Life Applications and Lessons from Ruth Chapter Four

Saturday Morning Life Applications (Vol. 85)

There are so many life applications and lessons from Ruth chapter four. However, there is also a common theme throughout the chapter – legacy!

Life applications and lessons from Ruth

I absolutely love the idea of family legacy, and Ruth chapter four is full of legacy lessons. Let’s take a look at this final chapter of the book of Ruth with intentions of seeing the lessons and applying them to our lives.

A Brief History of the Book of Ruth – Fourth Chapter

The fourth chapter began with Boaz going to the city gate and gathering the elders of the city to act as witnesses. Then Boaz called the closest family redeemer to see if he wanted to purchase the parcel of land from Naomi. After he agreed to buy Elimelech’s land, Boaz mentioned the fact that he would also need to acquire Ruth, the Moabite woman. The redeemer was not willing to take the offer, so Boaz bought the land and married Ruth himself.

Boaz did the right thing and purchased Naomi’s land and married Ruth. The Lord blessed them with a baby boy, Obed. This child would eventually be the grandfather of King David and in the genealogy of Jesus Christ!

Naomi and Ruth’s Story Line in Chapter Four

  • Main Characters: Naomi, Ruth, Boaz, a Close Family Redeemer, City Elders
  • Setting
    • Time: Period of the judges, Morning
    • Place: Bethlehem, City Gate
  • Conflict: They needed a family redeemer to protect and provide for them for the rest of their lives.
  • Theme: Leaving a legacy
  • Foreshadowing: Ruth 4:11 “The elders and all the people who were at the gate said, ‘We are witnesses. May the Lord make the woman who is entering your house like Rachel and Leah, who together built the house of Israel. May you be powerful in Ephrathah and famous in Bethlehem.'”

All About Legacy

“The redeemer replied, ‘I can’t redeem it myself, or I will ruin my own inheritance. Take my right of redemption, because I can’t redeem it.’”
Ruth 4:6

  • It wasn’t that he couldn’t redeem the land and take Ruth as his wife, but he wouldn’t. There is a difference. He thought he would lose too much if he did.
  • Boaz was not thinking about himself in that matter. Because he accepted the responsibility, he ended up with a place in the lineage of the Messiah! What a great blessing!
  • Selfless actions result in blessings. They may not happen immediately, but they will happen.
  • The blessings you receive for blessing others may not be physical but spiritual. Spiritual blessings are the best!
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The purpose of a kinsman redeemer was to benefit deceased family members. This kind act of redemption not only helped Naomi and Ruth, but it also preserved the names of Mahlon and Elimelech. Boaz’s redemption preserved their family line and gave them a legacy.

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The Prophesied Legacies of Boaz and Ruth

When you take a look at the genealogy of Jesus, you can see that these very prophecies came true.

  • Rachel and Leah – They were fruitful and raised the tribes of Israel. Their lineage grew and was very numerous!
  • Powerful in Ephrathah (Bethlehem) – On an earthly level, think of King David (from Bethlehem) and how powerful he was as a warrior. On a Spiritual note, the Lord Jesus Christ is all powerful! When He returns, we will see a power that is beyond anything we can imagine.
  • Famous in Bethlehem – Bethlehem was a small town located outside of Jerusalem. However, this small little town is very well known as the birthplace of Christ. Just think of all of the Christmas songs that mention Bethlehem, sung by all of these famous people. I would say it is very famous – even the city has a legacy!
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“May your house become like the house of Perez, the son Tamar bore to Judah, because of the offspring the Lord will give you by this young woman.”
Ruth 4:12

It took me several times of reading this verse before I caught the connection. If you read the story of Judah and Tamar (Genesis 38), Tamar was basically in the same situation as Ruth. She had a deceased husband, and she was childless.

When her husband died, his oldest brother which would have been the closest relative stepped in, just as Boaz did, but this brother also died. Each brother did the same thing, but each one died, except the one who was too young to marry. I am not sharing the rest of the “Lifetime Movie” plot, but you should definitely read it.

The end result was that Tamar had twins, Perez and Zerah. Perez is also in the genealogy of Jesus.

In both of these situations, the Lord used some of the most unlikely people to be in the genealogy of Jesus. Each of the mothers, fathers, and babies are mentioned throughout the Bible as being in His family line. What a legacy!

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“Boaz took Ruth and she became his wife. When he was intimate with her, the Lord enabled her to conceive, and she gave birth to a son. 14 Then the women said to Naomi, ‘Praise the Lord, who has not left you without a family redeemer today. May his name become well known in Israel.  15 He will renew your life and sustain you in your old age. Indeed, your daughter-in-law, who loves you and is better to you than seven sons, has given birth to him.’ 16 Naomi took the child, placed him on her lap, and took care of him. 17 The neighbor women said, ‘A son has been born to Naomi,’ and they named him Obed. He was the father of Jesse, the father of David.”
Ruth 4:13-17

These verses share the prophecy and legacy of the baby, Obed. When you think about it, his name is still read in the Bible today, thousands of years later. He went on to have Jesse who had David. I can only imagine how he poured into his grandchildren. I wonder what kind of influence he must have had on King David?

Life Applications and Lessons

  • The Lord can take our difficult situations and turn them into eternal blessings! These blessings go far beyond our lifetime. Trust Him to work it all out for you.
  • Look at everything that Naomi’s closest relative gave up because he was afraid of losing some of his inheritance. The irony is that he gave up so much more inheritance by holding onto to what little he had.
  • God’s economy is always best.
  • Don’t trade the eternal for the temporary.
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In the previous chapter we got to see the providence of God. We witnessed the way He orchestrated all of the pieces of their lives to change very difficult circumstances into a great blessing. He can do the same for us – He is the Restorer of Life!

Although the story of Ruth is written in only four short chapters, it is filled with life applications and lessons we can apply to our own lives. It is a great story of God’s love and redemption and the great things He does for ordinary people.

Related Songs to Ruth Chapter Four

Legacy by Nicole Nordeman
Lose My Soul by TobyMac

Please join us as we read God’s Word each week and learn to apply His principles to our lives.

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If you have joined me recently, these daily life application posts are examples of some of the comments I am writing in the Bibles I am giving to my grandchildren when they graduate from high school. Click here to see the post where I explain this eternal gift idea. I want to give them all the resources I can to use in today’s world!

Rose colored She Reads Truth Bible for life applications and lessons

1 –Life Applications and Lessons from Ruth Chapter One
2 –Life Applications and Lessons from Ruth Chapter Two
3 –Life Applications and Lessons from Ruth Chapter Three

Until next week…

Closing Signature

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But Ruth replied, “Don’t urge me to leave you or to turn back from you. Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Thy people will be my people and thy God my God. Where you die I will die, and there I will be buried. May the Lord deal with me, be it ever so severely, if even death separates you and me.”

(Old Testament)

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  1. Ruth is definitely one of those books I wish was longer. It’s filled with tons of little nuggets and I’ve really enjoyed diving deeper into it with you. You have such an amazing way of explaining things and making them applicable to our daily lives. I can’t wait to hear what’s next! Big hugs, CoCo PS: Praying for you this month as you begin to transition and leave a legacy of your own. Those kids and the staff are so lucky to have you!

    1. You are so sweet! I will truly miss the kids and the people I work with – they are great! I appreciate the prayers so much!!! I have to work a few weeks after school is out, but June 19th is it. I have also loved going through the book of Ruth. There were so many nuggets I had not seen before. I love when He does that! Have a wonderful week!

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