September 24, 2023 – Ruth 4
Lesson Date: September 24, 2023
Focal Scripture Passage: Ruth 4:1-22
AIM: To lead students to discover what happened when Boaz completed his promised redemption of Ruth, and to thank the Lord Jesus for doing those same things for us.
Before class: Read the notes on Ruth 4 found in the Sunday School Teacher Book.
INTRODUCTION (Create Learning Readiness): Tell the students to imagine for a moment the following hypothetical scenario:
You are planning to buy a car. You know what kind of car you want, and you have the full purchase price of the car set aside in the bank. Not only that, but you have also gone to the dealership, selected and test driven the car you want, and told the salesman that you will purchase the car.
Ask: “At that point, do you own the car?” (no). Ask: “What must take place before the car is actually yours?” (you must pay for the car, sign some papers, and take possession of the car).
Stress the fact that until those steps are completed, you only have the promise of a car. Explain that the purchase is not complete until you give the dealership your money and take possession of the car. Once the transaction is complete, however, the car is yours to do with as you please.
Tell the students the title of today’s lesson is Redemption Complete. Tell them as we study Ruth 4, we will discover what happened when Boaz completed his promised redemption of Ruth, and we will also think about what the Lord Jesus does when He redeems us.
HEART OF THE LESSON (Bible Study):
- Tell the class this is our final lesson from the Old Testament book of Ruth.
- Ask: “What was last week’s lesson about?” (How to Be Redeemed; we discovered from Ruth’s experience some basic steps toward redemption).
- Ask: “What was Ruth’s situation at the end of last week’s lesson?” (Boaz had promised to redeem her, and Naomi assured Ruth that Boaz would act quickly).
- Read Ruth 4:1-2.
- Ask: “What did Boaz do in verse 1?” (he sat in the city gate and invited the nearer kinsman [mentioned in Ruth 3:12] to sit with him).
- Ask: “What did Boaz do in verse 2?” (he called ten of the city elders to sit with them at the city gate).
- Explain that in ancient Middle Eastern culture, the city gate was the customary place to conduct legal transactions (Gen. 34:20; Deut. 16:18).
- Ask a volunteer to read Ruth 4:3-4.
- Tell the class that in verse 3 Boaz told the other kinsman that Elimelech’s property needed to be redeemed.
- Ask: “What choice did Boaz place before the nearer kinsman in verse 4?” (redeem Elimelech’s property if you will; if not, I will redeem it).
- Ask: “How did the nearer kinsman answer at the end of verse 4?” (he said he would redeem Elimelech’s property).
- Read Ruth 4:5-6.
- Ask: “What additional fact did Boaz explain in verse 5?” (whoever redeemed the property must also take Ruth as wife and have a child to preserve the family name of Elimelech).
- Explain the following:
- This custom was known as levirate marriage (Deut. 25:5-10).
- If a married man died before fathering any children, it was the responsibility of his brother or near kinsman (the levir) to marry his widow and father an heir to carry on the dead man’s family name.
- This provided for the survival of all family lines within Israel.
- Ask: “According to verse 6, how did the nearer kinsman respond?” (he refused, saying that doing so would “mar mine own inheritance”).
- Ask a volunteer to read Ruth 4:7-8.
- Ask: “What did the nearer kinsman do to ‘seal’ the deal?” (took off his sandal and gave it to Boaz).
- Explain the following:
- This ancient custom was much like having a legal document signed, witnessed, and notarized today.
- The transfer of the sandal also visually symbolized Boaz’s right to stand in the nearer kinsman’s place as the redeemer.
- Tell the class that the transaction to redeem Ruth was completed in verse 8.
- Stress the fact that Jesus completed a legal transaction to redeem us; in fact, the Bible says, “For He hath made Him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him” (2 Cor. 5:21).
- Summarize: The first thing Boaz did to redeem Ruth was to complete a legal transaction to purchase Elimelech’s property. Similarly, our redemption involved a transaction in which Jesus took our sin and gave us His righteousness.
- Read Ruth 4:9-10.
- Explain that in these verses Boaz made a proclamation or announcement to the witnesses.
- Ask: “What did Boaz announce in verse 9?” (he called all the people and elders to witness the fact that he had purchased from Naomi all that belonged to Elimelech and his sons).
- Ask: “What else did he announce in verse 10?” (that he was also taking Ruth to be his wife in levirate marriage, “to raise up the name of the dead”).
