Monday, November 03, 2008

November Bible Study - Faithful Love in Human Relationships - Ruth Chapter 3

November Bible Study – Ruth Chapter 3
A Study of Faithful Love in Human Relationships

Welcome to this month’s Bible study. Consider my thoughts and please share your ideas, questions and wisdom in the comments section below.

Let us pray…Heavenly Father, I ask that you would meet us here, today and teach us through Your Word. Please encourage those who visit here to join this study and share their hearts. I ask that You pour blessings upon all of us who desire a deeper relationship with You. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Chapter 3 – Rest:

3:1 – Was Naomi looking for a more permanent solution because the harvest was over and food was running low? What other reason might she have had for wanting to find a home for Ruth, now? What about a home for herself?

3:2 – Here’s a possible answer: A relationship between Ruth and Boaz has already been established. Culturally, they are related and it is up to him to care for Ruth and Naomi. Naomi knows exactly where he will be on this night.

3:3 – Ruth is instructed to prepare herself as a bride.

As the bride of Christ, we should be conscious of how we wash, perfume and dress ourselves for our Groom. And we must always be ready for His return.

3:4 – Her actions on the threshing floor are a request for marriage. See verse 9.

How many relationships never happen because a man is too shy to ask? Or worse, he fears rejection by the object of his affection? Do you think Boaz suffered from something like this?

3:5-6 – Ruth’s immediate obedience is admirable. Do you obey the Lord this well? How could you be even more obedient?

3:9 – the kinsman-redeemer is a relative who would buy back what was lost by a less fortunate relation. This is what Jesus is to us. By the way, do you recall that Boaz is actually one of Jesus’ ancestors?

take a moment to read Ezekiel 16:8, which speaks of this practice of covering as a part of a marriage covenant.

3:10 – Boaz appreciated Ruth’s attention considering his age and the availability of younger men, some of whom were rich. If she were a gold-digger, she could have chosen a younger man, but she showed her acceptance of their customs by choosing him. His use of the word daughter to refer to her may indicate that he was old enough to be her father. This kindness surpassed Ruth’s earlier kindness. What was that earlier kindness Ruth showed to Boaz? If you need a reminder, re-read Ruth 2:11-12.

Boaz had a lot to lose because his firstborn would be Naomi’s heir, not his. How do you respond when the choice is between doing something for yourself and doing what is right?

3:11-13 – Boaz compliments Ruth’s character and informs her that there is a closer relative who must be given first choice to redeem Elimelech’s estate. He assures her that if this other man refuses, he will do it.

Before we dig deeper into this, let’s just appreciate the romance for a moment. My heart catches in my throat as I imagine Boaz’ face as he realizes this exotic, young woman of noble character wants him to propose marriage to her.

Here are some of the responsibilities of the kinsman-redeemer:
- Provide an heir for a dead brother. See Deuteronomy 25:5-10.
- Redeem land sold outside of the family. See Leviticus 25:25-28.
- Redeem relative sold into slavery. See Leviticus 25:47-49.
- Avenge the killing of a relative. See Numbers 35:19-21.

3:13 – Ruth and Naomi’s future is assured. They won’t be destitute when the food runs out.

What may have happened if Ruth had ignored Naomi’s advice. Do you know someone who is always looking out for you (like Naomi did for Ruth)? You may want to write that person a “thank you” note or take them out for coffee.

3:14 – if it shouldn’t be known that a woman came to the threshing floor, why didn’t Boaz send Ruth home the night before? The Bible says she lay at his feet all night, so I don’t believe they indulged in any hanky-panky. Perhaps Boaz was so overcome that she wanted him, he kept her there to reassure himself that the encounter wasn’t a dream. Any thoughts?

3:15 – Boaz gave Ruth a lot of grain and they went their separate ways: she to Naomi and he to the town gate to take care of business.

3:16-18 – I don’t think Naomi slept a wink. Her future – and Ruth’s – rested on the outcome of Ruth’s encounter with Boaz. I’m certain that Ruth barely got in the door before Naomi pelted her with questions.

The “rest” that we see in this chapter is certainly not for the kinsman-redeemer. It is for those being redeemed: Ruth, Naomi. Symbolically, us. Rest in the Lord and LET HIM REDEEM YOU! What other restful moments did you notice in this chapter of scripture?

Next month, our study of “Faithful Love in Human Relationships” continues with chapter 4 – Reward. You do not want to miss it!


stampedwithgrace said...

Ruth is one of my favorite books! I love how she's in the lineage of Christ and how detailed God told her story and how we can parallel it with us and Christ :)

Kristinia - Loving Heart Mommy said...

I do believe Boaz was fearful of a relationship, possibly due to his age. Obviously they had a connection and it was their destiny to be together, such an inspirational love story!

I can't wait till next week! :)