Lesson Titles Sunday – Family Affairs Monday – Devotion of Ruth Tuesday – Boaz Wednesday – The Proposal Thursday – Redemption Friday – The Hand of God in History
Lesson Emphasis Week at a Glance: “In Boaz and Ruth we can see many features that make a good foundation for a successful marriage and for a faithful life in general.” Summary: “Despite some aspects of their situation not being ideal for marriage, Boaz and Ruth had the essential qualities for a solid relationship. Both demonstrated a spirit of caring and sharing, and both were deeply committed to God.”
Background and History When did all this happen? In our Bibles Ruth is a separate book. In the LXX (one of the oldest Bibles) it is a sort of appendix to the Book of Judges. Days of the Judges c.350 years1400 B.C.1050 B.C. Time of Ruth Rameses the Great – Egypt 59 sons 60 daughters Palamedes invented dice Helen of Troy
Moab Started with Lot and his daughters (Gen. 19: 36, 37. Kinship with the Israelites. Religion The chief deity of Moab was Chemosh (kemosh), frequently mentioned in the Old Testament. He was the national god of Moab, and it is pretty certain that he was propitiated by human sacrifices (2 Kings 3:27). In Numbers 25, where it is also clear that their idolatrous worship was corrupt.
Deut 23:3-6 1.“Ammonites or Moabites may not join the assembly of the L ORD. Not one descendant of theirs may join the assembly of the L ORD for ten generations. 2.“They cannot join because they didn't greet you with food and water on your trip from Egypt. They even hired Balaam, son of Beor,... to curse you.... 3.“Never offer them peace or friendship as long as you live.” ( God’s Word Version )
Customs in the Story Widows and mothers-in-law. The law of levirate marriage. Land redemption laws and customs.
Ruth and Naomi Sunday: “This must have been some kind of family: a Hebrew mother-in-law to two “pagan” daughters-in-law wouldn’t, on the surface, seem to form a great relationship. It had all the earmarks for disaster. “And yet, the dedication to each other’s well-being is phenomenal. We don’t know all that went on in their homes, but they obviously had something many homes certainly could use.”
Monday – Ruth’s Devotion Ruth 1:14,15 “Then Orpah kissed her mother-in-law goodbye, but Ruth held on to her tightly. Naomi said, “Look, your sister-in-law has gone back to her people and to her gods. Go back with your sister-in-law.” God’s Word version ).
Monday – Ruth’s Devotion Paulinus of Nola – an Early Church Father “But the broad road seduces many, and those who glide on the easy downward course are snatched off headlong by sin that cannot be revoked.” (Poems 27:115).
Moab Deut 23:3-6 1.“Ammonites or Moabites may not join the assembly of the L ORD. Not one descendant of theirs may join the assembly of the L ORD for ten generations. 2.“They cannot join because they didn't greet you with food and water on your trip from Egypt. They even hired Balaam, son of Beor,... to curse you.... 3.“Never offer them peace or friendship as long as you live.” ( God’s Word Version )
Monday – Ruth’s Devotion Ruth 1:16-18 “But Ruth answered, ‘Don't force me to leave you. Don't make me turn back from following you. Wherever you go, I will go, and wherever you stay, I will stay. Your people will be my people, and your God will be my God. Wherever you die, I will die, and I will be buried there with you. May the L ORD strike me down if anything but death separates you and me!”’ When Naomi saw that Ruth was determined to go with her, she ended the conversation“ (God’s Word version).
Becoming a Jew – A Contemporary Comment The Jewish people do not seek proselytes. Our Torah tells us that when a would-be proselyte wishes to become a Jew, it is our duty to point out to him or her all the difficulties this would entail, as well as the burden of responsibility that rest upon the Jew in his obligation to fulfill the Torah and its commandments. We are to show him that he is choosing a very difficult path, and a life that is not popular with the rest of the world. If, despite all these considerations and warnings, the person still persists in his or her desire to embrace Judaism, then indeed we can be proud to accept such a man or woman into our fold, for they will surely become devout and sincere Jews. (chabad.org)
Boaz – Ruth 2: 1-12 Ruth 2: 1 “Naomi had a relative. He was from Elimelech's side of the family. He was a man of outstanding character named Boaz.” (GW)
What Did Boaz Know? Ruth 2: 11, 12 “People have told me about everything you have done for your mother-in-law after your husband died. They told me how you left your father and mother and the country where you were born. They also told me how you came to people that you didn't know before. May the L ORD reward you for what you have done! May you receive a rich reward from the L ORD God of Israel, under whose protection you have come for shelter.” (GW). Deut.– “Never offer them peace or friendship as long as you live.”
Tuesday - What Did Boaz Do? 1. He gave Ruth full encouragement to glean in his fields. 2.He provided for her peace of mind by informing her that the men had been instructed not to bother her. 3.He provided for her further needs by making his drinking water available to her. 4.He gave her spiritual encouragement.
Wednesday – The Proposal The “kinsman-redeemer.” The law of levirate marriage.
