The Great Sacrifice

Then the women said to Naomi, “Blessed be the LORD, who has not left you this day without a redeemer, and may his name be renowned in Israel! He shall be to you a restorer of life and a nourisher of your old age, for your daughter-in-law who loves you, who is more to you than seven sons, has given birth to him.” Then Naomi took the child and laid him on her lap and became his nurse. And the women of the neighborhood gave him a name, saying, “A son has been born to Naomi.” They named him Obed. He was the father of Jesse, the father of David. Ruth 4:14-17 (ESV)

Ruth is possibly the most gospel-centric book in the Old Testament. If I was discipling a young believer, I would have them read this book second only to the book of John. It is a true story that God included in the Bible to help explain how He intended to save us. Since He created us, He knows how we learn best. Jesus used stories and parables so that His crowds of listeners could understand His message.

Have you ever made a sacrifice that caused you great pain? How about having to give something up, something precious, with no strings attached?  The book of Ruth ends with a huge sacrifice. Earlier in the story, Boaz agreed to marry Ruth to help redeem her first husband’s bloodline. Now, we see Ruth give birth to Obed and give him to Naomi to raise up.  I don’t know about you, but I don’t think I would be able to make such a sacrifice.  I remember how I felt after both of my boys were born and it puts me in absolute awe at what Ruth was able to do. Obed would take Mahlon’s place in the family inheritance. Ruth would have to have another son to claim Boaz’s inheritance. Scripture does not tell us if she gave birth to any more children. What we do know is that Ruth, Boaz, and their son Obed are listed as the direct ancestors of King David and Jesus. This is another redemption of sorts. While Obed would be considered a descendant of Elimelech for inheritance sake, he is included as a child of Boaz and Ruth in the Bible instead of Naomi. Everyone is redeemed.

These gifts of love benefited the givers, even though they did not know it at the time. May we all have giving hearts like that of Ruth and experience the same healing as Naomi. The future of our descendants may be counting on it.

Prayer:
Dear Heavenly Father, Thank You for giving us Ruth and Naomi. What you did in their lives gives us great hope. We are never so far gone that You cannot reach us. Show us the sacrifices that You have called us to make and give us the courage to face them. We do this because Jesus, both the Lamb and our High Priest, gave up everything up for us. And if that sacrifice is to offer forgiveness, help us to remember that we were forgiven by You. We have no right to withhold and through stones. In Jesus Precious Name, Amen

Journal:
What is the greatest sacrifice that you have made in your life?
Do you feel that it was worth it?
Is God calling you to give up anything?
What would it take to be obedient?

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