A son for sickness (Ruth 4)

We all know how the book of Ruth ends. Boaz steps in as kinsman redeemer, Ruth marries him and they have a son, Obed, he becomes the father of Jesse and Jesse becomes the father of David, the king of Irael. Ruth the outsider joins the family lineage of King David and therefore along with outher outcastes like Tamar and Rahab finds herself in the family tree of Jesus. What an amazing story.

However, did you spot this important detail. In Ruth 4:9-10:

Then Boaz said to the elders and all the people, “You are witnesses this day that I have bought from the hand of Naomi all that belonged to Elimelech and all that belonged to Chilion and to Mahlon. 10 Also Ruth the Moabite, the widow of Mahlon, I have bought to be my wife, to perpetuate the name of the dead in his inheritance, that the name of the dead may not be cut off from among his brothers and from the gate of his native place. You are witnesses this day.”

Boaz marries Ruth in order to perpetuate not his own family line but Mahlon’s.  The young man who married in exile and died there childless ends up with a family tree. It’s his line that is the line of David and the line of Christ.

I want to make two observations here. First of all, there is an incredible example for us.  Mahlon lives, marries and dies in exile and obscurity. It looks like his life is a failure, his identity is forever associated with sickness and failure.  His very name cries out and mocks him in perpetuity.  Yet, we seen that his journey into exile, obscurity and seeming failure is part of God’s incredible plan.  This is a good reminder to us that if we feel that is where our lives are heading not to underestimate God’s plan and purpose, it may be obscurity and failure for us but the God who turns our weaknesses into his opportunities can use us in weakness and obscurity for his glory.

Secondly, Jesus not only has outcasts, prostitutes and foreigners in his lineage. He has someone in his ancestry called “sickness.”  Jesus is the one who arises out of exile, weakness and death to bring forgiveness, healing and life.  The story starts with sickness but ends in healing and life. Christ is the one who in his own death and resurrection brings to an end the curse of sin and death.  True healing is found in him, the healing from sin and our future eternal resurrection.

Come, ye sinners, poor and needy
Weak and wounded, sick and sore
Jesus ready, stands to save you
Full of pity, love and power

I will arise and go to Jesus
He will embrace me in His arms
In the arms of my dear Savior
Oh, there are ten thousand charms

Come, ye thirsty, come and welcome
God’s free bounty glorify
True belief and true repentance
Every grace that brings you nigh

Come, ye weary, heavy-laden
Lost and ruined by the fall
If you tarry ’til you’re better
You will never come at all

I will arise and go to Jesus
He will embrace me in His arms
In the arms of my dear Savior
Oh, there are ten thousand charms

Feel Him prostrate in the garden
On the ground your Maker lies
On the bloody tree, behold him
Sinner, will this not suffice?

Lo, the incarnate God ascended
Pleads the merit of his blood
Venture on him, venture wholly
Let no other trust intrude

I will arise and go to Jesus
He will embrace me in His arms
In the arms of my dear Savior
In the arms of my dear Savior
In the arms of my dear Savior
Oh, there are ten thousand charms

Source: LyricFind

Songwriters: Fernando Ortega / John Andrew Schreiner

Come Ye Sinners, Poor and Needy lyrics © Warner Chappell Music, Inc