- Tell the class that Boaz made a formal announcement of the completed transaction to redeem Ruth.
- Stress the fact that Jesus also made a formal announcement of His completed work of redeeming us when He said from the cross, “It is finished” (John 19:30).
- Read Ruth 4:11-12.
- Tell the students that the people and the elders agreed to serve as witnesses of Boaz’s redemption of Ruth.
- Ask: “What did they say about Ruth?” (they asked God to bless her and make her fruitful, citing examples from the Jewish patriarchs).
- Summarize: Boaz made a formal announcement that he had completed the transaction to redeem Ruth. Similarly, Jesus made a formal announcement that His work of redeeming us was completed on the cross.
- Tell the students the first phrase of Ruth 4:13 says, “So Boaz took Ruth, and she was his wife.”
- Explain the following:
- The purchase was completed in verse 8.
- The proclamation was made in verses 9-10.
- There finally came a time when Boaz took possession of Ruth as his wife.
- Tell the class that Christ has purchased us with His blood on the cross and announced His completed work of redemption, but He has not yet taken us to His home in heaven.
- Stress the fact that one day Jesus will take us to Himself as His bride; in fact, the Bible says, “We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord” (2 Cor. 5:8).
- Summarize: When Boaz redeemed Ruth, he took her into his home as his wife. Similarly, since Jesus has redeemed us and made us His bride, one day He will take us home to heaven where we will live with Him forever.
- Ask a volunteer to read Ruth 4:13-16.
- Ask: “What does verse 13 say happened when Boaz took Ruth to be his wife?” (she became pregnant and bore a son).
- Ask: “Who caused this conception to occur?” (the Lord).
- Stress the fact that God is the Creator of all life and He is the one who causes conception.
- Tell the class the women rejoiced with Naomi, and Naomi loved and cared for the child.
- Read Ruth 4:17-22.
- Ask: “What was the name of Ruth’s son?” (Obed).
- Tell the students there are many strange-sounding names in those verses, but the most significant ones appear in verses 17 and 22: Obed was the father of Jesse, who was the father of David, (the king of Israel).
- Stress the fact that because Boaz redeemed her, Ruth, the formerly destitute, childless, foreign widow, was given a lasting posterity and an enduring royal legacy; King David and all the kings descended from him could trace their ancestry to Ruth.
- Ask: “Who is the most important descendant of King David?” (Jesus).
- Tell the class that Ruth appears in the genealogy of the Lord Jesus Christ (Matt. 1:5-6).
- Stress the fact that when Jesus redeemed us, He made us part of an enduring royal legacy; in fact, the Bible says, “The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: and if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ” (Rom. 8:16-17a).
- Summarize: When Boaz redeemed Ruth, the Lord gave her a lasting posterity in the lineage of King David and the Lord Jesus. Similarly, when Jesus redeemed us, He made us children and heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Himself.
PERSONAL APPLICATION: Remind the class that the title of today’s lesson is Redemption Complete. Tell them that Ruth’s redemption was promised in chapter 3, but it was not completed until chapter 4, in which we saw a purchase, a proclamation, possession, and posterity.
Ask: “What was Ruth’s situation before Boaz redeemed her?” (she was a destitute, helpless widow living in a strange land, forced to pick up scraps to feed herself and her mother-in-law; she had no future and no hope).
Ask: “What was her situation after Boaz redeemed her?” (she became a wife and mother, she had a home, she had the security of wealth; she had a future and a royal legacy).
Ask: “What was our situation before Jesus redeemed us?” (we were spiritually destitute and dead in our sins; we had no future or hope of anything but death and hell).
Ask: “What is our situation after Jesus redeems us?” (we are part of the bride of Christ, we have the security of knowing we have a future home in heaven, and we are part of the royal family of King Jesus).
Say: “If you don’t know Jesus as your Savior, none of those things are true for you; but they can be if you sincerely turn from your sins and trust Jesus for salvation. Would you like to trust Jesus and become a child of God?”
Ask everyone to bow their head and close their eyes. Tell any who don’t know Jesus to place their faith in Him right now. Tell those who are already saved to thank Jesus for redeeming them. After a moment of silence, voice a closing prayer.
CONCLUSION: Ask everyone to memorize 2 Corinthians 5:21. Tell them that next week we move into the book of 1 Samuel. Ask them to read chapter 1 and study the lesson in their Sunday School Member Quarterly. Tell any who have trusted Jesus today that you will be happy to speak with them after class.
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