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Monthly Archives: July 2018

Ruth meets Boaz

Just then Boaz came from Bethlehem. He said to the reapers, “The Lord be with you.” They answered, “The Lord bless you.” Then Boaz said to his servant who was in charge of the reapers, “To whom does this young woman belong?” The servant who was in charge of the reapers answered, “She is the Moabite who came back with Naomi from the country of Moab. She said, ‘Please, let me glean and gather among the sheaves behind the reapers.’ So she came, and she has been on her feet from early this morning until now, without resting even for a moment.” Then Boaz said to Ruth, “Now listen, my daughter, do not go to glean in another field or leave this one, but keep close to my young women. Keep your eyes on the field that is being reaped, and follow behind them. I have ordered the young men not to bother you. If you get thirsty, go to the vessels and drink from what the young men have drawn.” Then she fell prostrate, with her face to the ground, and said to him, “Why have I found favor in your sight, that you should take notice of me, when I am a foreigner?” But Boaz answered her, “All that you have done for your mother-in-law since the death of your husband has been fully told me, and how you left your father and mother and your native land and came to a people that you did not know before. May the Lord reward you for your deeds, and may you have a full reward from the Lord, the God of Israel, under whose wings you have come for refuge!” Then she said, “May I continue to find favor in your sight, my lord, for you have comforted me and spoken kindly to your servant, even though I am not one of your servants.” (Ruth 2:4-13, NRSV)

Boaz found favor with Ruth because Ruth had given up everything to help take care of Naomi, who was Boaz’s relative. He saw hope in Ruth where others would have seen a foreigner, a stranger, an outsider. Boaz saw what God sees and knew that Ruth was a woman of integrity.

Do we seek men and women of integrity?

Are we women and men of integrity?

How can we see with the eyes of God?

 

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Ruth meets Boaz

Now Naomi had a kinsman on her husband’s side, a prominent rich man, of the family of Elimelech, whose name was Boaz. And Ruth the Moabite said to Naomi, “Let me go to the field and glean among the ears of grain, behind someone in whose sight I may find favor.” She said to her, “Go, my daughter.” So she went. She came and gleaned in the field behind the reapers. As it happened, she came to the part of the field belonging to Boaz, who was of the family of Elimelech. (Ruth 2:1-3, NRSV)

Naomi and Ruth had returned from Moab to Bethlehem, but they had no one to care for them so they only hope they had was to glean from a field.

The barley harvest had started and so the famine was over and there was hope for the region. And all people would leave the edges of their fields for the widows and the poor to glean so they could eat and care for themselves.

So with nothing else to provide for them, Ruth went and gleaned in a field. And it just so happens that she gleans in a field owned by a relative of Naomi.

How has God worked in your life in ways that you may not have seen until the event was over?

Remember there is always hope.

 

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Ruth Meets Boaz

Now Naomi had a kinsman on her husband’s side, a prominent rich man, of the family of Elimelech, whose name was Boaz. And Ruth the Moabite said to Naomi, “Let me go to the field and glean among the ears of grain, behind someone in whose sight I may find favor.” She said to her, “Go, my daughter.” So she went. She came and gleaned in the field behind the reapers. As it happened, she came to the part of the field belonging to Boaz, who was of the family of Elimelech. Just then Boaz came from Bethlehem. He said to the reapers, “The Lord be with you.” They answered, “The Lord bless you.” Then Boaz said to his servant who was in charge of the reapers, “To whom does this young woman belong?” The servant who was in charge of the reapers answered, “She is the Moabite who came back with Naomi from the country of Moab. She said, ‘Please, let me glean and gather among the sheaves behind the reapers.’ So she came, and she has been on her feet from early this morning until now, without resting even for a moment.” Then Boaz said to Ruth, “Now listen, my daughter, do not go to glean in another field or leave this one, but keep close to my young women. Keep your eyes on the field that is being reaped, and follow behind them. I have ordered the young men not to bother you. If you get thirsty, go to the vessels and drink from what the young men have drawn.” Then she fell prostrate, with her face to the ground, and said to him, “Why have I found favor in your sight, that you should take notice of me, when I am a foreigner?” But Boaz answered her, “All that you have done for your mother-in-law since the death of your husband has been fully told me, and how you left your father and mother and your native land and came to a people that you did not know before. May the Lord reward you for your deeds, and may you have a full reward from the Lord, the God of Israel, under whose wings you have come for refuge!” Then she said, “May I continue to find favor in your sight, my lord, for you have comforted me and spoken kindly to your servant, even though I am not one of your servants.” At mealtime Boaz said to her, “Come here, and eat some of this bread, and dip your morsel in the sour wine.” So she sat beside the reapers, and he heaped up for her some parched grain. She ate until she was satisfied, and she had some left over. When she got up to glean, Boaz instructed his young men, “Let her glean even among the standing sheaves, and do not reproach her. You must also pull out some handfuls for her from the bundles, and leave them for her to glean, and do not rebuke her.” So she gleaned in the field until evening. Then she beat out what she had gleaned, and it was about an ephah of barley. She picked it up and came into the town, and her mother-in-law saw how much she had gleaned. Then she took out and gave her what was left over after she herself had been satisfied. Her mother-in-law said to her, “Where did you glean today? And where have you worked? Blessed be the man who took notice of you.” So she told her mother-in-law with whom she had worked, and said, “The name of the man with whom I worked today is Boaz.” Then Naomi said to her daughter-in-law, “Blessed be he by the Lord, whose kindness has not forsaken the living or the dead!” Naomi also said to her, “The man is a relative of ours, one of our nearest kin.” Then Ruth the Moabite said, “He even said to me, ‘Stay close by my servants, until they have finished all my harvest.’” Naomi said to Ruth, her daughter-in-law, “It is better, my daughter, that you go out with his young women, otherwise you might be bothered in another field.” So she stayed close to the young women of Boaz, gleaning until the end of the barley and wheat harvests; and she lived with her mother-in-law. (Ruth 2:1-23, NRSV)

Ruth happened on a field that belonged to a relative of Elimelech. Seems like a huge coincidence. That is if you believe in coincidence. I think this was not by chance but was actually a Godincidence.

