Highlights in Ruth from DTB: Decisions Determine Destiny
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DTB Ruth: Decisions Determine Destiny
I. The providence of God and the faithful loyal (hesed) obedience of individuals blend to bring about blessing out of tragedy.
1:1 when the judges ruled, that there was a famine in the land...went to dwell in the country of Moab (cf Judges 3) 6 Then she arose with her daughters-in-law, that she might return from the country of Moab: for she had heard how that Yahweh had visited his people in giving them bread. 7...they went on the way to return to the land of Judah. 8 Naomi said to her two daughters-in-law, "Go, return each of you to her mother’s house (v15 gods): Yahweh deal kindly (hesed/loyal love) with you, as you have dealt with the dead, and with me. 9 Yahweh grant you that you may find rest, (Num 10:33 Ark) each of you in the house of her husband." Then she kissed them, and they lifted up their voice, and wept. 10 They said to her, "No, but we will return with you to your people." 13 N: “hand of Yahweh is against me”
1:16 Ruth: "Don't ask me to leave you, or to turn back from following after you; for wherever you go, I will go; and wherever you lodge, I will lodge; your people shall be my people, and your God, my God. 17 Where you die, I will die, and there will I be buried. The LORD do so to me if anything but death parts you and me." 18 When she saw that she was determined/steadfastly minded to go with her, she stopped...
20 "Don’t call me Naomi. Call me Mara; for the Almighty has dealt very bitterly with me. 21 I went out full, and Yahweh has brought me home again empty; why do you call me Naomi, since Yahweh has testified against me, and the Almighty has afflicted me?"
APP: In difficult times are you actively loyal to God or bitter/resentful? Don't allow circumstances to determine your identity. Testimony?
II. Humble Submission and self-initiated, wholehearted Service result in Blessing
2:2 Ruth said to Naomi, "Let me now go to the field, and glean among the ears of grain after him in whose sight I shall find favor."
2:10 Then she fell on her face, and bowed herself to the ground, and said to him, "Why have I found favor in your sight, that you should take knowledge of me, since I am a foreigner?" 11 Boaz answered her, "It has fully been shown me, all that you have done to your mother-in-law since the death of your husband; and how you have left your father and your mother, and the land of your birth, and have come to a people that you didn’t know before. 12 May Yahweh repay your work, and a full reward be given you from Yahweh, the God of Israel, under whose wings you have come to take refuge." 13 Then she said, "Let me find favor in your sight, my lord, because you have comforted me, and because you have spoken kindly to your handmaid, though I am not as one of your handmaidens."
19 Her mother-in-law said to her, "Where have you gleaned today? Where have you worked? Blessed be he who noticed you." 20 "Blessed be he of Yahweh, who has not left off his kindness (hesed/loyal love) to the living and to the dead." “one of our near kinsmen"
APP: We must decide how we live, our associations, and allegiances with reference to God. Submit and serve even in scary times.
III. Simple virtuous trust in following the Scriptures is superior to sketchy scheming cf Moabites=Lot and daughter Gen 19:37
3:1 "My daughter, shall I not seek rest for you, that it may be well with you? 2 Boaz our kinsman winnows barley tonight in the threshing floor. 3 Therefore wash yourself, perfume yourself, get dressed, and go down to the threshing floor, but don’t make yourself known to the man until he has finished eating and drinking. 4 It shall be, when he lies down, that you shall mark the place where he shall lie, and you shall go in, and uncover his feet, and lay down; then he will tell you what you shall do." 5 She said to her, "All that you say I will do." 6... did acc to all told her 7 When Boaz had eaten and drunk, and his heart was merry, he went to lie down at the end of the heap of grain. She came softly, uncovered his feet, and laid her down. 8 It happened at midnight...startled and turned himself; and behold, a woman lay at his feet. 9 He said, "Who are you?" She answered, "I am Ruth your handmaid. therefore spread your skirt/wing over your handmaid; for you are a near kinsman." 10 He said, "Blessed are you by Yahweh, my daughter. You have shown more kindness (hesed/loyal love) in the latter end than at the beginning, inasmuch as you didn’t follow young men, whether poor or rich. 11 Now, my daughter, don’t be afraid; I will do to you all that you say; for all the city of my people does know that you are a worthy (Pr 31) woman. 12 Now it is true that I am a near kinsman; however there is a kinsman nearer than I. 14 She lay at his feet until the morning. She rose up before one could discern another. "Let it not be known that the woman came to the threshing floor."
IV. Patiently trusting God to bring about what's best, when it's best does not preclude serving/living by faith in His promises
4:5 Boaz: "On the day you buy the field from Naomi, you must buy it also from Ruth the Moabitess, the wife of the dead, to raise up the name of the dead on his inheritance." 6 "I can’t redeem it for myself, lest I mar my own inheritance. Take my right of redemption
11 All the people said, "We are witnesses. May Yahweh make the woman who has come into your house like Rachel and like Leah “foreigners” who built the house of Israel; and treat you worthily in Ephrathah, and be famous in Bethlehem. 12 Let your house be like the house of Perez, whom Tamar (Onan Gen 38) bore to Judah, of the seed which Yahweh shall give you of this young woman." 13 So Boaz took Ruth, and she became his wife; and he went in to her, and Yahweh gave her conception, and she bore a son.
14 The: "Blessed be Yahweh, who has not left you this day without a redeemer; and let his name be famous in Israel. 15 He shall be to you a restorer of life, and sustain you in your old age, for Ruth who loves you, who is better to you than seven sons, has borne him."
APP: Obedience to God's revelation has priority over our wishes and desires (held w/ an open hand, working while awaiting God's timing).
Questions for Reflection/Discussion/Response:
1. How do you make your decisions? What role do circumstances and desires play? How do you know you're not being ruled by them?
2. What do you think caused/motivated Ruth to be so loyal to Naomi? Do you think Naomi was honorable and pleasing to God?
3. How have/do your decisions and actions bless others? Do you do just what is required or enter into the intent of God's commands?
4. Should you serve those who don't “deserve” it? How does the concept of stewardship affect your perspective/actions?