Friday, April 15, 2016

Bible Study Notes in Ruth- Chapter 2

Ruth 2

-“Now Naomi had a kinsman of her husband, a man of great wealth, of the family of Elimelech, whose name was Boaz (Ruth 2:1).” This introduces new intrigue into the story of God’s salvation plan as we continue. Ruth, described as the Moabitess several times in the pericope (Ruth 1:22; 2:2, 6, 21), requests from her mother-in-law to go to the field and glean among the ears of grain after the one who gives her favor. Naomi consented to this request, more than likely out of need more than want. So, Ruth departed and went and gleaned in the field after the reapers according to the Law of Moses (Leviticus 18:9-10, Deuteronomy 24:18-22). She happened to come to the portion of the field belonging to Boaz, again who was of the family of Elimelech. Whether or not she had knowledge of whose field this was in the first encounter is unknown from text. Boaz then comes into the picture asking whose young woman this was as he came from Bethlehem blessing his reapers in the Name of the LORD (Ruth 2:2-5). From the beginning we can discern the kindness and humble spirit of this incredible man of God. He soon discovered from his reapers that this was the young Moabite woman who had returned with Naomi. The reapers further relayed that she had come to them in the morning asking to glean after them among the sheaves and had patiently remained there in the house until the time Boaz had arrived (Ruth 2:6-7).

-Boaz now spoke to her for the first time, “Listen carefully, my daughter. Do not go to glean in another field; furthermore, do not go on from this one, but stay here with my maids. Let your eyes be on the field which they reap, and go after them. Indeed, I have commanded the servants not to touch you. When you are thirsty, go to the water jars and drink from what the servants draw (Ruth 2:8-9).” Humbled and grateful, Ruth fell on her face before him bowing to the ground in homage asking, “Why I have found favor in your sight that you should take notice of me, since I am a foreigner?” Boaz now reveals that he had done his background work, “All that you have done for your mother-in-law after the death of your husband has been fully reported to me, and how you left your father and your mother and the land of your birth, and came to a people that you did not previously know.” Then he blessed her and acknowledged her faith as well as his own, “May the LORD reward your work, and your wages be full from the LORD, the God of Israel, under whose wings you have come to seek refuge (Ruth 2:10-12).” Ruth had nothing but excitement from this unexpected blessing, “I have found favor in your sight, my lord, for you have comforted me and indeed have spoken kindly to your maidservant, though I am not like one of your maidservants (Ruth 2:13).”

-At mealtime, Boaz had her come and eat of the bread and vinegar they had provided for the reapers. She was served roasted grain until she was full and still had some left over. When she arose to glean, Boaz commanded his servants to let her glean among the sheaves (more than the Law accounted for) and not to insult her in any way. He further had them purposely pull out for her some grain from the bundles and leave it so that she could glean without any rebuke. Ruth gleaned until evening, hard at work and very grateful. She was able to beat out what she had gleaned, and it came to about an ephah of barley. This was an awesome day of work! She took it up into the city showing her mother-in-law what she had gleaned. The leftover bread she had saved was given to Naomi. The aged mother-in-law then asked, “Where did you glean today and where did you work?” Then she blessed the giver of this bountiful surplus, “May he who took notice of you be blessed.” Ruth related that she had worked with Boaz, and Naomi again blessed him for his kindness to the living and to the dead. Then, as she began to think about it, surmised, “The man is our relative, he is one of our closest relatives.” Ruth then further related that he had told her to stay close to his servants until they had finished all his harvest in the field. Naomi responded that it was good that she go out with his maids for protection as she was out in the field. Ruth delightfully obeyed staying close by the maids of Boaz in order to glean until the end of the barley harvest and wheat harvest, and she continued to live and support her mother-in-law (Ruth 2:14-23).

-*Application* Things always begin to turn around for the better when we continue to trust in the LORD and seek His refuge. What a beautiful story of kindness and generosity we are given here today. I am praying that the LORD rewards all of our work and that our wages be full from the LORD, the God of Israel and everyone else who believes in His wonderful-matchless Name. Notice that this kindness involves action. If you are blessed, and all of us in America really are when we think about it, share your provisions and favor others, especially those who are having a rough go of it. It will make all of our day and provide a future hope, which we so desperately need. Every good and perfect gift comes down from the Father through us as a blessing (James 1:17). Be like Boaz, extend the favor of the LORD to others. If we are in need today, keep trusting and working like Ruth did. She was proactive and diligent to receive all God had for her. We should be the exact same.

Verses to Memorize: Ruth 2:12-13

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