Ruth 4

* The kinsman refuses to redeem Ruth's inheritance. (1-8) Boaz

marries Ruth. (9-12) Birth of Obed. (13-22)

1-8 This matter depended on the laws given by Moses about

inheritances, and doubtless the whole was settled in the regular

and legal manner. This kinsman, when he heard the conditions of

the bargain, refused it. In like manner many are shy of the

great redemption; they are not willing to espouse religion; they

have heard well of it, and have nothing to say against it; they

will give it their good word, but they are willing to part with

it, and cannot be bound to it, for fear of marring their own

inheritance in this world. The right was resigned to Boaz. Fair

and open dealing in all matters of contract and trade, is what

all must make conscience of, who would approve themselves true

Israelites, without guile. Honesty will be found the best

9-12 Men are ready to seize opportunities for increasing their

estates, but few know the value of godliness. Such are the wise

men of this world, whom the Lord charges with folly. They attend

not to the concerns of their souls, but reject the salvation of

Christ, for fear of marring their inheritance. But God did Boaz

the honour to bring him into the line of the Messiah, while the

kinsman, who was afraid of lessening himself, and marring his

inheritance, has his name, family, and inheritance forgotten.
13-22 Ruth bore a son, through whom thousands and myriads were

born to God; and in being the lineal ancestor of Christ, she was

instrumental in the happiness of all that shall be saved by him;

even of us Gentiles, as well as those of Jewish descent. She was

a witness for God to the Gentile world, that he had not utterly

forsaken them, but that in due time they should become one with

his chosen people, and partake of his salvation. Prayer to God

attended the marriage, and praise to him attended the birth of

the child. What a pity it is that pious language should not be

more used among Christians, or that it should be let fall into

formality! Here is the descent of David from Ruth. And the

period came when Bethlehem-Judah displayed greater wonders than

those in the history of Ruth, when the outcast babe of another

forlorn female of the same race appeared, controlling the

counsels of the Roman master of the world, and drawing princes

and wise men from the east, with treasures of gold, and

frankincense, and myrrh to his feet. His name shall endure for

ever, and all nations shall call Him blessed. In that Seed shall

all the nations of the earth be blessed.

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