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Category Archives: Discipleship

The Marriage of Ruth and Boaz

Now this was the custom in former times in Israel concerning redeeming and exchanging: to confirm a transaction, the one took off a sandal and gave it to the other; this was the manner of attesting in Israel. So when the next-of-kin said to Boaz, “Acquire it for yourself,” he took off his sandal. Then Boaz said to the elders and all the people, “Today you are witnesses that I have acquired from the hand of Naomi all that belonged to Elimelech and all that belonged to Chilion and Mahlon. I have also acquired Ruth the Moabite, the wife of Mahlon, to be my wife, to maintain the dead man’s name on his inheritance, in order that the name of the dead may not be cut off from his kindred and from the gate of his native place; today you are witnesses.” (Ruth 4:7-10, NRSV)

So Boaz removed his shoe and purchased the land and legally acquired Ruth as his wife.

Since the unnamed relative was not able or unwilling to marry Ruth and carry on Elimelech/Mahlon’s name Boaz was able to marry Ruth and provide for her and Naomi.

Would we be so bold as to do this for a relative?

How much are we willing to give to help others live?

 

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The Marriage of Ruth and Boaz

Then Boaz said, “The day you acquire the field from the hand of Naomi, you are also acquiring Ruth the Moabite, the widow of the dead man, to maintain the dead man’s name on his inheritance.” At this, the next-of-kin said, “I cannot redeem it for myself without damaging my own inheritance. Take my right of redemption yourself, for I cannot redeem it.” (Ruth 4:5-6, NRSV)

But after the next of kin realized that he would have to marry Ruth to get the field, he could not do it. It would ruin his own inheritance so he was not willing to do that.

Are there things you are not willing to do?

Sometimes we are called to do things we are not ready to do. This was not something this man was willing to do, but Boaz was willing. He stepped in and filled the void.

When have you filled the void?

 

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The Marriage of Ruth and Boaz

No sooner had Boaz gone up to the gate and sat down there than the next-of-kin, of whom Boaz had spoken, came passing by. So Boaz said, “Come over, friend; sit down here.” And he went over and sat down. Then Boaz took ten men of the elders of the city, and said, “Sit down here”; so they sat down. He then said to the next-of-kin, “Naomi, who has come back from the country of Moab, is selling the parcel of land that belonged to our kinsman Elimelech. So I thought I would tell you of it, and say: Buy it in the presence of those sitting here, and in the presence of the elders of my people. If you will redeem it, redeem it; but if you will not, tell me, so that I may know; for there is no one prior to you to redeem it, and I come after you.” So he said, “I will redeem it.” (Ruth 4:1-4, NRSV)

Boaz was good on his word from the end of chapter 3. That he would go to the next of kin and see if he wanted to make good on fulling what needed to be done on the law.

Boaz went to the city gate and said Naomi had a field that she was selling and it should go to the next of kin, will you buy it. And the next of kin said yes, but will he actually fulfill the law?

You see sometimes things look good at the first look, but then they get more complicated.

Do you always jump in with both feet or check it out first to see what the full picture is?

 

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The Marriage of Ruth and Boaz

No sooner had Boaz gone up to the gate and sat down there than the next-of-kin, of whom Boaz had spoken, came passing by. So Boaz said, “Come over, friend; sit down here.” And he went over and sat down. Then Boaz took ten men of the elders of the city, and said, “Sit down here”; so they sat down. He then said to the next-of-kin, “Naomi, who has come back from the country of Moab, is selling the parcel of land that belonged to our kinsman Elimelech. So I thought I would tell you of it, and say: Buy it in the presence of those sitting here, and in the presence of the elders of my people. If you will redeem it, redeem it; but if you will not, tell me, so that I may know; for there is no one prior to you to redeem it, and I come after you.” So he said, “I will redeem it.” Then Boaz said, “The day you acquire the field from the hand of Naomi, you are also acquiring Ruth the Moabite, the widow of the dead man, to maintain the dead man’s name on his inheritance.” At this, the next-of-kin said, “I cannot redeem it for myself without damaging my own inheritance. Take my right of redemption yourself, for I cannot redeem it.” Now this was the custom in former times in Israel concerning redeeming and exchanging: to confirm a transaction, the one took off a sandal and gave it to the other; this was the manner of attesting in Israel. So when the next-of-kin said to Boaz, “Acquire it for yourself,” he took off his sandal. Then Boaz said to the elders and all the people, “Today you are witnesses that I have acquired from the hand of Naomi all that belonged to Elimelech and all that belonged to Chilion and Mahlon. I have also acquired Ruth the Moabite, the wife of Mahlon, to be my wife, to maintain the dead man’s name on his inheritance, in order that the name of the dead may not be cut off from his kindred and from the gate of his native place; today you are witnesses.” Then all the people who were at the gate, along with the elders, said, “We are witnesses. May the Lord make the woman who is coming into your house like Rachel and Leah, who together built up the house of Israel. May you produce children in Ephrathah and bestow a name in Bethlehem; and, through the children that the Lord will give you by this young woman, may your house be like the house of Perez, whom Tamar bore to Judah.” So Boaz took Ruth and she became his wife. When they came together, the Lord made her conceive, and she bore a son. Then the women said to Naomi, “Blessed be the Lord, who has not left you this day without next-of-kin; and may his name be renowned in Israel! He shall be to you a restorer of life and a nourisher of your old age; for your daughter-in-law who loves you, who is more to you than seven sons, has borne him.”Then Naomi took the child and laid him in her bosom, and became his nurse. The women of the neighborhood gave him a name, saying, “A son has been born to Naomi.” They named him Obed; he became the father of Jesse, the father of David. Now these are the descendants of Perez: Perez became the father of Hezron, Hezron of Ram, Ram of Amminadab, Amminadab of Nahshon, Nahshon of Salmon, Salmon of Boaz, Boaz of Obed, Obed of Jesse, and Jesse of David. (Ruth 4:1-22, NRSV)

