Blessings of a Child
This sermon was meant to be shared on Mothers day. But then several of us came down with Covid and we have not had services the past two weeks. That being said, I would still like to use the opening illustrations that I was originally planning to use …
Two kids told their mother not to cook for Mother's Day ... they would do it… Nine pots, 2 skillets, 4 large bowls, 11 spoons, 5 measuring cups and 1 whole roll of paper towels later Mom said, "That was the best Jell-O I ever had."
A second grade teacher showed a magnet to her class and illustrated its uses. The next day she gave a quiz with this question: “My full name has six letters. The first one is M. and I pick up things. What am I?” Half of the students wrote, “Magnet.” The other half answered: “Mother.”
A Six-year-old named, Johnny and his four-year-old sister, Suzy, presented their mom with a Mother’s Day present: a small, spindly house plant. While it wasn’t the finest looking specimen, they had bought it with their own money and Mom was thrilled. She hugged and kissed her children and told them she
loved them for thinking of her.
Johnny said, "There was some other flowers we wanted to buy for you, Mom, but we didn’t have enough money."
"Yeah," said Suzy, "they had a real nice bunch of flowers at the shop that we were going to buy."
"But I love this plant," said the happy mother.
"I know, Mom," said Johnny, "but these flowers would have been perfect for you. They were in a wreath and they had a ribbon that said ’REST IN PEACE’ on it AND YOU’RE ALWAYS ASKING FOR A LITTLE PEACE SO YOU CAN REST."
Today, we are going to finish up our study in Ruth. And as God has ordained it, we end our study with the birth of a child… Lets look at it together… (Read Ruth 4:13-22)...
I think you would all agree that it has been a pleasant and encouraging journey through the book of Ruth. We are all familiar with the beginning and ending of fairy tales... Most of them begin with “Once upon a time” and end with “Happily ever-after.”… The book of Ruth fits that line of thought. However, we have not read a fairy tale or a fable, but an eternal testimony of the grace and mercy of God being extended to those who are desperate, defeated, undeserving and yet were able to Stay Committed to what He had called them to do...
Can you imagine the anxiety and anticipation Ruth must have felt as she waited for Boaz to return that day? He had gone to secure her redemption. I can picture her standing in the doorway all morning waiting upon the arrival of Boaz. Hers had been a very difficult and yet a very blessed journey.
As we made our way through this book of Ruth, We saw how she was able to “Stay Committed - through times of sorrow” in Chapter 1… We saw how she was able to “Stay Committed - through times of service” in Chapter 2… We saw how she was able to “Stay Committed - through times of submission” in Chapter 3… and We are looking at how she was able to “Stay Committed - through times of satisfaction” here in Chapter 4…
In these concluding verses we find Ruth and Naomi happy once again. They had faced devastation in Moab, but God had been merciful in Bethlehem and now they are blessed with a family and a home.
Psalm 127:3 says...
3 Behold, children are a gift of the Lord, The fruit of the womb is a reward.
There are times that we may not think so, but God’s Word is true nonetheless… Ruth conceives and gives birth to a son, they name him Obed...
Obed means - A servant
Obed means - A servant
and is, in all likelihood,
The shorter form of the Name Obadiah which means “Servant of the Lord”
and as we will see,… God used Obed to bring blessings to many people… (Slide)
Obed Brings Blessings to...
Obed Brings Blessings to...
1. Boaz and Ruth
1. Boaz and Ruth
Obed brings blessings to his parents. Again, just as the Psalmist reminds us, “Children are a gift from the Lord” and “the fruit of the womb is a reward”… How sad it is to think about the fact that many of these “blessings” are just thrown away…
Since 1973, the year that the Supreme Court ruled that a state law which banned abortions (except to save the life of the mother) was unconstitutional… Since then, it is estimated that 60 million babies have been aborted… That is 60 million people… do you realize how many people that really is??
Let me help… according to the 2020 Census… the state of California has a population of about 40 million people… that is the entire state of California… that is 2/3 of the amount of abortions that have taken place since 1973...
The state of Texas has a population of just under 30 million people… you would have to kill off the entire state of Texas… TWICE! to almost reach the number of reported - legal abortions since 1973
Lets bring it closer to home… you could kill of the entire combined populations of Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, and you would just barely reach the number of reported - legal abortions that have taken place since 1973…
There are so many people that have been asking God to bless this nation, and yet, as a nation, we have thrown at least 60 million of these blessings back in His face… I’ve said it before… “so many people want the rewards, but they don’t want to take the responsibilities...
