Pastor Debra Isenbletter
Christian Assembly, Springfield, Missouri
Ruth 4:15 – “And he shall be unto thee a restorer of thy life, and a nourisher of thine old age: for thy daughter in law, which loveth thee, which is better to thee than seven sons, hath born him.”
In this verse we have a wonderful double blessing that these women see that will come through the kinsman-redeemer and by the Spirit they prophecy and assure Naomi. That double blessing is Restoration (He gives life) and Nourishment (He sustains life). What a wonderful picture of the Lord Jesus Christ!
Restoration (He Gives Life): “And he shall be unto thee a restorer of thy life.” The word “restorer” comes from “to turn (back or away) – he will turn back her sorrow. It means “to reward” – he will reward her faith. It means “reverse” – he will reverse her loss. It means “to bring back” – he will bring back and build her family line. The words “thee” and “thy” show that this is personal, this blessing is for Naomi. But also, in the phrase “thy life” the word “thy” is in italics, so it was added. If we remove it, it reads “a restorer of life” – that is all life, every life, not just Naomi’s life. This is more than natural life, this is spiritual life. Our Great Kinsman-Redeemer, Christ, is a restorer of all life! He is our Life! We who were “dead in trespasses and sins” have now been “quickened” or made alive (Eph 2:1).
Nourishment (He Sustains Life): “and a nourisher of thine old age.” The word “nourisher” comes from “to measure, to maintain;” it means “to feed, guide, nourish;” “to sustain” and “to provide for.” The foundation meaning of “measuring” and “maintaining” shows his careful and constant care. The other meanings show the ways in which he measures and maintains. The “feeding” and “nourishing” speak of food for strength and growth. The “guiding” speaks of direction and guidance. The “sustaining” and “providing” speaks of security and satisfaction. Naomi will be provided for all the days of her life. He will provide exactly what is needed in the exact amount needed because he knows each need and will meet each need. How this provision of nourishment can be seen in our lives and can speak of more than just physical nourishment, it speaks of a spiritual nourishment and provision that comes from our Kinsman Redeemer!
After these words concerning her kinsman redeemer, we see their words concerning her daughter-in-law and they are wonderful. They speak of her love: “which (who) loveth thee.” They speak of her worth: “which is better to thee than seven sons.” They speak of her fruit: “hath born him.” What a wonderful testimony Ruth has! Bible Encyclopedia: “The seven sons symbolized the supreme blessing that could come to a Hebrew family (1 Samuel 2:5; Job 1:2).”
In these words of blessing and prophecy we see the responsibilities of the kinsman redeemer fulfilled! It is Naomi’s kinsman redeemer that will do this, who will meet her needs in every way. I can see the fulfillment of these words to Naomi in Boaz. Boaz is “a restorer of thy life.” He does this when he gives Ruth a son. Naomi’s life is no longer bitter and barren for through Boaz and Ruth she also is fruitful. Boaz is “a nourisher of thine old age.” He does this when he takes Naomi into his household and as he cares for and provides for her. I can also see a continuation of the fulfillment of these words to Naomi in Obed. Obed is “a restorer of thy life” for he restores her son’s lineage and he gives her life purpose, she will become his “nurse.” Obed is also “a nourisher of thine old age” because after Boaz dies, he carries on this responsibility, he will continue to care for and provide for her. Both Boaz and Obed have restored to Naomi her life or her reason for living and both will care for her.
These two blessings, to Restore and to Nourish are God’s promise to His people. This is what God promised Abraham as Almighty God or El Shaddai. (Gen 17:1). In the meaning of that name “Almighty God” or “El Shaddai” we see all the ways God restores and nourishes. He is the “all sufficient one;” He is the “strength-giver;” He is the “satisfier;” and He “enriches and makes fruitful.” God promised this to Abraham and did this. Later we see that this is what Joseph promised to do for his family (Gen 45:11). He saw their need and told them he would meet there need. They had to trust in him and believe he could and would do this. Later Joseph fulfilled that promise made when he “nourished his father and his brethren…” (Gen 47:12). He measured food according to each need and nourished and provided for them. This is what God promised His people and what He asked them to believe. He asked them to let Him care for and carry them (Isa 46:3-4). He asked them to let Him be their God and sustain them (Psa 55:22).
Just as God took care of His people in so many ways, we see the ultimate fulfillment of this promise to Restore and Nourish in the Lord Jesus Christ. This is what He did at Calvary, He fulfilled these two great blessing. He gave us life, He is our life – He is the “restorer of thy life” and this is eternal life (John 10:28), this is the new creation life (2 Cor 5:17). He sustains that life that He gives – He is the “nourisher of thine old age.” This old age can refer to natural age, for Caleb experienced this when he said “As yet I am as strong this day as I was in the day that Moses sent me: as my strength was then, even so is my strength now …” (Joshua 14:11). This old age can also refer to spiritual age. John shows that we grow from little children to young men to fathers and in each stage of growth he is the “nourisher” (1 John 2:12-14).
Jesus is the Greater Restorer! At Calvary He restored everything that Adam lost because of his sin (Ro 5:12). The Psalmist says: “I restored that which I took not away.” Jesus did so much more, He gives us so much more: He restored five times more as Paul tells us in Romans 5:9-20. He justified us (Ro 5:9); He reconciled us (Ro 5:10); He gives the gift of salvation by grace (Ro 5:15) and the gift of righteousness (Ro 5:17) and He satisfies the requirements of the law and sin is judged (Ro 5:20). There is a Full Restitution – A Final Restitution – A Greater Restitution. Jesus is also the Great Nourisher! He not only gives us life, He sustains that life and He enriches that life. He is that “Bread of Life” (John 6;35,48). It is through His nourishment that we grown and are “enriched by Him” ( (1 Cor 1:5) and grow up into Him in all things” (Eph 4:15). There is an endless supply of nourishment, for those that are babes and those that are full grown, His provision and purpose is to meet our needs!