Realizing the presence, promise, and power of the Kingdom of God.
The Scriptorium

The Lord Repay

The Lord repays and completes our work in peace. Ruth 2

Love’s Reputation: Ruth 2 (7)

Opening Prayer: Psalm 34.1-3
I will bless the LORD at all times;
His praise shall continually be in my mouth.
My soul shall make its boast in the LORD;
The humble shall hear of it and be glad.
Oh, magnify the LORD with me,
And let us exalt His name together.

Sing Psalm 34.1-3
(Alleluia [Lowe]: Mighty God, While Angels Bless You)
I will bless the Lord at all times; I shall praise Him evermore!
My soul makes its boast in Jesus – Him we gladly all adore!
Refrain v. 3
Magnify the Name of Jesus! Let us lift His Name in praise!

Review Ruth 2; meditate on verse 12

Preparation
1. How many different ways does the grace of God appear in this chapter?

2. What promise did Boaz hold out to Ruth?

Meditation
Ruth 2 is one of the most precious and important chapters in the entire Old Testament. Consider all that’s happening here.

We are dropped down into a community of people devoted to following the Law of God, begrudging nothing, sharing everything, and blessing one another by their words and deeds. How many other chapters of the Old Testament are so lovely as this? How many churches could learn something from this?

Ruth 2 also shows us how grace stimulates us to good works of thanksgiving, which in turn bless the people around us. The grace Ruth showed to Naomi by her good work of clinging to her became a blessing to her as she was welcomed into the field along with the other gleaners. Word of her work of grace had already spread throughout the community, and this prompted Boaz to show her additional kindness. She did not take that grace for granted, but worked all the more diligently to bless herself and Naomi with an abundant harvest.

Here we also are shown two important “types” or “symbols” that instruct us today. Boaz demonstrates the redeeming and caring grace of our Law-fulfilling Savior, while Ruth typifies the Church’s appropriate response to that grace – thanksgiving, humility, and energetic labors of love.

Finally, this chapter provides a glimpse into life in the Kingdom of God, where righteousness is the character of the Kingdom, peace is the condition that righteousness brings about, and joy is consequence of all we do (Rom. 14.17, 18). The NKJV translation of verse 12 can be improved if we understand the verb, יְשַׁלֵּם, yishalem, as meaning “bring to completion” or even “perform” rather than “repay.”  One sense of this verb does mean “to reward”, but the more basic meaning is “to bring to completion, to complete or to perform.” Even, “to be at peace.”  It’s the verb from which we get shalom – completeness, soundness, welfare, peace.

Boaz extends the blessing of God’s rule over Ruth, calling on the Lord to bring all her good work to completion, and to perform it in and through her. She has more good work to do than what she has done thus far for Naomi. She will be the one through whom David is born, and ultimately, our Lord Jesus Himself. God will honor the blessing of Boaz and complete His good work in Ruth, bringing the righteousness, peace, and joy of His Kingdom to the world through Jesus Christ and His saving and redeeming work.

What a great chapter! And there’s more yet to come.

Treasure Old and New: Matthew 13.52; Psalm 119.162
To repay is to do or give something as recompense. The blessing is peace. A reward is a thing given in recognition of one’s service, effort, or achievement. Again, the blessing is peace. Boaz was calling on God to bless, reward, and repay Ruth’s hard work with peace.

This same reward of peace is available to us from the LORD God, under whose wings we too have come for refuge:

“Do not be afraid…I am your shield, your exceedingly great reward.”

“Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.”

“And whoever gives one of these little ones only a cup of cold water… shall by no means lose his reward.”

“Now he who plants and he who waters are one, and each one will receive his own reward according to his own labor. For we are God’s fellow workers.”

“And behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to give to every one according to his work. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End, the First and the Last. Blessed are those who do His commandments…” (Gen.15.1; Matt.5.12; Matt.10.42; I Cor.3.8, 9; Rev.22.12)

May the LORD repay your work, and bring it to completion; and may a full reward – God’s peace – be given to you as you work your Personal Mission Field for His glory and honor!

Reflection
1. To what work is God calling you today in your Personal Mission Field?

2. What “rest” awaits believers as their reward when all their work on earth has been completed?

3. How does your daily work for the Lord relate to the coming of His Kingdom on earth as it is in heaven?

Ruth humbly owned herself unworthy of favors, seeing she was born and brought up a heathen. It well becomes us all to think humbly of ourselves, esteeming others better than ourselves. And let us, in the kindness of Boaz to Ruth, note the kindness of the Lord Jesus Christ to poor sinners. Matthew Henry (1662-1714), Commentary on Ruth 2.17-23

Closing Prayer: Psalm 34.8-14
I encourage you to read this lovely psalm in its entirety. Then focus your prayer on these verses. Having tasted of His goodness in the story of Ruth, commit your day to Him, to trust and fear Him, depend on Him for all your needs, follow His guidance and teaching, and seek peace all around.

Sing Psalm 34.8-14, 3
(Alleluia [Lowe]: Mighty God, While Angels Bless You)
Taste and see how good is Jesus; blessed are all who in Him hide.
None shall lack for any blessing who in Christ will e’er confide.
Refrain, v. 3
Magnify the Name of Jesus! Let us lift His Name in praise!

Though the beasts succumb to hunger, all who seek Him all things have.
Listen, children, I will teach you how to fear Him who can save.
Refrain

Who loves life?  Who longs for goodness?  Keep your tongue from evil ways.
Turn to good, from wicked wand’ring; peace pursue through all your days.
Refrain

T. M. and Susie Moore

Listen to our summary of last week’s study in Ruth by going to the website and clicking on today’s Scriptorium column. 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).

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.
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