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The Scriptorium

Content for Justice

The will of God is always best. Ruth 3.11-13

Ruth 3 (4)

Opening Prayer: Psalm 1.1, 2
Blessed is the man
Who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly,
Nor stands in the path of sinners,
Nor sits in the seat of the scornful;
But his delight is in the law of the LORD,
And in His law he meditates day and night.

Sing Psalm 1.1, 2
(St. Thomas: I Love Thy Kingdom, Lord)
How blessed are they that shun sin’s vain and wicked ways.
For them has Christ salvation won; He loves them all their days.

God’s Word is their delight; they prosper in its truth.
In it they dwell both day and night to flourish and bear fruit.

Ruth 3.11-13

1. What seems to have mattered most to Boaz?

2. What did he instruct Ruth to do?


Boaz showed his true character here by being more concerned for justice than for self-interest. What mattered to him was not that he get the girl, but that the girl get what God had in store for her, according to His Law. Boaz was a redeemer to Naomi and Ruth; but he was not the next in line for that privilege (v. 13). There was a closer redeemer, and he would have to be consulted concerning his wishes in the matter.

Boaz understood the primacy of justice over self-interest. Boaz also understood that the blessings of God are tied to obedience to His Law; this is the way redemption and restoration must proceed.

Boaz’ instructing Ruth to remain the night must have been entirely with her safety in mind.

It is interesting to note that Boaz used the same adjective to describe Ruth (חַ֖יִל chayil – “virtuous”) as was used to introduce him in Ruth 2.1 (where the NKJV translates it “great wealth”). The writer uses this device as a kind of foreshadowing of the direction of events. It is altogether right and good that two virtuous persons should be brought together in the justice and goodness of God’s Law, as worthy members of God’s covenant community.

Treasure Old and New: Matthew 13.52; Psalm 119.162
Justice is pervasive in Boaz and all his decisions. He is also keenly aware of Ruth’s vulnerability. His first words were, “do not fear” (Ruth 3.11). He might have sensed how odd this tradition felt, and wanted to assure her that he, nor anyone else, thought poorly of her.

They knew her reputation, and it was virtuous.

Justice from Boaz resulted in steadfastness toward Ruth and toward the Law. He promised to see this through to completion.

“What is desired in a man is kindness, and a poor man is better than a liar” (Prov. 19.22). Boaz would make sure that the truth of Ruth’s act would be clearly understood and that she had nothing to fear from him or the town. She could trust him completely; as could the other kinsman. Boaz’ intention to follow the Law was thorough and absolute.

We, like Ruth, can trust our Redeemer to care for us in the same way. “Be strong and of good courage, do not fear nor be afraid of them; for the LORD your God, He is the One who goes with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you” (Deut. 31.6).

1. What is justice? How does Boaz exemplify a Biblical approach of justice?

2. What makes someone a “virtuous” person? Is becoming more virtuous something we should desire? Explain.

3. How would you counsel a fellow believer to grow in justice and virtue?

What in one age or nation would be improper, is not always so in another age or another nation. Being a judge of Israel, Boaz would tell Ruth what she should do; also whether he had the right of redemption, and what methods must be taken, and what rites used, in order to accomplishing [sic] her marriage with him or another person. Matthew Henry (1662-1714), Commentary on Ruth 3.6-13

Keep me in the path of Your Law and all Your Word, O Lord, and I will…

Closing Prayer: Psalm 1.3-6
Pray that you will grow closer to the Lord and more fruitful in all your ways. Pray for the lost people in your Personal Mission Field. Ask the Lord for an opportunity to share the Good News with someone today.

Sing Psalm 1.3-6
(St. Thomas: I Love Thy Kingdom, Lord)
Firm planted on the banks of God’s great stream of grace,
they raise unending praise and thanks to His great glorious face.

The wicked are not so, but, driven by the winds,
they fall and perish, weighed with woe, when once God’s wrath begins.

In Jesus’ righteousness, though sinners fail and fall,
His flock He will preserve and bless, who on His favor call.

T. M. and Susie Moore

We’re in the process of moving, so our Scriptorium series on Luke will resume April 17. All the studies in Ruth are available for free in our bookstore by clicking here. Order a copy for yourself and a friend, and work your way through this great book together.

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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 the Champlain Valley of Vermont.
Books by T. M. Moore

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