What We Have Come To (continued)
I am not prepared to wait to the end of this meeting to apply the message. I am far from sure that there are not some here, now, just like that. I cannot help feeling in our singing of those hymns someone has been a bit wistful, someone has been feeling, 'Oh, I wish I could really sing that from my heart. I wish that that were true of me. I wish that I were in the good of that.' And that wish, that wistfulness may just be this thing, quiet, quietly, but strongly and deeply the Spirit of God at work creating something that you cannot define any more than: 'Well, that is the way in which I feel that I ought to go. That is the way in which I know sooner or later I will have to go, I have put it off, but I know I will come to it at some time.'
Yes, perhaps Ruth had no more than that, and she had plenty to discourage, her very mother-in-law was seeking to shake her off it seemed and send her back saying, 'Do not come, your sister-in-law is gone back, you do the same.' but no, no, she would have said, I think, 'No use, that is the way I feel I have got to go, and so whatever it means, I am going, entreat me not to leave thee, or to return from following after thee; for whither thou goest, I will go' (Ruth 1:15, 16).
Well, that is all there was to this great decision I think, when it was made, but then, what a tremendous amount came to be afterward shown as bound up with it. These two fragments, in the statement of the last to her, look at them for they really are an explanation, they are an explanation of this decision under Divine constraint, "Thou art come unto a people that thou knewest not heretofore." "thou art come to the God of Israel under Whose wings thou art come to take refuge." That is how it is explained: A place among the people of God, and a place under the wings of the Lord. That does not sound like very much, does it, as it is stated? But, oh, what a lot is in that.
Let us turn for a moment to the story. You know that the property of Ruth's father-in-law and therefore of Ruth's own husband had been disposed of because they had left the land, they had lost it, they had forfeited it, but when they came back, this man Boaz, this great man in the land, by strange and wonderful providences came across their paths so to speak, or they came across his, and it was found that he was a near kinsman, who had the right to redeem this lost inheritance. To make the story short, he decided to do so, and at once set about dealing with the difficulties, in which we will not refer to at the moment, the main difficulty was another man who was a little nearer kinsman and therefore had a prior right to redeem. And these two, Boaz and the other man, met in the gate, where these transactions of redemption, of lost possessions were carried out; and he challenged the other man and said, 'Now look here, you have the first right to redeem this lost inheritance, are you prepared to do so?' The man said, 'Yes, all right,' but then said Boaz, 'Look here, the day that you redeem the inheritance, you have got to also redeem Ruth,for she and the inheritance are one.' And the man said, 'No, I cannot do that, therefore, I cede you the right to redeem.' And Boaz redeemed the inheritance, but he also redeemed and purchased and married Ruth.
(continued with # 38)