Big ideas like redemption and loving your neighbor as yourself sound exciting, but what happens when the doing of it really costs us personally? In this passage we see that God brings his kingdom through a redeemer who was willing to sacrifice himself for our redemption.


Ruth 4

Judges, Ruth (New American Commentary), Daniel Block

Sermon Transcript

The side-view mirror on my driver’s side door got hit recently while my wife had the car parked. No note or anything, so we had to pay for the repairs. So I’m over at the body shop and they’re giving me an estimate on that work, and I get to thinking: Could you fix the paint job on my passenger side door? They call me back and explain that they would chip the paint, repaint it, and then blend the new paint with the existing paint. I’m thinking that sounds great…until the price came: $950. I want my car to look nicer, but I don’t want it that badly. Maybe you would pay that for a paint job; I’m not judging you, but you have probably all had the experience of getting excited about something, only to be turned away at the cost.


This morning we’re concluding our series of sermons through the book of Ruth, and in the new year we’ll start a brief series of sermons through the early chapters of Leviticus before jumping back in to Hebrews in February. When the chapter on which we are focusing today begins, something has been broken that needs to be repaired: A family is on the brink of extinction as a father and both of his sons have died, leaving the father’s wife and her daughter-in-law as widows. But, there was hope: Ruth, the daughter-in-law, had met a man named Boaz who was a great man in God’s eyes, and who was also a relative of the deceased, who therefore had a responsibility to redeem all that belonged to the deceased. But in the last chapter, Boaz identified a nearer relative, who had the first responsibility to do so. And in this chapter, at first, he seems excited to do just that, until he encounters the cost. We can often get excited about big ideas like redemption, church community, and loving our neighbor as ourselves, but what about when it begins to cost you personally? What happens when the price is higher than you expected? While the price proved too much for this nearer redeemer, we do see in this passage a true and greater redeemer in Boaz, and through him, by the end of the passage, we read of how God brought not only a son into the world, but eventually, a king named David. In this we see that God brings his kingdom through a sacrificial redeemer, and we’ll see that in this passage as we look first at the non-redeemer, then at Ruth’s redeemer, then at Naomi’s redeemer, and finally, at Israel’s redeemer.


The non-redeemer


Our passage begins by telling us that Boaz had gone up to the gate and sat down there. In ancient Israel, the gate of the city was where you went to transact business; today we might say he went down to the courthouse. While he is sitting there, what do you know? The redeemer, of whom Boaz had spoken, came by. Our narrator is once again showing us God’s often undetectable involvement to bring his kingdom to earth. The redeemer of whom Boaz had spoken is the nearer redeemer of whom Boaz spoke in chapter 3. Let’s review our background here: The book of Ruth takes place in the days when the judges ruled in Israel, which means it took place after the days when God first brought Israel into the land of Canaan. In Canaan, God himself apportioned the land to each of the tribes of Israel, which were kind of like extended families, and commanded that the land not be sold outside the tribe. That said, sometimes Israelites got into a tight spot financially, and they would sell their land to get out of it. God allowed that, but he also instituted a law whereby that land could be bought back, or “redeemed”, and so returned to the tribe to whom God originally allotted it. The one who was authorized to do that was the nearest relative to the one who sold it, or their “nearest redeemer” as Leviticus 25:25 puts it.


So when Ruth presents herself for marriage to Boaz in chapter 3, he recognizes that she is asking him to do the work of a redeemer for her dead husband, Mahlon, who was of the same tribe as Boaz. In chapter 3 we learn that Boaz was willing to do so, but, he recognized that there was a nearer redeemer than he, so according to God’s law, he needed to give him a chance to perform the work of redemption first, and here we see that is just what he does, and Ruth, though she clearly wanted to marry Boaz, agreed to this arrangement. Great men and women are not controlled by their passions; rather, they subdue their passions to the authority of God’s law. You ever feel a strong desire for something, even a good thing perhaps, as marriage and redemption were good things to desire for Ruth, but some part of you knows there are biblical reasons to pump the brakes on it? Are you willing to wait, to not only do what the Lord wants, but to do it in the Lord’s way? Consider the wisdom of Proverbs 19:2 – “Desire without knowledge is not good, and whoever makes haste with his feet misses his way.” Your desire may be good, but desire without knowledge is not good, and if you just plow through to act quickly on your desires, you’re setting yourself up to miss the path of wisdom. Boaz and Ruth don’t do that here. They certainly aren’t passive; Boaz is attending to the matter the morning after Ruth presented herself for marriage in chapter 3, but they also don’t let the desire for marriage cause them to plow through the law God gave, which requires that the nearer redeemer be given the first shot at redemption.


