Ruth 3 The Book of Ruth – A very HUMAN story that has the Name of God all over every page of it. I trust that you discovered that GOD was all over the pages of your very human experience last week. That He IS God with us!
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The Book of Ruth –
A very HUMAN story that has the Name of God all over every page of it.
I trust that you discovered that GOD was all over the pages of your very human experience last week.
That He IS God with us!
As we started the study of this book we noted that it has a beautiful symmetry to it.
The book begins with a Funeral and ends with a Wedding!
One of the characters - Naomi - moves from Bitterness to Blessedness!
The Leading Lady - Ruth - moves from Loneliness to Love.
Each of the FOUR CHAPTERS take place in a different setting…. It is a lot like a Four Act Drama.
Chapter 1 – Bethlehemjudah - Moab - Bethlehem
Chapter 2 - In the fields of Boaz in Bethlehem
Chapter 3 - In the threshing house of Boaz
In that time and culture there THREE very important locations in regards to agriculture.
OIL PRESS (Garden of Gethsemene = The Garden of the Olive Press)
The THRESHING FLOOR was in the oppositeposition of the winepress.
Winepressat bottom of hill – they would drag their bunches of grapes downhill.
Threshing Floor at top of the hill as the process of separating grain from chaff required WIND.
The Threshing floor was a hard smooth surface. It was usually circular with rocks placed around it.
In the late afternoon a breeze would come up off the Mediterranean Sea
It would blow until sundown, sometimes as late as midnight.
Sheaves of grain (wheat or barley) were laid on the ground
they were trampled by oxen drawing threshing sleds
They would take a flail --- winnowing fork --- throw the grain up into the air ---- the chaff would be blown away ---- the good grain (by virtue of weight) would come down on the threshing floor
Then they held a feast
The harvesters would have Dinner….. Give Thanks and Praise to God….. then lie down
NOTE: The religious feasts of Israel co-incided with the the agricultural calendar.
Passover& Unleavened Bread came 1st at the time of Barley harvest
About 7 weeks later followed the Feast of Weeks (or Pentecost) at the end of the wheat harvest.
Then at the end of summer when the harvest of the various fruits were complete… the Feast of In-gathering (or Booths, Succoth) came
Each of these occasions was the opportunity for a good party!
Then the men would sleep around the grain to protect it from thieves, often with their heads towards the grain and their feet out like spokes of a wheel.
So PICTURE the curtain rising and the lights coming up --- THAT is the BACKDROP for this 3rd Chapter
1Then Naomi her mother in law said unto her, My daughter, shall I not seek rest for thee, that it may be well with thee? 2And now is not Boaz of our kindred, with whose maidens thou wast? Behold, he winnoweth barley to night in the threshingfloor.
1shall I not seek rest for thee, that it may be well with thee?
NOTICE WHAT Naomi WANTS Ruth to experience
> We should be desiring this for those around us!
> She will INSTRUCT Ruth as to the way to have it!
REST = mânôach(mah-no'-akh)
Quiet,a settled spot, or (figuratively) a home:
(place of) rest….. A place of security
Moses used this same word in speaking to the Israelites about the land of promise
“You have not yet reached the resting place and the inheritance the Lord your God is giving you” (Deut. 12:9);
LIFE outside of Christ is missing ALL of those things.
Nothing SOLID… never SETTLED
Always feeling ORPHANED in this world.
Always INSECURE… wondering who you will fail… whether you are loved or not.
BUT mah-no-akh is a great description of life IN CHRIST.
Finally at HOME with God
Finally REAL peace….
Finally REAL security….
Secure in His LOVE, His POWER, His MERCY
NOTICE WHERE this REST is going to be found!
2And now is not Boaz of our kindred, with whose maidens thou wast?
Ruth’s PEACE… HOME… and SECURITY are tied up in BOAZ.
KEY OBSERVATION / INSIGHT:
In VERSE 12-13 Boaz is again referred to as KINSMEN but it is a different Hebrew word… a word that is CRUCIAL to the meaning of this Book.
