The Redeemer in Christmas

The Redeemer in Christmas

Deacon Chengji - 17 December 2023

The Redeemer in Christmas

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Matthew 1

5 and Salmon the father of Boaz by Rahab, and Boaz the father of Obed by Ruth, and Obed the father of Jesse, 6 and Jesse the father of David the king.

17 So all the generations from Abraham to David were fourteen generations, and from David to the deportation to Babylon fourteen generations, and from the deportation to Babylon to the Christ fourteen generations.

 

Judges 21:25

In those days there was no king in Israel. Everyone did what was right in his own eyes.

  • Bethlehem – House of Bread
  • Elimelech  – My God is king

 

Things got really bad

Bad                     : Famine (v1)

Respite               : Moved to Moab with family (v2) 

Worse                  : Elimelech dies (v3)

Respite                 : Two sons got married, remained in Moab (v4)

Even worse         : Two sons die, left with daughters-in-law (v5)

 

She had heard in the fields of Moab that the Lord had visited his people and given them food. (Ruth 1:6)

 

Ruth clung on

1st: Naomi urged daughters-in-law to return home and blessed them (Ruth 1:8-9a)

Both daughters-in-law refuse (Ruth 1:9b-10)

2nd: Naomi reminded them there is no hope of marriage (Ruth 1:11-13)

Orpah left, Ruth remained (Ruth 1:14)

3rd: Naomi asked Ruth to follow her sister-in-law (Ruth 1:15)

16 But Ruth said, “Do not urge me to leave you or to return from following you. For where you go I will go, and where you lodge I will lodge. Your people shall be my people, and your God my God. 17 Where you die I will die, and there will I be buried. May the Lord do so to me and more also if anything but death parts me from you.”

(Ruth 1:16)

 

New beginning in Bethlehem

20 “Don’t call me Naomi,” she told them. “Call me Mara, because the Almighty has made my life very bitter. 21 I went away full, but the Lord has brought me back empty. Why call me Naomi? The Lord has afflicted me; the Almighty has brought misfortune upon me.”

(Ruth 1:20)


Leviticus 19:9-10

9 “When you reap the harvest of your land, you shall not reap your field right up to its edge, neither shall you gather the gleanings after your harvest. 10 And you shall not strip your vineyard bare, neither shall you gather the fallen grapes of your vineyard. You shall leave them for the poor and for the sojourner: I am the Lord your God.

(Also in Leviticus 23:22, Deu 24:19)

Numbers 22:5-6 – Balak, king of Moab hired Balaam to curse Israel

Numbers 25:1-3  – Israelites mixed with the women of Moab and started to worship their Gods 

Judges 3: People of Israel did what was evil in the sight of the Lord, God strengthened Eglon the king of Moab against Israel and they served the king 18 years

 

Turning point

Ruth shares her plan to glean with Naomi (v1-2)

Ruth goes out to glean with no guarantee of safety (v3)

Boaz hears about Ruth / Ruth took a break (v4-7) 

Ruth speaks with Boaz (v8-13)

Ruth joins Boaz and other workers for meal (v14)

Ruth gleans with assurance (v15-17)

Ruth updates her day with Naomi (v18-23)

“The Lord bless him!” Naomi said to her daughter-in-law. “He has not stopped showing his kindness (hesed) to the living and the dead.” She added, “That man is our close relative; he is one of our guardian-redeemers.

(Ruth 2:20)

Ruth 1:8
But Naomi said to her two daughters-in-law, “Go, return each of you to her mother’s house. May the Lord deal kindly (hesed) with you, as you have dealt with the dead and with me. 

 

Ruth 2:20
“The Lord bless him!” Naomi said to her daughter-in-law. “He has not stopped showing his kindness (hesed) to the living and the dead.” She added, “That man is our close relative; he is one of our guardian-redeemers.

 

Ruth 2:11
11 But Boaz answered her, “All that you have done for your mother-in-law since the death of your husband has been fully told to me, and how you left your father and mother and your native land and came to a people that you did not know before. ”


Ruth 2:12-13
12 The Lord repay you for what you have done, and a full reward be given you by the Lord, the God of Israel, under whose wings you have come to take refuge!” 13 Then she said, “I have found favor in your eyes, my lord, for you have comforted me and spoken kindly to your servant, though I am not one of your servants.”


Exodus 34:6
“The Lord, the Lord, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love (hesed) and faithfulness


Lamentations 3:22
The steadfast love (hesed) of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end;


Micah 6:8

He has told you, O man, what is good;
and what does the LORD require of you
but to do justice, and to love kindness (hesed),
and to walk humbly with your God?


Genesis 32:10

10 I am not worthy of the least of all the deeds of steadfast love and all the faithfulness that you have shown to your servant, for with only my staff I crossed this Jordan, and now I have become two camps.


Psalm 63:3
Because your steadfast love (hesed) is better than life, my lips will praise you.


John 1:14

Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.

 

Hesed prevails even in times of darkness

  • In challenging circumstances
  • In ordinary things

 

Hesed calls us to return to God

Numbers 14:19

19 Please pardon the iniquity of this people, according to the greatness of your steadfast love (hesed), just as you have forgiven this people, from Egypt until now.”

 

Hesed calls us to bring the outsiders in

At this season, the world is engaged in congratulating itself and in expressing its complimentary wishes for the good of its citizens; let me suggest extra and more solid work for Christians. As we think to-day of the birth of the Saviour, let us aspire after a fresh birth of the Saviour in our hearts; that as he is already “formed in us the hope of glory,” we may be “renewed in the spirit of our minds;” that we may go again to the Bethlehem of our spiritual nativity and do our first works, enjoy our first loves, and feast with Jesus as we did in the holy, happy, heavenly days of our espousals. – Charles Spurgeon

 

Reflection:

  • How has hesed deepened your understanding of God’s love?
  • Are you able to see how hesed is present in challenging circumstances, in ordinary things?
  • What are some practical ways you can practise hesed to bring outsiders in?
Deacon Chengji
Deacon Chengji
c.chengji@gmail.com

Deacon Chengji is currently studying at Singapore Bible College. He joined The Life Church and Missions (Singapore) as a ministry staff in 2013. He is married to Preacher Huijun.

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