding, this praising of God and thanking Him for His Goodness and Lovingkindness was the appropriate thing to do.  Whether in good times, or in bad times, we thank and praise the Lord.

Ruth 4: 9-12 Kinsman Redeemer
November 15th, 2020

Then Boaz said to the elders and all the people, “You are witnesses today that I have bought from the hand of Naomi all that belonged to Elimelech and all that belonged to Chilion and Mahlon. 

Boaz calls on both the elders and the crowd to be witnesses

10 Furthermore, I have acquired Ruth the Moabitess, the widow of Mahlon, to be my wife in order to raise up the name of the deceased on his inheritance, so that the name of the deceased will not be eliminated from his brothers or from the court of his birth place; you are witnesses today.”

Then Boaz says, “Next, and more importantly, I have acquired Ruth the Moabitess, the widow of Mahlon.  By marrying Ruth, children can be produced who will continue the family line, and inherit their families’ land. 

Granted Ruth’s petition, back in chapter 3 verse 9 when she asked Boaz to “spread your garment over your servant, for you are a redeemer.”-when she’d proposed marriage to him.  It has provided both the security and reward for Ruth.  Naomi had prayed in chapter 1 verse 9 May the Lord grant that you may find a place of rest, each one in the house of her husband.”  And affirmed her need for security, in verse 3:1 when she said “My daughter, shall I not seek security for you, that it may go well for you?  Boaz had also prayed for Ruth in chapter 2 verse12 12 May the Lord reward your work, and may your wages be full from the Lord, the God of Israel, under whose wings you have come to take refuge.”, acknowledging that her refuge is in the Lord, the God of Israel. 

11 And all the people who were in the court, and the elders, said, “We are witnesses. May the Lord make the woman who is coming into your home like Rachel and Leah, both of whom built the house of Israel; and may you achieve wealth in Ephrathah and become famous in Bethlehem. 12 Moreover, may your house be like the house of Perez whom Tamar bore to Judah, through the descendants whom the Lord will give you by this young woman.”

This is another blessing or prayer in the book of Ruth that is fulfilled.  It’s the story of Ruth that binds the family of David to Bethlehem in the Old Testament.  It’s why we’re not surprised later when Samuel goes to Bethlehem to find David and anoint him king.  And of course, it’s because David was from Bethlehem that Mary and Joseph go there to pay their taxes and it’s there where Jesus is born, fulfilling prophecy-Micah 5:2.

They bless her saying, may your house be like the house of Perez whom Tamar bore to Judah, through the descendants who God will give them.  Ruth and Boaz’ children will be legitimate, because Boaz is doing his duty to produce an heir for the house of Elimelech.  The Bethlehemites were of the tribe of Judah, and were also of the house or family of Perez.  Tamar was also a foreigner, one of another nation, as Ruth was.

God cares about all of the Ruth’s of the world.  All of those who are outcast, and poverty-stricken, and foreigners are cared about as much by God, as the native sons of Israel, and will be accepted by His grace, on the basis of faith in Him. 

We talk and sing about Jesus as our redeemer, but many of us don’t know exactly what that means. 

This Hebrew word Goel is the root word behind many of these words that we’ve said are key words in the book of Ruth.  The words kinsman, redeem, redeemer, close-relative, closest relative, buy, bought, and redemption all come from this root which means to redeem, avenge, revenge, ransom and to do the part of a kinsman—to redeem his kin from difficulty or danger.  And as we’ve seen the last two weeks, it carries with it the idea that it is a duty or privilege to do this for a near relative.

Exodus 6:6 Say, therefore, to the sons of Israel, ‘I am the Lord, and I will bring you out from under the labors of the Egyptians, and I will rescue you from their bondage. I will also redeem you with an outstretched arm, and with great judgments.  And so, we see that God is going to rescue the Israelites from slavery—buy them back as it were.  

Now God had made a covenant, a promise with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob (also known as Israel) and their descendants forever and promised them 2 things.  First, a seed through which the nations of the earth would be blessed along with Israel.  And of course, this is the Messiah, the Lord Christ Jesus, who would save us all from our sins.  The second promise was the permanent possession of the land of Canaan. 

So, in our verses in Ruth today, we find Boaz acting as this kinsman-redeemer, following God’s law as to the way things should be done, and fulfilling all of the roles of the kinsman redeemer. 

