Ruth: It’s Time to Find a Man

Ruth 3:1-18

We now move on to how Ruth becomes married and has a child who will be in the lineage of the Messiah.

Naomi knew she would not be able to find a man for herself because of her age and the absence of child-bearing. Ruth was her only hope. Naomi tells Ruth to go where Boaz was and after he finished working, eating and drinking he would lay down. When he laid day, Naomi  told Ruth to go uncover his feet and lay with him. Ruth responded with love and compassion.

Verse 5: “I will do whatever you say.”

Ruth could have told her mother-in-law no, however, Ruth knew how much wisdom Naomi had. She loved Naomi and knew she must obey.

She goes to the field where Boaz is and follows the directions of Naomi. When Boaz awakens during the  night he finds Ruth and ask her, “Who are you?” Ruth responds, “I am your servant Ruth. Spread the corner of your garment over me, since you are a kinsman-redeemer.”

Boaz responded with sincerity. He explained to Ruth that her kindness was great. Boaz knew she could have ran after younger and richer men, but she did not.

Boaz continues telling her that he is kinsman, however, he knew there was a closer kinsman. Instead of lying and taking her for his own, he did the right thing. Boaz told Ruth he must first go ask the closer kinsman if he would marry and if he does not then he will.

I must stop here for a moment. I believe that Boaz really liked Ruth. I believe he really thought she was beautiful. Instead of committing a sin or doing the wrong thing, Boaz followed the law to the letter. He did want to marry her, but Boaz knew it would not be right by the law. Boaz showed his true character of honesty.

Then Ruth laid with Boaz till morning but left before anyone could see. (She probably did not want to be the talk of the town gossip.) Boaz also left her with 6 measures of barley to take home to Naomi. There Boaz goes again showing his sincerity and kindness to others.

Ruth returned home to Naomi and told her all the details and gave her the barley Boaz had sent. Naomi knew Boaz would not rest until the matter was settled today.

Ruth 4:1-22

Moving on to chapter 4, where the fairytale will continue.

Boaz went to town and found the kinsman-redeemer he had spoken about. He asked him to sit down with him as well as requesting ten of the town elders to sit as well. Boaz was conducting business and wanted to makes sure everything was done by the Law. Again we see Boaz’s integrity.

Boaz explained to the kinsman about Naomi having land that belong to their brother Elimelech and he should by the land since he was the next in line and no one else should by. He agreed, however, then Boaz throws a curve ball. He also explains that he not only will acquire the land but also a young lady named Ruth as to keep the name of the dead with the property. The kinsman-redeemer then said he would not be able to redeem the land. In these times to redeem and transfer property, one party took off a sandal and gave to the other legalizing the transaction in Israel. So the kinsman-redeemer removed his sandal and gave to Boaz, and explained for him to buy the land.

The elders and people were the witnesses that the matter was handled correctly by the law at that time. The elders and people told Boaz “may he have standing in Ephrathah and be famous in Bethlehem.   Through the offspring the Lord gives you by this young woman, may your family be like that of Perez, whom Tamar bore to Judah.” The town praised Boaz and wanted him blessed.

So Ruth and Boaz marry and have a child who is named Obed, who was the father of Jesse who was the father of David and they live happily ever after.

You may think this is just a nice story about a girl who was very fortunate to marry the right person. But God had a plan. He knew Ruth would be the mother of Obed who would be in the lineage of the promised Messiah. Naomi, Ruth, and Boaz never knew what the future was going to hold for them and their families but the one above sure did.


There were several opportunities for one of them to not act in the correct faithful manner, but they did.

There were times they could have walked away from situations, but they didn’t.

There were times they could have behaved sinfully, but they didn’t.

There were times they did not have to think of others, but they did.

There were times they could have broken the laws, but they didn’t.

We are unaware of the plans God has for us, but God does.

There are times when we make decisions that we do not know the consequences, but God does.

