Redeeming a Generation

Psalm 22:30 says, “A seed shall serve him; it shall be accounted to the Lord for a generation.”
We are that seed, a remnant of radical laid down lovers for Christ, but this seed accounts for a generation! The anointing, fire and passion that is inside of you is enough to account for a generation. Do not discredit the value of a seed because that seed can win hundreds, thousands or even millions to Christ. Someone won patriarchs of the faith to the LORD, even though we may never know their name, but the one who mentored Billy Graham will have an account of the souls he was won to the LORD on his behalf! A seed could win an entire high school to God, even ignite pockets of revival across the nation. Every soul is important to God, including you! You account for a generation! What if your sacrifice redeemed an entire generation back to God? What if your decision to forsake all and follow Jesus broke the trend and avoided the victimization of poverty and drug addiction for eastern Kentucky? Jesus’s sacrifice has redeemed us and millions of believers across the world and throughout history to God. Your sacrifice in prayer, fasting, devotion to God’s Word and authentic evangelism do make a huge difference. Now is the time to redeem them.
Someone who redeemed a generation in the Old Testament was Boaz, whose story is interconnected with Ruth. The story of Ruth is very compelling, and it may even seem odd that it is wedged in between Judges and 1 Samuel, right after the Torah. But the story of this woman speaks volumes, even to the church today. It starts with a woman by the name of Naomi, whose name means “my pleasant one”. She had a husband, Emilech, and two sons, Mahlon and Chilion. They had wives, whose names were Orpah and Naomi. Famine had come in the land of Judah, and they began to travel through the land of Moab, which is Ruth’s homeland, because they had bread. However, Naomi’s husband and two children both died, and now Naomi was heartbroken, filled with grief and bitterness. After they returned to Naomi’s land of Judah, she told her daughters-in-law to return to Moab because she felt as though God had cursed her. She did not expect them wait for her to deliver more children, and if she did, they would be too old for them anyways. However, Ruth said, “Entreat me not to leave thee, or to return from following after thee: for whither thou goest, I will go; and where thou lodgest, I will lodge: thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God: Where thou diest, will I die, and there will I be buried: the LORD do so to me, and more also, if ought but death part thee and me” (Ruth 1:16-17). Naomi was so bitter that she wanted her name changed to “Mara”, but Ruth was determined and committed to Naomi to help her overcome every struggle that she was facing. What if we, the church, would have this kind of commitment to God? What if we, the church, would have this kind of commitment to each other?
While Orpah kissed Naomi goodbye, Ruth clave unto her. There are two kinds of churches: The Orpah’s and the Ruth’s. Orpah’s name translates to “stiffnecked”, and Ruth’s name translates to “friend”. The stiffnecked church is the kind of people that Stephen was trying to minister to on the day of his martyrdom when he became the first martyr for Christ. It is the people who are stuck in their religious ways, and they will even persecute the real, genuine move of God. They are self-centered and refuse to care about the needs of others. It is about them getting their blessing instead of being a blessing to God. They love and honor God with their lips, but their hearts are far from Him (Isaiah 29:13; Matthew 15:8). Your actions will speak louder than your words and show who you truly love and what is top priority in your life. Orpah’s feel as though that they have everything figured out, and they are deceived to believe that there is no need of repentance in their lives. They see everyone else’s faults insomuch that they are blinded by their own and never grow or mature spiritually in God. The Orpah’s will leave the Naomi’s while they are in the need, but it is the Orpah’s who miss God in His redeeming power! If you want to experience the kinsmen redemption of God so that you are more blessed at the end than you are at the beginning, and that you gain more than you have lost, you must be committed to others in their time of need. It may seem like it creates a burden, but it is worth bearing those marks for the cause of Jesus Christ. If it will result in permanent change, health, and growth in a person’s life so that they are radically transformed for God and you leave a mark in them that will never leave, then that is when you know you are part of the bride of Christ that serves as a Ruth. It is about being a “friend of God”.
So, Ruth and Naomi returned to Bethlehem at the beginning of the barley harvest. Naomi had a relative of Elimelech’s who was very wealthy, and his name was Boaz. According to Matthew 1:5, Boaz was the son of Salmon and Rahab. Everything changed for Rahab, and her son, Boaz, would become a very wealthy man. Ruth was hoping to find favor in someone’s harvest, and it so happened that she would trip upon Boaz’s field. God is not a God of accident or coincidence but divine appointment. She was gleaning corn in his field. This was customary by law because it was commanded by God that no harvester would gather what they grew from the four corners of their field because it was reserved for the poor and stranger (Leviticus 19:9-10; 23:22). Regardless of where you come from or what your financial status is, God has a blessing reserved for you if you are willing to come and step into His harvest! When she came to glean from his harvest, she caught his attention, and he began to ask about her. Boaz then told his servants to let her gather as much as she needs among the sheaths and not to reproach her. Instead, they were to let some fall close to her on purpose just so she could have extra! This is what God wants to do in your life. As a result of your faithfulness to Him and others, He wants to bless you with more than enough! He is able to do that for you. All that you have to do is glean from His harvest rather than the world’s.