Ok, so the nearer redeemer comes by, and Boaz then gathers ten men of the elders of the city, who would have had authority to preside over legal matters, and with that, the scene is set. So in verse 4 Boaz addresses the redeemer and tells him that Naomi is selling the parcel of land that belonged to their relative Elimelech. Boaz understood from Ruth’s presentation of herself for marriage in chapter 3 that she was asking him to do the work of a redeemer for her and her family, which would include not only marrying her and having a child, but also purchasing the tribal land, as I’ve already suggested was necessary from God’s law regarding redemption of property. So Boaz offers it to the guy as the nearer redeemer, and in verse 4 we read that he accepts. But then Boaz adds that in acquiring it, he must also acquire Ruth, the widow of Mahlon, the son of Elimelech, to, in the words of verse 5 “perpetuate the name of the dead in his inheritance.” God instituted the redemption of land in his law not so the redeemer could get more land for his own name, but in order to perpetuate the name of the people in their inheritance. It was an application of the more general law God gave in Leviticus 19:18 – “You shall love your neighbor as yourself” and that law extended even to dead neighbors. So, in Deuteronomy 25, God also required that if a man’s brother died and left his wife a widow without a son, the surviving brother had to marry the widow and try to have a child with her. He then said that “the first son whom she bears shall succeed to the name of his dead brother, that his name may not be blotted out of Israel” (Deut 25:6).


So what’s happening here? What’s happening here is that Boaz is recognizing the need to love his dead neighbors, Elimelech and his dead son Mahlon, as himself, and he’s recognizing from God’s law that means perpetuating their names upon their inheritance. To do that, two things were required: Acquiring the land, and then also marrying the widow of that family who was still of child-bearing age, Ruth, so that a son could be born in that tribe to live in that land. The nearer redeemer is cool with the first of those; who doesn’t want more land, after all? But when he hears of the second, he says in verse 6 that suddenly he cannot redeem it for himself, lest he impair his own inheritance. He realizes: More land is nice and all, but if I have to also marry Ruth and have a son with her, then when I die, my inheritance will go to that son, who will not live in my native land, but in Elimelech’s native land, and who will perpetuate not my name, but Elimelech’s and Mahlon’s. The nearer redeemer knew how to love himself: He knew he didn’t want his inheritance impaired! But he did not love his dead neighbors Elimelech and Mahlon as himself, and so refused to do his duty to perpetuate the name of the dead upon his inheritance.


And it is ironic, isn’t it, that for all this concern that his own inheritance not be impaired, so that his own name could be perpetuated in his inheritance, we still to this day do not know his name? Names are a big deal throughout the book of Ruth: Though Elimelech, Mahlon, and Chilion are minor characters in the book, we know their names, and we certainly know the names of Naomi, Boaz, and Ruth. But this man is forever known only as the “nearer redeemer” who turned out to be no redeemer at all. Isn’t this what Jesus told us would happen in the end? “Many who are last will be first, while the first will be last.” “Whoever saves his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.” Are you trying to make a name for yourself in this life? Wanting a good reputation is natural; it’s part of loving yourself. But when it becomes the ultimate thing in your life, you stop loving your neighbor as yourself. Your co-workers become your competitors, and so you speak negatively of them to damage their name while you assert yourself to bolster your own. I’ve seen this wickedness in my own heart even with respect to pastors of other churches: I have grieved seeing them get credit for things; why? Because I so desire God’s glory? I wish that were the case. Sadly it’s often because I fear their name becoming greater than my own. If I hold on to that though, if you hold on to that, it is our names that will be blotted out in the end, just as this non-redeemer goes down in history nameless.


Thankfully, though, there is another redeemer, so let’s look next at Ruth’s redeemer.