Boaz and Ruth were ready and willing to take on the responsibilities and God blessed them with Obed… You see, Obed was a living, breathing, example and reminder, of Boaz and Ruth’s commitment to the Lord… v.13 tells us that “Boaz took Ruth and she became his wife; and when he went in to her, and the LORD gave her conception, and she bore a son.”
Here is a bit of a touchy subject, but I believe that it is worth mentioning… … Throughout Scripture, you will find this phrase or something similar to it… “The LORD gave her conception”… This tells me that, God is the One who opens and closes the womb of a woman.
There is no doubt in my mind that Ruth and her previous husband, Mahlon, tried to have kids, but were unsuccessful. Why? Because God knew the choices that Mahlon would make, God knew that Mahlon’s time on earth was going to be short… and if Ruth had a child with Mahlon, then there would be no need of a kinsman redeemer, Obed would not have been born and neither would any of his descendants… one of which was Jesus Christ...
There are times when it is hard to understand God’s plan. But we need to trust the fact that He is in control and has our best interest in mind when He allows certain things to happen or in other cases, not happen. It is so easy to get discouraged when things don’t go the way we think they should and Satan will use our discouragement against for as long as we let him… This is why it is so important to “Stay Committed” through times of Sorrow, times of Service, times of Submission and times of Satisfaction...
God will bring us blessings as we stay committed to Him. It may not always be in the form of a Child, like it was for Boaz and Ruth, but nonetheless, “There will be showers of blessing”…
Secondly, Obed brings blessing to....
Now, I am not to the point of having any Grand kids yet. Maybe someday, if the Lord doesn’t return beforehand… but I can see the joy that grandparents have when their grandchildren come to visit.
A teacher once asked her class of 8 year old students… “What is a Grandparent?” She received several answers...
- Grandparents are a lady and a man who have no little children of their own. They like other people’s.
- A grandfather is a man grandmother.
- Grandparents don’t have to do anything except be there when we come to see them. They are so old they shouldn’t play hard or run. It is good if they drive us to the store and have lots of quarters for us.
- Usually grandmothers are fat,… ... but not too fat to tie your shoes.
- They wear glasses and funny underwear.
- They can take their teeth and gums out.
- A 6 year old was asked where his grandma lived. ’’Oh,’’ he said, ’’She lives at the airport, and when we want her we just go get her. Then when we’re done having her visit, we take her back to the airport."
Those of you that are grandparents today… wouldn’t you agree that Grandchildren are a blessing??
Someone once said “They’re called ‘grandchildren’ because it’s grand when they come and it’s grand when they leave.”
Obed was a blessing to his grandmother, Naomi…
vv.14-17 “14 Then the women said to Naomi, “Blessed be the LORD, who has not left you this day without a close relative; and may his name be famous in Israel! 15 And may he be to you a restorer of life and a nourisher of your old age; for your daughter-in-law, who loves you, who is better to you than seven sons, has borne him.” 16 Then Naomi took the child and laid him on her bosom, and became a nurse to him. 17 Also the neighbor women gave him a name, saying, “There is a son born to Naomi.” And they called his name Obed. He is the father of Jesse, the father of David.”
The ladies of Bethlehem are very excited for Naomi to have recieved this grandchild. They say “May he be to you a restorer of life and a nourisher of your old age...” Remember when Naomi came back to Bethlehem. She was bitter towards God. Her husband and both of her sons had died. She didn’t have a man to take core of her, which back then was a major problem. Her chances of survival were very low. She was too old for anyone else to consider taking her as a wife and she was bringing back a Moabite widow, that was a constant, physical reminder of her past…
But God did not leave her nor did He forsake her… … Aren’t you glad that God continues to be faithful to us, even when we go through times of being unfaithful to Him???
Naomi’s attitude started to change when Boaz and Ruth began their journey… and now she is blessed with a Grandchild, who will carry on the name of her husband and her son that passed away. She has someone that, in the years to come, will be able to provide for her and the rest of his family.
v.16 tells us that “Naomi became a nurse to Obed” and then v.17 tells us that these women were saying that “there had been a son born to Naomi”. It was not uncommon for the grandparents to take part in raising their grandchildren. This is still very common today, especially in the Eastern Cultures.
Some commentators think that Naomi officially adopted Obed as her own, but I am not sure that is actually the case. However, I am certain that Naomi play a very central role, along side of Boaz and Ruth, in the daily upbringing of her new grandson… Just as she taught Ruth about Jehovah, she would teach Obed as well...
