Our church is finishing a sermon series on the book of Ruth. The story ends (in chapter 4) with the birth of a son, Obed, to Boaz and Ruth, and the women telling Naomi, “Praise be to the Lord, who this day has not left you without a kinsman-redeemer. May He become famous throughout Israel! He will renew your life and sustain you in your old age.” (Ruth 4:14-15) Who would have known, and who could have predicted the way God’s will and plan had unfolded, that through the pain and grief of Naomi and Ruth losing their husbands, one day they would become part of the lineage of our ultimate Redeemer, Jesus Christ (Matt. 1:5)?

Despite their hardships and difficulties, Naomi and Ruth chose to continue to hope in the Lord, trusting in His sovereignty and gracious provision. Throughout the book, we catch glimpses of parallels and foretelling of God’s salvific purpose for mankind, the provision of Christ, the redemption of our souls through His death and resurrection. Titus puts it this way, “For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men … while we wait for the blessed hope – the glorious appearing of our great God and Saviour, Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for Himself a people that are His very own.” (Titus 2:11-14)

What does it mean to await the blessed hope of our Lord’s return? It means firstly, that we recognize God’s sovereignty in salvation history, which will one day culminate in Christ’s second coming and the final judgment. Secondly, it reminds us that this world and all that we experience now (pain, suffering, sin, death) will one day all pass, in the light of eternity and His kingdom’s glory. Thirdly, it rekindles our commitment to be ambassadors of His gospel and urgently reach the lost before Christ returns, both in our midst and amongst the nations. Lastly, it helps us to renew our strength (Isa. 40:30-31) as we look forward to the day when we will be restored to God’s presence, or that our Lord will one day come back for us. May you come to experience His blessed hope as you live and walk in the light of our Redeemer, Jesus Christ.

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