Ruth’s redeemer


After this man expresses his unwillingness to redeem Ruth in verse 6, our narrator interjects to let us know that in those days to confirm a transaction involving redemption and exchange, one man would take off his sandal and give it the other. The man does it, and then Boaz turns to address the elders and the other people who gathered. He says they are witnesses this day that he has bought from the hand of Naomi all that belongs to Elimelech and all that belonged to Chilion and Mahlon, and also Ruth the Moabite he has bought to be his wife. Now again, the translation is a bit unfortunate here, because there is no money changing hands. It’s better to simply say that he acquired both the land and Ruth the Moabite, who is again referred to with the Moabite tag, reminding us of her origins.


The people and the elders at the gate affirm in verse 11 that they are witnesses of these things, and they ask that the LORD would make this woman, this Moabite, like Rachel and Leah, who together built up the house of Israel. Rachel and Leah were the two wives of Jacob, whose name God changed to Israel, for whom the Israelite people are named. Together they mothered the original tribal leaders of Israel. They are asking God to now make Ruth the Moabite like the mothers of Israel. Remember the big issue for Ruth in chapter 1? Her husband died, and Naomi, her mother-in-law, could not provide her a husband with whom she could have children. But now, at the end of our story in chapter 4, Ruth has been redeemed all the way from the status of a widow and a sojourner to the status of a wife, and, if the LORD answers the prayers of the people, a mother who will build up the house of Israel.


And why was she redeemed? Why was Boaz willing to impair his inheritance, while the non-redeemer was not? He tells us in verse 10: He acquired the land and Ruth 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 place. In other words, he loved his neighbor as himself, even his dead neighbor. Have you considered how you might love your dead neighbor as yourself? Today God has not allotted his people plots of land on earth, so it doesn’t look like this. But consider how you speak of the dead, how you perpetuate their names. Author and Pastor Kevin DeYoung points out that in the writing of history, we’ve often had a problem referred to as “hagiography”, from the Greek word “hagios”, meaning saints. In other words, we speak of the dead as though they were saints. Think of an American history textbook’s treatment of a figure like Thomas Jefferson, where mention might be made of his contributions to the Declaration of Independence and the founding of America, while the textbook remains silent on his ownership and abuse of slaves. DeYoung, however, points out how today we have developed an opposite response that he calls “hamartiography”, from the Greek word “hamartia”, meaning “sin”. In other words, we can speak of the dead as though they were only entirely evil, and so “cancel” them or “blot them out” from our memory. It is perhaps a small point to make, but consider how you can speak well of the dead, treat them as you would wish for others to treat you when you are dead, and so love them as you love yourself, without lying to make them seem like something they were not.


Boaz’s stated reason for marrying Ruth in 4:10 was to perpetuate the name of the dead in his inheritance. Of course, there is good reason to think he also liked her, but this does show us that his desire for marriage to her was in service of something bigger than his own fulfillment, or even her fulfillment. That’s why, remember, he could even offer such an opportunity to someone else as God required, rather than rushing to seize it for himself. Consider your own desires for marriage if you are not yet married, or your goals for your marriage if you are married. What do you want it for? Is it to serve God’s greater kingdom purposes? We see more of those kingdom purposes in what the elders and the people say to Boaz starting in verse 11. We’ve already seen their prayer for Ruth, and notice there that they want her to be made like Rachel and Leah, who together built up the house of Israel. Why do they want Ruth to have a child? For Ruth’s sake? Sure, but more fundamentally, to build up the house of Israel, God’s people. So they go on to Boaz and they say, “May you act worthily in Ephrathah and be renowned in Bethlehem, and may your house be like the house of Perez, whom Tamar bore to Judah, because of the offspring the LORD will give you by this young woman.” For both of them, the desire is that God would give them offspring, and that the offspring would build up not only their house, but the house of Israel.


The Book of Common Prayer was first written in 1549 by Thomas Cranmer, then Archbishop of Canterbury, and it represents the first full attempt to reform the worship of the church in the English language based on the recovery of the gospel in the Protestant Reformation. It includes words to be used in a marriage ceremony, and in every marriage ceremony I officiate, I still draw heavily from it. Here’s a section from the original 1549 Book of Common Prayer, to be said at the beginning of wedding. It says there that marriage:

is not to be enterprised, nor taken in hand unadvisedly, lightly, or wantonly, to satisfy men’s carnal lusts and appetites, like brute beasts that have no understanding: but reverently, discretely, advisedly, soberly, and in the fear of God, duly considering the causes for which matrimony was ordained. One cause was the procreation of children, to be brought up in the fear and nurture of the Lord, and praise of God. Secondly it was ordained for a remedy against sin, and to avoid fornication, that such persons as be married, might live chastely in matrimony, and keep themselves undefiled members of Christ’s body. Thirdly for the mutual society, help, and comfort, that the one ought to have of the other, both in prosperity and adversity.”