Wednesday – The Proposal The “kinsman-redeemer.” Lev 25:23-25 - “Land must never be sold permanently, because the land is mine [the Lord]. To me you are strangers without permanent homes. People must always have the right to buy their property back. If your brother becomes poor and sells some of his property, then the one who can assume responsibility, his nearest relative, must buy back what he sold.” (GW version)
Wednesday – The Proposal “’The L ORD bless him!’ Naomi The “kinsman-redeemer.” said to her daughter-in-law. ‘He has not stopped showing his kindness to the living and the dead.’ She added, ‘That man [Boaz] is our close relative; he is one of our kinsman- redeemers.’” (NIV)
Wednesday – The Proposal Lev. 25: 47-50 – “If an alien or a temporary resident among you becomes rich and one of your countrymen becomes poor and sells himself to the alien living among you or to a member of the alien’s clan, he retains the right of redemption after he has sold himself. One of his relatives may redeem him: An uncle or a cousin or any blood relative in his clan may redeem him. Or if he prospers, he may redeem himself.” (NIV)
Theological Implications Jer. 3:14- “Return, faithless people,” declares the L ORD, “for I am your husband” (NIV) Ruth 4:13-15 – “So Boaz took Ruth and she became his wife. Then he went to her, and the L ORD enabled her to conceive, and she gave birth to a son. The women said to Naomi: “ Praise be to the L ORD, who this day has not left you without a kinsman-redeemer. May he become famous throughout Israel! He will renew your life and sustain you in your old age. For your daughter-in-law, who loves you and who is better to you than seven sons, has given him birth” (NIV).
Theological Implications “Praise be to the L ORD, who this day has not left you without a kinsman-redeemer.” Heb 11:13-16 - “ All these people died having faith. They didn't receive the things that God had promised them, but they saw these things coming in the distant future and rejoiced. They acknowledged that they were living as strangers with no permanent home on earth. Those who say such things make it clear that they are looking for their own country. If they had been thinking about the country that they had left, they could have found a way to go back. Instead, these men were longing for a better country—a heavenly country. That is why God is not ashamed to be called their God. He has prepared a city for them.” (GW)
Theological Implications Eph 1:11-14 “In him we were also chosen, “having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will, “in order that we, who were the first to hope in Christ, might be for the praise of his glory. “ And you also were included in Christ when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation. Having believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, “who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession—to the praise of his glory.” (NIV)
Theological Implications Isa. 62: 4, 5 – “and your land [God’s people] will be married. As a young man marries a maiden, so will your sons marry you; as a bridegroom rejoices over his bride. so will your God rejoice over you.” (NIV). Isa. 54:5 - “ For your Maker is your husband— the L ORD Almighty is his name” (NIV)
Thursday - Redemption Lev. 25:25 - If your brother becomes poor and sells some of his property, then the one who can assume responsibility, his nearest relative, must buy back what he sold.”
Law of Levirate Marriage Deut 25:5-10 – “When brothers live together and one of them dies without having a son, his widow must not marry outside the family. “Her husband's brother must marry her and sleep with her. He must do his duty as her brother-in-law. “Then the first son she has will carry the dead brother's name so that his name won't die out in Israel. “But if the man doesn't want to marry his brother's widow, she must go to the leaders of the city at the city gate. She must say, 'My brother-in- law refuses to let his brother's name continue in Israel. He doesn't want to do his duty as my brother-in-law.’ Then the leaders of the city must summon him and talk to him. “If he persists in saying that he doesn't want to marry her, his brother's widow must go up to him in the presence of the leaders. She must take off one of his sandals and spit in his face. She must make this formal statement: ‘This is what happens to a man who refuses to continue his brother's family line.’ “Then in Israel his family will be called the Family of the Man Without a Sandal.” (GW)
Law of Levirate Marriage The most famous Bible story about this law is in Genesis 38 – the story of Tamar and Judah. It is kind of twisted up, but the motivation behind what Tamar did is the law of levirate marriage.
Ruth 4 - Redemption Ruth 3:3,4 – “Then go down to the threshing floor, but don’t let him know you are there until he has finished eating and drinking. “When he lies down, note the place where he is lying. Then go and uncover his feet and lie down. He will tell you what to do.” (NIV).
The Redemption – (Digging a Little Deeper!) Ruth 3:3 – “Wash and perfume yourself, and put on your best clothes. Then go down to the threshing floor, but don’t let him know you are there until he has finished eating and drinking. (NIV)
The Redemption – (Digging a Little Deeper!) Chrysostom (Early church Father and “golden tongued” orator). Agree or Disagree? “Thus the church was not made lovable to her spouse before she had forsaken her prior customs.”
Boaz Confronts the Other Kinsman Ruth 4:1-8 – “Boaz went to the city gate and sat there. Just then, the relative about whom he had spoken was passing by. Boaz said, “Please come over here and sit, my friend.” So the man came over and sat down.... “The man said, ‘I'll buy back the property’ “Boaz continued, ‘When you buy the field from Naomi, you will also assume responsibility for the Moabite Ruth, the dead man's widow. This keeps the inheritance in the dead man's name.’ “The man replied, ‘In that case I cannot assume responsibility for her. If I did, I would ruin my inheritance. Take all my rights to buy back the property for yourself, because I cannot assume that responsibility.’ (This is the way it used to be in Israel concerning buying back property and exchanging goods: In order to make every matter legal, a man would take off his sandal and give it to the other man. This was the way a contract was publicly approved in Israel.) So when the man said to Boaz, ‘Buy it for yourself,’ he took off his sandal.” (GW)
How it all Came Out And They All Lived Happily Ever After!
The Rest of the Story Ruth 4: 16 – “Then Naomi took the child, laid him in her lap and cared for him. The women living there said, ‘Naomi has a son.’ And they named him Obed. He was the father of Jesse, the father of David.” (NIV)
The Rest of the Story Ruth 4: 18-22 – “ This, then, is the family line of Perez ( Tamar and Judah’s son ) Perez was the father of Hezron, Hezron the father of Ram, Ram the father of Amminadab, Amminadab the father of Nahshon, Nahshon the father of Salmon ( The man Rahab married ), Salmon the father of Boaz, Boaz the father of Obed (Ruth’s son ), Obed the father of Jesse, and Jesse the father of David. (NIV) Which leads to Jesus “The Son of David.”