KINSMAN= Hebrew ga-al (gaw-al)
In the KJV this word is translated: redeem 50, redeemer 18
The kinsman-redeemer was responsible to
buy a fellow Israelite out of slavery (Lev 25:48)
be the "avenger of blood" to make sure the murderer of a family member answered to the crime (Num 35:19)
buy back family land that had been forfeited (Lev 25:25)
to carry on the family name by marrying a childless widow (Deut 25:5-10).
Deuteronomy 25:5-10 NKJV “If brothers dwell together, and one of them dies and has no son, the widow of the dead man shall not be married to a stranger outside the family; her husband’s brother shall go in to her, take her as his wife, and perform the duty of a husband’s brother to her. 6And it shall be that the firstborn son which she bears will succeed to the name of his dead brother, that his name may not be blotted out of Israel. 7But if the man does not want to take his brother’s wife,
then let his brother’s wife go up to the gate to the elders, and say, ‘My husband’s brother refuses to raise up a name to his brother in Israel; he will not perform the duty of my husband’s brother.’ 8Then the elders of his city shall call him and speak to him. But if he stands firm and says, ‘I do not want to take her,’ 9then his brother’s wife shall come to him in the presence of the elders, remove his sandal from his foot, spit in his face, and answer and say, ‘So shall it be done to the man who will not build up his brother’s house.’ 10And his name shall be called in Israel, ‘The house of him who had his sandal removed.’
CRUCIAL INSIGHT: The Ga-al had the right to REDEEM…..
the right to bring life out of death
to restore life to that which was dead.
DON’T MISS THIS: That right of REDEMPTION could only be exercise by way of RELATIONSHIP…..
We know that ALL of the Old Testament Law points to Jesus.
CRUCIAL: According to the Law the Ga-almust be
related by blood --- able to pay the price ---
willing to redeem!
In the person of the Ga-al…..
We have foreshadowed for us the NECESSITY of the INCARNATION.
For Jesus to be our redeemer He must first become out Near Kinsman.THUS we read
John 1:1-2; 14 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2The same was in the beginning with God….. 14And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.
QUOTE: F.B. Meyer - Jesus is our near Kinsman by His assumption of our nature. He is the nearest and dearest Friend of our race, who stooped to die for our redemption. And the fact that He carried our nature in Himself to heaven, and wears it there, is an indissoluble bond between us. Sit still! do not fret! He will never fail, as He will certainly never forsake!
3Wash 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. 4And 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.
CRUCIAL OBSERVATION: Ruth to is LISTENING to Naomi
NOTICE THIS GUYS: For Ruth to
> experience “REST”
> be the recipient of all that Boaz can be to her
She MUST LISTEN to Naomi concerning Boaz.
HERE’S THE PICTURE
REAL PEACE begins with LISTENING to the Gospel of peace (Rom. 10:15)…For it speaks to us of OUR Kinsman Redeemer.
CRUCIAL APPLICATION #1 - Be a RUTH
CRUCIAL APPLICATION #2 - Be a NAOMI – Tell people about Jesus!
Romans 10:14-15 NKJV How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher? 15And how shall they preach unless they are sent? As it is written: “How beautiful are the feet of those who ◙ preach the gospel of peace, Who bring glad tidings of good things!” ◙
5And she said unto her, All that thou sayest unto me I will do.
FIRST we see Ruth LISTENING…. THEN we see her OBEYING
A couple of things here –
1.) Ruth’s REST… her REDEMPTION…. Was found in OBEYING ALL that Naomi had said to her.
Our REST --- our REDEMPTION --- is found in OBEYING THE GOSPEL
The Scriptures talk about Obeying the Gospel…. The Obedience of faith.
CRUCIAL: The Gospel makes claims about the Nature of Jesus, His Cross and Resurrection
Having made clear claims it then holds forth demands…. REPENT and BELIEVE.
Eternity hinges upon OBEYING those demands!
> BELIEVING the CLAIMS of the Gospel…
that God LOVES you…
that in His great love for you He sent His Only Begotten Son to die for your sins…
that there on the Cross, God was in Christ reconciling the World unto Himself…
thatthe Blood of Jesus cleanses a man of ALL sin….
And then REPENTING….
