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March 5, 2019

RUTH 1-4   

DAY 66: JOURNEY THROGH THE BIBLE IN A YEAR

Focus Verse For Today: Ruth 1:16-18

 

We begin today’s journey with Elimelek fleeing famine-ravaged Bethlehem, the place the Lord had given him, moving his family to Moab. Moabites were despised by Israel. While there, Elimelek dies leaving his wife, Namoi, a widow. Her two sons, Mahon and Kilion, who married Moabite women, also died, leaving her without children. The famine ends in Bethlehem and Naomi decides to return. She advises her two daughter-in-laws that they may remain in their homeland. Orpah stays. Ruth refuses to leave her mother-in-law, Naomi, moving to Bethlehem with her. Ruth, a despised Moabite, gleans a relationship with Boaz, wealthy relative of Naomi, who becomes guardian-redeemer of Naomi and husband to Ruth. Ruth, the despised Moabite, was to become King David’s great-grandmother!

 

Take some time with the Lord, sharing things with Him and seeking His direction on all things in your life, while asking for His understanding of the book of Ruth.  Read the four chapters that comprise the book of Ruth. 

 

The book of Ruth requires a different approach than the other books we have or are studying together. The focus verse for today sets the theme for the book of Ruth. The focus verse for today is:  

 

16But 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. 17Where 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.” 18When Naomi realized that Ruth was determined to go with her, she stopped urging her.  (Ruth 1:16-18, NIV)

 

Ruth was committed. Ruth, widowed from a son of Naomi, fully engaged herself in her relationship to being daughter-in-law of Naomi. Naomi released her from those obligations, suggesting that Ruth remain with her people and marry a Moabite, one of Ruth’s people, so she may have children. Ruth understood obligation does not cease when hardship arrises and refused to abandon her mother-in-law, traveling to Bethlehem with her to care for her. (Ruth 1:1-22)  Once in Bethlehem, Naomi directs people to call her Mara, which means bitter in taste or experience, instead of Naomi which means pleasant, lovely, delightful. Naomi used her circumstances to allow her to take pity upon herself rather than engage them with God’s help to pass through them. Upon arriving in Bethlehem, Ruth goes to work to support Naomi and herself. (Ruth 2:3-10) Boaz notices and speaks with Ruth. (Ruth 2:11-14) Ruth meets Boaz at the threshing floor, advising him that he was Naomi’s guardian-redeemer. He informed her that another person was more closely related to Elimelek than he. (Ruth 3:12) Boaz told Ruth that he would do his duty, not when he got around to it, but in the morning: immediately! The next morning, Boaz confronts the other relative about doing his duty as guardian-redeemer of Naomi. The relative was willing until he learned of Ruth and became fearful of diluting his wealth. Boaz redeemed Naomi, taking Ruth as his wife. (Ruth 4)  A guardian-redeemer purchases the land of the widow’s wife, leaving her without land but with money to support herself. Because Naomi had a daughter-in-law, Ruth, children had by Ruth would share in Boaz’s estate (inheritance).  Boaz and Ruth have a child, Obed, the father of Jesse, the father of King David. (Ruth 4:22) 

 

Did you notice that Boaz immediately noticed that Ruth was a woman of action? She didn’t wait for a handout; she went out and earned food for herself and Naomi. Did you notice that Boaz noticed that Ruth embraced her duties as daughter-in-law to her widowed husband’s mother? Did you notice that Boaz noticed this was a woman of extraordinary character? Boaz, whether he realized it or not, saw himself in Ruth.

 

Ruth never used a challenge to excuse her obligations or duties. Ruth was all in, in everything she did. To mimic a sporting phrase, she left it all on the field. Her principles were the principles of the God of Israel. The God she sought after. The God she sought after relentlessly. The God who blessed her with a son Obed, and a great-grandson, the King of all of Israel, King David - a man after the Lord’s heart. Could this have been inherited from his great-grandparents?

  

If you journal; it is time to journal! If you are a contemplator; time to warm up the brain! Did you notice that Ruth’s character caught Boaz’a attention? Did you notice Boaz’s character caught Naomi’s attention? What type of attention does your character draw from those around you? Godspeace!

  

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