Sunday, June 14, 2015

June 14 - Ruth 3

Today's reading in our daily plan is Ruth 3. Take a moment to pray, asking God to speak to you from this passage. Then read, using the following notes and questions to help you get everything out of the passage.

SAY WHAT? (What is the passage saying?)

  • Naomi suggests to Ruth that she offer herself to Boaz who, as a relative of her late father-in-law, could take her as his wife.  Naomi was not suggesting a seductive act.  She was telling Ruth to act in accordance with Israelite custom and law.  By lying at the feet of Boaz, Ruth would inform Boaz that he could be her kinsman-redeemer.  
  • Ruth did as Naomi instructed her.  Upon making herself available  to Boaz, he explained to Ruth that there was one man who was a closer relative than he and this man should have the first option to marry her.  Boaz told Ruth to go back home until he could speak with the other man and get his consent for the two of them to marry.  
  • Boaz gives Ruth a large amount of grain and sends her back to Naomi.  Naomi tells Ruth to do nothing more until they hear of the outcome of Boaz' conversation with the other man.  

SO WHAT? (What are the underlying principles?)

  • After hearing the news about Boaz, Naomi thought first of Ruth, encouraging her to see if Boaz would take the responsibility of being a "kinsman-redeemer."  A kinsman-redemmer was a relative who volunteered to take responsibility for the extended family.  Without a kinsman-redeemer, Ruth would probably live in poverty the rest of her life.  
  • Ruth continues to give the greatest respect to the instruction of her mother-in-law.  As a foreigner, Ruth may have thought that Naomi's advice was odd.  But Ruth didn't attempt to do things her own way.  She followed the advice because she knew Naomi was kind, trustworthy, and filled with moral integrity.  

NOW WHAT? (How will you personally apply this passage?)

  • Read 1 Peter 1:18-19.  We have a kinsman-redeemer in Jesus.  Though He was God, He came to earth as a man in order to save us.  By His death on the cross, He has redeemed us from sin and hopelessness.  He has taken possession of us so that we may have life.  
  • Each of us knows a parent, friend, or relative who is always looking out for our best interests, just as Naomi did with Ruth.  Be willing to listen to the advice of Jesus-followers who older and wiser than you are.  Seek them out for their wisdom.  The experience and knowledge of such a person can be invaluable.