From Bitterness to Blessing (Ruth 4:14) - Radical

From Bitterness to Blessing (Ruth 4:14)

“Then the women said to Naomi, Blessed be the Lord who has not left you this day without a Redeemer and may his name be renowned in Israel.”
(Ruth 4:14)

There’s so much we could say about this verse, about the conclusion to this book. Just think back to the beginning in Ruth chapter one where Naomi is barren saying, don’t even call me Naomi. Call me Mara for the almighty has dealt bitterly with me. She is a bitter and barren with no husband, no sons, all she has is a Moabite daughter-in-law from this cursed people.

You may feel at times like Naomi did in Ruth 1–bitter, barren, hurt, despairing, and hopeless. But if you are trusting in Jesus, you can persevere with hope because a day is coming when death and sorrow will be no more.

And three chapters later, the women are saying, you are blessed, blessed by God, blessing to God for his grace in your life for he has provided a Redeemer for you and your life is entirely new. You now have a son and a daughter-in-law and a grandson who by the way, the book goes on to talk about will be the father of Jesse who will be the father of David. So your grandson, unbeknownst to her in that moment would be the grandfather of King David, Israel’s most famous King, the King after God’s own heart through whose line would eventually come King Jesus.

Like you can’t write any script better than this in the end of this book to see the blessing of God to see glory being given to God. And I just want to encourage you with this picture. You may feel at times like Naomi in chapter one, bitter, barren, hurt, despairing, feeling hopeless. And I just want to encourage you, for all who know God, for all who trust in Jesus, bitterness will not have the last word. Baroness will not be the end of the story. Hopelessness and despair will not be the final refrain. No way. Jesus has died on the cross. He has risen from the dead. He has conquered death itself.

That means all who hope and him always have hope and never need to despair and can know that yes, there may be mourning for a time, there may be hurt for a time, there may be pain for a time. We live in a fallen world where we know these things are realities, but we also know that the one who is in us is greater than he who is in the world and we know that this world will not have the last word. So God has power to turn mourning into dancing. He has power to turn bitterness into blessing.

God has power to totally turn everything upside down and he will. In the end, he will. We know the end of the story. Revelation chapter 21 because of the King who has come through the line of David through the line of Ruth. We know because our King has conquored death, there’s coming a day when death will be no more, when there will be no more mourning or crying or pain anymore for the old will be gone and the new will have come and all those who have experienced and tasted bitterness and baroness and despair and trial and hurt and pain in this world.

One day we’ll say, blessed be God who has brought us through that and has poured out his blessing on us in ways far beyond what we can imagine that we will enjoy for all time, forever and ever and ever. Oh God, we praise you for the hope that is found in Jesus. We praise you for the glimpses of hope that we see all throughout your Word that encourage us like the story of Ruth. God, I just pray for my own life and those who are listening right now. God, we pray that you’d help us to cling to hope. God, I pray for faith on days when faith is hard to come by.

I pray for strength in the middle of weakness and God, I pray. I pray that you would in all of our lives indeed write this story with a script that is far greater than we could ever imagine. Bring baroness to blessing, bring hopelessness to hope and mourning to dancing and despair to victory. All of these things we know are ours in Christ. We believe that you have the last word, Lord Jesus, and we believe in you. We trust in you, we hope in you, and we know that our hope, our faith is well founded in you. And we know that when we are worshiping you beside men and women from every nation, tribe, and tongue who have come to know you as Redeemer, that our faith was indeed well-founded.

We love you, Lord. We praise you for your love for us. You are our Redeemer and we bless your name. In Jesus name we pray. Amen.

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David Platt serves as pastor at McLean Bible Church in Washington, D.C. He is the founder and chairman of Radical. He is the author of several books, including Radical, Radical Together, Follow Me, Counter Culture, and Something Needs to Change.

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