August 7th 2019 – Ruth 4:13-22

"13 So Boaz took Ruth, and she became his wife. And he went in to her, and the Lord gave her conception, and she bore a son. 14 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! 15 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.” 16 Then Naomi took the child and laid him on her lap and became his nurse. 17 And the women of the neighbourhood 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.

18 Now these are the generations of Perez: Perez fathered Hezron, 19 Hezron fathered Ram, Ram fathered Amminadab, 20 Amminadab fathered Nahshon, Nahshon fathered Salmon, 21 Salmon fathered Boaz, Boaz fathered Obed, 22 Obed fathered Jesse, and Jesse fathered David."

Ruth 4:13-22

One of the most practical and penetrating lessons of all lies the fact that Ruth found personal happiness when she sought something higher than happiness. Happiness is never something that can be found by searching, either this kind of happiness with a loved one, or any other kind. Indeed, the surest way of not finding it is to go all out look- ing for it. Paradoxically, it can be found only when one stops looking for it, and when one is caught up by something bigger than one's own interests, bigger than one's own happiness. With Ruth it was a sense of duty, the high call of duty. And first of all, she found peace in doing her duty; then happiness stole up upon her and took her by sur- prise in a most wonderful way. All this should teach us the important lesson that we are here in the world on duty, with a job to do, and that it is in the doing of that job, and that duty, that we shall find the truest happiness, not in the aimless and endless - and selfish - pursuit of it. This, once again, underlines the truth of Jesus's words, that 'he that saveth his life shall lose it, and he that loseth his life for My sake the same shall find it'. As is the message of the Cross in different language: 'Seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall he added unto you'. Happiness is one of these 'additions', and it comes only when we have finally surrendered our right to it, and stopped seeking it. Let us not suppose that this made Ruth - or will make us – ‘haloed’ and unnatural. Ruth was a perfectly normal and human young woman, and as such would normally and naturally have thought of the possibility of another marriage, realised too that she was attractive to many of the young men of Bethlehem (2:9, 3:10). It was simply that she had a higher motivation, and because she had, God gave her His best. He is no man's debtor. 'Them that honour Me', He says, 'I will honour' (1 Samuel 2:30). Herein lies the secret of all that is fruitful, and good, and blessed, in life.