You see Ruth saw the hope that was in Naomi’s God and clung to Naomi when she should have returned home. She gave up everything to help a woman she had only know for ten years. Because of the love they shared. Ruth was devoted to helping her mother-in-law. She knew that there was hope in following after these things.

So she found a field of a Godly man named Boaz who was a relative of Naomi’s. And when Boaz heard the woman gleaning in his field was Ruth, the woman who was taking care of his relative, he decided to take care of her. Ruth gleaned with Boaz’s women until the harvest was done and supported her mother-in-law through that. And by Boaz allowing her to be there and protecting her, he provided for Ruth and Naomi.

Isn’t that how all of us should be? Looking out for those in need? Looking out for those who can not look out for themselves?

 

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Naomi and Ruth

So Naomi returned together with Ruth the Moabite, her daughter-in-law, who came back with her from the country of Moab. They came to Bethlehem at the beginning of the barley harvest. (Ruth 1:22, NRSV)

And here is the hope, that Naomi still doesn’t see.

The harvest.

The end of the famine.

The reason Naomi could go home.

Ruth saw the hope. Do we see the hope?

Where is your focus?

On the darkness?

Or the hope?

 

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Naomi and Ruth

So the two of them went on until they came to Bethlehem. When they came to Bethlehem, the whole town was stirred because of them; and the women said, “Is this Naomi?” She said to them, “Call me no longer Naomi, call me Mara, for the Almighty has dealt bitterly with me. I went away full, but the Lord has brought me back empty; why call me Naomi when the Lord has dealt harshly with me, and the Almighty has brought calamity upon me?” (Ruth 1:19-21, NRSV)

Naomi still doesn’t see the light that is right there with her.

Ruth gave up her homeland and family, yes she had been living with Naomi for 10 years or more, but she still had blood family in Moab and Ruth gave all of that up to stay with Naomi. Even that light and love did not seem to overtake Naomi’s darkness.

Have you ever been in such a funk and deep dark hole that it seemed you would never get out and nothing could make you see the light?

Remember there is always hope.

 

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Naomi and Ruth

So she said, “See, your sister-in-law has gone back to her people and to her gods; return after your sister-in-law.” But Ruth said, “Do not press me to leave you or to turn back from following you! Where you go, I will go; Where you lodge, I will lodge; your people shall be my people, and your God my God. Where you die, I will die— there will I be buried. May the Lord do thus and so to me, and more as well, if even death parts me from you!” When Naomi saw that she was determined to go with her, she said no more to her. (Ruth 1:15-18, NRSV)

Have you ever met a person determined to do something and no matter what you would say to them they would not change their mind?

That is what Naomi encountered with Ruth. Ruth saw the hope in staying with Naomi, where Naomi only saw darkness. Naomi was so transfixed on the gloom and darkness that she could not see the light. When you see the light it displaces the darkness, but when you focus on the darkness the light seems to dissipate. See what I said there, the light seems to dissipate, not that the darkness overtakes the light because it can not do that. The light will always displace the darkness, but if you are focused on the gloom and darkness, the light will seem to go away. Hope is always there. Naomi sees the darkness, Ruth sees the light.

Where is your focus?

 

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Naomi and Ruth

But Naomi said to her two daughters-in-law, “Go back each of you to your mother’s house. May the Lord deal kindly with you, as you have dealt with the dead and with me. The Lord grant that you may find security, each of you in the house of your husband.” Then she kissed them, and they wept aloud. They said to her, “No, we will return with you to your people.” But Naomi said, “Turn back, my daughters, why will you go with me? Do I still have sons in my womb that they may become your husbands? Turn back, my daughters, go your way, for I am too old to have a husband. Even if I thought there was hope for me, even if I should have a husband tonight and bear sons, would you then wait until they were grown? Would you then refrain from marrying? No, my daughters, it has been far more bitter for me than for you, because the hand of the Lord has turned against me.” Then they wept aloud again. Orpah kissed her mother-in-law, but Ruth clung to her. (Ruth 1:8-14, NRSV)

Naomi urged her daughters-in-law to stay in their homeland so they might be provided for. Naomi was headed back to her homeland where her daughters-in-law would be outsiders and may not be accepted and may make it harder on Naomi to find a family member that will take her with an extra mouth or two to care for. She tells them that she will not provide them sons, and Orpah listens to her and goes back to her family, but Ruth, Ruth sees the hope that lies ahead with Naomi. She clings to Naomi and knows that by clinging to Naomi she is clinging to God.

Have you ever felt the hope that Ruth did here?

Knew that you had to hold on to something for dear life because God was working in and through this situation?

Remember there is always hope.

 

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