Study from The Book of Ruth
It came to pass in the days when the judges ruled, that there was a famine in the land. And a certain man of Beth–lehem–judah went to sojourn in the country of Moab, he, his wife, and his two sons.” Ruth 1:1
Why was there famine? This is part of the promised land that God gave them when he delivered them out of the land of Egypt. “In those days there was no king in Israel: every man did that which was right in his own eyes.” Judges 21:25
Judges ruled the land- Every man did that which was right in their own eyes. Sounds a lot like the world today. There is a way which seems right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death. (prov. 14:12)
Deuteronomy- If they obey God they will be blessed, if they are disobedient a curse will come upon their land. So maybe if the people had come together, repented and turned back to the Lord, he would have caused their land to prosper again.
Elimelech takes his wife Naomi and 2 sons to Moab, Moab was a place that didn’t worship the God of Israel, they worshiped false gods, and in times past even sacrificed their own children to false gods. So Elimelech was taking his family from a place that God gave his people to a place that didn’t even know the true and living God. How many times when we face famine in our lives, do we get further away from God, rather than getting down on our knees and calling on him to deliver us.
So now they are in Moab, Elimelech dies there, leaving Naomi and her 2 sons, and it gets worse. The sons take wives from the Moabite women, One named Orpah, the other Ruth, about 10 years later both sons die, leaving Naomi with only her 2 daughters in law. Naomi doesn’t want to stay in Moab, who can blame her? She wants to go home, she had heard the famine was over, Judah is prospering again, so she heads home.
Her daughters in law start to go with her, but Naomi feels like she has nothing for them, She tells them to go to the homes of their Mother, find new husbands. She said, I’m too old to have another husband and even if I did and was able to bear Sons, would you wait until they were grown to marry them? Go back. So Orpah reluctantly kisses Naomi and goes back. But Ruth cleaves to Naomi.
(Read vs. 15)
And she said, Behold, thy sister in law is gone back unto her people, and unto her gods: return thou after thy sister in law. (Ruth 1:15) It is sad that she returned to her gods that can’t help her, because the God of Israel is the true and living God.
(Read vs. 16-17)
And Ruth said, Entreat me not to leave thee, or to return from following after thee: for whither thou goest, I will go; and where thou lodgest, I will lodge: thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God: Where thou diest, will I die, and there will I be buried: The Lord do so to me, and more also, if ought but death part thee and me.” Isn’t that a beautiful wedding vow?
So Naomi takes Ruth into Bethlehem. Upon entering people of the city remember her, come to greet her and she say’s don’t call me Naomi, call me Mara, which means bitter. She feels God has dealt bitterly with her.
To understand chpt. 2, you have to know 2 Levitical laws they used.
“Leviticus 25:25” If a brother lost possession of land, then his next of kin could buy it back (redeem it), they were called kinsman redeemers.
“Leviticus 19:9-10” When you reap the harvest of your land, do not reap to the very edges of your field or gather the gleanings of your harvest, leave them for the poor and the stranger. (kind of like a welfare system of that day, except instead of just getting a check like today, they had to actually work and glean to get their food, but that’s how they took care of the poor and strangers)
To summarize chapter. 2, Elimelech has a near kinsman named Boaz, a mighty man of wealth. Ruth goes out to glean for food for her and Naomi, gleaning the leftovers that the poor and the strangers are allowed to glean, and vs. 3 say’s Ruth just happened to go to Boaz field. She didn’t know it was his field but God did.
As Ruth is gleaning there, Boaz walks up and say’s to his servants, The lord be with you, and they said The Lord bless thee. That shows the kind of integrity Boaz had.(can you imagine having a boss like that? That would come up to you and say, The Lord be with you, and you reply back, the lord bless you!)
Boaz notices Ruth and asks who she is. The servant tells Boaz about her, He goes up to her and tells her stay in my field don’t go to another, glean all you want and if you get thirsty, go to where the young men draw water and drink all you want.
Ruth is so amazed and humbled by this act of kindness, she falls on her face. (read vs. 10) Does that make you think? She didn’t know it yet, but this was the man that is going to redeem her. Have you ever fell on your face and said to your redeemer, why have I found grace in your site Lord? Me a stranger. Most of us are not Israelites, we were adopted in by the blood of the Lamb! Amen
Boaz tells her he heard all she did for her Mother in Law
Read vs. 12
“The Lord recompense thy work, and a full reward be given thee of the Lord God of Israel, under whose wings thou art come to trust. Ruth 2:12” Sounds like she’s come to trust in the Lord!
He invites her to eat with him and the servants, He serves her food and when she goes out to glean again, He tells his servants to purposely leave extra for her.
So Ruth takes all that she gleaned to Naomi and Naomi say’s Blessed be he that took knowledge of you, and when Ruth said his name is Boaz, Naomi knew it was a near Kinsman to Elimelech. Ruth continued to glean there through the end of barley and wheat harvest.
Now the redemption plan! (read chpt. 3 vs. 3-7)
“Wash thyself therefore, and anoint thee, and put thy raiment upon thee, and get thee down to the floor: but make not thyself known unto the man, until he shall have done eating and drinking.
4 And it shall be, when he lieth down, that thou shalt mark the place where he shall lie, and thou shalt go in, and uncover his feet, and lay thee down; and he will tell thee what thou shalt do.
5 And she said unto her, all that thou sayest unto me I will do.
6 And she went down unto the floor, and did according to all that her mother in law bade her.
7 And when Boaz had eaten and drunk, and his heart was merry, he went to lie down at the end of the heap of corn: and she came softly, and uncovered his feet, and laid her down.” Ruth 3:3-7
Here she is laying at the feet of the one she wants to redeem her. Amen
vs.9 “she said spread thy skirt over thine handmaid”, With that She’s asking him to marry her. (That same expression is in Ezekial 16:8, when God entered into a covenant with Israel)
Boaz tells her, he would redeem her but there is a closer kinsman. (This shows more integrity from Boaz, because I believe he loves Ruth at this point, but he loves God more, so It’s important to him to obey the law and offer the closer kinsman first)
So Ruth lays at his feet until morning, then she goes back to tell Naomi the news, you can tell their excited because in verse 18, Naomi tells Ruth to sit still, for the man will not rest until he have finished the thing this day.
Boaz finds the nearer kinsman, who first agrees to redeem the land until Boaz informs him he has to take Ruth to Wife also. He refuses to marry Ruth and redeem it, So Boaz Redeems the land and takes Ruth to be his Wife.
Boaz and Ruth have a Son name Obed, Naomi is comforted and helps raise the Child.
Boaz and Ruth’s Son Obed is the father of Jesse, the father of David. So Ruth is the Great Grandmother of King David
Ofcourse, Our Redeemer Jesus Christ came forth in the flesh through the root and offspring of David! So this Poor widow stranger in the land that didn’t feel worthy of being redeemed, through her seed, God brought forth the redeemer of all mankind! Isn’t it amazing how God works!
This old testament Book of Ruth, written long before Christ was born in the flesh, was a preview of what God was going to do for us.
God knew we would fall from the foundation of the world, and made a way for our Redemption!
Our first earthly father Adam, lost our inheritance, we had eternal inheritance from the beginning, Adam lost it, so we needed to be Redeemed. Amen
Thank God for Jesus Christ our Redeemer!