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Scenes Three And Four
If scene two portrays Ruths struggle to survive physically, scene three represents her struggle to survive culturally . It involves a bold act, potentially dangerous and compromising. At the insistence of Naomi, Ruth agrees without question to pursue marriage with Boaz. The plan calls for her to visit him on the threshing floor after he has celebrated the harvest and gone to sleep. She is to uncover his feet, a euphemism for genitals, and then he will tell her what to do.
Ruths actions elicit from Boaz a second question . Unlike his first, it addresses her directly and asks for her personal identity: Who are you? . In answering, Ruth gives her name. Then, contrary to Naomis assurance, she tells Boaz what to do: Spread your wing over your servant, for you are next-of-kin. By a wordplay on wing Ruth challenges Boaz to heed his earlier prayer for her blessing . This foreign woman calls an Israelite man to responsibility.
Even though Boaz informs Ruth that another man has first rights to her, Boaz himself responds graciously to her proposal. He calls Ruth a worthy woman , the same phrase that Proverbs uses to depict the capable wife . He protects Ruth from discovery and provides her with food . In the morning she reports to her mother-in-law all that Boaz has done but omits any report of her own bold words and deeds. Characteristically, Ruths last words focus on her mother-in-law and the availability of food .
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What’s With The Genealogy
The author is clearly drawing a connection between David and his great-grandparents, but why the second, bigger genealogy? The short genealogy in Ruth 4:17 makes the longer one in 4:18 22 technically unnecessary within the framework of the story. The longer one is a strategic effort to weave Ruths story into the narrative of Genesis and into the future hope of the prophets. The opening phrase, these are the generations of in Ruth 4:18, is identical to the same phrase that divides the book of Genesis into ten parts. It occurs one other time in the Torah . This makes the appearance of this key phrase in Ruth 4:18 the twelfth occurrence in the entire Old Testament and thats hardly a coincidence. Twelve is symbolic of the unified tribes of Israel, and this story points to the future king of Israel who will unify the tribes in one kingdom. Also, 4:18 22 is a ten-person genealogy and there are only two other ten-person genealogies in the Hebrew Bible, Genesis 5 and Genesis 11:1026 . It is an indication that a new age was beginning as it did with Noah, and then with Abraham, so too it would with King David.
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The Story Of Ruth And Naomi
Ruth was a Moabite woman, from a country that was one of Israels traditional enemies. She was an outsider. But she married an Israelite and joined his family while they were living in Moab.
Her husband died how we dont know, as did her brother-in-law, also a Moabite, and her father-in-law.
When this happened, her mother-in-law Naomi decided she had no alternative but to return to her homeland, and to the village her family came from Bethlehem.
Map 5 at Bible Maps shows how far Moab is from Bethlehem- a long journey for an older woman.
Fond as she was of her two daughters-in-law, Naomi prepared to say good-bye to both of them.
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The Book Of Ruth In The Bible
Did you know that there are only 2 books in all 66 books of the Bible named after faithful women? One of them is Ruth, a Moabite brought up in a pagan culture who is fully redeemed by the Lord. Christian women can harvest the fruit from this godly womans strong character traits in the Bible.
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Ruths explicit link to Rachel and Leah occurs in the blessing of the townspeople as they witness Boazs redemption of Ruth and of the land of Elimelech and Mahlon: May the Lord make the woman who is coming into your house like Rachel and Leah, both of whom built up the House of Israel . In the blessing, the townspeople add a specific reference to Judah, the founder of Boazs tribe: May your house be like the house of Perez whom Tamar bore to Judah .
The story of Tamar and Judah is also a story of family continuity achieved by the determination of a woman. Tamar bears twins, Perez and Zerah, after she masquerades as a prostitute to seduce her father-in-law, Judah, who had failed to fulfill his promise to give her his youngest son Shelah as a husband after his two older sons had died while married to her .
The references in the Book of Ruth to Rachel, Leah and Tamar serve not only to welcome Ruth into the Judahite community by linking her with the mothers of that community, they especially lead us to view Ruth in the mold of the heroic women who ensured the preservation of the people of Israel. Thanks to Ruth, the family of Naomi survives. The child born to Ruth and Boaz is a sonborn to Naomi who will renew her life. For Naomi, Ruth is better than seven sons , for she produces what Naomis sons failed to, an heir.