There are times when we feel God is not answering our prayers or listening to us, but God is.

How does this fairytale story from the Old Testament relate to me and today?

We need to live faithful to God and trust in Him. We should obey His laws. We should read His Word, spend time learning more about Him, so we will know how to treat others. We need to live knowing that we may not receive our reward here, but we can receive an eternal reward that is worth far more and will last far longer than anything on this earth.  We do not need to hurt others for our own personal gain.  We need to always treat others with the love that Jesus has for us.  We need to remember that because of Jesus our sins are forgiven.  Someone DID AND DOES love us enough to sacrifice their life for us. 

Will you sacrifice your life for Him?

Will you sacrifice things on earth for Him?

Will you go out into the world and be a Ruth, Naomi or Boaz?

I pray you will!

The Kindess of Ruth and Boaz Continues

Ruth 2:5-23

We left off with Ruth working in the field of Boaz. Boaz had returned from town and in his usual manner he addressed his workers with respect. As a result of his respect for them, the harvesters respected Boaz.

In verse 5, Boaz asks his foreman about Ruth. With all his harvesters in a field which I’m sure was very large, he noticed one person – Ruth. I’m sure God had a hand in making sure Boaz’s eyes were toned in on her. The foreman explained Ruth was a Moabite who came with Naomi and had asked him to glean in the fields.

Boaz spoke to Ruth in verse 8 but not with harshness or insult but with kindness and love. Boaz told Ruth to stay in his fields with his servant girls and not to glean in another field. He warned the men not to harm Ruth. He also told her whenever she was thirsty, to please get a drink from the water jars.

Boaz could have kicked this lady out of his field but he did not. He saw she was a good hardworking lady and he rewarded her. He also knew she was a Moabite woman who had accompanied Naomi who wasn’t. I’m sure he thought about what Ruth had given up for the mother of her deceased husband.

Ruth was humbled. We know this because in verse 10 she bowed her face to the ground and asked Boaz “why have I found favor in your eyes…. a foreigner.” Boaz replied by letting her know he knew all Ruth had done for Naomi and how she left her homeland to come live with people she did know. The final sentences show Boaz’s true character.

“May the Lord repay you for what you have done. May you be richly rewarded by the Lord, the God of Israel, under whose wings you have come to take refuge.”

Boaz knew the Lord. He knew he was the God of Israel. He knew God would reward her for her kindness and for following Him. Ruth knew whose wings to go to for refuge – the Lord God of Israel and no other God. Ruth replied with kindness by thanking him for giving her comfort and speaking kindly to her.

The story continues with Boaz’s kindness. He not only let her work in his fields, but at mealtime, Boaz had her come eat with him and dip her bread in the wine vinegar. She took the grain he offered and ate all she wanted and had some leftover.  She then did not waver, she went back to work.  When she had finished, Boaz gave orders to the men to be nice to her, not embarrass her and not to rebuke her.

Again, Boaz shows his kindness by offering her his grains and making sure she was not harmed. He had no obligation to feed her and offer her a safe haven but he did.

Ruth worked hard till evening and headed home. She had gathered about an ephah – which is about 3/5 bushel. Now, that sounds like a lot for one person to pick but to carry but she did it without complaining. When Ruth got to Naomi she handed her the barley and she also brought her what she had left from her lunch.  She could have kept for herself, but she shared with her mother-in-law.

Naomi was curious as to where she worked that day and said, “Blessed be the man who took notice of you.” Ruth explained to her it was Boaz. Naomi then said, “Lord Bless this man.” She knew he had not stopped showing kindness to the living or dead because he was one of their close relatives. Naomi told her to make sure to go back to his fields because someone else may harm her. Ruth did as she said and stayed close and gleaned barley and wheat until the harvest was up while living with her mother-in-law, Naomi.

gleaning ruth

As I look back on this story, there are a couple things that pop out at me.

