One of the greatest things that can ever happen to a person is to find your calling, your mission, to have a driving purpose. Something that motivates you, directs your decisions; sometimes you can’t sleep because you’re thinking of ways to accomplish the mission. When God reveals this mission to you, it takes precedence over everything else, you must get it done.
Today we see a man on a mission. Boaz has a purpose, a calling, a strong desire to save and rescue a lady by the name of Ruth, and he will let nothing stand in his way, and he will not even rest until it is finished.
So, the story is that a young lady by the name of Ruth has become a widow, and in those days a close relative could “redeem” a widow by marrying her. Ruth is an outcast from the enemy camp, and she has just come to Boaz and asked to be redeemed. And he wants to do it, but there is a problem. Ruth 3 verse 12:
“Although it is true that I am a guardian-redeemer of our family, there is another who is more closely related than I. 13 Stay here for the night, and in the morning if he wants to do his duty as your guardian-redeemer, good; let him redeem you. But if he is not willing, as surely as the LORD lives I will do it. Lie here until morning.” Boaz had a goal: to redeem Ruth. But there was a problem; closer family member had first dibs. Notice how Boaz owned this problem, he assured Ruth, he would handle it, would do it first thing in the morning. He was on a mission.
And notice the oath he takes: “As surely as the Lord lives, I will do it.” This was an official oath, a promise, to redeem Ruth. He is going to the other family member to intercede for Ruth. And I wonder if you know this morning that you have a family member, a brother, Jesus Christ, who took an oath to redeem you. He took an oath to save you. He took an oath! “Because of this oath, Jesus is the one who guarantees this better covenant with God. 25 Therefore he is able, once and forever, to save those who come to God through him. He lives forever to intercede with God on their behalf.” Hebrews 7:22, 25 (NLT).
Notice he says, “Lie down until morning”. And vs. 14 says she lay there until morning. See, who this man is, his promise to her puts her at ease, gives her peace, lets her rest. She has a strong, wealthy man who is now for her; he will intercede for her, he will handle problems for her.
And Ruth can entrust herself entirely to him, and sleep peacefully because she has his promise, his oath and his heart; she knows Boaz is for her. She wasn’t anxious about anything, rather she presented her request to Boaz, and she had peace. “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus”. Philippians 4:6-7 (NIV).
“So she lay at his feet until morning, but got up before anyone could be recognized; and he said, “No one must know that a woman came to the threshing floor.” 15 He also said, “Bring me the shawl you are wearing and hold it out.” When she did so, he poured into it six measures of barley and placed the bundle on her. Then he went back to town” (Ruth 3:14-15).
Will this man ever stop giving to her? First leftovers, then lunch then 45 pounds of food, then a whole season of gleaning, now even more. But he has also given her acceptance, and friendship, and respect; I mean, in Boaz she has been enriched in every way. “For in him you have been enriched in every way…” 1 Corinthians 1:5 (NIV).
16 When Ruth came to her mother-in-law, Naomi asked, “How did it go, my daughter?” That’s a reasonable question, but what’s interesting is, if you look at the original language, the words Naomi uses are the exact same words that Boaz used when he woke up on the threshing floor. In vs. 9 are, he said, “who are you?” When Ruth came home, Naomi asked “who are you?”; now Naomi recognizes Ruth, but she’s asking Ruth’s identity: “Are you still the uncovered outcast enemy Moabite, or are you the future wife of the redeemer of Bethlehem?” What is your status? And Naomi wanted Ruth to say it.
Listen, one of the greatest things you can do is study your identity in Christ and verbalize it. Why? Because we always act in accordance with our identity. I challenge you this week, to latch on to your new identity in Christ and verbalize it to somebody. (Discuss pamphlet “Who I am in Christ.”)
But you know what’s fascinating here? Is that when Naomi asked, “who are you?” Ruth “told her everything Boaz had done for her” (Ruth 3:16). Ruth’s identity was wrapped up in what Boaz had done for her. The identity of believers is wrapped up in the cross and resurrection of Jesus where He rescued us, changed our hearts, and gave us a new life.
18 Then Naomi said, “Wait, my daughter, until you find out what happens. For the man will not rest until the matter is settled today.” Ruth 3:18 She knew Boaz would be on a mission, that he would not even rest until He settled this, until one way or another, Ruth would be redeemed. Boaz would only enter into rest when he could say, “it is finished.”
Likewise, Jesus Christ was on a mission, He had purpose, He knew His calling. So, He came to this world and taught great things, confounding the wise of His day; greatest teacher to ever live. And He fed the hungry, elevated the status of women, upheld government laws. He performed many miracles to bless people. But Jesus wanted to complete His mission. Someone who has a mission is focused, and Jesus said, “I have a baptism to undergo, and how distressed I am until it is completed!” Luke 12:50
So, one day they took Jesus to a fake trial, brought our false witnesses, handed Him over to the governor, who declared Him innocent of all charges and then ordered Him to be beaten. In the gospel of Isaiah, Jesus said, “I offered my back to those who beat me, my cheeks to those who pulled out my beard; I did not hide my face from mocking and spitting” (Isaiah 50:6). He was on a mission to suffer and die to redeem you; so, they strapped Him to a whipping post, took a cat-o-nine tails and flogged Him, stripping skin off His body until His back looked like a farmer’s field that had been plowed. He said, “Plowmen have plowed my back and made their furrows long” (Psalms 129:3). They beat my Lord without mercy; then they took Him outside the city like someone was taking out the trash, and they made Him drag a cross of wood up a hill, all the while God had loaded Him down with your sins and my sins; they pounded nails into His hands and feet, the nails I should have received for my sins, and He was covered in blood and spit and sweat and tears. Jesus said, “This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins” Matthew 26:28. As He hung on the cross, they mocked my King by putting a crown of thorns on Him, then they hoisted Him up on the cross and He hung there for 6 hours, totally forsaken by both God and Man, like I should have been; He was completely alone in this world. He was so thirsty He could barely talk; He thirsted so that He could say, “whoever believes in me will never be thirsty” John 6:35 and then the sun stopped shining on Him and His Father turned His face away, and Jesus cried, “Eloi, Eloi, Lama Sabachtani” “My God, my God why have you forsaken me. (Matthew 27:46)” He was forsaken that you might be cherished, He was rejected that you might be accepted; He experienced hatred that you might be loved. And it was THEN, that He fulfilled the role of Boaz the Kinsman Redeemer, and He said in a victorious loud voice, “It is finished!” (John 19:30). You are redeemed! Your debt is paid in full! Your sins are forgiven! And then, having said “It is finished” He breathed out His Spirit and slept the sleep of death. Yes, the Man did not rest until the matter was settled. “the man will not rest until the matter is settled today” (Ruth 3:18). Oh Lord Jesus, our Boaz, your mission was our redemption. And you only rested when it was finished.
And you and I here today, we can trust Him. If you’re new here you can believe this good news for yourself, that it applies to you, and, like Ruth, you can rest in your Redeemer. You will have peace in believing. “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope” (Romans 15:4).
And you and I who are believers; we have a mission, a mission to reach the hearts of people with the good news about Jesus. He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation” (Mark 16:15). Let us not rest until it is finished, until all of Long Beach has heard, and many will believe and experience the love of the Redeemer.