Scripture Reading~ Ruth 2:17-4:22
- Believe, no matter what you are going through, God cares about you.
- Believe, no matter what you are going through, God is with you.
- Believe, no matter what you are going through, God will work it for good.
One of the many reasons I love the book of Ruth is because it proves to our sons and daughters that Godly living can take place in a backslidden society. We taught our children that even though their peers may make bad choices in life, they should remember two words: Do Right! We also impressed on them to believe, “Even though others may, I may not.”
The culture at the time of the Book of Ruth was in the days of the judges where “everyone did what was right in their own eyes” and when mistresses were as common as wives. This meant most Christians lacked the fear of the Lord. Christians who are wise in their own eyes do not fear the Lord; therefore, they do not depart from evil. To have the fear of the Lord is to know God is always watching; as a result, a Christian cares about what God sees in their heart and in their actions. Those who do what is right in their own eyes do not care what God thinks.
Against this evil society, the lives of Boaz and Ruth shine for the Lord as they humbly served those in need. Their lives shine as they both exalt the name of the Lord in conversation. It is obvious to others they have a walk with the Lord. Boaz is known as a man of integrity and as a servant leader. Ruth is known throughout the community as a virtuous woman. Even when living in a society of infidelity, Ruth and Boaz are pure. They show honor to God by keeping their marriage vows. Their lives shine as they build a God-fearing home. If we honor God, He will honor us! “So shalt thou find favour and good understanding in the sight of God and man.” Proverbs 3:4
Fairy Tales Do Come True:
Naomi gets excited and sees the providential care of God. Have we learned to trust God’s perfect plan for our lives over our perfect plan for our lives? God always knows what is best for us. I am still learning this lesson as I write. One of the main reasons for my study of Ruth was to encourage myself in the providential care of God. I am confident in knowing He will work out the situation that concerns me and is working it out right now. I pray this study has been a blessing for you too, dear lady friend.
Ruth was excited she had found favor with Boaz for the sole purpose of gleaning from his fields for food. Naomi, however, upon hearing of Boaz being the one who showed Ruth grace, realized that Boaz was a kinsman redeemer. Boaz was a relative of Naomi’s late husband.
Naomi had hope. She was hopeful that it could be God’s plan for Ruth and Boaz to marry. She knew Boaz was very interested in Ruth. Naomi sees how God was orchestrating the events that happened in her life for His purpose. While Ruth saw temporary hope, Naomi saw permanent hope. Naomi praises God for His loving care for her and Ruth. (Ruth 2:19,20)
Ruth continued to glean in the fields of Boaz until the end of harvest season, which was about seven more weeks. I am sure they both had many lunch dates together. By the end of the harvest season, Ruth and Boaz were in love.
In Ruth 3, Naomi was not being forward as it seems, but is instructing her daughter-in-law to follow the Law of Moses, so that Naomi’s son’s name would continue through the kinsman redeemer. (Deut. 25:5-10) This way, Ruth’s first husband’s name would not be blotted out of history, because she has been redeemed by the nearest next-of-kin. (Ruth 3:12)
By law, Ruth, being a widow, had to take the next step with Boaz who had already shown very obvious interest in Ruth. Because Ruth was a widow, she was the one to take the initiative. If Ruth were not a widow, Boaz would take the initiative. As a widow, it was her move and her right to make her intentions known to the kinsman. Boaz was hoping Ruth would choose him. It is obvious Boaz is crazy about Ruth.
As harvest season comes to an end, Ruth obeys the instructions of her mother-in-law. Ruth shows honor and respect to her mother-in-law who has become like a mother to Ruth. When it comes to marrying, it is good to take notice of how the person respects his/her parents. A young man or young lady who does not show honor and respect to their own mother will probably not show honor and respect to their future spouse.
Naomi’s instructions to Ruth (Ruth 3) may seem a bit strange to us, but Boaz was very aware of the Levitical law. Boaz had already let Ruth know he was interested in her. He did not know how she felt about him. He was an aged man and thought that his age might be a hindrance to Ruth wanting to marry him. When Boaz realized Ruth was interested in marrying him just as much as he was interested in marrying her, he was thrilled. Boaz excitedly let Ruth know that he felt humbled she would accept an older man in marriage over a younger one.
“And he said, Blessed be thou of the LORD, my daughter: for thou hast shewed more kindness in the latter end than at the beginning, inasmuch as thou followedst not young men, whether poor or rich.”
“And now, my daughter, fear not; I will do to thee all that thou requirest: for all the city of my people doth know that thou art a virtuous woman.” Ruth 3:10,11
The entire city knows Ruth is a virtuous woman! Ruth is a new believer whose Light has shone and all have taken notice! A permanent attraction between a man and a woman goes beyond the physical and involves the spiritual. Ruth’s Godly character:
- Kind (Ruth 1:8)
- Compassionate (Ruth 1:14-18; 2:11)
- Loyal (Ruth 1:14-17)
- Decisive (Ruth 1:13-18)
- Dedicated to God (Ruth 1:16)
- Initiative (Ruth 2:2)
- Diligent work ethic (Ruth 2:7,14,17)
- Grateful (Ruth 2:13)
- Humble (Ruth 2:10,13)
- Expressed Thankfulness (Ruth 2:10)
- Self-control (Ruth 2:14)
- Responsible: helping family/ elderly parent (Ruth 2:17,18)
- Honored and Respected authority (Ruth 3:5)
Naomi’s prediction was correct. Boaz did not rest that day until the matter was settled. Naomi knew Boaz was crazy about Ruth. Boaz had already looked into the matter of marrying Ruth, but there is a problem that must be solved first before Boaz can marry Ruth. The problem is there exist another man who is a closer kinsman than Boaz.