First, Boaz show much kindness and love to Ruth. She was a Moabite woman and Boaz probably did not have to show her any kindness because a stranger of another country had come to his field to work. But, He allowed her to continue to glean in his fields with his girls. He told the men not to harm her. Boaz also allowed her to eat with him.

Does Boaz not have some of the loving characteristics of the Lord God of Israel?  Does Boaz not act as the Lord says in His Word we are to act and treat others?

  • Spoke with kindness
  • Gave her safety
  • Fed and gave her water

Does not God offer us all these things?

God speaks to us with kindness. We know we have nothing to worry about. He says in His Word He will keep us safe. The Lord will feed and clothe us.

Boaz had the Lord in his heart and was giving to Ruth what the Lord had given to him.  Boaz was sharing the Lord with Ruth.

Times have changed, but His Word has not and how we are to treat others has not!

Secondly, Ruth was a very humble lady. She spoke to her master with respect and thankfulness in her tone. Ruth worked hard. She did not go about her working half-heartedly or with evil in her heart. Not only was she picking enough barley and wheat for herself, she picked enough for her mother-in-law, Naomi. She could have been jealous or envious of Naomi because she was not in this field doing all the work. But she wasn’t

When Ruth ate all she needed, not all she wanted, at mealtime with Boaz, she left some to carry home to Naomi. She did not take it all for herself. Instead she shared with Naomi.

Ruth’s action portray characteristics Christians should have who have The Lord in their heart. She spoke to others in command with respect and thankfulness. She worked hard at her work. She not only provided for herself, she unselfishly provided for her mother-in-law without complaining!

Do we act like this in our daily walk? Do we treat others this way? Do we share what the Lord has provided us with?  Do we share without complaining?

Boaz and Ruth’s actions and characteristics of respect, love, gentleness, compassion, and faith are prime examples of how we should love, respect and care for others.

Will you go out today and be a Boaz and Ruth??

FOOD FOR FRIDAY – The Story of Ruth Continues

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RUTH 1:9B – 22 (NIV).  Then she kissed them goodbye and they wept aloud 10 and said to her, “We will go back with you to your people.”  11 But Naomi said, “Return home, my daughters. Why would you come with me? Am I going to have any more sons, who could become your husbands? 12 Return home, my daughters; I am too old to have another husband. Even if I thought there was still hope for me—even if I had a husband tonight and then gave birth to sons— 13 would you wait until they grew up? Would you remain unmarried for them? No, my daughters. It is more bitter for me than for you, because the Lord’s hand has turned against me!” 14 At this they wept aloud again. Then Orpah kissed her mother-in-law goodbye, but Ruth clung to her.  15 “Look,” said Naomi, “your sister-in-law is going back to her people and her gods. Go back with her.”  16 But Ruth replied, “Don’t urge me to leave you or to turn back from you. Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God. 17 Where you die I will die, and there I will be buried. May the Lord deal with me, be it ever so severely, if even death separates you and me.” 18 When Naomi realized that Ruth was determined to go with her, she stopped urging her.  19 So the two women went on until they came to Bethlehem. When they arrived in Bethlehem, the whole town was stirred because of them, and the women exclaimed, “Can this be Naomi?”  20 “Don’t call me Naomi,[b]” she told them. “Call me Mara,[c] because the Almighty[d] has made my life very bitter. 21 I went away full, but the Lord has brought me back empty. Why call me Naomi? The Lord has afflicted[e] me; the Almighty has brought misfortune upon me.”
22 So Naomi returned from Moab accompanied by Ruth the Moabite, her daughter-in-law, arriving in Bethlehem as the barley harvest was beginning.

 


 Today, we will continue in Ruth.

In the last part of verse 9 and 10, it states, “Then she kissed them and they wept aloud and said to her, “We will go back with you to your people.”