When Ruth returned to Naomi, she began to ask her what harvest she had gleaned from, and she made Naomi aware that it was Boaz’s. Immediately, she praised God and recognized the fact that this was a setup from God to be merciful and gracious to her. She knew God was raising up a kinsmen redeemer in Boaz, and Naomi advised Ruth to stay close to Boaz’s handmaids, and she did just that, gleaning from his harvest until the end of both the wheat and barley harvests. Needless to say, it was harvest time! It was a time of growth and restoration, and it is harvest time today!
In the story of Ruth, she had found favor in the eyes of Boaz in the time of harvest. It was place where redemption would come for Naomi! Two of the hardest things to experience in life is losing a spouse and losing a child, and Naomi suffered through both. Her husband, Elimelech, died, and her two sons, Mahlon and Chilion, also died. If any of us were in Naomi’s shoes, we would all question God, “How could this be your will? Why would you ever let this happen, Lord?” But instead of blaming God, all you got to do is look down the road and see what God is getting ready to do in your life! Turn your blame into praise because two years from the moment that Naomi seemed to have lost everything, everything changed. In Ruth chapter one, people were mourning for Naomi. She even wanted her name Naomi, which means “pleasant”, to Mara, which means “bitter”, because the LORD had dealt very bitterly with her. (Dake’s Annotated Reference Bible, p. 291) However, in chapter four, people were praising God for what He had done for her life! They actually said, “Blessed be the LORD, which hath not left thee this day without a kinsman, that his name may be famous in Israel. And he shall be unto thee a restorer of thy life, and a nourisher of thine old age: for thy daughter in law, which loveth thee, which is better to thee than seven sons, hath born him.” The only way you should transition from the bottom to the top is through a kinsmen redeemer.
When Naomi’s husband Elimelech died, he had a near kinsman that was a mighty man of wealth in Bethlehem whose name was Boaz. Ruth had favor with Boaz because she was a virtuous woman, remaining a widow to be committed to Naomi. *Ruth went from gleaning the field to marrying the guy who owned it! When Ruth met Boaz at the threshing floor after he winnowed, she asked him to spread his robe over her, because he is a redeeming kinsman. In Ruth 2:12, Boaz described her as seeking shelter under God’s wing, which is in the Hebrew called “kanaph.” Not only was Ruth proposing Boaz to be the kinsmen redeemer, but she was also proposing him to marry her. (Ruth is a picture of the church, while Boaz is a picture of Christ, who has risen with healing in His “wings”) She could have already had her choice of young men before Boaz, but she passed them all up to be committed to Naomi. Boaz realized that Ruth desired him to be her kinsmen redeemer, but there was one man who was a closer kinsman than him. So, Boaz sat down with him the very next day in the presence of ten elders, and he spoke of the land Naomi was selling. Boaz told him that if he is willing to redeem it, redeem it, but if not, let him know because he will redeem it. If that individual bought the field of Naomi, then he must buy it also of Ruth, and he would have to marry Ruth. Then, he said that he could not redeem it because he would then mar his inheritance, meaning that he would have to produce children through Ruth, and this would cause problems in the family he already had, concerning his own marriage and his inheritance! Therefore, Boaz became the kinsmen redeemer, and it was custom in Israel that when a man would give up his kinsmen rights to another kinsmen, he would take off his shoe in the presence of the elders of the city that were witnesses of the occasion, and give it to him, demonstrating the transfer of redemption rights and transfer of property. Boaz now had authority in a new territory. Boaz purchased Ruth to be his wife, to raise up the name of the dead upon his inheritance, that the name of the dead not be cut off from among his brethren and from the gate of that place. The elders of the city blessed Boaz and Ruth, and out of their seed came David and Jesus Christ, the everlasting Redeemer!
If you are willing to put on the shoes, you can redeem it! Some of you are walking in shoes that do not fit. *Either your vision is too small, where you become calloused the perfect will of God and the dream of heaven, or you put on shoes that are way too big because of an arrogant attitude that says I can do it in myself and you stumble and fall. Redemption is about wearing the shoes no one else will to see revival in the city, and the angels of heaven are the witnesses who are watching. The prayers of former saints or cheering you on and taking notice. Some people are afraid to do so because it may “mar their inheritance”, requiring a huge sacrifice that may leave targets on them and their families, but the harvest is too great not to go all in! It is up to us to die to old lovers to be faithful to the Redeemer! In the words of Damon Thompson, why glean in the field when you can marry the one who owns the field? Your “yes” to absolute and total surrender to Jesus can result in Redemption because just as Ruth would be the great grandmother of David, through redemption you will give birth to a kingdom that has no end!