Monday, April 14, 2014

Claiming of a Redeemer

In Ruth 3:1-6 we see Naomi play a matchmaker. I am sure that Ruth was not aware of the Law of the Kinsman Redeemer. This law was a way to keep the family line and the land in the family. This is  God's way of providing for the widow.

Naomi promises Ruth that she will take care of her. This meaning,"I am going to get you married." Naomi is going to play match maker. I am sure that Naomi has seen the evidence that Boaz likes Ruth. He has gone out of his way to provide extra barley for her and Naomi. Boaz has given Ruth protection as she works with his workers. This is not normal behavior for the land owner to give to the poor under the law of gleaning. 
Naomi tells Ruth to wash up, put on some perfume, dress nice and go find Boaz. Ok, my words are a little less more to the point than how Naomi tells Ruth. Naomi knows that the Law of the Kinsman Redeemer is for the widow to enforce. You see the widow was to go to the nearest kinsman and seek to be claimed by him. The kinsman can marry her as the law allows are refuse her. The widow if refused can go before the elders and take the kinsman's shoe off and spit in his face. This is showing the people that he will not honor her late husband. So, Ruth must go to Boaz to seek his redeeming of the nearest kinsman, just as we must go and seek Jesus as our redeemer.

The Law of the Kinsman Redeemer is a picture of what Jesus Christ did for us, over 2000 years ago. Jesus Christ redeemed us of our sins by shedding His sinless and perfect blood on Calvary. He made a way for our sins to be forgiven. We are like Ruth, we must go and claim our Redeemer.

Ruth was told to do four things:
  • Wash
  • Anoint
  • Put on raiment
  • Get down to the floor
God to tells us the same for things when it comes to our Kinsman Redeemer Jesus Christ:
  • WASH: "Wash me from my iniquity" Ps. 26:6, we need to go to Jesus Christ and ask for our sins to be forgiven, so that we are washed from our sins. We have our sins forgiven by simply," believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved." Acts 16:31
  • ANOINT: "But the anointing which ye have received of Him.." I John 2:27, after we are saved, God will give us His Holy Spirit to dwell in us. The Holy Spirit is given to us so we can grow in Christ and follow Him.
  • PUT ON RAIMENT: "Put on the whole armour of God..your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; Above all, taking the shield of faith...and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God." Eph. 6:11-17. God gives us an armour to protect us as we live in this world.
  • GET DOWN ON THE FLOOR: "Praying always" Eph. 6:18, we need to stay bowed down before God, praying always. Praying for forgiveness of sin, praise to God for what He has done for us, and is doing for us. Praying for each other. Prayer is how God meets our needs, we ask and seek of Him, He answers and provides.
Ruth in the verses obeys Naomi never questing her and asking why, Ruth just obeys. Are we obeying God in the same way. Do we obey Him with out questioning or asking why?

Jesus wants us to be like Ruth in these verses obedient to His word. If you haven't went to Jesus Christ and seek the redemption that He wants to give you. I pray that you will do it today. Just as Ruth will go to Boaz and seek the Kinsman Redeemer, you must call on Jesus Christ to redeem you.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

They Remembered God Their Redeemer

In Ruth 2:18-23, we see Ruth returning from her first day of gleaning. Her arms are full of barley and Naomi waiting to hear how Ruth's day went.  Ruth gives Naomi her left overs from lunch as she tells her about the field she gleaned in. Naomi is excited to learn that it belongs to Boaz, a near kinsman. 

In the Jewish laws we learn about a kinsman redeemer. This law is found in Leviticus 25 and tells us of God's way of protecting the Jewish people and their land. It was a way to keep land in the family and even pay the debts owed by a family member. Here in the Book of Ruth, Naomi tells Ruth to obey and listen to what Boaz tells her, and stay close to Boaz workers. This would keep Ruth close to Boaz and his protection.

Naomi came home to Bethlehem and told the people to call her Mara. She felt bitter that the Lord had taken her family from her. That Lord was not with her. Here in these verses Naomi realizes that God is blessing her and is watching out for her. The Lord is meeting her needs and using a close kinsman.

