This week at the Rock we had a quiz. Pastor Miles covered a lot of what he has been teaching us over the past few months.
Starting from the beginning we reviewed the first five books of the Bible, which are known as the books of Law. They are, in order, Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy.
Next we come to the book of Joshua and Judges in a new section of Scripture. Joshua took over leadership after Moses, and then when Joshua died, the period of judges began. The period of judges, which lasted for three hundred years, ended when Saul became king.
Then we come to the book of Ruth. Pastor Miles recently taught a sermon series on the romance of Ruth. The book of Ruth is only four chapters and is found in the Old Testament between Judges and 1 and 2 Samuel.
The book of Ruth is about a woman in distress who is saved by a hero named Boaz. Boaz is a kinsman redeemer. A kinsman is like a relative and a redeemer is a deliverer through payment. What we see Boaz do for Ruth is what Jesus did for us. He delivered us from sin and death, through His own death, on the cross, for our sin!
In the beginning of the book of Ruth, Ruth is in Moab with Naomi her mother in law. Ruth and Naomi find themselves in a similar situation. Both of their husbands have died and they are now widows. Naomi decides she will go back to Bethlehem and urges her daughter in law to stay in her own land, since Ruth is a Moabite. However, Ruth clings to her mother in law and goes with her to Bethlehem.
Ruth 1:16-18 states, But Ruth replied, "Don't urge me to leave you or to turn back from you. Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God. Where you die I will die, and there I will be buried. May the LORD deal with me, be it ever so severely, if anything but death separates you and me." When Naomi realized that Ruth was determined to go with her, she stopped urging her."
Security, Friendship, Provision
Once in Bethlehem, Ruth went to glean in the fields, hoping to find favor in the eyes of a farmer. Boaz took notice of her because she was gleaning in his field. When Boaz saw her in the field, he asked about her.
Ruth 2:4-7 states, Just then Boaz arrived from Bethlehem and greeted the harvesters, "The LORD be with you!" "The LORD bless you!" they called back. Boaz asked the foreman of his harvesters, "Whose young woman is that?" The foreman replied, "She is the Moabitess who came back from Moab with Naomi. She said, 'Please let me glean and gather among the sheaves behind the harvesters.' She went into the field and has worked steadily from morning till now, except for a short rest in the shelter."
After Boaz got the background check on Ruth, finding that she was a hard worker and loyal daughter, he showed care and concern for Ruth. Boaz recognized in Ruth a godly woman who was obedient to God.
Ruth 2:8-9 states, So Boaz said to Ruth, "My daughter, listen to me. Don't go and glean in another field and don't go away from here. Stay here with my servant girls. Watch the field where the men are harvesting, and follow along after the girls. I have told the men not to touch you. And whenever you are thirsty, go and get a drink from the water jars the men have filled."
Love Versus Lust
Lust desires to please self at the expense of others. Lust wants to get. Love desires to please others at the expense of self. Love wants to give. Jesus demonstrated His love for us in dying on the cross, therefore, giving His own life, for our lives.
The story of Ruth and Boaz carries many parallels in what Boaz was to Ruth, as who Jesus is to us.
If we obey God, we love God. In the story of Ruth, Boaz redeemed her and married her. Ruth was a pagan bride, who was redeemed from poverty, that she may be honored.
Jesus came down as our kinsman redeemer and married a pagan bride (non Christians), to deliver us from spiritual poverty, that we may be honored.