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Blessed and Blessing

The dignity of God's Law. Ruth 2.4-7

Love’s Reputation: Ruth 2 (2)

Opening Prayer: Psalm 133.1, 3
Behold, how good and how pleasant it is
For brethren to dwell together in unity!
For there the LORD commanded the blessing—
Life forevermore.

Sing Psalm 133.1, 3
(Tryggare Kan Ingen Vara: Children of the Heavenly Father)
Behold, how sweet, how pleasant, when the brethren dwell together;
all in unity abiding find God’s blessing there presiding.

Read Ruth 2.4-7

Preparation

1. How is Ruth referred to in these verses?

2. What did the foreman say about her?

Meditation
Again, note the emphatic reminder of Ruth’s provenance. “Did I mention she was a Moabitess, you know, from Moab?” the writer seems almost to be saying. We’ll see why in due course.

In a workplace where the Law of God was honored and the favor of the Lord obtained, see, from their greetings, how all regarded one another (v. 4). The restoring grace of God was at work in the fields of Boaz. This is evident as well by the foreman’s willingness to allow the woman from Moab to join in the gleaning. He had no doubt this would meet with the approval of his master. Grace is contagious that way. Ruth, except for a short rest (v. 7), labored faithfully and tirelessly to gain the blessings she would share with Naomi. The blessings of God come as we work faithfully for them.

Boaz was indeed a wealthy man (v. 1), but not in material possessions alone. He was rich in the covenant blessing and favor of God, as is evident by his actions toward those who were in his employ. The grace of Boaz, fostered upon the framework of obedience to God’s Law, creates an environment of grace, safety, and prosperity for all with whom Boaz was associated, even though they were outsiders from an enemy nation.

In this setting, where the value of work is in view, we are reminded of one of the great redemptive themes of Scripture: God’s favor comes upon us in our famine of righteousness, and He bestows His favor without merit upon those He has chosen to redeem. From that point on, His Law provides the framework within which the redeemed of the Lord must work out the details and obtain the blessings of the salvation He has freely given.

Treasure Old and New: Matthew 13.52; Psalm 119.162
The Moabite from Moab. Indeed. But one who knew the Law of God.

Ruth was living by the Law and assumed that others were too. She was not wrong to think this; and was rewarded for her belief and her faith and her hard work.

We, like Ruth, are from a foreign land and need to be grafted into the opportunity for salvation. And God is able to graft us in (Rom. 11.23).

We, like Ruth, need to work out our salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who works in us both to will and to do for His good pleasure. And we, like Ruth, must do all this work without complaining or disputing (Phil. 2. 12-14).

Jesus says to the grafted in: “Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me” (Jn. 15.4). Ruth was blessed because of her belief and obedience to the Law. And she became a blessing. We are blessed because of our belief and obedience to the Law. And if we abide in Jesus, we too will be a blessing. Indeed, Moabites from Moab who love and live by God’s Law. Blessed.

Reflection
1. How was the grace of God revealed in the conversation between Boaz and his workers? How does Colossians 4.6 help us in thinking about our own conversations?

2. What did Ruth’s work of gleaning say about her?

3. Whom will you bless with your work and conversation today?

The pious and kind language between Boaz and his reapers shows that there were godly persons in Israel. Such language as this is seldom heard in our field; too often, on the contrary, what is immoral and corrupt. A stranger would form a very different opinion of our land, from that which Ruth would form of Israel from the converse and conduct of Boaz and his reapers. Matthew Henry (1662-1714), Commentary on Ruth 2.4-6

Closing Prayer: Psalm 133.2, 3
Think ahead to the people you will meet or be with today. Ask God now to give you grace to greet and relate to them with the love of Jesus.

Sing Psalm 133.2, 3
(Tryggare Kan Ingen Vara: Children of the Heavenly Father)
Like the precious oil of blessing flowing down on Aaron’s vestment,
God’s anointing rests forever here His people dwell together.

Like the dew of Hermon’s fountain falling down on Zion’s mountain,
so the blessing of the Savior dwells where unity finds favor.

T. M. and Susie Moore

Listen to our summary of last week’s study in Ruth by clicking here. You can download all the studies in the Ruth series by clicking here.

Check out the changes in The Ailbe Bookstore. Our workbook, God’s Covenant, can help you to see where the book of Ruth fits into the whole of Scripture’s story. Order your copy by clicking here.

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Except as indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. All quotations from Church Fathers from
Joshua, Judges, Ruth, 1-2 Samuel: Ancient Christian Commentary Series IV, John R. Franke, ed, General Editor Thomas C. Oden (Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 2005). All psalms for singing are from The Ailbe Psalter (available by clicking here).

T.M. Moore

T. M. Moore is principal of The Fellowship of Ailbe, a spiritual fellowship in the Celtic Christian tradition. He and his wife, Susie, make their home in Essex Junction, VT.
Books by T. M. Moore

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