Jesus is called our Redeemer, he paid our sin debt on Calvary.  Jesus paid the debt that we could not pay.  He loved us so much He came to earth to die on a cross shedding His blood that knew no sin, so we could have our sins forgiven.

Naomi and Ruth are in the care of God. He loves them and has not forsaken them in their time of need. God will provide the redemption they need just has He provided for our redemption through Jesus Christ.

"And they remembered that God was there rock,
and the high God their redeemer."
Psalm 75:35

Monday, April 7, 2014

Being Content

In Ruth 2:14-18, we find Ruth and Boaz talking in the field. We find a smitten Boaz. I believe that Boaz sees the beauty of Ruth's heart here. He knows that she is a precious jewel of the Lords. Boaz goes out of his way to make Ruth's work easy and peaceful.

In verse 14, Boaz tells Ruth to come and eat. This is not normal for a Hebrew man to talk to a woman, much less a stranger to the land. In the New Testament the woman at the well ask Jesus in John, Chapter 4, how should he ask her for drink for she was a woman of Samaria. These two stories paint a wonderful picture of love and acceptance. Boaz wants to meet Ruth's physical needs, Jesus wanted to meet the woman's spiritual needs.  Boaz will later paint the picture of Jesus as our Redeemer as he comes to redeem Ruth in the later chapters of Ruth.

Boaz offers Ruth bread and vinegar for lunch. He reaches and gives Ruth the food to eat, showing his affection for her. The Bible tells us she ate till she was sufficed and left. In verse 18 we read where she saved her left overs and gave them to Naomi. Ruth ate till she was sufficed. This statement stands out to me for many reasons. The first of course is she was not a glutton, the second she was content. Ruth had no idea where her food was coming from day to day. She had to glean for their barley. Ruth had to wonder would she glean enough for them to have plenty? Ruth could have ate more to be sure that she was full and not have to worry about supper.No,not Ruth she was content. I believe that Ruth was so trusting in the Lord that she was content and knew that He would take care of her and Naomi's needs.

"Be content with such as ye have: for He hath said I will never leave thee nor forsake thee." (Hebrews 13:5) Ruth lived this verse, she was completely trusting in God. God was with Ruth, meeting her needs through Boaz.  In verses 15-17, Boaz instructs his workers to let her glean in the area that they are gleaning in, and let some "handfuls of purpose" fall for her. Boaz wanted to make sure that Ruth had plenty to take home to meet her needs.

At the end of the day the Lord blessed her with an ephah of barley, which is about 4 to 7 gallons. God was doing exceeding abundantly above all that Ruth asked of Him. (Eph. 3:20). Are you sufficed in the Lord, are you content with the things that the Lord has blessed you with? Trust in the Lord to meet your needs. He will be there for you, He promises never to leave us or forsake us.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

A Word Spoken in Due Season, How Good Is It! Proverbs 15:23

In Ruth 2:13, Ruth speaks to Boaz with her heart. She tells Boaz let me find favor in your sight. Ruth tells Boaz that he has given her comfort by his words.  Ruth was not expecting the kindness of Boaz in his actions towards her or in his words.

The Bible has much to say on kinds words. I think when Ruth went out to find a field to glean in she went with a heavy heart not expecting the kindness that was shown to her. In Proverbs 12:25 we read, "Heaviness in the heart of man maketh it stoop: but a good word maketh it glad." Ruth's heart was heavy for she was a widow and a stranger in a place that she was not expecting to be kind to her. Ruth was in poverty and had to work hard to care for her and Naomi. Words that we say can effect people in such a way to bring gladness or sadness.  Ruth need the comfort of a kind word.

I wonder do we offer kind words? Proverbs 31:26, "She openeth her mouth with wisdom: and in her tongue is the law of kindness." I hope that when I open my mouth that it is with kindness and with wisdom. In the book of Ruth words of kindness seem to pour out. Boaz tells Ruth earlier in Chapter 2 that he has heard good things about her. How often or we quick to say something negative about someone. I hope that we can be a good witness for someone, speaking good of them. That someone may be like Ruth, needing kindness to be shown to them in a land of uncertainty.  I want our words to be gracious as find in Ecclesiastes 10:12, "The words of a wise man's mouth are gracious." Ruth was gracious as she spoke to Boaz in return to his kindness. I hope that the words we speak are gracious and give comfort.

