Presentation on theme: "The Book of Ruth Old Testament Bible Studies True Love Church of Refuge Prophetess Delisa Lindsey September 2, 2009."— Presentation transcript:
The Book of Ruth Old Testament Bible Studies True Love Church of Refuge Prophetess Delisa Lindsey September 2, 2009
Introduction The events which occurred in Ruth’s life are simultaneous with the first half of the period of Judges. Ruth demonstrates the pastoral principles of loyalty, fidelity, and trustworthiness. Boaz demonstrates the redemptive work of Christ on behalf of the Gentiles. Both Boaz and Ruth are mentioned in the genealogical records of Christ according to Matthew 1:5. The Book is divided into four sections; A. Ruth Deciding B. Ruth Serving C. Ruth Resting D. Ruth Rewarded
Ruth 1:1 During the period the Judges, the people of Israel experienced a famine. During this times there was no organized leadership and the people did what was right in their own eyes. The famine was so severe that it caused a certain man to relocate to Moab (pagan country – result of Lot’s incestuous relationship with his daughter) along with his wife and two sons. He was of the tribe of Ephraim living in Bethlehem-Judah (house of bread and praise). Bread should have been plenty in Bethlehem, why was there a famine?
Why is he going backwards? In order for Elimelech to get to Moab, he had to go backwards towards Jericho, walk through the wilderness to the Dead Sea and cross the Jordan River back into the wilderness that God delivered his ancestors from. Read God’s promises to His obedient children in Deut. 11: The Israelits were in direct violation of God’s Word and could not receive the blessings of the land because of the famine. Where are the famines in our lives? Have we thoroughly examined why we are experiencing lack or drought? Can God lie and has He limited His Word to the Jews only? We are the spiritual children of Abraham and what blessings and curses belonged to Israel may belong to us today. This man traveled to Moab with an intention to return and died in his wilderness because of disobedience. The grass is not always greener on the other side, stand in the Holy place.
Ruth 1:2-3 Elimelech (my God is King) was married to Naomi (my delight or pleasant) and reared two sons, Mahlon (sickly) and Chilion (wasting away or pining). They were Ephrathites (fruitfulness) of Bethlehem- judah. They went to Moab and lived there. Elimelech died in Moab leaving her widowed and caring for her two sickly and wasting away sons. You cannot move away from your problems, you only take an old problem to a new location. Deal with the problem before the problem deals with you.
Ruth 1:4-5 The two sons married Moabite women following their father in disobedience. God told the Israelites not to intermarry with pagan nations. The two daughters in law were named Orpah (gazelle or antelope) and Ruth (friendship). The brothers died about ten years later, leaving Ruth, and Orpah widows. Naomi was worse off because she had now become a childless widow in a strange land.
Ruth 1:6-7 From a distance, Naomi heard praise reports of how the Lord was visiting his people with bread. She wanted to partake of God’s blessings upon Israel. This is why it is good to testify and make known His deeds among the people. People’s lives can be changed by hearing what the Lord has done for you. In a strange place with strange people, Naomi’s faith was increased by hearing what the Lord was doing in the House of Bread and Praise. Her faith gave her strength to walk away from death, depression, poverty, and disgust. She arose and went forth out of the place where she was – she rose up from her circumstances and put her works with her faith. Naomi prepared to return to her place in God where she could receive her blessings. What about us? It’s one thing to desire change, yet another to walk out the change. Talk is cheap.
Ruth 1:8-9 Naomi understood her sons married pagan women and that they may not embrace her lifestyle of chastity and holiness. She blessed them for their loyalty and kindness to her and encouraged them to return to their mother’s house. In eastern tradition, the men and women lived separately. The young women would have returned to their mothers’ houses. The women were still young and Naomi did not want to subject them to a life of anguish, scarcity, and loneliness as widows most often face. She wished them to remarry to find solace in their husband’s house. She kissed them and they all wept.
