Giving and Receiving

“Then I can’t redeem it,” the family redeemer replied, “because this might endanger my own estate. You redeem the land; I cannot do it.”  (Ruth 4:6 NLT)

When you give unselfishly, you ultimately end up receiving.

The Book of Ruth is a beautiful story of unselfish giving.  Let me review the chronology of the story.  Ruth and her mother-in-law Naomi were both widowed.  Ruth chooses to stay with Naomi instead of pursuing another husband.

Naomi tries to persuade Ruth not to follow her because it would mean she would never find a husband.  Ruth responds with one of the most beautiful statements of love and commitment in all the Bible—Ruth 1:16-17 NLT, “Don’t ask me to leave you and turn back.  Wherever you go, I will go; wherever you live, I will live.  Your people will be my people, and your God will be my God.  Wherever you die, I will die, and there I will be buried.  May the Lord punish me severely if I allow anything but death to separate us!”

Boaz, a relative of Naomi, enters the story.  He is a virtuous man, and he wants to be the family redeemer and marry Ruth.  There is a problem.  Another closer relative has the first right of refusal in being the family redeemer.  At first, the close relative agrees to be the redeemer, “All right, I’ll redeem it, Ruth 4:4c NLT, until Boaz explains it would mean marrying Ruth and sharing his inheritance.  He refuses—he chooses opportunistically.  If we approach God with a what is in it for me mentality, we will never see the full blessing of God.

Ruth 4:21-22 NLT records, “Salmon was the father of Boaz.  Boaz was the father of Obed.  Obed was the father of Jesse.  Jesse was the father of David.”  Boaz and Ruth, both totally committed to giving of themselves, were the spiritual DNA of David, a man after God’s own heart.

You can never out-give God.

Ken Barnes is the author of “Broken Vessels” published in February 2021 and “The Chicken Farm and Other Sacred Places”, published by YWAM Publishing in 2011.

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