Love’s Reputation: Ruth 2 (3)
Opening Prayer: Psalm 19.12-14
Who can understand his errors?
Cleanse me from secret faults.
Keep back Your servant also from presumptuous sins;
Let them not have dominion over me.
Then I shall be blameless,
And I shall be innocent of great transgression.
Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart
Be acceptable in Your sight,
O LORD, my strength and my Redeemer.
Sing Psalm 19.12-14
Read Ruth 2.8-13
1. How many ways can you see the grace of God at work in these verses?
2. How would you describe Boaz?
Although Boaz knew who Ruth was, she did not, at this point, know him. Yet she surely must have recognized him as the owner of the field. We can only wonder about what may have been rising within her as the great man approached. How the grace of God must have washed over her to hear the kind and encouraging words of Boaz.
Note his role as owner and caretaker: He admonished his young men not to trouble her (v. 9) – further emphasizing their need to observe the Law of God (cf. Deut. 22.25-27). And He cautioned her not to stray from his fields. He could not ensure her safety beyond the reach of his own authority. It was still the time of the judges, as we recall, and lawlessness rather than faithfulness was the manner of most. Boaz even went so far as to make his servants her servants, when he authorized her to drink of the water they drew for themselves
Ruth was astonished at the grace and generosity of Boaz, and she responded as a grateful person should, bowing and humbling herself before him (v. 10). But she learned from Boaz that the grace being shown to her was only what she should expect because she had come to shelter under the wings of the Lord (v. 13). She had forsaken her former life Moab; now she would know the love and care God’s Law provided for strangers and foreigners (Lev. 19.33, 34; Deut. 10.17-19).
Boaz encouraged her to expect more blessing from God in the days to come (v. 12), a foreshadowing of events about to ensue, but in ways neither Boaz nor Ruth could anticipate (Eph. 3.20).
Ruth’s was amazed at the love shown her by one who kept the Law of God. Her response was fraught with humility and gratitude. The transforming power of grace makes a community a refuge of caring, generosity, industry, kindness, and hope. Ruth had never experienced the likes of this before, and yet, indeed, greater blessings were to come.
Treasure Old and New: Matthew 13.52; Psalm 119.162
Where else would anyone want to be? Ruth had decided to seek refuge under the wings of God. We have the same decision to make. Where do we want to be?
“How precious is Your lovingkindness, O God!
Therefore the children of men put their trust under
the shadow of Your wings” (Ps. 36.7).
“For You have been a shelter for me,
a strong tower from the enemy.
I will abide in Your tabernacle forever;
I will trust in the shelter of Your wings” (Ps. 61.3,4).
“He shall cover you with His feathers, and
under His wings you shall take refuge;
His truth shall be your shield and buckler” (Ps. 91.4).
And Jesus said, “How often I wanted to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings…” (Matthew 23.37).
Where did Ruth want to be? Where do I want to be? Safely snuggled and sheltered under His wings.
“But to you who fear My name”
The Sun of Righteousness shall arise
With healing in His wings…” (Mal. 4.2).
1. In Boaz we begin to see something of a Christ-figure, one who by his character and conduct points forward to Christ. Explain.
2. In Ruth we see something of a Church-figure, one who symbolizes how the Church should respond to her Lord. Explain.
3. What can we learn from Boaz and Ruth about showing and receiving the love of God, according to His Word?
The blessing followed as Boaz said it would. For Ruth received the full reward from God, so that she was the progenitor of the blessing of the nations. Theodoret of Cyr (393-466), Questions on Ruth
Closing Prayer: Psalm 19.7-11
Thank God specifically for each of the attributes of His Law mentioned in these verses. Praise Jesus for fulfilling that Law and all its demands; and praise the Spirit, Who teaches and empowers us to live the Law of God (Ezek. 36.26, 27)
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.
T. M. and Susie Moore
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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).