Ruth 2:17-23

“Gospel” comes from the Latin translation of evangelion, or “good news.”

 

17 So she gleaned in the field until evening. Then she beat out what she had gleaned, and it was about an ephah of barley. 

18 And she took it up and went into the city. Her mother-in-law saw what she had gleaned. She also brought out and gave her what food she had left over after being satisfied. 19 And her mother-in-law said to her, “Where did you glean today? And where have you worked? Blessed be the man who took notice of you.” So she told her mother-in-law with whom she had worked and said, “The man’s name with whom I worked today is Boaz.” 
Ruth 2:17-18

“Where did you glean?”
“Where did you work?”

 

20 And Naomi said to her daughter-in-law, “May he be blessed by the Lord, whose kindness has not forsaken the living or the dead!” Naomi also said to her, “The man is a close relative of ours, one of our redeemers.” 
Ruth 2:20

 

But what does Naomi mean when she says that God has not abandoned his ḥesed toward the living and the dead?

 

Instead of despair, Naomi now has hope.

 

“When Naomi learns that Ruth has met up with Boaz, the sun rises again in her life. Yahweh has been gracious to her deceased husband and her sons by sending a potential “redeemer-kinsman” into their lives.”

 

Redeemer:
(1) To protect the property and ensure that it stays in the family
(2) To promote freedom by purchasing the freedom of any family member that has sold themselves into slavery because of poverty. (Lev 25:47–55)
(3) to avenge the family against any enemies (Num 35:12, 19–27); 
(4) to receive restitution money on behalf of a deceased victim of a crime (Num 5:8); and
(5) to ensure that justice is served in a lawsuit involving a relative (Job 19:25; Ps 119:154; Jer 50:34).

 

21 And Ruth the Moabite said, “Besides, he said to me, ‘You shall keep close by my young men until they have finished all my harvest.’ ” 22 And Naomi said to Ruth, her daughter-in-law, “It is good, my daughter, that you go out with his young women, lest in another field you be assaulted.” 23 So she kept close to the young women of Boaz, gleaning until the end of the barley and wheat harvests. And she lived with her mother-in-law.
uth 2:21-23

 

“Abraham and Sarah were as good as dead with respect to procreation when they received the promise of God.”

“…in hope believed against hope . . . he did not weaken in faith when he considered his own body, which was as good as dead, or when he considered the barrenness of Sarah’s womb” Romans 4:18–19

 

Blessed be the Lord . . . who has not forsaken his steadfast love and his faithfulness toward my master.”

 

“Then, suddenly, all of the young people were up out of their seats, screaming and shouting and crying, doing small dances, shaking clenched fists in triumph and exultation.”

 

Hope interrupted his despair

 

Sin is the gravity in our nature pulling us back into despair

 

God wants to interrupt our lives with the hope of the gospel!

Ruth 2:1-17

TEACHING NOTES

November 5, 2017
Ruth: The Story of a Faithful Redeemer | 2:1-17

Finding God’s favor | Reciprocating God’s Kindness

 

Ruth 2:1, “Now Naomi had a relative of her husband’s, a worthy man of the clan of Elimelech, whose name was Boaz.

 

Boaz means “I trust in the strength of God”

 

Ruth 2:2–3a, “And Ruth the Moabite said to Naomi, ‘Let me go to the field and glean among the ears of grain after him in whose sight I shall find favor.’ And she said to her, ‘Go, my daughter.’ 3 So she set out and went and gleaned in the field after the reapers…”

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Lev 19:9–10, “When you reap the harvest of your land, you shall not reap your field right up to its edge, neither shall you gather the gleanings after your harvest. 10 And you shall not strip your vineyard bare, neither shall you gather the fallen grapes of your vineyard. You shall leave them for the poor and for the sojourner: I am the LORD your God.”

 

God is kind to the marginalized; the poor and the foreigners.

 

Ruth 2:3b, “…and she happened to come to the part of the field belonging to Boaz, who was of the clan of Elimelech.”

 

Gen 6:5, “The Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.

 

Gen 6:8, “…but Noah found favor in the eyes of the LORD.”

 

Ex 33:17, “The LORD said . . . ‘you have found favor in my sight, and I know you by name.’”

 

Rom 3:23, “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God...”

 

Rom 3:23–24, “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.”

 

“Nothing in my hand I bring, simply to your cross I cling. Naked, come to you for dress. Helpless, look to you for grace. Foul, I to the fountain fly. Wash me, Savior, or I die.” -  Augustus Toplady

 

Ruth 2:4, “And behold, Boaz came from Bethlehem. And he said to the reapers, ‘The Lord be with you!’ And they answered, ‘The Lord bless you.’”