So Boaz saw the next of kin and took with him 10 men as witnesses and sat down at the city gate, where men met to talk business and weather. The city gate would be the local McDonalds for coffee… The place where men gathered to discuss the doings of the day.

And Boaz said that Naomi was selling a field and asked if the next of kin wanted to acquire the field, and of course the next of kin did until he heard that a wife came with the field. Becuase now his of spring would not be his, it would be Elimelech’s. So he passed it on to Boaz, and to seal the deal, Boaz removed his shoe and acquired the land and Ruth as his wife.

And when they had consummated the relationship they had a son who is the grandfather of David, and so in the lineage of Jesus.

A foreigner, a stranger is the lineage of Jesus…

How do we care for the other is how we care for Jesus.

 

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Ruth and Boaz at the Threshing Floor

She came to her mother-in-law, who said, “How did things go with you, my daughter?” Then she told her all that the man had done for her, saying, “He gave me these six measures of barley, for he said, ‘Do not go back to your mother-in-law empty-handed.’” She replied, “Wait, my daughter, until you learn how the matter turns out, for the man will not rest, but will settle the matter today.” (Ruth 3:16-18, NRSV)

Ruth returned to Naomi with the grain Boaz had given her and reported all that happened. Naomi knew that Boaz would be gracious and caring.

Are we gracious and caring with the people we deal with in our lives?

Are we caring for those who can not care for themselves?

 

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Ruth and Boaz at the Threshing Floor

So she lay at his feet until morning, but got up before one person could recognize another; for he said, “It must not be known that the woman came to the threshing floor.” Then he said, “Bring the cloak you are wearing and hold it out.” So she held it, and he measured out six measures of barley, and put it on her back; then he went into the city. (Ruth 3:14-15, NRSV)

She left before anyone would see since Boaz was not the next of kin so there would be no questions. Seems a little underhanded for a story from the Bible. But I believe it shows us that God can and does work in and through all circumstances. Becuase Boaz was an honorable man. He gave Ruth six measures of barley to take back to Naomi.

Even in what some would see as shame and darkness, the light and love of God shines through.

How do we shine the light and love of God in our world?

 

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Ruth and Boaz at the Threshing Floor

He said, “May you be blessed by the Lord, my daughter; this last instance of your loyalty is better than the first; you have not gone after young men, whether poor or rich. And now, my daughter, do not be afraid, I will do for you all that you ask, for all the assembly of my people know that you are a worthy woman. But now, though it is true that I am a near kinsman, there is another kinsman more closely related than I.Remain this night, and in the morning, if he will act as next-of-kin for you, good; let him do it. If he is not willing to act as next-of-kin for you, then, as the Lord lives, I will act as next-of-kin for you. Lie down until the morning.” (Ruth 3:10-13, NRSV)

This act of loyalty is better than the first, for you have not gone after young men, either rich or poor but have come to a kinsman.

Ruth has been loyal to Naomi, going with her where she goes and worshipping her God and following after her kinsmen.

And Boaz sees this and honors that. He holds ruth up as a worthy woman and promises to make sure she is cared for. Meaning if the nearest kinsman will not fulfill his duty, Boaz will.

Boaz is an honorable man.

Do we live with honor?

 
 

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