Ruth Survey Ruth & Boaz: Salmon Swimming Upstream
Ruth and Boaz swam against their Culture, Heritage, and Instincts to be loyal to God and gracious to others.
I. Everyone was doing what was right in their own eyes (Jud 21:25).
II. Ruth descended from Lot's daughters (Gen 19) who irresponsibly exceeded their reproductive rights.
Boaz descended from Judah (Gen 38) who refused to responsibly exercise his leverite (Dt 25) rights.
III. Ruth & Boaz were BLESSED because they were: first-loyal to God, and then-gracious to others.
1...In the days when the judges ruled,there was a famine...4 And the sons took to themselves wives of the women of Moab; Orpah & Ruth: and they dwelt there about ten years. 5...Naomi was left without her two sons and her husband.
R: Selfless 6...for she had heard in the country of Moab how that the LORD had visited his people in giving them food. 8 And Naomi said to her two daughters in law, Go, return each to her mother's house: the LORD deal kindly with you, as ye have dealt with the dead, and with me. 9 The LORD grant you that ye may find rest, each [of you] in the house of her husband. Then she kissed them; and they lifted up their voice, and wept. 10 And they said to her, Surely we will return with you to thy people.
R: Stubborn Loyalty = Faithfully Yours...to the end and beyond 14 And they lifted up their voice, and wept again: and Orpah kissed her mother in law; but Ruth cleaved to her. 15 And she said, Behold, thy sister in law has gone back to her people, and to her gods: return thou after thy sister in law. 16 And Ruth said, Entreat me not to leave you, [or] to turn away from following you: for where thou go, I will go; and where thou lodge, I will lodge: thy people [shall be] my people, and thy God my God: 17 Where thou die, will I die, and there will I be buried: the LORD do so to me, and more also, [if any thing] but death shall part you and me. 18 When she saw that she was steadfastly resolved to go with her, then she ceased speaking to her. 22...they came to Bethlehem in the beginning of barley harvest.
R: Initiative to serve 2:1 And Naomi had a kinsman of her husband's, a mighty man of wealth, of the family of Elimelech; and his name [was] Boaz. 2 And Ruth the Moabitess said to Naomi, Let me now go to the field, and glean heads of grain after [him] in whose sight I shall find grace. And she said to her, Go, my daughter. 3 And she went, and came, and gleaned in the field after the reapers: and she happened to come to a part of the field [belonging] to Boaz
B: Bold for the Lord in business 4 Boaz came from Bethlehem, and said to the reapers, The LORD [be] with you. And they answered him, The LORD bless you. 5 Then said Boaz to his servant that was set over the reapers, Whose damsel [is] this?
R: Humility, Diligence, Commitment, Obvious Trust 10 Then she fell on her face, and bowed herself to the ground, and said to him, Why have I found grace in thy eyes, that thou should take knowledge of me, seeing I [am] a stranger? 11 And Boaz answered and said to her, It has fully been shown to me, all that thou have done to thy mother in law since the death of thy husband: and [how] thou have left thy father and thy mother, and the land of thy nativity, and have come to a people which thou knew not before. 12 The LORD recompense thy work, and a full reward be given you of the LORD God of Israel, under whose wings thou have come to trust.
R&B: Sensitively blessing others 16 And let fall the handfuls on purpose for her...17 So she gleaned in the field until evening, and beat out that which she had gleaned: and it was about an ephah of barley. 19 And her mother in law said to her, Where have thou gleaned to day? and where have thou laboured? blessed be he that took knowledge of you....The man's name with whom I wrought to day [is] Boaz. 20 And Naomi said to her daughter in law, Blessed [be] he of the LORD, who has not withheld his kindness to the living and to the dead. And Naomi said to her, The man [is] near of kin to us, one of our next kinsmen.
R: Obedience 22 And Naomi said to Ruth her daughter in law, [It is] good, my daughter, that thou should go out with his maidens, that they meet you not in any other field. 23 So she kept close by the maidens of Boaz to glean to the end of barley harvest and of wheat harvest; and dwelt with her mother in law.
R: Submission 3:1 Then Naomi her mother in law said to her, My daughter, shall I not seek rest for you, that it may be well with you? 3 Wash thyself therefore, and anoint you, and put thy raiment upon you, and go down to the floor: [but] make not thyself known to the man, until he shall have finished eating and drinking. 4 And it shall be, when he lies down, that thou shall mark the place where he shall lie, and thou shall go in, and uncover his feet, and lay you down; and he will tell you what thou shall do. 5 And she said to her, All that thou say to me I will do. 6 And she went down to the floor, and did according to all that her mother in law bade her.
R: Boldness in Righteous & Faith 3:7 And when Boaz had eaten and drank, and his heart was merry, he went to lie down at the end of the heap of grain: and she came softly, and uncovered his feet, and laid herself down. 9 And he said, Who [art] thou? And she answered, I [am] Ruth thy handmaid: spread therefore thy skirt/wing over thy handmaid; for thou [art] a near kinsman.
B: Self-Control, Humility, Faithfulness 10 And he said, Blessed [be] thou of the LORD, my daughter: [for] thou have shown more kindness in the latter end than at the beginning, inasmuch as thou did not follow young men, whether poor or rich. 11 And now, my daughter, fear not; I will do to you all that thou require: for all the city of my people knows that you are a virtuous woman.