Cranmer rightly saw that while marriage was instituted partly for the mutual companionship of the married parties and partly for a remedy against sexual sin, the first purpose for which it was ordained was the procreation of children. The first commandment God gave the first humans was to be fruitful and multiply (Gen 1:28) and marriage was instituted in service of that commandment (Gen 2:18-25). And Cranmer rightly pointed out that not just any children were to be born, but children who were to be brought up in the fear and nurture of the Lord, and praise of God, or, in the words of our passage, children through whom the house of Israel, the church, would be built up. That was Boaz’s desire in marrying Ruth, that was the desire of the people and the elders for Ruth, and the desire of the people and the elders for Boaz. Is it your desire?


If you are single, do you desire to get married and have children, that you might bring them up in the discipline and instruction of Christ, and so build up his church? If not, why not? Perhaps it is so you will have more flexibility to share the gospel and build up the church; that is a good reason to not pursue marriage and children, but consider: Is that how you are actually using the flexibility of your singleness? Some I know are; I’m not trying to answer that question for you, but I am encouraging you to seriously answer it for yourself. Might you at least consider whether a lack of desire for children is stemming more from a desire to live an “unencumbered life”, a life in which you can love yourself, without bringing another neighbor into the world who would require an immense amount of love from you? Might you consider that same question if you are married, but are intentionally preventing yourself from having kids? To you who have kids, is your hope for their future more tied to their worldly success, or that they would build up the church of Jesus Christ to the praise of God’s grace?


And, finally, to you who really do desire marriage and children for the glory of God, but for whom the Lord simply has not provided it, I would love to say a lot more, and I would love to talk with you more and pray with you if that is you today, but for now I will at least say that the one who desires marriage and children desires a good thing, and we are all 100% dependent on the LORD to provide such things. Ruth was dependent on the LORD to provide Boaz; remember she “just happened” to find his field. Boaz and Ruth were dependent on the LORD to provide children; that’s why the elders and people of the town are asking the LORD to bring them! If you desire marriage and children to serve God’s kingdom purposes, keep praying for that, keep pursuing it through the means God has provided, and trust him to provide in his timing, knowing that it may be his will for you to live a single life or a life without children for as long as you live, and if it is, he will be good to you that whole time.


Even Ruth’s redemption was about something bigger than Ruth. It was about the offspring that would come from Ruth and Boaz’s union, and that offspring would also be a redeemer. So let’s look next at Naomi’s redeemer.


Naomi’s redeemer


In verse 13 we read a very terse description of what happens next: Boaz took Ruth, she became his wife, he went in to her, the LORD gave her conception, and she bore a son. Though Ruth had not had a child in the ten years she lived in Moab, here the text is very explicit that it is the LORD, the God of Israel, under whose wings she had come to take refuge, who gave her conception, and she bore a son, who could then perpetuate the name of the dead upon his inheritance. Interestingly, though, in verse 14 the narrator turns our attention to Naomi. The women speak to her and praise God, because he has not left her this day without a redeemer, and they pray specifically that his name would be renowned in Israel. You might think Boaz is the referent here as well, but in verse 18 they say the redeemer of whom they are speaking is the one to whom her daughter-in-law has given birth! The newborn son is Naomi’s redeemer, because, verse 18, he will be to her a restorer of life and a nourisher of her old age.


