Ruth 03-04

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Time period - the judges - a dark time A family that represents the cycles... things start off terrible.
Time period - the judges - a dark time A family that represents the cycles... things start off terrible.
But things began to turn around at the end of ch2 there is hope for them There is food in Israel again Ruth has decided to return with Naomi and to serve the LORD. Ch2 - Ruth does what she can to help provide for Naomi and herself by going into the fields to glean A man named Boaz takes notice of Ruth working in the fields. He is generous towards Ruth due to her commitment to Naomi and her dependence on the LORD. Box chose to be the one whom the LORD would use to reward and bless Ruth.
The Kinsmen Redeemer
In 2:20, we learn that Boaz is a close relative to Elimilech, the former husband of Naomi. He is one of the kinsmen redeemers for Naomi’s family. This idea of a kinsman or close relative who is a redeemer is spoken of in the law a few times. We saw in our last lesson () that if a man sold his property because he became poor, the redeemer had the choice to purchase the property back so it could remain in the family. Also, in , Moses says that the close relative/redeemer, if a brother dies and does not have any male offspring, has the obligation to marry the widow to raise up offspring for the one who died so his name is not cut off from Israel.

Seeking Security for Ruth

Seeking Security for Ruth
This idea of the redemption of Elimilech’s property and continuing His name by a close relative marrying the widow of Elimilech’s son becomes the focus of chapters 3-4.
Understanding that Boaz is a kinsman, she gives Ruth instructions in how to approach him in order to discuss this subject with him. The way Naomi puts it, she desires to seek security for Ruth. She is not just thinking about continuing the family name in Israel, she is concerned for Ruth.
So she tells Ruth how to approach him discreetly. She gives some strange instructions to her. She says to go to the place where Boaz was threshing all night while he was sleeping, to uncover his feet and to lie down at his feet. Why she instructs her to do this is anyone’s guess. All we can do is speculate… but Ruth does as she is instructed in verses 6- 7, and then in verse 8 we are told that, during the night, Boaz wakes up and is startled when he sees someone laying at his feet. He asks the person laying there, “who are you.” Obviously, it was dark and he couldn’t see who it was. Ruth answers in verse 9, "I am Ruth, your maidservant. Spread your wings over your servant, for you are a redeemer.""  ()
This statement of Ruth would be close to what we consider a marriage proposal… She asks Boaz here to fulfill the obligation of a kinsmen-redeemer for her family.
Boaz’s response
Boaz’s character shines in his reply to Ruth in verses 10-15.
He is encouraged by the character of Ruth here. Ruth, still being a younger widow, could have let passion lead her to marry a younger man who could be her husband for many years to come who she may have been more attracted to. But instead, she came to Boaz who would have been an older man who she could marry according to the law to keep the line of her husband going. She is living up to her reputation of being a virtuous woman (v11). Her character is the main reason that Boaz gives to agreeing to her request.
Boaz’ earlier words to Ruth in 2:12 are being fulfilled here. Boaz pronounced a blessing on Ruth that she would be rewarded fully by the LORD for trusting herself to Him. And as we have seen, Boaz desires to be the Lord’s tool in doing just that. And Ruth desires that Boaz be the one to fulfill his words towards her.
BUT… in verse 12, we see that there is a problem… Boaz is not the closest relative of Naomi. There is at least one man who was a closer relative. So Boaz desires to do the right thing by giving that man the opportunity to fulfill the responsibilities of the kinsmen redeemer since he has the first rights…
But Boaz makes it clear, if this closer relative does not desire to fulfill the responsibilities of the kinsmen redeemer, then he WILL do it. He even invokes the Lord’s name - he makes a vow to her that he will do all she requested.
The chapter closes with Ruth returning to Naomi in the early morning and telling her about what happened during the night. Naomi is confident, based on what she has seen, that Boaz will settle this issue ASAP the following day.