Naomi loved her daughter-in-laws and they loved her. Naomi kissed them and Ruth and Orpah wept. They did not want to leave Naomi. Take a moment to picture this. I’m sure this was such an emotional time for these three ladies. They had all suffered so much, but they turned and loved on each other for support.

They did not want to leave but as we see in verse 11 through 13, Naomi tries to explain to them all the reasons they should not stay with her.   She believes she has nothing to offer them. She has no other sons for them to marry.   She believed no man would want her. If she did find a man, were these ladies going to wait for her to have children and for them to grow up – at least eighteen or twenty years?

Naomi was counting the costs for them to stay with her. She showed them what they would be losing if they followed her.

Do you count the cost when you decide or decided to follow Jesus??

Orpah then kissed Naomi and left, BUT Ruth clung to Naomi. I picture this young lady holding onto this older lady whom she loved so much. A daughter-in-law holding on to a mother-in-law, clinging to her. Naomi tries to tell her Orpah is leaving, go with her.   See she is leaving. Ruth did not care!

Do we cling to our in-laws in this way? Do you love your in-laws as deep as Ruth did?

In verses 16 to 17, Ruth gives such a moving answer.

Ruth was determined to go where Naomi went.

Ruth was determined to stay where Naomi stayed.

Ruth was determined Naomi’s people would be her people.

Ruth was determined she would die and be buried wherever Naomi was.

And the one that means the most, Ruth promised Naomi’s God would be her God.

Remember Ruth was a Moabite, however, she did not let that stop her from worshipping God. She had come to know God through Naomi and Naomi’s family.  She knew God was the one and only true God.

Naomi and her family must have showed their faith to her.  Naomi and her family must have taught her about God through action and words.

Do you teach others in your family that my not know God or may be of a different religion, about God in words or actions?

But what means more is God accepted Ruth and blessed Ruth greatly, which we will see in the following chapters. God chose Ruth a Moabite woman who is a faithful woman to become the great-grandmother of King David – a direct line to Jesus.

God never showed partiality in the Old Testament.  Jesus never showed partiality when He walked this earth. And today we can know, God does not show any partiality now.

Isn’t that wonderful to know that even though you may not be from a wealthy family – God Loves you?

Isn’t that wonderful to know that even though you live in a different county – God Loves you?

Isn’t that wonderful to know that God doesn’t care – HE LOVES US UNCONDITIONALLY?

He doesn’t care about race, sex, or what country you are from. You are God’s child.

Naomi comes to see Ruth’s is very determined (maybe a little hard headed). Naomi finally realized Ruth was following her and she could not talk her out of it.  I’m sure Naomi saw the determination and the faith of Ruth.   So the two women leave together.

They reach Bethlehem and the whole town is talking. They see two new women walking into town.   Just like when we see someone new walk in church or our bible study, we start asking who is that.  The verses say the people asked, “Can this be Naomi?”  Evidently the news of her hardship she had experienced had traveled to this town.  News traveled then just like it does now (just probably not as fast.)

Naomi told them not to call her Naomi. She wanted to be called Mara, which means “bitter”. She had become very bitter of all God had taken from her. She lost sight of God and her relationship with Ruth. Naomi had lost sight of what God had left her with.  Naomi had lost the faith that Ruth had seen in her.

Sometimes when things are not going well we look at all the bad things. We never look at the people God has placed in our lives during this trial. We never look at all the things God has given to us and continues to give. We can only see the bad not the good.

Sometimes the bad is a lot easier to see than the good. I think we take the good for granted. We don’t understand why the bad is happening so we feel sorry for ourselves without looking at the good.

Are you going through bad times now?

Are you looking at all the bad God is causing and not what He has given you?

Are you taking the people God has placed in your life for granted? (in-laws, friends, coworkers?)

God may have placed these people in your life at this time to help you.

Begin looking through God’s glasses today not our foggy glasses where all we see is the bad. Maybe we should just remove the glasses and see through God’s eyes!!

eyes