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Ruth 4:8-12. Final chapter – an excellent wife.

RUTH-4-1804267
length: 67:06 - taught on Apr, 27 2018
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Friday April 27, 2018

 

Title: Ruth 4:8-12. Final chapter - an excellent wife.  

 

When Boaz publicly takes full responsibility of kinsman-redeemer, the people in the court offered three blessings upon him: that Ruth would build his house like the house of Israel, that he would achieve wealth and become famous, and that he would have a family of strength and strong sons.

 

One of his sons, much farther down the line, will be the Lord Jesus Christ.

 

These blessings are aimed at Boaz and so they are given in the hope that his new wife would be a woman of excellence or as the Hebrew word chayil.

 

We noted last night that chayil (Hebrew: strength, wealth, courage, and virtue) is only real in a person when it comes from God.

 

The Bible speaks of it in God and being gifted to men who follow and trust God. The Bible also speaks of men who claim to have chayil but are only fooling themselves. These men who claim that their strength and wealth is their own are always shown to be weak and insufficient. The Bible speaks of how they boast of their strength.

 

God’s strength in the believer who trusts Him will be learned over time, ex: Paul.

 

2CO 12:9 And He has said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness." Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast [Greek: kauchaomai - glory in] about my weaknesses, that the power of Christ may dwell in me.

 

“weaknesses” - a)sqenh/$[asthenes] = strengthless or impotent. sthenos (strength) with the negative “a” prefix.

 

2CO 12:10 Therefore I am well content with weaknesses, with insults [Greek: hubris], with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ's sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong.

 

Paul’s weakness was the pain that he had to endure. We don’t know specifically what it was, but it doesn’t matter because whatever ours is would be different anyway.

 

“insults” - hubris: to invade the sphere of another with arrogance.

“distresses” - ananke: a necessity imposed by external circumstances.

 

“persecutions” - diogmos: to be pushed, persecution.

“difficulties” - stenochoria: to be in a narrow place, anguish.

 

Hubris is a much stronger word than “insults.” In fact, the Greek words are stronger than their English translations.

 

What seems to be consistent in these words is that they are all external. Invasion, necessity imposed, pushed, and squeezed all point to the external which comes upon us. I’m not sure that that means that an internal means of pain is not what leads to the strength of Christ, but that is not spoken of here.

 

As for the inner pains of the body that are brought upon all of us through old age, deterioration by means of environment or genetics. The Bible only refers to these things as fact for all of us. We all get old and suffer physically. Some have genetic or environmental handicaps that cause physical suffering to come upon them earlier in life. In some cases, in the gospels, physical handicap is brought upon a person by demon possession.

 

However, the weaknesses brought upon the believer are for the sake of Christ and come upon him because he worships Christ.

 

Remember that the strength of Christ will clothe him like a tent if he glories in them.

 

2CO 4:16 Therefore we do not lose heart, but though our outer man is decaying [being destroyed], yet our inner man is being renewed day by day.

 

One might take this phrase simply to mean getting old, but it doesn’t actually state that. Paul prior mentions persecution and affliction and this is the context of the outer man being destroyed (decaying is too mild a word for the Greek diaphtheiro which means to utterly destroy).

 

“decaying” - diaphtheiro = utterly destroy or corrupt.

 

Let’s look at the context of what Paul is getting at.

 

2CO 4:7 But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the surpassing greatness of the power may be of God and not from ourselves;

 

2CO 4:8 we are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not despairing;

 

2CO 4:9 persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed;

 

2CO 4:10 always carrying about in the body the dying of Jesus, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body.

 

These are also external things, affliction, persecution, and being struck down, which would certainly perplex us at times. Physical ailments are not as perplexing as people who attack and oppose the love of God in Christ Jesus.

 

Yet despite such external things:

 

2CO 11:18

Apart from such external things, there is the daily pressure upon me of concern for all the churches.

 

2CO 4:16 Therefore we do not lose heart, but though our outer man is decaying [being destroyed], yet our inner man is being renewed day by day.

 

2CO 4:17 For momentary, light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison,

 

2CO 4:18 while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal.

 

Now, let’s go back to chapter 12 and reaffirm the way in which God teaches us to clothe ourselves in His strength.

 

2CO 12:9 And He has said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness." Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast [Greek: kauchaomai - glory in] about my weaknesses [lack of strength], that the power of Christ may dwell in me.

 

2CO 12:10 Therefore I am well content with weaknesses [lack of strength], with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ's sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong.

 

“insults” - hubris: to invade the sphere of another with arrogance.

“distresses” - ananke: a necessity imposed by external circumstances.

“persecutions” - diogmos: to be pushed, persecution.

“difficulties” - stenochoria: to be in a narrow place, anguish.

 

Weaknesses are not related to sin at all. Asthenes means simply to be without strength. It is not our lust or fleshly desire. It is a weakness that seems to hinder us, a hubris or invasion of someone upon us that slows us down, a necessity placed upon us that obstructs our work, a persecution that impedes us, and an anguish or pressure that seems to bar our way forward. 

 

What is clear here is that God allows these things so that we will learn to trust Him alone and that we wouldn’t learn to trust Him without them.

 

What is also clear here is that we need them to learn to trust. Could any of us claim to learn to trust God without weakness, insult, distress, persecution, or difficulty? The clear answer is no. If they were necessary for the apostle, they are also necessary for us. It is written even of Jesus that he learned obedience through the things that He suffered.

 

It is not something we want. Be sure to be clear that it is something that you would rather not have in our lives, but also be sure to know that it is something that you need or else you will not gain the strength needed to be excellent or extraordinary in the way that God has called you as a disciple.

 

In verse nine, the power of Christ rests upon him like a tent or covering (episkenoo: epi - upon; skenoo - tent) because he glories in his weakness.

 

The strength of Christ is not upon him because of his weakness. Don’t miss that. The strength of Christ is upon him because he glories in his weakness.

 

This truth is intimately tied to the home that the woman of excellence makes in Pro 31. Her way is tied to the way of Christ as a type of Him.

 

All of us were exiled from the Garden of Eden. Israel was exiled to Babylon and then later exiled to the nations of the world. Exile is a major theme in the Bible narrative and the instance of it in history is a picture of every creature, for every one of us has been exiled away from God. Christ came so that He could show us the way home.

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