 

Ruth 2:5–7, “Then Boaz said to his young man who was in charge of the reapers, ‘Whose young woman is this?” 6 And the servant who was in charge of the reapers answered, “She is the young Moabite woman, who came back with Naomi from the country of Moab. 7 She said, ‘Please let me glean and gather among the sheaves after the reapers.’ So she came, and she has continued from early morning until now, except for a short rest.’”

 

Ruth 2:8–9, “Then Boaz said to Ruth, ‘Now, listen, my daughter, do not go to glean in another field or leave this one, but keep close to my young women. 9 Let your eyes be on the field that they are reaping, and go after them. Have I not charged the young men not to touch you? And when you are thirsty, go to the vessels and drink what the young men have drawn.

 

Ruth 2:10, “Then she fell on her face, bowing to the ground, and said to him, ‘Why have I found favor in your eyes, that you should take notice of me, since I am a foreigner?’”

 

Ruth 2:11–12, “But Boaz answered her, ‘All that you have done for your mother-in-law since the death of your husband has been fully told to me, and how you left your father and mother and your native land and came to a people that you did not know before. 12 The Lord repay you for what you have done, and a full reward be given you by the Lord, the God of Israel, under whose wings you have come to take refuge!”

 

Ruth 2:14–17, “And at mealtime Boaz said to her, ‘Come here and eat some bread and dip your morsel in the wine.” So she sat beside the reapers, and he passed to her roasted grain. And she ate until she was satisfied, and she had some left over. 15 When she rose to glean, Boaz instructed his young men, saying, ‘Let her glean even among the sheaves, and do not reproach her. 16 And also pull out some from the bundles for her and leave it for her to glean, and do not rebuke her.’ 17 So she gleaned in the field until evening. Then she beat out what she had gleaned, and it was about an ephah of barley.”

 

Boaz and his workers demonstrate obedience to God, which leads to reproducing the kindness of God.

 

Our sin nature inhibits us from reciprocating kindness.

 

Christ is both the greatest example and source of reciprocating kindness.

 

Do we care for the marginalized Ruths of our society?

 

Matt 25:31–46, “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on his glorious throne. 32 Before him will be gathered all the nations, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. 33 And he will place the sheep on his right, but the goats on the left. 34 Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. 35 For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, 36 I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’ 37 Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? 38 And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? 39 And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ 40 And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’ 41 “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. 42 For I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink, 43 I was a stranger and you did not welcome me, naked and you did not clothe me, sick and in prison and you did not visit me.’ 44 Then they also will answer, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to you?’ 45 Then he will answer them, saying, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me.’ 46 And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”

 

Do we create space for God’s kindness?

 

God’s kindness flows out from our obedience to his grace.

Ruth 1:19-22

Ruth 1:19-22

[19] So the two of them went on until they came to Bethlehem. And when they came to Bethlehem, the whole town was stirred because of them. And the women said, “Is this Naomi?” [20] She said to them, “Do not call me Naomi; call me Mara, for the Almighty has dealt very bitterly with me. [21] I went away full, and the LORD has brought me back empty. Why call me Naomi, when the LORD has testified against me and the Almighty has brought calamity upon me?”
[22] So Naomi returned, and Ruth the Moabite her daughter-in-law with her, who returned from the country of Moab. And they came to Bethlehem at the beginning of barley harvest. (ESV)

 “stirred” - “to hum, groan, be agitated, panic, be in an uproar, make a noise.”

“Is this Naomi?”

Naomi had left Bethlehem as “the pleasant one,” a strong woman in her prime, but she has returned as a worn and destitute old woman.

 

[20] She said to them, “Do not call me Naomi; call me Mara, for the Almighty has dealt very bitterly with me. [21] I went away full, and the LORD has brought me back empty. Why call me Naomi, when the LORD has testified against me and the Almighty has brought calamity upon me?”

 

Mara – “bitter”

 

“Everyone has pain, but God gives pain a purpose.”

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“Those who are consciously living a life of disobedience to God are not typically eager to defend and explain their faith to others! Yet isn’t it striking (and encouraging to us all) that even though at that moment she wasn’t looking out for Ruth’s spiritual interest, or even looking for God herself, Nonetheless God was still able to use her, in spite of her attitude, as a means to draw Ruth to himself? Fortunately, God’s mission to rescue sinners is not limited by our flaws, failings, and foibles! God will call to himself those whom he chooses, sometimes through the most bizarre messengers and unlikely combinations of circumstances. It is his work from beginning to end.”