He will be to her a restorer of life—remember in chapter 1 when Naomi returned to Bethlehem? She said, “I went away full, but the LORD has brought me back empty.” Now she has life again! So in verse 16 Naomi took the child and laid him on her lap and become his nurse, which really just means she took care of the child, not to the exclusion of Ruth as the child’s mother, but as a help to her. If you are a grandmother or the Lord enables you to be a grandmother one day, helping care for grandchildren is a great way to use the latter years of your life for God’s glory. This child, this redeemer, was a restorer of Naomi’s life, and a nourisher of her old age. At the beginning of the story, Naomi was not only left hopeless; she was left without provision and protection. As a widow, she was without her husband’s provision and protection, and since her sons preceded her in death, she was without their provision and protection. In the ancient world, to be a grown woman with no husband or sons was to be in a vulnerable condition. But now her redemption came through this child, who would be to her a restorer or life, and who would provide for and protect her as she aged. It is for this reason in verse 17 that the women of the neighborhood say, “A son has been born to Naomi” even though the narrative is equally clear that the child was Ruth’s son.


Now, of course, the women can know now that the child will be a restorer of Naomi’s life. She already has the child on her lap and her joy would no doubt have been evident. But they are making some assumptions about the child being a nurturer of her old age. That it would be the child’s responsibility to do so was clear again from God’s law, enshrined in the Ten Commandments with the commandment to honor your father and mother. One of the most basic things that meant was caring for them in their old age. 1 Timothy 5 tells us that if there are widows in the church, their own relatives should be providing for them first before the church does, and especially singles out men for the responsibility of financial provision, saying “if anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for members of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever” (1 Tim 5:8) and saying to women, “If any believing woman has relatives who are widows, let her care for them. Let the church not be burdened, so that it may care for those who are truly widows” (1 Tim 5:16). Boaz had proven himself to be the kind of great man who cared for widows in the way he provided for and protected Ruth and Naomi, and so the assumption here is that Boaz and Ruth would raise their son in the discipline and instruction of the Lord, and if they train him up in the way he should go, when he is old he will not depart from it (Prov 22:6).


Consider your own care for the widowed and elderly. I would remind you of what I mentioned a couple weeks ago when we looked at Ruth 2: In the Bible, the designation of widow status is not so much about the pain of losing a husband, but the vulnerability of being beyond the age for marriage and having children. So it applies also to women who were never married, but who are now beyond the age for marriage and having children. Younger widows are directed to remarry, as Ruth did here (1 Tim 5:14). But in Naomi’s case, her hope was in the child. Consider the widowed or elderly in your life. Most directly, consider your parents if they are still alive. How are you planning to be to them a nourisher of their old age? Have you ever talked to them about their desires for their latter years? Have you considered caring for them in your financial plans? Have you considered them in your plans of where you live? To modern people such things, much like having children, just feel like unwanted encumbrances, just as doing the duty of a redeemer felt like an encumbrance to the non-redeemer at the beginning of our passage, but God brings his kingdom through redeemers who are willing to be encumbered, impaired even, for the sake of redemption, and so the hope for this child is that he will be Naomi’s redeemer.


At the beginning of our story, in chapter 1, Ruth was left without a husband. At the end of our story, in chapter 4, she has one. Boaz redeemed her. Before Ruth was left without a husband in chapter 1, Naomi was, and when Ruth’s husband died, Naomi was left without any sons. Now, at the end of our story, in chapter 4, she has a son. Ruth and Boaz’s son, Obed, was her redeemer. But all the way back at the beginning of our story, before we read of Ruth’s tragic situation, and before we even read of Naomi’s tragic situation, we read that this all took place in the days when the judges ruled, and there was a famine in the land (Ruth 1:1). The book of Ruth actually begins with Israel’s tragic situation, and so it ends not with Ruth’s redemption, or even with Naomi’s, but with Israel’s. Let’s look, lastly, at Israel’s redeemer.


Israel’s redeemer


At the end of verse 17, we read that Obed was the father of Jesse, the father of David, and then the book concludes with a genealogy from Perez to David. Recall that Perez was mentioned earlier in the chapter, when the elders and people of the city prayed that Boaz’s house would be like the house of Perez, whom Tamar bore to Judah. The mention of Perez at the end of the book here reminds us that Boaz is not merely of the clan of Elimelech, but both Boaz and Elimelech are of the tribe of Judah, and Judah was the tribe from whom God promised he would bring a king to rule over the peoples of the earth (Gen 49:8-12). The book of Ruth is not just a story about one family in Israel; it’s a story about the family of God, Israel itself, that begins and ends with the nation, and this family is significant because when Elimelech, Mahlon, and Chilion die, it not only threatens that family with extinction, but it threatens the tribe of Judah with extinction, and by extension, the nation of Israel and God’s promise to bring his king from that tribe.