REPENT = TURN FROM…. 180 degree turn
Knowing the GOODNESS of God in sending His Son to die for your sins causes you TURN
from living for SELF….
from living for sin…. Living for the very thing that nailed Jesus to the cross
2.) The Christian life is LIVED the same way it began…. by BELIEVING and OBEYING the Word of God.
QUOTE: “The will of God is not a cafeteria where we can pick and choose what we want!”
Happiness has little to do with being married or being single --- it has everything to do with being obedient to the will of God.”
A lot of singles yearn to be married…. But there are a lot of marriedswho wish they were single again!
Contentment isn’t singleness or a married issue, because everyone wrestles with dissatisfaction & envy.
Contentment is found in enjoying God --- surrendering to His will (Word)
6And she went down unto the floor, and did according to all that her mother in law bade her. 7And when Boaz had eaten and drunk, and his heart was merry, he went to lie down at the end of the heap of corn:
REMEMBER - These were the days of the Judges (when Gideon didn’t dare even thresh his harvest in plain view…. )
and she came softly, and uncovered his feet, and laid her down. 8And it came to pass at midnight, that the man was afraid, and turned himself: and, behold, a woman lay at his feet.
Not exactly e-Harmony.com
It the context of our sexually immoral culture --- we view this as being a provocative gesture
as if Ruth was told by Naomi to "come on" to Boaz.
BUT - in the culture of that day, this was understood as an act of total submission.
In that day, this was understood to be the role of a servant –
to lay at their master's feet and be ready for any command of the master.
By lying down at Boaz's feet,Ruth presents herself to Boaz as
1.) A humble servant
By opening her communication with - v.8 I am Ruth, your maidservant…. take your maidservant –
Ruth shows great humility and submission; she presents herself as Boaz's servant.
2.)She is trusting in the goodness of her kinsman-redeemer.
She is saying to Boaz, "I respect you, I trust you, and I put my future in your hands.”
What a great picture of what our hearts should be like before Jesus… how we should come to Jesus!
9And he said, Who art thou? And she answered, I am Ruth thine handmaid: spread therefore thy skirt over thine handmaid; for thou art a near kinsman.
KEY INSIGHT: This was a culturally relevant way to say, "I am a widow, take me as your wife."
QUOTE: Adam Clarke - "Even to the present day, when a Jew marries a woman, he throws the skirt or end of his talith over her, to signify that he has taken her under his protection."
In Ezekiel 16:8, God uses the same Hebrew word in relation to Israel:
I spread my wing over you and covered your nakedness. Yes, I swore an oath to you and entered into a covenant with you and you became Mine, says the LORD God.
Skirt = the same word used in 2:12 “wings”.
the LORD God of Israel, under whose wings thou art come to trust.
What a great picture of how we come to Jesus!
We HUMBLY come….
Take the place of servant at the feet of Jesus….
And TRUST in the shadow of His wings!
SO Ruth has LISTENED…. She has OBEYED… and NOW she must TRUST!!
10And he said, Blessed be thou of the LORD, my daughter: for thou hast showed more kindness in the latter end than at the beginning, inasmuch as thou followedst not young men,
KEY OBSERVATION #1 - Apparently, there was a considerable age difference between Ruth and Boaz.
It also seems that because of this, Boaz considered himself unattractive to Ruth
It would appear that he had sort of ruled out any idea of a romance between them.
KEY OBSERVATION #2 - Great insight into the integrity of Boaz
He wasn't going to just say, "there's a woman I want, and I have her by right."
He was kind enough to not act as goel towards Ruth unlessshe desired it.
Again - Great picture of Jesus.
whether poor or rich.
INSIGHT into the character of Ruth -
She based her attraction to Boaz more on respect than image or appearance.
In our society we are taught to fall in love with an image, or an appearance, rather than with a person we can really respect!
YESTERDAY – FOLLOW ME!
Following Jesus means that you are going to swim is against the CURRENT of culture!
11And now, my daughter, fear not; I will do to thee all that thou requirest: for all the city of my people doth know that thou art a virtuous woman.
NOTICE: Boaz was also attracted to Ruth because of her character.
