Busy Mind, Deceptive Heart
September 19, 2013
A Match Made in Heaven
The main characters::
Ruth is a short version of ‘retut’, ‘lovely friend’.
Naomi means ‘pleasant’, but the name she called herself later was Mara, meaning ‘bitter’.
Boaz means ‘powerful’ or ‘strong’.
Mahlon and Chilion mean ‘sickness’ and ‘used up’.
Orpah means ‘back of the neck’; she turned her back on Naomi.
Elimelech means ‘my God is king’.
Importance:: Matthew 1 Matthew’s genealogy of Jesus lists four women, & Ruth is one of them.
Ruth is loyal to her mother-in-law. Ruth 1:15-18
She follows a God she meets through obedience. v.16-17
Background of Moabites
She works hard and without fear. She isn’t looking for a husband.
Ruth 2:3 says that ‘as it happened’ Ruth went to the field of Naomi’s rich relative, Boaz.
She finds favor with Boaz because she chose the Lord.
The Lord protected her and showed favor on her, through Boaz. HOW? He praises the way in which she presents herself.
She is noble.
It was called the law of the “levirate” marriage, from the Hebrew word for “brother.” If no brother was available, a more distant relative might be asked to fulfill this duty. But the widow would have to let him know that he was acceptable to be her “goel,” as they called it, her kinsman-redeemer and provider.
In English, the word go’el is often translated as ‘nearest kin’, but in ancient Judah it meant much more than that.
She takes action. Lying beside Boaz, Ruth suggested that he, as the go-el of Naomi’s family, should ‘cover her with his blanket’, a euphemism for marriage.
Spreading his cloak over her would signify his willingness to become her protector and provider. His response was immediate.
Boaz is honest. He seems to have been at pains to do everything correctly, so that there could be no question about the legality of the marriage.
Ruth and Boaz were married, and she had a son, Obed. Eventually, Ruth would be the great-grandmother of King David.
SOME OF OUR DISCUSSION:::
Ruth left everything she knew to go with Naomi. She knew Naomi was older in age and now a widow. Ruth DID THE RIGHT THING. In doing so, she utimately chose God. Moabites were Israelite enemies due to their history and some stereotyping. She walked in faith that all she heard of God from her husband and his family was true and that He would care for her and her mother-in-law. She was virtuous. One of the many reasons Boaz is drawn to her is that she didn’t have affairs with men, rich or poor. She DID THE RIGHT THING. She followed all of the directions and wisdom from Naomi. She walked through this entire journey with faith and integrity.
Loyalty. Who is loyal here & why is that important for us?
Submission: Who is submissive here? To whom? Why is that a lesson for us?
Love: In what ways could you give of yourself more sacrificially to improve your relationships?