Boaz immediately sets out to solve the problem that hinders him from marrying Ruth. Boaz is a man of action who knows what he wants. He desires to have this virtuous lady as his wife! The minute Boaz realized Ruth was interested in marrying him as much as he was interested in marrying her, Boaz became a go-getter. After Boaz realized Ruth chose him over a younger man, he took immediate action.
Apparently, Naomi’s late husband had owned a piece of property which was sold
because of poverty. (Ruth 4:3) Under the law, the land belonged to God and the sale was not permanent. In Leviticus 25:23-33, Moses explained that a near kinsman can repurchase the land and give it back to the poor who had sold the land. Also, the nearest kinsman had to marry the poor widow to have children in her husband’s name. (Ruth 3:12) Boaz is a man of honesty and integrity. He seeks out to do the right thing.
To the single Christian lady: Make sure the young man, who has eyes for you, respects you and does not take advantage of you! A man of integrity will respect you. He will want to follow your parent’s wishes for you, and will not speak bad about your parents behind their backs. If he back-stabs your parents, that is a huge red flag. Send him on his way. Our two daughters are virtuous ladies. Before marriage, there were two young men who came along who did not like the standards we had for our daughters. These young men lost out. They did not win the hand of our daughters. Our daughters married men of integrity who respected them and honored our standards for our daughters. They took great care to do what our daughter’s dad asked of them.
In Ruth 4, we see there were strings attached to buying the property. Whoever bought the property, had to marry Ruth. Boaz must have sighed in relief when the nearest kinsman decided he did not want to marry Ruth. Boaz seals the deal with a shoe as was the custom, and had now acquired the legal right to marry his love, Ruth.
Can’t you just picture Boaz
bursting with joy on the inside and praising God?
I love to go to weddings and watch the groom waiting for his beloved to appear.
The grooms face of excited anticipation says it all. The grooms face changes to adoration as his bride walks down the aisle. I can still see Barry’s excited expression as I walked down the aisle with my Daddy. Oh, and our honeymoon to Hawaii? Exceptional! And to think I wanted to honeymoon in Disney World. Glad I listened to my future husband…good choice honey and so romantic! Private beaches! We went to Disney World many times after we were married.
Ruth’s Deliverer: Boaz and Ruth probably had a traditional Jewish Wedding ceremony which took place at night. As soon as any members of the wedding spotted the moving torches signaling the groom’s approach, their cry echoed throughout the streets, “The bridegroom is coming.” The bride would get prepared and then come out to meet the groom. The two, accompanied by their wedding party, returned together to the groom’s home for the marriage ceremony. Following the public ceremony, the newlyweds entered their bridal chamber to be intimate with each other for the first time.
When I was young, some children would say this little ditty:
First comes love
Then comes marriage
Then comes baby…
In a baby carriage.
This order is God’s plan for a family. Physical intimacy is God’s gift for marriage.
I can identify with Naomi’s joy over her grandchild and being able to spend time with her grandchild. Something was missing when our married children and grandchildren moved far away (even though they did not want to move away from us). Talking on the phone was just not the same as being with them.
This past summer, Barry and I took drastic steps in our lives to move very close to our children and grandchildren. In fact, we just purchased a house ten minutes away from them. They are so thrilled. We are too! I desire to be a part of pointing our grandchildren to Jesus, just as Grandma Naomi did with Obed and just as Grandma Lois did
with Timothy (2 Tim. 1:5). Both Grandmas spent time with their grandchildren and impacted their lives. Grandchildren need their Godly grandparents. My grandmother played a big part in me getting saved. She witnessed to me of how Jesus is the only way to heaven. My other grandmother read her Bible every evening right in front of us and shared with us what she read. Grandparents need their grandchildren too. Grandchildren invigorate!
The women of the city rejoiced and said that Naomi had a daughter-in-law, who was so much better to her than seven sons. Seven is the number of perfection. Ruth 4:13-22
And the women said to Naomi, “Blessed be the LORD, which hath not left thee this day without a kinsman, that his name may be famous in Israel. 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.”
God is so good! The bitter mother-in-law, Naomi, went from hopelessness to hope and trust; from poverty to plenty. God changed her brokenness to completeness. Naomi was empty, but now full. God turned her sorrow into joy.
Ruth’s Destiny: A young peasant woman, faithful in little was transformed by God from rags to royalty. Ruth became the great-grandmother of King David. Ruth is in the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the King of kings.
This fairy tale that came true was God’s preparation for the births of King David and of Jesus Christ, the promised Messiah. Just as Ruth was unaware of this bigger purpose in her life, we will not know the full purpose and importance of our lives until we are able to look back from an eternal perspective.
Today, let us make our choices with God’s eternal values in mind. Because Ruth was faithful and obedient, her life was extremely significant, even though she couldn’t see all the results at the time.
Let us live life in faithfulness to God. Let us live life in obedience to God. Let us remember the significance of our life will extend beyond our lifetime. God works in mysterious ways, and He is working eternal good in each of our lives.
Instead, Christian lady, our life will continually continue~ “And she lived happily FOREVER and ever after.”
The day will come when every Christian lady will be swept off her feet and taken away by her Prince, her Bridegroom, Jesus Christ and kept for all eternity in His presence, the joy of the Lord forever and ever and ever.
This is THE END of our study of Ruth for now.
My favorite Prayer Scripture in this Book is Ruth 2:12, and I wish to make it my prayer today for you, dear friend:
“The LORD recompense thy work, and a full reward be given thee of the LORD God of Israel, under whose wings thou art come to trust.”