We don't really know how Ruth looked, but we do know she was a woman of godly character.
YOUNG LADIES ---- CHECK THIS OUT
Literally - Boaz calls Ruth avirtuous hah-yilwoman
The basic meaning behind this word is
"strength; moral strength, good quality, integrity, virtue."
This same word is used in a term for heroes in the Bible: A mighty man of valor.
It requires STRENGTH and COURAGE to be woman of MORAL VIRTUE
The world measures the greatness of a woman
on the basis of her physical beauty… how seductive she is
On the basis of her educational / business success.
By contrast – God measures a woman’s greatness /courage / strength in VIRTUE…. PROVERBS 31
BOAZ is STOKED…. RUTH is BLESSED…. But there’s a POTENTIAL PROBLEM
12And now it is true that I am thy near kinsman: howbeit there is a kinsman nearer than I.
Apparently, though Boaz was a recognized goel towards Ruth, there was another goelcloser in relation to her deceased father-in-law Elimelech.
So, Boaz could not exercise his right as kinsman-redeemer unless this closer kinsman-redeemer relinquished his rights towards Ruth.
13Tarry this night, and it shall be in the morning, that if he will perform unto thee 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 thee, then will I do the part of a kinsman to thee, as the LORD liveth: lie down until the morning.
What a GREAT PICTURE OF FAITH!
This was the perfect opportunity to let their feelingsdetermine their actions!
They could have said,
“Forget the Law.
I love you and that’s all that matters.
Let’s not take the chance on anyone else!”
THEY REALIZED that gaining a blessing by ungodly means was no blessing at all!
For Boaz it would be God's willGod's way.
He knows that if it is really of the LORD, than it will be able to be done orderly and in a proper way.
14And she lay at his feet until the morning: and she rose up before one could know another. And he said, Let it not be known that a woman came into the floor.
He did not want ---- her visit to be misconstrued…..He didn’t want or someone gets a jump on letting his relative know what’s happening. Boaz wants to handle this himself
15Also he said, Bring the veil that thou hast upon thee, and hold it. And when she held it, he measured six measures of barley, and laid it on her: and she went into the city. 16And when she came to her mother in law, she said, Who art thou, my daughter? And she told her all that the man had done to her. 17And she said, These six measures of barley gave he me; for he said to me, Go not empty unto thy mother in law. 18Then said she, Sit still, my daughter, until thou know how the matter will fall: for the man will not be in rest, until he have finished the thing this day.
We have seen Ruth
LISTENING --- OBEYING --- BELIEVING ---
NOW she must WAIT!
Wait in patience for Boaz to do the rest! (18)
EVERYTHING pertaining to her REST / PEACE / SECURITY is out of her hands.
From here on Boaz will be the man of action.
The work of redemption is totally His work!
All Ruth could do now was WAIT!
I am the WORST at WAITING!
WAITING is HARD!!
Ps. 37:23 reads, “The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord”
In George Mueller’s Bible in the margin next to that verse he wrote, “And the stops, too.”
Lam.3:25,26 “The Lord is good to those whowaitfor Him, To the soul who seeks Him. It is good that one shouldhope and wait quietly For the salvation of the Lord.”
One day a friend saw the great New England preacher Phillips Brooks pacing the floor like a caged lion.
“What is the trouble, Dr. Brooks?” asked the friend. “The trouble is that I’m in a hurry, but God isn’t!”
KEY INSIGHT: Ps.46:10 “Be still, and know that I am God!”
be still = lit. “take your hands off, relax”
WHAT THING or CIRCUMSTANCE do you need to take your hands off today?
CRUCIAL / CLOSING OBSERVATION: Boaz will not rest till he has followed through concerning her request.
Redemption has nothing to do with your character, your family, yourgiving, church membership.
Redemption is His work in its entirety!
From the Cross Jesus said – IT IS FINISHED!!
Todayyou are either resting in Him, or you are trying to earn your own salvation!
Boaz from Bethlehem was both able to redeem & willing to redeem;
We have a “greater than Boaz”
who was also from Bethlehem….Jesus
Jesus is our near kinsman
Jesus is both willing & able to redeem!