So, God has provided for redemption of the land when it’s sold off, and redemption of the people when they’re sold off.

If we go back to Exodus 12, we see that God commanded each household to slaughter an unblemished male lamb, and as it says in verse 7 7 Moreover, they shall take some of the blood and put it on the two doorposts and on the lintel [l]of the houses in which they eat it.  And as the destroyer came through Egypt and looked at each house to kill the firstborn, God said in verse 13 13 The blood shall be a sign for you on the houses where you live; and when I see the blood I will pass over you, and no plague will come upon you to destroy you when I strike the land of Egypt. Which is why we call this memorial feast Passover

Paul makes the point that Jesus is our Passover lamb to the Corinthians in 1 Cor 5:7 when he urges them to stop sinning and 7 Clean out the old leaven so that you may be a new lump, just as you are in fact unleavened. For Christ our Passover also has been sacrificed.  The prophet John the Baptist recognized Jesus in John 1:29 saying “Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!”   We find Peter referring to Jesus as a “lamb without blemish or defect” in 1 Peter 1:19.

And so we see that Jesus is our Passover lamb, the One by whose death Redemption is accomplished.

And just as Boaz was met the criteria to be Ruth’s kinsman redeemer, Jesus meets the criteria to be OUR kinsman-redeemer.

1.The one who was to be the redeemer he had to be eligible to redeem.  He had to be a near kinsman.  Because Jesus came to earth as a little baby.  He is mankind’s near-kinsman. 

2.The one who was to be the redeemer had to be able to redeem—have the means to redeem.  Jesus is qualified to be called One “without blemish” because His life was completely free from sin (Hebrews 4:15).  And because God was His father through the Immaculate Conception, He was qualified to be the redeemer because He was not born with original sin, as all of us were. 

3.The one who was to be the redeemer had to be willing to redeem—he could choose to redeem or not to redeem.  And Jesus chose to go to the cross.  In Hebrews 12:2, we are reminded that Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.  As Titus 2:14 tells, us:  Jesus gave Himself for us to redeem us from every lawless deed, and to purify for Himself a people for His own possession, eager for good deeds.

And it’s when we realize our need for Him as Redeemer-that we need someone to rescue us, to save us, to buy us back from where we have fallen, that He reveals Himself as our Redeemer, our Messiah. 

We can be forgiven, justified, redeemed.  But there’s only one way—through the one way that God has provided.  Through Jesus.

Like the Israelites, we are redeemed from death by the blood of a lamb.  Like the Israelites we are redeemed from slavery to sin.  Like the Israelites, we are have faith in God’s Word, and following it are justified by our faith. 

Ruth 4:1-8 Eligible, Able and Willing
November 8th, 2020

1Now Boaz went up to the gate and sat down there, and behold, the redeemer of whom Boaz spoke was passing by, so he said, “Come over here, friend, sit down here.” And he came over and sat down. 

Boaz didn’t waste any time, and started immediately about the business of redeeming, that very morning. 

Boaz went up to the gate for two reasons.  First, he must find this closer relative  who has the first right of redemption in order to talk to him about it.  Second, in ancient cities, the city gates were where legal transactions would take place. 

So, once again, we see God’s providence .  The one person in the entire city that Boaz needs to find before he can even start this business of redemption, and BEHOLD, this nearer relative was just passing by. 

Then he took ten men of the elders of the city and said, “Sit down here.” So they sat down. 

The elders of the city were like the city counsel—they heard legal disputes, and witnessed important legal transactions, like this one. 

And he said to the redeemer, “Naomi, who has returned from the land of Moab, has to sell the plot of land which belonged to our brother Elimelech. 

Boaz begins with talking about the piece of property for sale.  The part of the transaction foremost in Boaz’ mind is Ruth, but he knows that this nearer kinsman doesn’t feel the same way.  The nearer relative is concerned about the land, so Boaz brings it up first. 

But he is letting this nearest relative (and probably they’re cousins) know that Naomi is in need of a kinsman-redeemer to step up and redeem this land now that she’s back in Bethlehem.

4 So I thought to inform you, saying, ‘Buy it before those who are sitting here, and before the elders of my people. If you will redeem it, redeem it; but if [e]not, tell me that I may know; for there is no one but you to redeem it, and I am after you.’” And he said, “I will redeem it.”

