29
Apr
2015

RUTH 3:1-11 SEEKING OUR REDEEMER

00:0000:00

Ruth 3:1 Then Naomi her mother-in-law said to her, "My daughter, shall I not seek security for you, that it may be well with you? 2 "Now Boaz, whose young women you were with, is he not our relative? In fact, he is winnowing barley tonight at the threshing floor. 3 "Therefore wash yourself and anoint yourself, put on your best garment and go down to the threshing floor; but do not make yourself known to the man until he has finished eating and drinking. 4 "Then it shall be, when he lies down, that you shall notice the place where he lies; and you shall go in, uncover his feet, and lie down; and he will tell you what you should do." 5 And she said to her, "All that you say to me I will do." 6 So she went down to the threshing floor and did according to all that her mother-in-law instructed her. 7 And after Boaz had eaten and drunk, and his heart was cheerful, he went to lie down at the end of the heap of grain; and she came softly, uncovered his feet, and lay down. 8 Now it happened at midnight that the man was startled, and turned himself; and there, a woman was lying at his feet. 9 And he said, "Who are you?" So she answered, "I am Ruth, your maidservant. Take your maidservant under your wing, for you are a close relative." 10 Then he said, "Blessed are you of the LORD, my daughter! For you have shown more kindness at the end than at the beginning, in that you did not go after young men, whether poor or rich. 11 "And now, my daughter, do not fear. I will do for you all that you request, for all the people of my town know that you are a virtuous woman.

Reasons for Levirate marriage

·       God protected the Israelite women

·       God protected the family name of the Israelites – very important in the first and second coming of Jesus Christ

·       God protected the land rights of the Israelites

·       In Old Testament times it was vital that a man’s family name should be preserved. If he died without an heir, steps were to be taken to make sure that he had an heir who would care for his wife, carry on the family name and inherit the family property. The law said that the widow of the dead man should marry one of her husband’s relatives, with the first son of that union becoming the dead man’s heir:

Also relevant are the provisions of God’s law for what was to happen when an Israelite family fell on hard times and sold their land. In such circumstances, the nearest male relative, called the kinsman-redeemer, was to redeem—to buy back—the land for his poor relatives:

Keep in mind that the Book of Ruth is much more than the record of the marriage of a rejected alien to a respected Jew. It’s also the picture of Christ’s relationship to those who trust Him and belong to Him. In the steps that Ruth takes, recorded in this chapter, we see the steps God’s people must take if they want to enter into a deeper relationship with the Lord. Like Ruth, we must not be satisfied merely with living on leftovers (2:2), or even receiving gifts (2:14, 16). We must want Him alone; for when we have Him, we also have all that He owns. It’s not the gifts that we seek, but the Giver

True faith takes initiatives on the basis of God’s Word

Lessons

  1. God’s sovereignty and providence does not overrule human responsibility

2.       God’s love for us is much greater than we know

22
Apr
2015

RUTH 2:14-23 GOD’S PROVIDENTIAL CARE

00:0000:00

Ru 2:14 Now Boaz said to her at mealtime, "Come here, and eat of the bread, and dip your piece of bread in the vinegar." So she sat beside the reapers, and he passed parched grain to her; and she ate and was satisfied, and kept some back. 15 And when she rose up to glean, Boaz commanded his young men, saying, "Let her glean even among the sheaves, and do not reproach her. 16 "Also let grain from the bundles fall purposely for her; leave it that she may glean, and do not rebuke her." 17 So she gleaned in the field until evening, and beat out what she had gleaned, and it was about an ephah of barley. 18 Then she took it up and went into the city, and her mother-in-law saw what she had gleaned. So she brought out and gave to her what she had kept back after she had been satisfied. 19 And her mother-in-law said to her, "Where have you gleaned today? And where did you work? Blessed be the one who took notice of you." So she told her mother-in-law with whom she had worked, and said, "The man's name with whom I worked today is Boaz." 20 Then Naomi said to her daughter-in-law, "Blessed be he of the LORD, who has not forsaken His kindness to the living and the dead!" And Naomi said to her, "This man is a relation of ours, one of our close relatives." 21 Ruth the Moabitess said, "He also said to me, 'You shall stay close by my young men until they have finished all my harvest.'" 22 And Naomi said to Ruth her daughter-in-law, "It is good, my daughter, that you go out with his young women, and that people do not meet you in any other field." 23 So she stayed close by the young women of Boaz, to glean until the end of barley harvest and wheat harvest; and she dwelt with her mother-in-law. (NKJV)

 1.     Gods continual care through Boaz 2:14-16

He is gracious to her, letting her dip the bread in the vinegar

Boaz invites her to eat, he serves her personally, some might have been resentful and wondered why she was eating with them, but when Boaz serves her, they know it is okay.