 

Ruth is almost forgotten in verses 19–21 as Naomi’s bitter outburst “overwhelms and overshadows the eloquent pledge of commitment to Naomi by Ruth”

 

“God permits what he hates to accomplish what he loves.”

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OUR FAILURES DON’T HAVE TO BE THE END OF OUR STORIES

 

“If you think of this world as a place intended simply for our happiness, you find it quite intolerable. Think of it as a place of training and correction and it’s not so bad.”

-C.S. Lewis

 

“I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing to the glory that will be revealed in us” Rom 8:18

Ruth 1:8-19

8 “So she set out from [the place where she was with her two daughters-in-law], and they went on the way to return to the land of Judah. 8 But Naomi said to her two daughters-in-law, “Go, return each of you to her mother’s house. May the Lord deal kindly with you, as you have dealt with the dead and with me. 9 The Lord grant that you may find rest, each of you in the house of her husband!” Then she kissed them, and they lifted up their voices and wept. 10 And they said to her, “No, we will return with you to your people.” 11 But Naomi said, “Turn back, my daughters; why will you go with me? Have I yet sons in my womb that they may become your husbands? 12 Turn back, my daughters; go your way, for I am too old to have a husband. If I should say I have hope, even if I should have a husband this night and should bear sons, 13 would you therefore wait till they were grown? Would you therefore refrain from marrying? No, my daughters, for it is exceedingly bitter to me for your sake that the hand of the Lord has gone out against me.” 14 Then they lifted up their voices and wept again. And Orpah kissed her mother-in-law, but Ruth clung to her. 15 And she said, “See, your sister-in-law has gone back to her people and to her gods; return after your sister-in-law.” 16 But Ruth said, “Do not urge me to leave you or to return from following you. For where you go I will go, and where you lodge I will lodge. Your people shall be my people, and your God my God. 17 Where you die I will die, and there will I be buried. May the Lord do so to me and more also if anything but death parts me from you.” 18 And when Naomi saw that she was determined to go with her, she said no more. 19 So the two of them went on until they came to Bethlehem.”

 

Ruth experienced a love than binds and a love that transforms.

 

Why does Naomi not want her daughters-in-law to follow her to Judea? Israel just repented from sin; will their men take Moabite women as wives?

 

Does fifty miles really make a difference? Moselfränkisch v. Saarländisch

 

Phil 3:3–11, “worship by the Spirit of God and glory in Christ Jesus and put no confidence in the flesh— 4 though I myself have reason for confidence in the flesh also. If anyone else thinks he has reason for confidence in the flesh, I have more: 5 circumcised on the eighth day, of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; as to the law, a Pharisee; 6 as to zeal, a persecutor of the church (i.e., sin: lying, throwing people into jail, and murdering Christians); as to righteousness under the law, blameless. 7 But whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ. 8 Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ 9 and be found in him (i.e., salvation: faith in Christ’s work alone), not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith— 10 that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, 11 that by any means possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead.”

 

Phil 3:13–14, “forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.”

 

Ruth 1:7, “So she (Naomi) set out from the place where she was with her two daughters-in-law, and they went on the way to return to the land of Judah.”

 

Ruth 1:8–10, “But Naomi said to her two daughters-in-law, “Go, return each of you to her mother’s house. May the Lord deal kindly with you, as you have dealt with the dead and with me. 9 The Lord grant that you may find rest, each of you in the house of her husband!” Then she kissed them, and they lifted up their voices and wept. 10 And they said to her, “No, we will return with you to your people.”

 

The sadness of loss and separation is overshadowed by love and devotion

 

Ruth 1:11–14a, “But Naomi said, “Turn back, my daughters; why will you go with me? Have I yet sons in my womb that they may become your husbands? 12 Turn back, my daughters; go your way, for I am too old to have a husband. If I should say I have hope, even if I should have a husband this night and should bear sons, 13 would you therefore wait till they were grown? Would you therefore refrain from marrying? No, my daughters, for it is exceedingly bitter to me for your sake that the hand of the Lord has gone out against me.” 14a Then they lifted up their voices and wept again. And Orpah kissed her mother-in-law…”

 

“Logic dictates that the women ought to go back to maximally increase their odds to live long and prosper.”

 

Placing faith in our logic and emotion discounts our sin nature and that God’s perfect logic is inaccessible to us

 

"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God (John 1:1).”

 

“unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God (John 3:3).”