Isn’t that what parents and grandparents are supposed to do??
6 Train up a child in the way he should go, And when he is old he will not depart from it.
When planting vines and some bushes, gardeners will attach them to a framework, like a pole or trellis, to keep them from spreading out of control. It is the same with kids… They need solid structure to keep their physical, emotional, social, and spiritual growth on track. This means that we, who are parents or grandparents, possibly even an Aunt or an Uncle, are present in their lives, and should be supporting their growth and development by giving them a godly example to follow.
Thirdly, Obed brought blessing to...
3. Bethlehem and Israel
3. Bethlehem and Israel
Not only would Elimelech’s family name be remembered and carried on because of Obed. But the very town in which he was born, would also be a place that would be talked about and remembered for the rest of time. We even sing about it…
“Oh little town of Bethlehem, how still we see thee lie Above thy deep and dreamless sleep the silent stars go by Yet in thy dark streets shineth, the everlasting light The hopes and fears of all the years are met in thee tonight”
The end of v.17 tells us that Obed was “the Father of Jesse, who was the father of David”. So Obed was the grandfather of King David… and just as Naomi, as a grandmother, helped train and raise Obed in the ways of the Lord. I am certain that Obed also helped train and raise his Grandson, David, in the ways of the Lord.
David is described as “a man after God’s own Heart”… He was a man of great faith and God used him to build the Kingdom of Israel, God used him to defeat the enemies of Israel, David showed Israel how to truly worship their God, and he had everything ready so that his son, Solomon, could build the “Temple of the Lord”.
Warren Wiersbe says “Whether he had in his hand a sling or sword, a harp or hymnal, David was a great servant of God who brought untold blessings to Israel.”
Lastly this morning, Obed brought blessing to...
4. The Entire World
4. The Entire World
The book of Ruth ends with a Genealogy. This genealogy is just an afterthought that the author throws in for good measure. Remember, the Bible was written by men of God who were being directed by the Holy Spirit. And everything has it place and everything has a reason for it being where it is…
vv.18-22 “Now this is the genealogy of Perez: (Perez was the result of the first Levirate relationship, back in Genesis and was the son of Judah) Perez begot Hezron; 19 Hezron begot Ram, and Ram begot Amminadab; 20 Amminadab begot Nahshon, and Nahshon begot Salmon; 21 Salmon begot Boaz, and Boaz begot Obed; 22 Obed begot Jesse, and Jesse begot David.”
This genealogy establishes the lineage of David, it proves that he is from the family or line of Judah… and it also provides the foundation for the Messianic line as foretold in Genesis 49, that the Messiah would be Born from the line of Judah. Nobody knew which family in Judah would be chosen. But God chose David’s family, and the Redeemer, that God sent, would be known as “the son of David”
As these ladies of Bethlehem oohed and awed over this little baby, they called Obed… Little did they know the great plans that God was working out, right before their eyes. In the years to come, Obed would have a son and name him Jesse. Jesse would bless Obed with 8 Grandsons, the youngest of which, was David.
And then, roughly 1400 years later… when these shepherds were minding their own business… “And behold, an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were greatly afraid. 10 Then the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. 11 For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.” - Luke 2:9-11
This Child would be the ultimate Redeemer, foreshadowed by Boaz, to bring Redemption to the Nation of Israel and ultimately the Entire World… All because of a decision to “Stay Committed” to God, through times of Sorrow, Service, Submission and Satisfaction.
So remember, the next time you see you a baby or a child, whether they are making funny faces and making you smile, or they are throwing a fit in church and having to be carried out by their parents... that little one might be one that God plans to use in amazing ways, in the not so distant future.
What an amazing opportunity we have to, not only, see and receive different blessings… But we also have the opportunity to be a blessing to so many people. When we “Stay Committed” to what God has called us to do, He will use us in ways that we cannot even imagine… and He will use in ways that we may not even realize until we get to Heaven and He reveals to us everything that He did through us.
This concludes our study in the book of Ruth. It has been a wonderful testimony of how we can “Stay Committed” to our Heavenly Father, no matter what comes our way. It is also a testimony to the grace of God and the hope that we have in Him… And it is a great picture of the Redemption that we can find in Christ… If God could save and bless Ruth, a despised and sinful Moabitess. Then there is no reason that He won’t save and bless you.
There is hope in Him. If you have never met Christ as your personal Savior, you have missed the greatest blessing known to man and the only means of eternal life. I pray that you will come to know Him today.