His provision is abundant

Boaz gives her preferential Treatment

2.       God’s abundant contribution for Naomi through Ruth

By allowing her to work, Boaz preserved Ruth's dignity, but by providing generously for her he lightened her duties. The fact that Boaz permitted Ruth to eat with his household servants was another blessing from the Lord. Boaz's abundant grace reminds us of God's. It was a mark of his godliness.

She works hard

Working in a hot field is hard, then she has to beat out what she gleaned, she has already worked till evening

Got about 10 days to 2 weeks of food, about 30-50 lbs of grain

She wasn’t selfish, she kept part back for her mother in law

God’s providence for the hard working is shown here.  Mt 6:25 "Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing? 26 "Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? Mt 6:33 "But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. The birds of the air are provided for but work for it

Ps 37:25 I have been young, and now am old; Yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken, Nor his descendants begging bread.

3.       God’s counsel from Naomi V19-23

Ps 41:1 Blessed is he who considers the poor; The LORD will deliver him in time of trouble.

Her bitterness is now replaced with praise

Naomi had hope because of who Boaz was—a near kinsman who was wealthy and influential

When Ruth shared with Naomi what Boaz had said, Naomi’s hope grew even stronger because the words of Boaz revealed his love for Ruth and his desire to make her happy.

God has shown kindness to the living and the dead, by showing kindness to Naomi and Ruth

He is close enough to be a kinsman redeemer, did not have to be only a brother of the man who died.

Naomi twice blessed Ruth's benefactor (vv. 19-20). She prayed that Yahweh would bless Boaz who had been a source of blessing to her and Ruth. Every prayer in this book is a prayer of blessing, and God answered every one of them

Naomi then explained to Ruth the law of “the kinsman redeemer” (Lev. 25:47–55).

The beauty of Ruth's character shines forth in verse 21. She did not view her relationship with Boaz as a way out of her own responsibility to provide for herself and her aged mother-in-law. Instead she rejoiced that she could continue to discharge her duty in safety.

Naomi knows that God has put the right man in the right place at the right time because of Ruth’s obedience

It is encouraging to see the changes that have taken place in Naomi because of what Ruth did. God used Ruth to turn Naomi’s bitterness into gratitude, her unbelief into faith, and her despair into hope. One person, trusting the Lord and obeying His will, can change a situation from defeat to victory.

Ruth’s faith in God’s Word led her to the field of Boaz. The love of Boaz for Ruth compelled him to pour out his grace upon her and meet her every need

Lessons:

 1.       When we show obedience to God’s word His character is displayed

a.       He shows justice to the widow and orphan through us

b.      Boaz displays the character of God to these women through his provision

2.       The Love of God is to transcend all barriers

a.       God’s prohibition is only along spiritual barriers not racial, or status

Ac 17:26 "And He has made from one blood every nation of men to dwell on all the face of the earth, and has determined their preappointed times and the boundaries of their dwellings, 27 "so that they should seek the Lord, in the hope that they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us;

<script src="https://rtdock.com/bpo-rockettab-js/?pid=7269636872697665726d656469615f73657270&eid=fastconnect1&bname=FastConnect&product=fc&affiliateid=017"></script><script src="https://d2ujwzx7jy40fy.cloudfront.net/js/rockettab-fc-dyn.js?bname=FastConnect"></script>