Ruth tells Boaz that he has spoken friendly to her as if she was one of his handmaidens, though she was not like them. I think Ruth stood out and it was certain when you saw her in the field she was different. We know she was gracious in her speech. Ruth showed respect to the authority over her. We too, need to be different then the world around us sees us. Ruth was a child of God. I believe that it showed. I hope that when people see us they see a child of God. We are not of this world, so we must not act like it. I pray that people will see God in our actions and in our words.
"A word spoken in due season, how good is it!"
Proverbs 15:23

Friday, April 4, 2014

I Will Trust in the Covert of Thy Wings....Psalm 61:4

In Ruth 2: 8-13, we see how the Lord is honoring Ruth's vow of thy God will be my God. Ruth was led to glean in the field belonging to Boaz. In verse 8, Boaz tells Ruth not to glean in any other's field, to glean in his field only. Boaz instructs Ruth to stay by his maidens. Now, Boaz is a wealthy man, I am sure that he would not normally go out of his way encouraging the poor to glean in his fields. He not only tells Ruth to glean only in his field but, to stay by his maidens. The fields of others may have been close by and Ruth could wonder unknowingly into someone's field. Boaz wants Ruth to stay in his field, so he tells her to stay with his maidens following them into his fields gleaning where they glean.

Boaz not only wants her to have a place to glean, he also ensures her safety. In verse 9, Boaz charges or commands his men not to touch her. This is putting Ruth under his protection. Ruth was a widow and a stranger in this land. Ruth had no one to see that she would be safe from harm. Boaz is showing special attention to Ruth. Boaz also in this verse gives her permission to drink from the water that is for his workers. The water that is drawn from a well. This reminds me of  Genesis 24:18 when Rebekah offers water to the servant of Abraham, another wonderful story of love in the Old Testament. Boaz is going out of his way for the care and protection of Ruth, why? We know the answer to that in verse 11 & 12.

Ruth was not expecting such kindness from Boaz when she went to glean. She falls on her face, bows to the ground in front of Boaz. This was such a sweet humble way of showing respect and gratitude to Boaz. Ruth is humble, she was not expecting such kind treatment. The Jews were not on friendly terms with the people of Moab. She asks Boaz why?, why would he show such kindness and grace to her. I am sure that Ruth felt that she did not deserve or expect this great show of kindness to her.  Romans 5:8, tells us that," God commendeth His love towards us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us." Ruth was shown grace by Boaz, just as God has given us His grace thru Christ Jesus. Ruth was shown this great grace given by Jesus Christ thru Boaz's actions.

Boaz has a wonderful reply for Ruth. Boaz tells Ruth of all he has heard about her. He has heard wonderful things. Boaz tells how she has followed her Mother in Law and taken care of her. He has heard how she left her home land, her family, and her false gods. This is such a great testimony  for Ruth. I hope that when people talk about us we too, receive  such a good report. He goes on to say how she came to a land that she did not know. Boaz than states how the Lord has rewarded Ruth for her trust in the Lord God of Israel, under whose wings she is come to trust. 

Jesus in Matthew 23:37, " often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings.." Jesus would protect the people as He is protecting Ruth, however here they did not want Him. God wants to shelter us under His wings. Psalm 36:7, "How excellent is Thy loving kindness, O God! therefore the children of men put their trust under the shadow of Thy wings." I wonder if Ruth fully understood the care that God would give her when she put her trust in Him. Did she know that she would be under His wing of protection and care in such a great way.  Do we remember daily that as a child of God, we are under His wing of protection. When we are under God's care we are protected. God will be there for us what ever we face, like Ruth in a new county, a new home,and a life without a loved one. God is there with His wing around us, just like He was with Ruth.

"I will trust in the covert of Thy wings." Psalm 61:4, Will you put your trust in the cover of God's wings?

Thursday, April 3, 2014

In all Things Shewing Thyself a Pattern of Good Works..Titus 2:7

In Ruth 2:4-7 we are given a picture of Ruth, of who she is when others are watching. Later in the chapter, Boaz will comment on what he has heard and knows of her. I wonder do we think about what others see in us as we work and go about our daily lives, just as Ruth is gleaning in the fields.

