Building a Heritage that Lasts: Part 2
By Jeff Cranston
Do you want be a heritage builder and leave a legacy that will last? In Part 1 of this blog series, we learned from Ruth 4 that a heritage builder must love regardless of conditions and walk with God as an example of faith. In this post, we will take a look at two more commitments a heritage builder must make.
1. A heritage builder will help others to become their God-inspired best.
Read Ruth 4:13. By bringing Ruth legally and officially back into the family as her kinsman-redeemer, Boaz was helping her move into the next season God had purposed and planned for her. Love desires to bring out the best in others, doesn’t it?
While we see this story as the elevation of Ruth, God used Boaz to do it. In chapter one, we meet Ruth as a widow, leaving her home country with a despondent and depressed mother-in-law, heading to who-knows-where. In chapter two, we find her in Bethlehem as a foreigner, laboring in the fields as the lowest of the servants and workers. In chapter three, she is treated as a household maidservant. And now, in chapter four, she becomes the wife of a wealthy landowner named Boaz, and the mother of a son.
God used Boaz, a heritage builder, to change the entire trajectory of Ruth’s life … and Naomi’s as well.
2. Heritage builders engage in restoration.
In Ruth 4:14-17, we see the transformation of Naomi. In order to appreciate the disposition of Naomi, “the pleasant one,” we must remember the pain that led her to call herself Mara, “the bitter one” in chapter one. She was empty, but became full. She was “bitter” but became “joyful.” Although she stumbled on her faith somewhat, Ruth and Boaz helped to restore Naomi’s faith.
Know this: You may stumble and sin. Your loved ones and friends will stumble, sin, and disappoint. The question is this: Have you made a commitment to restore them when it happens? This kind of heritage-building commitment makes four statements:
I will hold you accountable.
I will forgive you.
I will guard your name.
I will restore you.
Some people will reject your best efforts to help them, but for the heritage builder, involvement is not optional. On a side note to the story, verses 14 and 15 indicate that the newborn baby, Obed, not his father, Boaz, was Naomi’s redeemer. This is interesting because in generations to come, a child would be born from this family line—this heritage—that would redeem us all. His name is Jesus.
Think of how this beautiful book of the Old Testament ends. There is a son born to Naomi’s family line. His name was Obed. He had a son named Jesse who had a son named David. And David had a descendant named Jesus. Now, there’s a heritage builder!
God’s hand is all over this story. God works out His purpose, generation after generation. We are limited in what we see and understand because we too often live only in the present, or the future, and we neglect the past. Yet the procession of history is not haphazard. History is, after all, His story. There is a purpose in it all. And the purpose is the purpose of God.
Jeff Cranston is the lead pastor of LowCountry Community Church in Bluffton, S.C.