Love’s Reputation: Ruth 2 (6)
Opening Prayer: Psalm 19. 7-11
The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul;
The testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple;
The statutes of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart;
The commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes;
The fear of the LORD is clean, enduring forever;
The judgments of the LORD are true and righteous altogether.
More to be desired are they than gold,
Yea, than much fine gold;
Sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb.
Moreover by them Your servant is warned,
And in keeping them there is great reward.
Sing Psalm 19.7-11
(St. Christopher: Beneath the Cross of Jesus)
The Law of God is perfect, His testimony sure;
The simple man God’s wisdom learns, the soul receives its cure.
God’s Word is right, and His command is pure, and truth imparts;
He makes our eyes to understand; with joy He fills our hearts.
The fear of God is cleansing, forever shall it last.
His judgments all are true and just, by righteousness held fast.
O seek them more than gold most fine, than honey find them sweet;
Be warned by every word and line; be blessed with joy complete.
Read Ruth 2.20-23
1. Why did Naomi bless Boaz unto the Lord?
2. What did Ruth do after talking with Naomi?
The story line accelerates, as we hear in Naomi’s response the first suggestion of a possible linkage – more formal – with Boaz. He a “relation” (v. 20) and was showing kindness to the women by being kind not only to them but to her dead husband as well.
Ruth seemed excited by Naomi’s enthusiasm, and offered a little more evidence of Boaz’ kindness (v. 21). Naomi’s response, “It is good”, echoes God’s comments in Genesis 1 concerning His work of creation. “It is good” – it is pleasing to the Lord – for this to develop further, for Ruth to glean in Boaz’ fields, for the two of them to be there, for God’s favor to be abounding to them, and for His blessing to be returning to Boaz.
The idea of the “kinsman-redeemer” (v. 4, the NKJV has “close relative”) has its roots in the Law of God (cf. Num. 27.8-11; Deut. 25.5-10); but this practice antedated the giving of the Law (cf. Gen. 38). In a very real sense, we can say that God provides redemption for His people through the faithful keeping of His Law. Jesus Christ is the ultimate “kinsman-redeemer” for He alone, as Son of God, kept the Law perfectly, thus fulfilling all the righteousness, and bearing all the judgment, that the people of God require to be redeemed and restored to Him (Matt. 5.17-19; Rom. 3.21-26).
The mention by Naomi of the word, “good,” is not accidental. The writer wants us to know that this situation, in which the Moabite woman is about to be received as full-fledged member of the covenant community, is entirely in line with God’s purposes and according to His plan. Why this matters so much will become clear as we discover the real purpose of this book.
Treasure Old and New: Matthew 13.52; Psalm 119.162
God’s kindness was shining forth through God’s people. And this kindness was directed towards a foreigner, a stranger, a person not of their region or religion. And this kindness, that started with Naomi and Ruth, continued through a “kinsman-redeemer”, his workers, and seemingly the entire town. The whole of Psalm 117 reflects on this theme:
“Praise the LORD, all you Gentiles!
Laud Him, all you peoples!
For His merciful kindness is great toward us,
And the truth of the LORD endures forever.
Praise the LORD!”
We, as God’s foreign and strange people long to praise Him perfectly for His great kindness toward us. We rejoice in telling others of His truth, and we greet with grateful hearts the opportunity to praise and thank Him for saving us; and to show this same kindness to others who need to experience God’s kindness through us.
It is good that Naomi, Ruth, Boaz and all the people did this. It is good that we do it.
Praise the LORD!
1. God’s grace is communicated through everyday acts of kindness. What opportunities for sharing such grace will you have today?
2. How should we think about the idea of “good” with respect to our Personal Mission Field?
3. Again, Boaz appears as a figure of Christ. Explain.
When the Lord deals bountifully with us, let us not be found in any other field, nor seeking for happiness and satisfaction in the creature. We lose Divine favors, if we slight them. Ruth dutifully observed her mother’s directions. And when the harvest was ended, she kept her aged mother company at home. Matthew Henry (1662-1714), Commentary on Ruth 2.17-23
Closing Prayer: Psalm 19.12-14
Wait on the Lord in prayer. Ask Him to reveal any sins lingering in your soul; confess and repent accordingly. Then ask the Lord to show you what you can do to bring His goodness to light in the land of the living today.
Sing Psalm 19.12-14
(St. Christopher: Beneath the Cross of Jesus)
Who, Lord, can know his errors? O keep sin far from me!
Let evil rule not in my soul that I may blameless be.
O let my thoughts, let all my words, before Your glorious sight
be pleasing to You, gracious Lord, acceptable and right!
Sing Psalm 117
(Lauda Anima: Praise, My Soul, The King of Heaven)
Praise the Lord! All nations, praise Him! Magnify Him, peoples all!
He is great, His steadfast love keeps all who on His favor call!
Evermore His faithfulness will bless His people, great and small!
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.
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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).