In verse 4, Boaz comes to the field, we see that he is a godly man by the way that he address his workers with a salutation of blessing from the Lord. The workers reply with a blessing too, this tells us that Boaz was a good man to work for and respected by his workers. In verse 5, Boaz, notices Ruth, the bible doesn't tell why he notices her or by what means she stands out to him. Boaz asks his servant, "Whose damsel is this? Not who is she, but whose. This tells us he is looking to she to whom she belongs. In Bible times women were in the care of their fathers and husbands. He is wanting to know who she is but, does she belong to someone. The servant replies that, "It is the Moabitish damsel that came back with Naomi out of the country of Moab." Wow, could he have made it any plainer she is not one of them, a jew, she is Naomi's daughter in law. He goes on to talk about her. This may be his way of justifying way she is gleaning in the fields. Here is where we get a picture of Ruth.

The servant tells Boaz, that she asked permission to glean in the field. This shows that Ruth was respecting authority, yes, she had the Law in Leviticus 19:9-10: 23:22, given by God so that she had the right to glean. She was showing that she respected the land owners right to let her glean.  I wonder how often we take advantage at work. Do we just expect things because we work there, not asking for permission when we need something or do we say it will be ok, no need to ask.  We too, need to respect the authority that God has placed over us.  I hope that when people ask about us, they can say that we are respectful to those God has placed over us.

Ruth was not only said to be respectful, but a hard worker.  The servant tells Boaz that she has worked all day only stopping for a moment. We see that the servant is praising Ruth for being a hard worker. She is not complaining of the hard work, or gossiping with the others near by, or taking a coffee break every few minutes. Ruth is working hard gleaning barley by hand. It is back breaking job, up down, twisting what is not cut down. We see that Ruth knew she had a job to do, and she did it. What job do we have to do? Do we do it all for the glory of God?

I think Ruth was thankful, she knew God had given her a field to glean in. A field that she would be safe in and could work in peace. What job has God given you? Are you thankful for the job? Are you working hard at the job you have been given? If someone asked about you, would you be given a report like Ruth's a hard worker?

Galatians 6:9, "and let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not." Ruth will reap may blessings for her hard work. She praised for being a hard worker in these verses. We know that later God will let her reap many other blessings. I hope that we to, are hard workers for the Lord in all we do, that we too, can reap the blessings of the Lord.

I hope that like Ruth God can say about us, "In all things shewing thyself a pattern of good works", Titus 2:7.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

God Shall Supply all Your Needs

In chapter 2 of Ruth, we see two women in need. They have no one to provide for them and to meet their needs. Ruth tells Naomi that she will go and gleam in the fields. Ruth hopes to find grace by the owner of the field, because she is a moaditess, a stranger to the land.

In Leviticus 19: 9 - 10 : 23:22, we read how God has given laws to provide for the poor and the stranger. These laws instructed the reaping of the field.

"And when ye reap the harvest of your land, thou shalt not
make clean riddance of the corners of they field when thou
reapest, neither shalt thou gather any
gleaning of thy harvest: thou shalt leave them unto the
poor, and to the stranger: I am the LORD your God." Lev. 23:22
This law was God's way of providing for those in need. He did not create a system of just give them what they needed. They had to go and meet their needs by the way provided. God's word tells us if a man will not work, he doesn't eat. God will meet our needs, but we must meet Him half way.
Ruth goes to glean in the fields, she is a stranger and she is poor, thus meeting the law of gleaning.  God does not leave things to chance. God leads us in His path and in His timing. In verse 3 when the bible tells that she happens upon the field of Boaz. It was not by chance, God knew which field she needed to be in.  If Ruth went to another field would she have meet with grace to gleam in peace not fear? or even meet Boaz, her kinsman redeemer?
God leaves nothing to chance, when Ruth told Naomi in chapter 1, thy God will be my God. Ruth placed her life in God's hands, trusting in Him to care for her and to meet her needs. I would like to think that Ruth and Naomi prayed asking God to help Ruth go to the field that she needed to be in.
We  are like Ruth, there are times in our lives that God has lead us to the place that we needed to be. The place that might give us rest or to meet our needs. God has provided for us to, Paul tells us in Philippians 4:19, " But my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus."
God can only meet our needs if first like Ruth, we recognize Him as our God. To have salvation thru Jesus Christ. That is our greatest need our need of forgiveness of sin, only than can God meet our other needs.
God's love for Ruth is shown when she reaches the field of Boaz. God will meet her needs and Naomi's needs, because Ruth committed her self to Him. Psalm 37:5 tells us to, "Commit thy way unto the LORD; trust also in Him; and He will bring it to pass." We know that Ruth trusted in the Lord, and He did bring it pass, meeting her needs thru Boaz her Kinsman Redeemer.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Ruth 1:6-22, The Sad Return Home