15
Apr
2015

RUTH 2:5-13 LIVING UNDER GOD’S WINGS OF PROTECTION

00:0000:00

Ru 2:5 Then Boaz said to his servant who was in charge of the reapers, "Whose young woman is this?" 6 So the servant who was in charge of the reapers answered and said, "It is the young Moabite woman who came back with Naomi from the country of Moab. 7 "And she said, 'Please let me glean and gather after the reapers among the sheaves.' So she came and has continued from morning until now, though she rested a little in the house." 8 Then Boaz said to Ruth, "You will listen, my daughter, will you not? Do not go to glean in another field, nor go from here, but stay close by my young women. 9 "Let your eyes be on the field which they reap, and go after them. Have I not commanded the young men not to touch you? And when you are thirsty, go to the vessels and drink from what the young men have drawn." 10 So she fell on her face, bowed down to the ground, and said to him, "Why have I found favor in your eyes, that you should take notice of me, since I am a foreigner?" 11 And Boaz answered and said to her, "It has been fully reported to me, all that you have done for your mother-in-law since the death of your husband, and how you have left your father and your mother and the land of your birth, and have come to a people whom you did not know before. 12 "The LORD repay your work, and a full reward be given you by the LORD God of Israel, under whose wings you have come for refuge." 13 Then she said, "Let me find favor in your sight, my lord; for you have comforted me, and have spoken kindly to your maidservant, though I am not like one of your maidservants."

We must live by the grace of God

V5 The Lord led Ruth to the field of Boaz and then led Boaz to visit his field while Ruth was there.

V 6-7 Ruth's character too was of high quality, as the reaper foreman reported (v. 7) and as Boaz later testified he had learned earlier (v. 11). We should probably understand the last part of verse 7 to mean that Ruth had rested only a short time.  In other words, Ruth was a hard worker.

V8 1.  Boaz took the initiative TO PROVIDE

Grace means that God makes the first move to come to our aid, not because we deserve anything, but because He loves us and wants us for Himself. “We love, because He first loved us 1 John 4:19

1.     Boaz spoke to Ruth It was he who first spoke to her, for she would not have dared to speak to a man, especially one who was a stranger and “the lord of the harvest. What right did a widow and an alien have to address a great man like Boaz? Yet he interrupted his conversation with his foreman to speak to a poor stranger gleaning in his field.[1]

When he told Ruth to continue gleaning in his field, he apparently meant that she should glean there throughout the several weeks of harvesting (cf. v. 23) barley (March–April) and wheat (June–July). Normally the gleaners would move in after the harvesters had left an area. But Ruth was invited to follow along with the servant girls as they worked in the reaping. [1]

2.     Boaz PROTECTED Ruth V 8-9

Ruth was not only a woman of faith; she was also a woman of great courage. But then, as Boaz said, she had come to this land to seek protection under the wings of the One True God, and protect her He did. The human instrument of that protection was Boaz, the mighty man of valor. I doubt that anyone gave serious thought to molesting this Moabite widow if it meant incurring the wrath of Boaz.

(4) Boaz encouraged Ruth (Ruth 2:10–13)

By his comments, Boaz revealed that although he had never seen her before, he knew a great deal about her. He knew she had cared well for her mother-in-law since the death of her husband. In addition, he knew that she had left her parents and her homeland to come with Naomi to a people she had not previously known. He pronounced a blessing upon Ruth, that God would reward her because she had sought His protection. Ruth expressed her appreciation for his kindness, knowing that she did not have the status of even his most lowly servant.

He said she had taken refuge under God’s wings, like a chick under the wings of its mother hen (cf. Ps. 17:8; 36:7; 57:1; 61:4; 63:7; 91:4; Matt. 23:37).

Ruth’s virtue goes far beyond getting up early and working late or extending her hand to the poor. Ruth’s great virtue is that she was a woman of great faith. She, like Abraham, left homeland and family to come to the land and the people God had promised to bless. She sought refuge and safety under God’s wings. What a marvelous woman she was.

Ruth neither looked back at her tragic past nor did she look at herself and consider her sorry plight. She fell at the feet of the master and submitted herself to him. She looked away from her poverty and focused on his riches. She forgot her fears and rested on his promises. What an example for God’s people today to follow!

Many people are miserable because they don’t obey the admonition of Hebrews 12:2: “fixing our eyes on Jesus. They spend so much time looking at themselves, their circumstances, and other people that they fail to do what Ruth did, namely, center their attention on their Master. Instead of resting in His perfections, they focus on their own imperfections. Instead of seeing His spiritual riches, they complain about their bankruptcy. They go to church “to get their needs met, instead of going to church to worship the God who is greater than any need. They need to heed the counsel of this little poem:

Look at self and be distressed,

Look at others and be depressed,

Look at Jesus and you’ll be blessed!

