Notes: June 23, 2008 – Ruth 1 & 2

The Story of Ruth

What is the significance of this story about the childless Moabite widow who travels with her widowed Israelite mother-in-law back to Israel and, subsequently, marries an Israelite man with whom she has a son?

Precisely this: That son goes on to have a grandson named David; and David becomes the second king of Israel, and, more importantly, ancestor to Jesus of Nazareth (Ruth 4:17; Matthew 1:5).

Introducing Ruth to Naomi (Chapter 1)

  • A famine leads Elimilech to move his family to Moab (1-2)
  • After their father’s death, the sons marry local girls; but the men die childless, having lived in Moab about 10 years (3-6).
  • Naomi releases the younger widows from any real or imagined obligation to support her; her intent is to move back to Israel (7-13).
  • Ruth, alone, insists on accompanying her mother-in-law; and Ruth is fully aware of the spiritual and cultural implications (14-18).
  • They arrive at Bethlehem in the spring, at the time of the barley harvest (19-22).

Introducing Ruth to Boaz (Chapter 2)

  • With no visible means of support, Ruth volunteers to go out and glean; and she happens upon the fields of Naomi’s relative Boaz (1-3).
  • Boaz, a man not only of wealth but also of character and spiritual discernment, takes an interest in Ruth (4-7).
  • Moreover, he opens the way for her to be secure and successful in her gleaning (8-16).
  • Naomi, upon hearing of Ruth’s day, thanks God for His providence; and she encourages Ruth to continue working in the fields of Boaz (17-23).

Meditation Points:

  1. Ruth is converted to the God of Israel through her relationship with Naomi. How different from the Moabite women of Balaam’s day who brought judgment upon Israel by their marriage to Israelite men!
  2. There were two daughters-in-law.  What became of the other one? One choice can change the direction of our entire life.
  3. What would you be willing to do to save your family from famine? from hell?
  4. How many men are like Boaz in their concern for the safety and well-being of others?