Sermon in a nutshell: “She is better for you than Seven Sons” (Ruth 4:13-22)

Sermon in a nutshell: “She is better for you than Seven Sons” (Ruth 4:13-22)
This is the last Sunday that we are talking about Ruth. We have journeyed with Ruth to this point. Ruth was just a pagan woman, a helpless and hopeless minority in a society. However, God was with her and used her and made her a channel of God’s blessing and people noticed it and praised God!
When we started the book of Ruth, Naomi lost three things: Hometown, husband, and sons. Hometown signified her past memory. Husband was her present bread winner. Sons were her future hope. In other words, Naomi lost everything. In chapter 2, Naomi came back to her hometown, Bethlehem. Then Ruth went out to get food for her. In this sense, Naomi’s past memory and present food situation were fixed. We can now expect that the future situation should be restored also. The book ends with the story of the descendants. I will read the Bible for you:
“So Boaz took Ruth and she became his wife. When he made love to her, the Lord enabled her to conceive, and she gave birth to a son. The women said to Naomi: “Praise be to the Lord, who this day has not left you without a guardian-redeemer. May he become famous throughout Israel! He will renew your life and sustain you in your old age. For your daughter-in-law, who loves you and who is better to you than seven sons, has given him birth.” Here we see that Naomi was lifted up! Even though Ruth gave birth to a son, they treated him as a son of Naomi. They blessed Naomi, saying that the son would renew Naomi’s life and sustain her in her old age!
Then they made this statement: Your daughter-in-law, Ruth, was better to Naomi than seven sons! Naomi never had seven sons. However, in the Bible seven means completeness. In other words, Ruth was better than any perfect son! What a change! She was regarded as a helpless pagan widow whom nobody took notice. Now Ruth is treated as a treasure in the town as well as for the Naomi’s family.
That is not the end. We have a genealogy which ends with the name, David! He was the greatest king for the Israelites and an ancestor of our Lord Jesus. If we read the genealogy of Jesus in Matthew 1, we can find the name, Ruth there. Only four women’s names are recorded in that genealogy and Ruth is one of them!
This is how a short story of one person has been included in the History section of the Old Testament. In the OT we have four parts: Law, History, Prophets, and Writings. Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy are five books in the Law section (Pentateuch). History includes Joshua(Pre Canaan), Judges, Ruth, Samuel, Kings, Chronicles(In Canaan), Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther. (Exile, post Exile), Prophetic books have two categories: 4 Major Prophets (Isaiah, Jeremiah & Lamentation, Ezekiel, Daniel based on the length of the books) and 12 Minor Prophets (Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zechariah, Haggai, Zephaniah, Malachi). Writings have 5 books (Job, Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Songs of Solomon). As you have seen here, Ruth is a part of a history section. Why? The book of Ruth moves history from Judges to Samuel (The times of kings). We see here that God uses individuals to make history! When we build up community of love through our sacrificial participation, we can also make our lives a part of God’s history! We will see that also in the book of Acts!
1. Who is one person that you know who moves from individual person to a historical figure?
2. What would you do to be a part of God’s history?

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About biblepreacher

United Methodist Church Pastor. My wife, Hysung Hong Lee, is also a UMC pastor and my children are all grown and have their independent life. We have now empty nest. I and my wife are collecting some mission eggs now in that nest!
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