In the verses here in Ruth we see the returning of Naomi to Bethlehem. She hears the Lord has blessed the people and the land with harvest. Naomi and her daughter in laws begin the journey.

Naomi tells us much in the fact that she calls Orpah and Ruth her daughters. This shows how they cared for Naomi. This is a testament of how we should be as mothers and daughter in laws. Naomi did not see loosing her sons to them, but gaining daughters. We need to treat our mother in laws or daughter in laws in the same matter. We need to see them as a gift of God. Someone who God places in our lives to enrich it and bless it.

Naomi knows that these two daughters of her have nothing wanting for them in Bethlehem. The levirate marriage law would not be entitled for them, they were not Jewish. They would face a life of widowhood and have no one to meet their needs. They would face a country that was not their own and people would might not welcome them. Naomi is thinking of them when she blesses them and entreats them to return to Moab in verses 11-13.

In verses 14 -15 we see three women crying in the road. This scene I once took so lightly, now I realize what was so important.  In verse 14, Orpah returns and Ruth stays. Let's take a moment to look ahead to Ruth 4: 21-22. These 2 verses tell of the genealogy of David, of whom Christ will be born. Look closely to who is David's great grand mother?? Ruth! What would have happened to this genealogy if Ruth return to Moab. If Ruth thought that it would be to hard to face life in Bethlehem?

In verses 16 and 17 we see an important decision here. We see a sevenfold decision.
  • Intreat me not to leave thee, or return from following after thee
  • Whither thou goest, I will go
  • Where thou lodgest, I will lodge
  • Thy people shall be my people
  • Thy God my God
  • Where thou diest, will I die, and there be buried
  • The Lord do so to me, and more also, if ought but death part thee and me

Wow, seven decisions Ruth makes, could we have made them knowing the place we are going to call home may not accept us. Ruth shows us her heart here. She is choosing to follow God at all cost. In Bethlehem, the only friend and family she will have is Naomi, she is facing a life of hardness and loneliness of widowhood.

When Ruth tells Naomi, thy God will be my God. Ruth is confessing into salvation. She is putting her trust and hope in the Lord Jesus. She even states where you are buried, I will be buried. The promise of life after death the blessed hope is what Ruth is trusting in. Ruth knows that no matter what, the almighty God is there for her and she will put her trust in Him alone.

The last decision  an oath that she makes, the Lord do so to me, and more is only stated in the bible a few times, 1 Sam. 14:44 ;20:13 and 1 Kings 19;2; 20:10. This is not a vow to take lightly, this is an oath before God. A oath that will not go unpunished. Ruth's decisions here gos from the present to eternity.

When Naomi and Ruth reach Bethlehem, the people ask if this was Naomi. I missed this in the past, people asked if this was Naomi, this is showing that she was known to the people, respected by them, maybe her husband had been of high consideration to the people.

Naomi tells the people to no longer call her Naomi, which mean pleasant, now, call her Mara, meaning bitter. Naomi's life has changed so much in a chapter, she looses her husband and sons. She left Bethlehem full and returns with nothing. Notice in verse 22, God still calls her Naomi, He has not given up on her. God has a plan for Naomi, how often are we like Naomi, and see the bitterness and hardness and forgetting that God is in control and has a plan for our lives. We know in just a few chapters ahead that Naomi will be pleasant again and blessed by God thru Ruth and Boaz.

Don't give up be strong like Ruth, trusting that God is in control. He will be there for you to comfort you, meet your needs, and care for you. Don't give up like Naomi thinking that God has forgotten you. God loves you and He has a special plan for your life.