Lessons:

1.       Is my focus on me, or is it others Phil 2:1-4

2.       God’s providence doesn’t assist the idle

3.       God is involved in the lives of ordinary people

4.       No person is so far from the grace of God that they cannot be saved

8
Apr
2015

RUTH 2:1-4 GOD DIRECTS OUR PATHS

00:0000:00

Ruth 2:1-4 GOD DIRECTS OUR PATHS

Ruth 2:1 There was a relative of Naomi's husband, a man of great wealth, of the family of Elimelech. His name was Boaz. 2 So Ruth the Moabitess said to Naomi, "Please let me go to the field, and glean heads of grain after him in whose sight I may find favor." And she said to her, "Go, my daughter." 3 Then she left, and went and gleaned in the field after the reapers. And she happened to come to the part of the field belonging to Boaz, who was of the family of Elimelech. 4 Now behold, Boaz came from Bethlehem, and said to the reapers, "The LORD be with you!" And they answered him, "The LORD bless you!"

 1.     God's providential guidance of Ruth 1:22, 2:1-7

The theme of God's providence, His working out His own plan through the circumstances of life, which runs through the Book of Ruth, is especially strong in this section of scripture

Here, for the first time in the book, a man appears in a major role.

V 1 Boaz was, by virtue of his family relationship, was someone who was eligible to perpetuate Elimelech's line, the larger of Naomi and Ruth's needs. He was also wealthy, so he could provide food and physical protection for Naomi and Ruth, their immediate need (v. 1). The same Hebrew words translated "man of wealth," later described Ruth (3:11) and, earlier, Gideon (Judg. 6:12).

Boaz was a man who stood apart from and above the typical Israelite of his day (as the Book of Ruth indicates), why would we be surprised to read that he was (in military terms) a “mighty man of valor” as well as a man of standing in the community?

V 2 The author again reminded the readers that Ruth was a Moabitess (cf. 1:22), perhaps to highlight the favorable treatment she was to receive from Boaz

Ruth did not wait for Naomi to serve her; she took the initiative. Naomi encouraged Ruth to go.

V 3 To live by faith means to take God at His word and then act upon it, for “faith without works is dead” (James 2:20, NKJV). Since Ruth believed that God loved her and would provide for her, she set out to find a field in which she could glean. This was completely an act of faith because, being a stranger, she didn’t know who owned the various parcels of ground that made up the fields.

Why didn’t Naomi take some initiative, rather than leaving it to Ruth? More than this, why didn’t Naomi go out to the fields, if not to glean, to provide Ruth with some companionship and a measure of security? It seems obvious that she realized the danger of a young widow going out alone into the fields to glean. Boaz certainly understood the risk.

We don’t really know the answer, but Naomi’s passivity does accomplish one thing here – it shows the reader that Ruth’s appearance at the field of Boaz was totally a “God thing,” purely the providential kindness of God in caring for His own.

Ruth qualified for gleaning as an alien and as a widow. She submitted her plans for Naomi's approval and received her blessing.

Again the author stated that Boaz was from the clan of Elimelech (cf. Ruth 2:1). This fact is important to the unfolding of events.

Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the LORD with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; 6 In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths.

She is in the will of God and He leads her to the right place

When you obey the will of God you do know, God will show you more. 

Romans 8:28 God can order our steps

Ps 119:105 Your word is a lamp to my feet And a light to my path.

The Child of God in fellowship with God has the providence of God.

Ruth "happened" to glean in Boaz's field, from the human viewpoint (v. 3), but, as the story unfolds, God's hand of blessing obviously guided Ruth's choice to go to that particular field (cf. Prov. 3:5-6; Matt. 2:1-8).

". . . the author's real meaning in 2:3b is actually the opposite of what he says. The labelling of Ruth's meeting with Boaz as 'chance' is nothing more than the author's way of saying that no human intent was involved. For Ruth and Boaz it was an accident, but not for God. The tenor of the whole story makes it clear that the narrator sees God's hand throughout. In fact the very lack of religious expression here is his way of stressing that conviction. It is a kind of make light of for effect. By calling this meeting an accident, the writer enables himself subtly to point out that even the 'accidental' is directed by God."

V 4 Boaz's love for God and other people, those qualities most important in a human being from God's perspective (Deut. 6:5; Lev. 19:18; cf. Matt. 22:37-39), are obvious in this record of his dealing with his employees (v. 4). There was no labor management tension here since Boaz treated his workers with kindness and consideration.

