Boaz a Man of the Word

December 15, 2016

Good Evening Church,

I pray that you are staying warm amidst the arctic blast that is bearing down upon our region. Our family was able to get away earlier this week for a quick trip to Williamsburg for a few days. What a blessing it was to spend time together enjoying our family and rejoicing over the wonderful gift of Christmas. The real reason for Christmas is often pushed out and overshadowed by the craziness that follows this time of year. Sadly, I understand how difficult and stressful this season can be, but I pray that you will schedule some specific time to step aside and praise the Lord for all He has done through the miracle that came in a manger. In order to help with that I will be preaching this week and next on the marvelous story and gift of Christmas as seen through Immanuel.[1] Have you ever considered the remarkable reality that the God who dwells in light unapproachable[2] came to earth and dwelt among sinful man in order to seek and to save the lost?[3] This is a story that displays the mercy, grace, and wonder of God like no other, and I look forward to contemplating the marvelous nature and meaning of Immanuel.[4]  We will also be having a Christmas Eve candlelight service this year where we will take a panoramic view of the Christmas story in its entirety through both narration and song which will culminate with a corporate celebration of communion. Multiple opportunities to hear, share, enjoy, and celebrate the birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, the Prince of Peace![5]

Boaz a Man of the Word

 

How thankful I am for the faithfulness of our providential God who sovereignly cares for our every need. What a blessing it has been to see God’s divine providence personally and practically on display through the book of Ruth.[6] As we grow through this series, I like to revisit certain truths and remind us of lessons learned to deepen our understanding of God and enjoyment of Ruth. Last week I referenced the reality of how Israel was commanded to love the foreigner who sojourned with them.[7] This was to manifest itself through how they provisionally and tenderly cared for the downtrodden, which included the widow, orphan, poor, and the alien who sought to follow Yahweh.[8] Thus, God clearly demonstrated His watch care for all men[9] and sought to display and declare this through Israel to all the other nations of the earth.[10] Boaz is a clear picture of what a man of the Word looks like as he faithfully followed the Law, and in so doing clearly displayed the character of the Lord of the Law.[11] This is why I used the Good Samaritan[12] as an illustration of what Boaz was doing as he loved his neighbor as himself as he was commanded to.[13]

Just like the Samaritan in the story Jesus told[14] stood as stark contrast between what Israel was called to be and what Israel was, so Boaz is a light of faithfulness in the midst of a time of great unfaithfulness.[15]Here are a few thoughts we can glean from all of this. First, it is possible to be self-sacrificing even when you live in a culture that is self-serving, especially when your focus is on staying faithful to the Word.[16]Both Boaz and the Good Samaritan teach us this as they both gave of themselves for the service and protection of others in need, which was counter cultural to the context of their times. How much we need to learn that lesson today as all of us live, move, and have our being in the centrifugal force of a self-centered universe. Second, I do not want us to miss the ultimate picture Boaz paints of the sacrificial love of Christ for the foreigner as He served and died for His enemies.[17] Just like Ruth and Naomi, we were hopeless and in complete need of outside help through grace and mercy![18]  That is exactly what the Gospel secures through God’s providential plan of sovereign salvation, which meant sending His one and only Son to die in our place.[19] I love how the Story of Ruth continues to point us to the faithfulness of God in both preparing to send and ultimately sending His Son which is what this season is all about!

May the Lord continue to grow you in the grace of the Gospel as you stay faithful in serving Him who is always faithful. I look forward to seeing you and worshipping with you on Sunday!

Yours for the Master,

Pastor Matt

 

[1] Mt 1:22-23

[2] 1 Tim 6:16

[3] Lk 19:10

[4] Isa 7:10-17

[5] Isa 9:6-7

[6] Ruth 1:6; 1:14-18; 1:22; 2:1; 2:3; 2:4; 2:8-13

[7] Dt 10:18-19

[8] Lev 19:18, 33-34

[9] Dt 24:27-22

[10] Ex 19:6; Dt 4:6-8

[11] Dt 10:17-20

[12] Lk 10:25-37

[13] Lev 19:18, 33-34

[14] Lk 10:25-37

[15] Judges 21:25

[16] Stephen Davey, Wisdom Commentary Series

[17] Rom 5:10

[18] Col 1:21-22

[19] Jn 3:16; Eph 2:1-10; Rom 6:23; 2 Cor 5:21

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