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Praying Scripture Over Your Childs Life
Jodie Berndt loves to pray for her children. Shes been doing that for the past thirty years. Now she helps other parents to talk to God, asking for the salvation of their kids, and for wisdom, self-discipline, purpose, a future and much more. She offers fun and practical encouragement that moms and dads can put to work immediately in their daily lives as they prepare their children for a life in Christ.
Lesson 1: The Importance Of Trust
Ruths story is a powerful reminder of the importance of trust.
We are called to trust God, even when we dont understand His plan.
This story reminds us that we can always trust in Gods goodness and love.
Ruths story is an encouragement to us all.
No matter what we are facing in life, we can trust that God is faithful and will provide for us.
He has a plan for each of us, and it is always good.
What are you facing today?
Take heart, knowing that God is with you and will never leave you.
Leave a comment below sharing your favorite part of this story or how it has encouraged you.
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How Did Ruth Meet Boaz
As Naomi and Ruth arrive back in Jerusalem, they had to find food. Thankfully, God is taking care of them. Boaz and Ruths first meeting is a beautiful picture of redemption. Ruth finds a field to glean from and asks the owner Boaz if she can pick up the leftover wheat after the harvesters finish their work.
Boaz notices her right away her good character, hard work, and perseverance in finding food for her and her mother n law. He instructed his servants to be kind and respect Ruth. He even invited her to eat with him and his reapers.
Dont Let The Past Hold You Back
At the beginning of the book Ruth is living in her home nation of Moab a place and people that the Israelites frowned down upon. On top of that, she has lost her husband and is now living with her widowed mother-in-law. She also lost her husband without a child, some believing she may have barren.
The pain Ruth must have been in was immense. As she embarked on her first journey to Israel, she must have been nervous. Ruth had so many reasons to shrink into a shell and live in obscurity. But she didnt. Ruth didnt allow her past to hold her back but believed there was life still to be lived and move forward in that confidence.
You have a purpose regardless of what lies behind you. Although your confidence might be wavering, your calling does not.
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The Connection Between Ruth And David Is About More Than Ancestry
The resolution of Ruths story has a sort of postscript which tells us that Ruth is a close and direct ancestor of King David. Every time Ive heard this talked about, the takeaway is always something like: Isnt it neat that God could use Ruth to make babies that would become kings? But if thats all we can see of her legacy, we miss the point.
Can we not see a reflection of Ruths character in Davids courage, daring spirit, and commitment to God?
In patriarchal societies, bearing a son was one of the only ways that a woman could take part in the future of her people. She would bear and raise up the men who would become her communitys future leaders. As mothers in King Davids line, Ruth and Naomi shaped and influenced the character of the man who would rule the nation, thus leaving a lasting legacy on their peoples history. Can we not see a reflection of Ruths character in King Davids courage, daring spirit, and commitment to God?
Thankfully, we now live in a world where women have more avenues for influence on their communities beyond child-rearing. But Ruth and Naomi didnt live in that kind of world. They were forced to navigate an unfair society through sheer gumption, emotional honesty, shrewd risk-taking, and a fierce commitment to each other.
Who Was Obed In The Bible
The book of Ruth reveals the significance of Obeds role in the genealogy of Jesus. The account of Obed is found in the book of Ruth, when the judges ruled the land . His story begins with his grandparents. Elimelech, a man of Bethlehem, and his wife, Naomi, and their two sons, Mahlon and Chilion, sojourned in Moab during a period of famine in Judah. In time, Elimelech died, and his two sons took Moabite wivesOrpah and Ruth . After 10 years, the two sons died, leaving Naomi, Orpah, and Ruth bereft. Naomi heard the famine in Judah came to an end, and she departed for her homeland . The key word within this verse is return, for in a figurative sense it means to repent. Elimelechs decision to leave for Judah for Moab was unwise because Moab was forbidden to enter the Lords assembly . The gist was she turned from the disobedient act committed by Elimelech when he entered a land whose god was not YHWH.