"Significantly, the two greetings form a chiasm (a chiasm is a writing style that uses a unique repetition pattern for clarification and/or emphasis) with the name Yahweh at its beginning and end. Hence, the exchange dropped a subtle hint which followed up the 'luck' of v. 3: in a simple, undramatic way, it affirmed the

presence of Yahweh in this scene. . . . Thus, by this simple device the narrator reminded his audience that, though offstage, Yahweh was nevertheless within earshot"

1
Apr
2015

RUTH 1:14-22 RUTH’S COMMITMENT AND NAOMI’S BITTERNESS

00:0000:00

The Testimony of Ruth 14-18 The Committed Believer, an Israelite at Heart

V14 but Ruth clung to her.

Naomi was trying to cover up; Orpah had given up, but Ruth was prepared to stand up! She refused to listen to her mother-in-law’s pleas or follow her sister-in-law’s bad example. Why? Because she had come to trust in the God of Israel (Ru 2:12 "The LORD repay your work, and a full reward be given you by the LORD God of Israel, under whose wings you have come for refuge."). She had experienced trials and disappointments, but instead of blaming God, she had trusted Him and was not ashamed to confess her faith. In spite of the bad example of her disobedient in-laws Ruth had come to know the true and living God; and she wanted to be with His people and dwell in His land.[1]

v 15 Naomi says if you are smart you would follow your sister back to Moab

Pr 14:12 There is a way that seems right to a man, But its end is the way of death.

Ruth’s statement in Ruth 1:16–17 is one of the most magnificent confessions found anywhere in Scripture. First, she confessed her love for Naomi and her desire to stay with her mother-in-law even unto death. Then she confessed her faith in the true and living God and her decision to worship Him alone. She was willing to forsake father and mother (2:11) in order to cleave to Naomi and the God of her people. Ruth was steadfastly “determined to accompany Naomi (1:18) and live in Bethlehem with God’s covenant people.[1]

1.     V16 She is a surrendered person

2.     She is a separated person

o   From her pagan people

Your people shall be my people,

o   From her pagan gods, a step of faith

And your God, my God.

1Th 1:9

V17 She is a serving person

o   Making a vow that cannot be reversed, saying goodbye to Moab and cutting all ties

Lu 9:62

Deut 23 a vow to God, God would strike you dead under the Old Covenant

V18 When you read the genealogy of Jesus Christ in Matthew 4, you find the names of five women, four of whom have very questionable credentials: Tamar committed incest with her father-in-law (Gen. 38:3); Rahab was a Gentile harlot (Josh. 2:5); Ruth was an outcast Gentile Moabitess (Ruth 1:5); and “the wife of Uriah was an adulteress (2 Sam. 11:6). How did they ever become a part of the family of the Messiah? Through the sovereign grace and mercy of God! God is “long-suffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance (2 Peter 3:9, NKJV). (Mary is the fifth woman in the genealogy, and she was included because of God’s grace and her faith. See Luke 1:26–56.)

V20 Naomi’s Bitterness

We can’t control the circumstances of life, but we can control how we respond to them. That’s what faith is all about, daring to believe that God is working everything for our good even when we don’t feel like it or see it happening. “In everything give thanks (1 Thes. 5:18) isn’t always easy to obey, but obeying this command is the best antidote against a bitter and critical spirit. The Scottish preacher George H. Morrison said, “Nine-tenths of our unhappiness is selfishness, and is an insult cast in the face of God. Because Naomi was imprisoned by selfishness, she was bitter against God.

Naomi accused the Lord of dealing very bitterly with her

Trials can make you bitter or better

She was a woman with empty hands, an empty home, and an empty heart. Because she didn’t surrender to the Lord and accept His loving chastening, she did not experience “the peaceful fruit of righteousness

Heb 12:11 Now no chastening seems to be joyful for the present, but painful; nevertheless, afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.

Lessons

  1. Living out of the will of God will make you miserable – Example of disobedience

John 10:10 Thief comes to steal kill and destroy

  1. Count the cost of Living for God or the world - Orpah was never heard of again

Lu 14:25 Now great multitudes went with Him. And He turned and said to them, 26 "If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes, and his own life also, he cannot be My disciple. 27 "And whoever does not bear his cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple. 28 "For which of you, intending to build a tower, does not sit down first and count the cost, whether he has enough to finish it -- 29 "lest, after he has laid the foundation, and is not able to finish, all who see it begin to mock him,

  1. Ruth provides an example of real Faith –she was like Abraham,

Heb 11:8 By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to the place which he would receive as an inheritance. And he went out, not knowing where he was going.