Ruth 1:10-11 The young women contend with Naomi that they will return with her, but she constrains them by telling them that she doesn’t have any more sons who could marry them in their deceased brothers’ stead. This was ancient custom for the nearest relative to marry the widow, give her a son to raise the husband’s name according to Deut. 25:5. Naomi also demonstrated that as long as she had no husband, there would be no hope of having a son because her sexual desires were buried along with her husband. Even if she re-married that night and conceived a son, it would be highly irrational for her in-laws to wait for them to grow up to marry them.
Ruth 1:12 Grief vexed Naomi’s soul because she lost everything and everyone she loved. She despised leaving her daughters lonely, yet she preferred they remain with their families. She felt as if God’s hand was against her. Perhaps she felt guilt for not persuading her husband to remain in Bethlehem- judah. Or perhaps she felt she dishonored her husband by allowing his two sons to die. Whatever may have been going on in her head caused her to feel as if the Lord’s hand was against her.
Did the Lord’s Hand Go out against her? V. 13 Despite feeling as if the Lord abandoned her, Naomi determined within herself that she would return to her place in God. She never accused the Lord falsely, she never grew bitter against Him. She acknowledged His Sovereignty and sought to draw closer to Him. She completely trusted Him to bless her otherwise she would have remained in Moab, the place where she had been for the past 10+ years. Her act of faith is about to propel her into a supernatural abundant blessing that would still be poured out over today if she were alive. This woman had the tenacity of a lion in terms of returning home to rest in the Lord’s provisions. His Hand did not go out against her, in fact His Hand went out to get her from Moab and bring her back home where this weary, wounded, widow belonged.
Ruth 1:14 The women lift up their voices again, but this time Orpah kisses her Naomi good-bye, while Ruth remains at Naomi’s side. Although both young women loved Naomi, Ruth demonstrated her love and devotion to Naomi with her decision to cleave to her. Orpah loved Naomi but her heart and her soul belonged to Moab and its gods. Love is not simply a feeling, it is a doing. “For God so loved… that He gave…”
Ruth 1:15-17 Naomi tries to persuade Ruth again to follow after Orpah. Her motives were not to get rid of Ruth, but she knew she had nothing to offer this young woman and her life in Bethlehem was a far cry from the lifestyle of the Moabites. She did not want her to reach and Bethlehem and become disgruntled or feel mistreated, therefore she pointed to Orpah as an illustration to show Ruth that she can return home also. “Intreat me not to leave thee” is a favorite scripture quoted at weddings. Ruth told Naomi that where you go, I go, where you sleep, I sleep, your God is my God, your people are become my people, and where you die, I die. Nothing but death can separate us.
A Noble Commitment Ruth was not merely looking for a way out of Moab, she was submitting her life as a sacrifice unto Naomi’s God. As strong in faith as Naomi was, Ruth, no doubt, learned who God was through Naomi’s life. “You may be the only Jesus anyone ever gets to see.” You cannot expect everyone to follow you to church, but you can impact a person’s life forever by your conduct, your conversation, and your charity. Naomi was a powerful witness to Ruth. So much so that Ruth forsook everything and everyone she has known all her life to follow Naomi. Who can follow your life like Ruth followed Naomi’s? Who have you impacted, outside of the church, who threw everything down and everyone away to follow your God? Even though she lost her husband, her sons and maybe her mind at times, this woman of God never let go of her God! Though he slay me, yet will I trust Him… because someone is watching my life!
Ruth 1:18-20 Ruth’s mind was made up and Naomi never revisited that conversation again. They traveled all the way back to Bethlehem-judah and the people were astonished to see Naomi. In fact, they barely recognized her. Bethlehem-judah was a large village and everyone knew each other. When she was acknowledged as Naomi, she corrected them by informing that she would no longer answer to Naomi (pleasant), but to call her Mara (bitterness) for the Lord has dealt bitterly against her.