 

Ruth experienced love that transforms

 

“Then they lifted up their voices and wept again. And Orpah kissed her mother-in-law, but Ruth clung to her. 15 And she said, ‘See, your sister-in-law has gone back to her people and to her gods; return after your sister-in-law.’ 16 But Ruth said, ‘Do not urge me to leave you or to return from following you. For where you go I will go, and where you lodge I will lodge. Your people shall be my people, and your God my God. 17 Where you die I will die, and there will I be buried. May the LORD do so to me and more also if anything but death parts me from you.’ 18 And when Naomi saw that she was determined to go with her, she said no more.”

 

First, God’s love is seen in Ruth’s actions

 

Ruth was the better “Hebrew" than Elimelech because she placed her faith in God rather than take matters into her own hands!

 

Second, God’s love is seen in what has already taken place.

 

Heb. “kindly” = hesed

 

Paul Miller, “Hesed is a one-way love. Love without an exit strategy. When you love with hesed love, you bind yourself to the object of your love, no matter what the response is. Hesed is a stubborn love”

 

Exo 15:13, “You have led in your steadfast love the people whom you have redeemed; you have guided them by your strength to your holy abode.”

 

Third, God’s love is seen in his hesed that transforms.

 

Have you been transformed by God’s hesed love?

Ruth 1:1-7

“…the loveliest complete work on a small scale.”

“No poet in the world has written a more beautiful short story.”

“It deals with unimportant people and unimportant matters. But it deals with them in such a way as to show that God is active in the affairs of men. He works His purpose out and blesses them that trust him.”

Ruth 1:1-7 (ESV)
In the days when the judges ruled there was a famine in the land, and a man of Bethlehem in Judah went to sojourn in the country of Moab, he and his wife and his two sons.

2 The name of the man was Elimelech and the name of his wife Naomi, and the names of his two sons were Mahlon and Chilion. They were Ephrathites from Bethlehem in Judah. They went into the country of Moab and remained there.

3 But Elimelech, the husband of Naomi, died, and she was left with her two sons.

4 These took Moabite wives; the name of the one was Orpah and the name of the other Ruth. They lived there about ten years,

5 and both Mahlon and Chilion died, so that the woman was left without her two sons and her husband.

6 Then she arose with her daughters-in-law to return from the country of Moab, for she had heard in the fields of Moab that the Lord had visited his people and given them food.

7 So she set out from the place where she was with her two daughters-in-law, and they went on the way to return to the land of Judah.

Watch Judges Overview Video here

“Everyone did what was right in his own eyes” (Judges 21:25)

Bethlehem “House of Bread”

 

Moab began with one of Lot’s daughters

2 The name of the man was Elimelech and the name of his wife Naomi, and the names of his two sons were Mahlon and Chilion. They were Ephrathites from Bethlehem in Judah. They went into the country of Moab and remained there. 3 But Elimelech, the husband of Naomi, died, and she was left with her two sons. 4 These took Moabite wives; the name of the one was Orpah and the name of the other Ruth. They lived there about ten years,

Elimelech - “My God is King.”

“Elimelech’s very name should have given him pause. Yet it appears God is no more his king than those who live around him. For he did what was right in his own eyes and left his home.” 

“Instead of recognizing the famine to be punishment for the nation’s sin and repenting of their spiritual infidelity, they left their people and their land for the ‘unclean’ land of Moab.”

Naomi - “pleasant, lovely, or delightful.”

Mahlon - “to be weak or sick,”

Chilion - “failing, pining, or even annihilation.”

Ephrath

“They still rated their prospects more highly in Moab then in Judah; they felt more at home in the land of COMPROMISE than in the land of PROMISE.”

“The safest road to hell is the gradual one - the gentle slope, soft underfoot, without sudden turnings, without milestones, without signposts.” —C.S. Lewis

Orpah - “neck,”

Ruth - “to soak, irrigate, refresh”

“The author of Ruth is careful to use Moabite names, the names of foreigners, to stress that these were foreign women from a foreign land marrying into an Israelite family.”

5 and both Mahlon and Chilion died, so that the woman was left without her two sons and her husband. 

Tribe - Clans - Families

Levirate marriage

6 Then she arose with her daughters-in-law to return from the country of Moab, for she had heard in the fields of Moab that the Lord had visited his people and given them food. 7 So she set out from the place where she was with her two daughters-in-law, and they went on the way to return to the land of Judah.

The gospel tells us that we were all foreigners

“Many bear the label “Christian,” yet their Christianity has no real impact on life-defining decisions, just as Elimelech bore the name “My God is King” yet lived in a way that made it evident that God wasn’t his king at all. The roads we choose for ourselves often make our deepest commitments plain for all to see.”