: Redemption Rewarded

Boaz “settles the matter”
Boaz “settles the matter”
Boaz meets with the closer kinsmen and the elders of the city
The closer relative at first agrees to be the redeemer, and then declines (4-6).
Whenever Boaz gives him the opportunity to redeem the land that belonged to Naomi, he wants to redeem the property. Since Naomi had no descendants any longer, then at the death of Naomi, the land would then belong to the closer relative and his descendants. He would benefit greatly from the land becoming his inheritance.
But then Boaz says, "The day you buy the field from the hand of Naomi, you also acquire Ruth the Moabitess, the widow of the dead, in order to perpetuate the name of the dead in his inheritance.” The man is not willing to take Ruth to be his wife and to have a son to continue Elimelech’s line. If he did this, then he would not get the benefit of owning the land if Naomi died. The land would go to the first son whom Ruth bore and would stay in the family of Elimelech. The closer relative declines and gives the rights of redeemer to Boaz. He was unwilling to make the monetary sacrifice necessary to fulfill the obligations of the kinsmen redeemer if he was not going to profit from it.
You see quite the contrast between this man and the great generosity of Boaz. Unlike the closer relative, Boaz is willing to make the necessary sacrifices to fulfill the responsibility of kinsmen redeemer. This would demand a lot of him…
Cost of buying property Taking care of the land Caring for Naomi Marrying Ruth Having to care for the child who would not be his child The child would inherit the land of Naomi, not Boaz…
So all of this sacrifice would have to be made by Boaz. You see such generosity in Boaz in contrast to this closer relative. Boaz didn’t get nothing from this… He received a virtuoso wife who he could have other children with. But he would have to make many sacrifices here and get little reward other than the knowledge that he did what was right before God.


In verse 13, we are told that Boaz marries Ruth. Let’s read this final section…
In verse 13, we are told that Boaz marries Ruth. Let’s read this final section…
"So Boaz took Ruth, and she became his wife. And he went in to her, and the LORD gave her conception, and she bore a son. Then the women said to Naomi, "Blessed be the LORD, who has not left you this day without a redeemer, and may his name be renowned in Israel! He shall be to you a restorer of life and a nourisher of your old age, for your daughter-in-law who loves you, who is more to you than seven sons, has given birth to him." Then Naomi took the child and laid him on her lap and became his nurse. And the women of the neighborhood gave him a name, saying, "A son has been born to Naomi." They named him Obed. He was the father of Jesse, the father of David… ()
The Lord turned around the dark circumstances that this book began with. Naomi was left empty and bitter… without husband and without descendants… And Ruth had been married to Naomi’s son for about 10 years without conceiving and bearing a son. But the Lord brought life to a hopeless situation.

Lessons & Application

Naomi - God’s hand is at work
God is at work even during dark times. He works behind the scenes to bring about events of the good of those who trust in Him. We see this in the life of Naomi and Ruth. But we see so much more than this… We see the big picture here. It can be easy to look at this one situation and see how the LORD turns things around for the good of these few people involved. This is only one part of a much bigger story. The LORD has so much more in mind. So many great things that he is doing and working towards. There is something amazing that the LORD was doing here. He just wasn’t helping some widows here, he was working towards fulfilling His promises to His people. Using the people in this story to bring about the second king of Israel who, through His descendants, He would raise up the Christ. This account is an important part of our spiritual heritage. When things are not going well, all we can see is what is going on in our lifetime… but what God is doing is so much bigger than you and me. God is working towards the future. God’s hand is at work. He has a plan, not just for my life, but he has a plan that I will not be around to see in the future. My life is just one piece of a great puzzle that God is putting together for His glory
The Character Ruth - virtuous/worthy
Ruth (2:11) - it didn’t take much time for her to get a reputation in the city of being a virtuous woman… example of a virtuous woman Industrious, loyal, humble, devoted to God. She is absolutely determined to be a blessing to the mother of her former husband. It didn’t matter where Naomi would go, what would happen to her… she was willing to be committed Do you have a reputation of being virtuous in your character? Is this the level of your commitment. Are you worthy/virtuous as Ruth? Would you not just claim your wholehearted dedication to Him and His cause, but also live it by serving Him?
Boaz - the generous, sacrificial redeemer
The role of the redeemer
Redeems lost land Gives liberty to Marries the widow and raises up offspring for the deceased
Boaz shows such great generosity and a desire to do whatever is possible to bless.
Are we willing to make sacrifices in our obedience to God? Boaz went above and beyond what was necessary to be a blessing to Ruth and Naomi, and was willing to make the necessary sacrifices to be faithful to the Lord.
Jesus is the ultimate fulfillment of a redeemer. He is the spiritual redeemer of His kinsmen… A parallel/foreshadowing to Jesus: The ultimate sacrificial “redeemer”
He recovers the land that was lost because of our sin. We were dead in our sin and worthy of judgment, but Jesus makes it possible for us to receive the promised land of rest. He also recovers for us liberty from being slaves to sin. We were so hopelessly lost and enslaved and could not pay off the debt we owed to gain our freedom. Jesus paid it so we could be freed. And Jesus brings life to a dead situation… We, as the church, are His bride… He gave us life and makes it possible for us to have offspring who can also be His people, to continue His name throughout the generations… He did all of this at great cost to Himself…
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