But at the end, a child is born, and through this child, David would eventually be born. The book of Ruth speaks of David’s birth in the past tense, which indicates it was obviously written after David was born, long enough after the events that took place in Ruth that the author had to explain the custom “in former times” of removing the sandal in verse 7. And by then, everyone would certainly know who David was: David was the king of the tribe of Judah, the greatest king in Israel’s history, who would bring Israel out of the dark period of the judges by finally subduing all their enemies in the land of Canaan, the man after God’s own heart. Through a redeemer, God brought his king into the world. He did it first through Boaz, who was willing to impair his own inheritance to redeem Ruth. Then he did it through Obed, who was to Naomi a restorer of life and a nourisher of her old age. Then he did it through David, who would bring Israel out of the days of the judges and famine into the days of the kingdom.


Remember the book of Judges said that in the days of the judges there was no king in the land, and everyone did what was right in their own eyes (Judges 17:6). With David arriving at the end of Ruth, a king was finally in the land! And yet, everyone still did what was right in their own eyes. Two kings after David, the kingdom was divided, and in the years that followed, the kingdom was defeated and sent into exile as the LORD once again testified against his people for continuing to do what was right in their own eyes.


The nameless nearer redeemer at the beginning of chapter 4 turned out to be no redeemer at all. Instead, Boaz was the true redeemer Ruth needed. Yet even Boaz pointed beyond himself to his son, Obed, who extended redemption from Ruth to Naomi. And even Obed pointed beyond himself to his eventual son David, who seemed to bring redemption to Israel. Yet even David, as it turns out, points beyond himself to a later son of his, to the true and greater redeemer, who came to redeem not only Israel, but all God’s people from every tribe and language and people and nation.


Jesus Christ is not only Israel’s redeemer; he is our redeemer. He loved us as himself when we were dead in our trespasses and sins, when our names were justly sentenced to be condemned and blotted out forever. Though he had a secure name and place for himself in heaven, he took us as his bride, came to our land, and took upon himself the shameful name of a transgressor, when our sins were transferred to his account on the cross. In so doing, he bought us back from our bondage to sin and to Satan, and paid the penalty God’s law required of us, thus freeing us from its condemnation as well. And because he did, God raised him from the dead, and gave to him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. Turn from your sins, receive and rest upon him, and you will receive a new name, the name of sons and daughters of God, citizens of his kingdom, and you will inherit with him not only a strip of land somewhere on earth, but an entirely new heaven and new earth when he returns. In that day even your body will be redeemed from death, you will see his face, and his name will be on your foreheads (Rev 22:4).


It’s interesting, you know, we mentioned earlier that for all the nearer redeemer in this passage’s concern to protect his own inheritance, he ends up nameless. On the flipside, for all Boaz’s concern in this passage to perpetuate the name of the dead in his inheritance, in the genealogy at the end, it’s Boaz’s name who lives on as the father of Obed, and whose name we will see again tonight, Lord willing, in the genealogy of Jesus Christ. The non-redeemer showed us that the first will be last, but in Boaz we also see that the last will be first. In his story here we see proven the words of our Lord Jesus, that is indeed, in the end, more blessed to give than to receive, and we see that it was only after Jesus was willing to take on our shameful name that he was given the name above all names. Brothers and sisters, live for the glory of that name above all else. Love your neighbor as yourself, dead or alive, for the glory of Jesus’ name. Now that the promised child has come, we can all build up Jesus’ church for the glory of Jesus’ name, whether we have kids ourselves or not. Consider foster care and adoption as ways to bring up children in the discipline and instruction of Christ. If you’re single or married without kids, get busy loving the kids of other members of this church. If you’re married with kids, invite single people and married couples without kids into your family life. And whatever your stage of life, welcome one another as Christ has welcomed you, share the gospel with unbelieving people around you, spend time with other members of this church to help them grow to greater maturity in Christ, all so that the house of Israel might be built up. It will cost you, but just as the LORD has brought his kingdom through a redeemer who loved us and gave himself up for us, so he will use you as an instrument in his hands as you are willing to give yourself up in service to him.