Ruth 1:21 Naomi kept it real. She was not a hypocrite who would have her village think she had a wonderfully, blessed time while away. She let them know in no uncertain terms that when she left, she was full and complete, however the Lord saw fit to allow her to return home empty handed. Her tests and trials were a testimony of one who has been afflicted because she couldn’t wait on God. Even in the midst of it all, she was never bitter against the Lord, else she would have never returned home.
Ruth 1:22 So Naomi returned to her Father’s House along with Ruth, a Moabitess. She returned with honesty, and meekness. Naomi lost everything she had, but little did she know God was about to give her double for her trouble. It was harvest time, a time for Naomi to reap her years of faithfulness and loyalty to the Lord of the Harvest.
Ruth Chapter 2 Ruth Gleans in the Field of Boaz
Ruth 2:1 Naomi was related to Boaz (fleetness – speed) through the family of her deceased husband, Elimelech. Although the famine caused Elimelech and his family to leave their home, Boaz stayed behind and God made him very prosperous and wealthy. Who says the righteous cannot prosper in the midst of a recession? The famine was no reason to leave their inheritance, there may have been a little bread, but there was bread. Sometimes God will send leanness in order for us to appreciate the fatness. There must be a balance. Kinsman in the Hebrew is goel, he was a special family representative, a distinguished gentleman.
Ruth 2:2-3 Apparently Naomi schooled Ruth in the law of Moses (Lev. 19:9-10) because it was Ruth’s idea to glean (gather) from the farmer’s field. She was hoping to find grace and favor in the eyes of the farmer because gleaning was a privilege granted to the poor from the farmer. Naomi bids her to leave. Ruth also learned how to walk in the Spirit because as she was gleaning after the reapers, she happened to glean on the field belonging to Boaz, Naomi’s in-law. FYI, farmers were not to completely reap their fields but to leave the corners for the poor and leave some of their crop behind for the poor. Even if they dropped a bale or a bushel, under Mosaic Law, they could not retrieve what was dropped. This helped the poor to work for what they eat. “If a man doesn’t work neither shall he eat.” The hardworking and diligent daughter, set out to glean the fields so that she and Naomi could eat. Ruth acted as both son and daughter for Naomi.
Ruth 2:4-7 Boaz appears on the scene and we have a glance of the type of spirit this man has. As he nears the reapers (his employees), he speaks blessings over them! The way a man deals with his subordinates and the way they respond to him speaks loudly as to his type of character. He takes notice of Ruth gleaning alongside the reapers. He inquires of her because all gleaners are either poor or widowed or both. His servant tells him that she is a Moabite who returned with Naomi. He further told him how she pleaded with him that she may glean in their fields and how hard she worked all day only stopping to take a little rest in the field tent. Little did Ruth know, her work ethics were under inspection. The supervisor was so impressed with her hard work that he in turn shared his enthusiasm with Boaz. Do you realize that you are also under inspection?
Ruth 2:8-10 Impressed both by what he has just heard and seen, Boaz approaches Ruth. Listen to me, my daughter, stay here and glean alongside my female reapers (servants). Don’t glean anywhere else. You stay put (where I can see you!). Watch the fields the men are harvesting and work along the girls. I have dared any man from approaching you, but whenever you are thirsty, drink water from the well they have drawn. Ruth fell at his feet and sincerely thanked him for showing kindness to her, a foreigner in Bethlehem. Why have I found grace in your sight, she asks.
Ruth 2:11-12 Boaz answered her by telling her that it was reported to him of her dealings with Naomi. He said I heard about the kindness you have shown your mother in-law after the death of your husband. I also heard about you leaving your mother and father, your native land, and following Naomi here to a land you never knew about. He then prophesies to her that the Lord will repay her for what she has done. He decrees a full reward for her from the Lord of Heaven under whose wings she has taken refuge and trust. She responded by thanking him for his kind words. I hope I continue to please and find this grace in your sight, sir. You have comforted me although I am not worthy to be one of your servants.