The relative can never say that he didn’t know about this chance to redeem the land.  He’s giving him every opportunity—in fact Boaz says “Buy it now in front of these 10 elders. 

And so, when Boaz makes this announcement that he’ll buy it, if the nearer relative doesn’t, it’s just begging the man to decide to redeem the land. 

What Boaz is doing, in a very clever manner, is making sure that at least someone will redeem Ruth, just as he’d promised her would happen.

And [the nearer kinsman] said, “I will redeem it.”

Now Boaz had made sure that this was what was going to happen, and he’s been very clever, but imagine how Boaz felt, hearing these words. 

Now the nearest kinsman is probably is thinking he can get some land at a good price.  Since Naomi has no heirs, and wasn’t going to produce any more, the land would then permanently become his, and enlarge the estate of himself and his own family. 

5 Then Boaz said, “On the day you buy the field from the hand of Naomi, you must also acquire Ruth the Moabitess, the widow of the deceased, in order to raise up the name of the deceased on his inheritance.”

So Boaz brings up the fact that this is a package deal.  “On the day that you buy the field from Naomi, you also acquire and obligation to marry Ruth the Moabitess.  And since she’s the widow of the heir of the land, who has died without children, you must produce an heir for that relative. 

Now the requirements to be a Kinsman-Redeemer (GOEL) were:

  1. He had to be eligible to redeem.  He had to be a near kinsman.
  2. Had to be able to redeem—have the means to redeem the land.
  3. Had to be willing to redeem—he could choose to redeem or not to redeem.
  4. It was a package deal—he must assume all of the obligations involved—

6 The closest relative said, “I cannot redeem it for myself, because I would jeopardize my own inheritance. Redeem it for yourself; you may have my right of redemption, for I cannot redeem it.”

Yet notice how Boaz’s clever withholding of this fact has made it clear that the reason this kinsman will not redeem it is not because he is unable to buy the property, but only because he is unwilling to marry Ruth. He is not willing to sacrifice his inheritance for Ruth, the foreigner.

If the nearest kinsman married Ruth and raised up a son for Mahlon, the dead husband, then the land that he purchased would belong to the son someday, not to the nearest kinsman.  So he would lose the money he’d spent redeeming the land.  Not only that, Ruth and his son would have been his heir, just like his other children, so each of them would have received less inheritance because of the additional child, to say nothing of the cost of raising the child. 

Now, everyone knows that this nearer relative is able, but not willing to buy the land, since he’d just said that he would before he knew about Ruth, but is unwilling to buy the land since it comes with these additional obligations.

The man wants the land, but not the obligations that come along with it.

We do know that he officially gives up his right of inheritance here.

Now, to understand the next verse, we’re going to have to go back to  Deuteronomy chapter 25:7-10

So, we learn that if a man refuses to establish his brother’s house by marrying his dead brother’s wife and raising up children for his dead brother, then this is considered a great shame for him. 

The pulling off of the sandal is also a mark of disrespect—it’s basically saying that this man is lame, unable to walk, unable to perform the duties that he’s supposed to perform.

7 Now this was the custom in former times in Israel concerning the redemption and the exchange of land to confirm any matter: a man removed his sandal and gave it to another; and this was the manner of attestation in Israel. 8 So the closest relative said to Boaz, “Buy it for yourself.” And he removed his sandal.

This was the formal attestation, that he would waive his right of redemption, and give that right to Boaz, saying redeem the land yourself. 

Ruth should have been the one there, but she really doesn’t have a way to do this herself.  But Boaz steps in and does this part.

Ruth had No redemption value to the closer relative

Cared more about his position/inheritance than redeeming Ruth—no love for her.

We can’t redeem anyone, but we can introduce them to their kinsman-redeemer.

Some people think that the nearest kinsman is representative of the Law, remember the Law could not redeem us, only condemn us.  Salvation is not by keeping the law, but on the basis of what Jesus has done.  In Redemption, there’s nothing we can do to earn it, nothing we can do to add to it, it’s the finished work of Jesus on the Cross.

Now remember, it was a mark of shame to remove the sandal, that he would not redeem Ruth.  To the nearest kinsman, the removed sandal was a mark of shame, but to BOAZ it was a marriage license.  The cross—to the world a mark of shame, but to Christians a marriage license, the way for the Kinsman Redeemer to claim us.