Category Archives: Redeemed with Ruth

The Never-Ending Story

Read it! Ruth 4:18-22

Salmon the father of Boaz,

Boaz the father of Obed,

 Obed the father of Jesse,

and Jesse the father of David.

(vs 21-22)

Think it through

Ruth married Boaz and had a beautiful baby boy. They loved each other and built a life together. Naomi was joyful again. End of story, Amen.

At least that’s what Ruth must have thought. As she lived the rest of her life, I’m sure she looked back on her time of struggle with thankfulness, and maybe a little nostalgia mixed in. The dramatic part of her story came and went, and she probably thought that was all God had in store for her.

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A Little Redeemer, a Lot of Redemption

Read it! Ruth 4:13-17

“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.”

(vs 15)

Think it through

Do you ever get the feeling that the book of Ruth is really more about Naomi?

I’d expect a book called “Ruth” to end with Ruth herself, happy with her husband and cradling her son in her arms. But instead we’re left with the image of Naomi holding and caring for the child, and her friends saying, “Naomi has a son!”

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Way Better than a “Like”

Read it! Ruth 4:1-12

Boaz took ten of the elders of the town and said, “Sit here,” and they did so.

(vs2)

Think it through

Boaz was such a fantastic, up-and-up man. Not only does he approach the next man in line for a prize he would like to claim for himself, he does it in the presence of ten witnesses. These men bore witness to the offer, the refusal, the passing of the sandal (another little weird-ism in this story that I love!), and Boaz’s legal redemption of Ruth.

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Acting Weird—On Purpose

Read it! Ruth 3

“I will do whatever you say,” Ruth answered.

So she went down to the threshing floor and did everything her mother-in-law told her to do.

(vs5&6)

Think it through

So Ruth snuck onto the threshing floor, uncovered the feet of a sleeping man she barely knew, and laid down to sleep next to those same feet.

How weird is this?

As a foreigner, Ruth probably found these Jewish customs just a strange as we do. What do you suppose she thought about as she lay there on the floor, waiting to be redeemed? It doesn’t sound like she fell asleep. (I wouldn’t have been able to sleep a wink.)

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My Knight in Shining Armor

Read it! Ruth 2:14-23

“The Lord bless him!” Naomi said to her daughter-in-law.

“He has not stopped showing his kindness to the living and the dead.”

She added, “That man is our close relative; he is one of our Kinsman-redeemers.”

(vs 20)

Think it through

I am fascinated by the idea of a Kinsman Redeemer.

In Ruth, the title “Kinsman Redeemer” refers to male relatives of a deceased husband who had the option to come forward and “redeem” the widow: to marry her and care for her. Without a Kinsman Redeemer, a Jewish widow had very few options. Like Ruth, they were reduced to gathering dropped bits of grain in order to eat.

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Wouldn’t You Know It?

Read it! Ruth 2:1-13

So she went out and began to glean in the fields behind the harvesters.

As it turned out, she found herself working in a field belonging to Boaz,

Who was from the clan of Elimelech.

(vs3)

Think it through

As it turned out…

It just so happened…

And wouldn’t you know…

God is so often a part of this type of phrase. Can you see Him in Ruth’s story?

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What a Character!

Read it! Ruth 1

At this they wept again.

Then Orpah kissed her mother-in-law good-by, but Ruth clung to her.

Vs 14

Think it through

When I’ve read Ruth in the past, I’ve tended to focus on, well, Ruth. But today it’s Naomi who’s calling for my attention, speaking to my heart.

Naomi has never been my favorite person. Her protestations that her daughters-in-law should turn back after they’d already left (could she not have mentioned this earlier?), combined with her self-imposed name change in verse 20, seem like attention-seeking and nearly manipulative behavior to me. But maybe I’ve been reading Naomi all wrong.

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