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The Marriage of Ruth and Boaz

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. (Ruth 4:13-17, NRSV)

The woman then blessed Naomi who didn’t see the blessing that Ruth was to her. Naomi told the women to call her Mara at the end of chapter 1 because she was bitter and that is how her life was, but she did not see Ruth who was standing right beside Naomi as she said this to the women. Naomi didn’t recognize the blessing that Ruth was to her. Ruth became more to Naomi than 7 sons would have been. Ruth gave her Obed, an offspring, who became the father of Jesse, who is the father of David who will be king of Israel!

You see sometimes we miss the blessings that are right in front of us.

How many times have you missed a blessing in front of you?

 

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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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Ruth and Boaz at the Threshing Floor

Naomi her mother-in-law said to her, “My daughter, I need to seek some security for you, so that it may be well with you. Now here is our kinsman Boaz, with whose young women you have been working. See, he is winnowing barley tonight at the threshing floor. Now wash and anoint yourself, and put on your best clothes and go down to the threshing floor; but do not make yourself known to the man until he has finished eating and drinking. When he lies down, observe the place where he lies; then, go and uncover his feet and lie down; and he will tell you what to do.”She said to her, “All that you tell me I will do.” (Ruth 3:1-5, NRSV)

Naomi was looking to take care of Ruth. She knew she wouldn’t be around forever and needed to make sure that Ruth was cared for because she was a foreigner in a place where she had no one other than Naomi. So she sent Ruth to be with Boaz because Naomi knew he was an honorable man and would do what he needed to to care for Ruth.

Do we always care for the stranger?

Do we always care for the other?

 

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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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Social and Religious Laws

When a man seduces a virgin who is not engaged to be married, and lies with her, he shall give the bride-price for her and make her his wife. But if her father refuses to give her to him, he shall pay an amount equal to the bride-price for virgins. You shall not permit a female sorcerer to live. Whoever lies with an animal shall be put to death. Whoever sacrifices to any god, other than the Lord alone, shall be devoted to destruction. You shall not wrong or oppress a resident alien, for you were aliens in the land of Egypt. You shall not abuse any widow or orphan. If you do abuse them, when they cry out to me, I will surely heed their cry; my wrath will burn, and I will kill you with the sword, and your wives shall become widows and your children orphans. If you lend money to my people, to the poor among you, you shall not deal with them as a creditor; you shall not exact interest from them. If you take your neighbor’s cloak in pawn, you shall restore it before the sun goes down; for it may be your neighbor’s only clothing to use as cover; in what else shall that person sleep? And if your neighbor cries out to me, I will listen, for I am compassionate. You shall not revile God, or curse a leader of your people. You shall not delay to make offerings from the fullness of your harvest and from the outflow of your presses. The firstborn of your sons you shall give to me. You shall do the same with your oxen and with your sheep: seven days it shall remain with its mother; on the eighth day you shall give it to me. You shall be people consecrated to me; therefore you shall not eat any meat that is mangled by beasts in the field; you shall throw it to the dogs. (Exodus 22.16-31, NRSV)

Don’t try to get what is not yours.

Treat those who have no one to take care of them as if they are yours to care for.

You see God has placed us all here to be God’s hands and feet and to be the protector of those who can not protect themselves.

Give to God what is His and make sure you use what God has blessed you with to help those who need help.

 

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Jethro’s Advice

The next day Moses sat as judge for the people, while the people stood around him from morning until evening. When Moses’ father-in-law saw all that he was doing for the people, he said, “What is this that you are doing for the people? Why do you sit alone, while all the people stand around you from morning until evening?” Moses said to his father-in-law, “Because the people come to me to inquire of God. When they have a dispute, they come to me and I decide between one person and another, and I make known to them the statutes and instructions of God.” Moses’ father-in-law said to him, “What you are doing is not good. You will surely wear yourself out, both you and these people with you. For the task is too heavy for you; you cannot do it alone. Now listen to me. I will give you counsel, and God be with you! You should represent the people before God, and you should bring their cases before God; teach them the statutes and instructions and make known to them the way they are to go and the things they are to do. You should also look for able men among all the people, men who fear God, are trustworthy, and hate dishonest gain; set such men over them as officers over thousands, hundreds, fifties and tens. Let them sit as judges for the people at all times; let them bring every important case to you, but decide every minor case themselves. So it will be easier for you, and they will bear the burden with you. If you do this, and God so commands you, then you will be able to endure, and all these people will go to their home in peace.” So Moses listened to his father-in-law and did all that he had said. Moses chose able men from all Israel and appointed them as heads over the people, as officers over thousands, hundreds, fifties, and tens. And they judged the people at all times; hard cases they brought to Moses, but any minor case they decided themselves. Then Moses let his father-in-law depart, and he went off to his own country. (Exodus 18:13-27, NRSV)

You don’t have to do it alone!

God created us to work with each other and use our gifts for the betterment of all society.

So understand the advice of Jethro and find some people who can help you. They are all around you, if you will only look you will find them.

So know you don’t have to go this alone!

 

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Amalek Attacks Israel and is Defeated

Then Amalek came and fought with Israel at Rephidim. Moses said to Joshua, “Choose some men for us and go out, fight with Amalek. Tomorrow I will stand on the top of the hill with the staff of God in my hand.” So Joshua did as Moses told him, and fought with Amalek, while Moses, Aaron, and Hur went up to the top of the hill. Whenever Moses held up his hand, Israel prevailed; and whenever he lowered his hand, Amalek prevailed. But Moses’ hands grew weary; so they took a stone and put it under him, and he sat on it. Aaron and Hur held up his hands, one on one side, and the other on the other side; so his hands were steady until the sunset. And Joshua defeated Amalek and his people with the sword. Then the Lord said to Moses, “Write this as a reminder in a book and recite it in the hearing of Joshua: I will utterly blot out the remembrance of Amalek from under heaven.” And Moses built an altar and called it, The Lord is my banner. He said, “A hand upon the banner of the Lord! The Lord will have war with Amalek from generation to generation.” (Exodus 17:8-16, NRSV)

So as long as Mose’s staff was in the air the Israelites would prevail. Can you imagine holding a staff up all day?

Seems like a small task but in reality, it wasn’t. Moses needed Arron and Hur to help him hold his hands up.

You see Joshua needed Moses and Moses needed Aaron and Hur. None of us can do this on our own.

We all need to help each other and be there when God calls us to be.

 

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