What Do We Know about Obed’s Parents?
Ruth, Obeds mother, was a Moabitess. We know from history, the Moabites originated from the incestuous union of Lot and his firstborn daughter. The Moabite people later led Israel into the worship of the false god, Baal, as they made their way into Canaan. The Moabites also took part in the hiring of Balaam to curse Israel as it journeyed to the Promised Land . The consequence of both actions caused the Moabites to be forbidden to enter the Lords assembly .
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God Uses Apparently Chance Events To Empower Peoples Work
One of the ways God fulfills his promise of fruitfulness is his mastery of the worlds circumstances. The odd construction of her chance chanced upon in Ruth 2:3 is deliberate. In colloquial English, we would say, As her luck would have it. But the statement is ironic. The narrator intentionally uses an expression that forces the reader to sit up and ask how it could be that Ruth happened to land in the field of a man who was not only gracious but also a kinsman . As the story unfolds, we see that Ruths arrival at Boaz field was evidence of Gods providential hand. The same can be said for the appearance of the next-of-kin just as Boaz sat down at the gate in Ruth 4:12.
What a dreary world it would be if we had to go to work every day expecting nothing except what we ourselves have the power to accomplish. We must depend on the work of others, the unexpected opportunity, the burst of creativity, the unforeseen blessing. Surely one of the most comforting blessings of following Christ is his promise that when we go to work, he goes to work alongside us and shoulders the load with us. Take my yoke upon youfor my yoke is easy, and my burden is light . Ruth did not have the words of Jesus, but she lived in faith that under Gods wings, she would find all that she needed .
God Keeps A Careful Eye On The Widow
There are 11 widows mentioned in the Bible and in both the New Testament and Hebrew Bible. Ruth and Naomi are two of them. In Scripture, widows are repeatedly the subject of miracles. God keeps a careful eye on the widow. He is profoundly concerned for her, together with the stranger and the fatherless. He is righteous and protects them for He is a father of the fatherless, a defender of widowsin His holy habitation . The incarnate Son of God is like him. He cared for His widowed mother. The Bible tells us, Near the cross of Jesus stood His mother, His mothers sister, Mary the wife of Clopas and Mary Magdalene. When Jesus saw His mother there, and the disciple whom He loved standing nearby, He said to her, Woman, here is your son, and to the disciple, Here is your mother. From that time on, this disciple took her into his home . He also raised from the dead the son of the widow of Nain and returned him to his mother , and, in the spirit of the prophets, condemned those who took advantage of widows .
While many widows can relate to Ruths story, its a story so many can connect with. The fact that Ruth and other widows are mentioned in the Bible indicates that God is close to those who have experienced loss. It also indicates that those who experience loss still have God walking with them. Miracles are still possible, even in the midst of loss.
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When And Where Was It Written
Since the author of the book is unknown, it is difficult to determine when it was written. However, there are a few clues that help narrow it to a general time period. The book of Ruth tells the history of the family of Elimelech, who lived during the time of the judges . But because the genealogy of David is included , the book of Ruth may have been written after Davidâs or Solomonâs time, likely following the Babylonian exile. The book addresses key issues of the postexilic period, including intermarriage with people of other nations, such as Ammon and Moab. The book also addresses the belief held by some Jews of this era that Jews should separate themselves entirely from those who were not of Israelite descent . The book of Ruth seems to provide valuable balance by reminding its readers that the great-grandmother of the revered King David was a faithful woman from Moab who converted to Israelâs religion and married within the covenant. Ruth demonstrated kindness to others and loyalty to the Lord. One of the main messages of the book of Ruth is that such faithfulness is more important than ethnicity.
Ruth & Naomi In Bethlehem
They must have been a sorry sight when they arrived exhausted, in travel-stained widows clothing. But they arrived at just the right moment, in time for the harvest.
They were more or less destitute, but resourceful. Ruth decided she would help glean the barley in the fields, to feed herself and Naomi and to get a store of grain for winter.
Gleaning was a form of charity for the disadvantaged in ancient Israel. The poor could walk behind the harvesters, picking up what was left. This is what Ruth did.
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