B&R: Submission & Concern for another's reputation 3:12 And now it is true that I [am thy] near kinsman: yet there is a kinsman nearer than I. 13 Tarry this night, and it shall be in the morning, [that] if he will perform to you the part of a kinsman, well; let him do the kinsman's part: but if he will not do the part of a kinsman to you, then will I do the part of a kinsman to you, [as] the LORD lives: lie down until the morning. 14 And she lay at his feet until the morning: and she rose before one could know another. And he said, Let it not be known that a woman came to the floor.
R: Quietness and Peace 3:18 Then said she, Sit still, my daughter, until thou know how the matter will fall: for the man will not be in rest, until he has finished the thing this day.
B: Diligence & Wisdom & Trust 4:1 Then Boaz went up to the gate, and sat down there: and, behold, the kinsman of whom Boaz spoke came by; to whom he said, Ho, such a one! turn aside, sit down here. And he turned aside, and sat down. 2 And he took ten men of the elders of the city, and said, Sit ye down here. And they sat down. 3 And he said to the kinsman, Naomi, that have come again out of the country of Moab, sells a parcel of land, which [was] our brother Elimelech's: 4 And I thought to tell you, saying, Buy [it] before the inhabitants, and before the elders of my people. If thou wilt redeem [it], redeem [it]: but if thou wilt not redeem [it, then] tell me, that I may know: for [there is] none to redeem [it] besides you; and I [am] after you. And he said, I will redeem [it]. 5 Then said Boaz, What day thou buy the field of the hand of Naomi, thou must buy [it] also of Ruth the Moabitess, the wife of the dead, to raise up the name of the dead upon his inheritance.
B: Selfless 4:6 And the kinsman said, I cannot redeem it for myself, lest I mar my own inheritance: redeem thou my right to thyself; for I cannot redeem it. 7 Now this was the manner in former time in Israel concerning redeeming and concerning changing, for confirming all things; a man took off his shoe, and gave it to his neighbour: and this was a testimony in Israel. 8 Therefore the kinsman said to Boaz, Buy it for thyself. So he drew off his shoe. 9 And Boaz said to the elders, and to all the people, Ye are witnesses this day, that I have bought all that was Elimelech's, and all that was Chilion's and Mahlon's, of the hand of Naomi. 10 Moreover Ruth the Moabitess, the wife of Mahlon, have I purchased to be my wife, to raise up the name of the dead upon his inheritance, that the name of the dead be not cut off from among his brethren, and from the gate of his place: ye are witnesses this day.
R&B: BLESSED & Blessing (Glorifying God) 4:11 And all the people that [were] in the gate, and the elders, said, [We are] witnesses. The LORD make the woman that has come into thy house like Rachel and like Leah, which two did build the house of Israel: and do thou worthily in Ephratah, and be famous in Bethlehem: 12 And let thy house be like the house of Pharez, whom Tamar bore to Judah, of the seed which the LORD shall give you of this young woman. 13 So Boaz took Ruth, and she was his wife: and when he went in to her, the LORD gave her conception, and she bore a son. 14 And the women said to Naomi, Blessed [be] the LORD, who has not left you this day without a kinsman, that his name may be famous in Israel. 15 And he shall be to you a restorer of [thy] life, and a nourisher of thy old age: for thy daughter in law, who loves you, who is better to you than seven sons, has borne him. 16 And Naomi took the child, and laid it in her bosom, and became its nurse. 17 And the women her neighbours gave it a name, saying, There is a son born to Naomi; and they called his name Obed: he [is] the father of Jesse, the father of David. 21 And Salmon begat Boaz, and Boaz begat Obed, 22 And Obed begat Jesse, and Jesse begat David.
1Ch 4 And Tamar his daughter in law bore him Pharez and Zerah. All the sons of Judah [were] five.
Ge 38:6 And Judah took a wife for Er his firstborn, whose name [was] Tamar. 7 And Er, Judah's firstborn, was wicked in the sight of the LORD; and the LORD slew him. 8 And Judah said to Onan, Go in to thy brother's wife, and marry her, and raise up seed to thy brother. 11 Then said Judah to Tamar his daughter in law, Remain a widow at thy father's house, till Shelah my son shall be grown: for he said, Lest perhaps he die also, as his brethren [did]. And Tamar went and dwelt in her father's house. 14 And she put off from her, her widow's garments, and covered her with a veil, and wrapped herself, and sat in an open place, which [is] by the way to Timnath; for she saw that Shelah was grown, and she was not given to him for a wife. 26 And Judah acknowledged [them], and said, She has been more righteous than I; because that I gave her not to Shelah my son. And he knew her again no more.
Mt 3 And Judah begat Pharez and Zarah of Tamar; and Pharez begat Hezron; and Hezron begat Ram;
Questions for Reflection/Discussion/Response:
1. What traits demonstrated by Ruth and Boaz are most lacking/scarce in our society? Why?
2. How can the myth of the greener grass-happier hunting grounds cause us to miss God's blessings today?
3. What enabled Ruth and Boaz to demonstrate the behavior God blesses when such traits were out of fashion?
4. Are there any sacrifices/submissions in your life which indicate you're trusting in God and not yourself?
5. What steps can you take (are you taking) which reflect your trust in a God who blesses those who obey?