This has been fun. Have my coffee. Let’s go.
Chapters Three and Four
Please take the time to read Ruth 3 and 4, if you have not. We are just considering the seasons in Ruth’s life and how she dealt with them, but this book is so wonderfully rich.
In Chapter 3 Naomi sends Ruth to ask Boaz to fulfill his role as Kinsman-Redeemer and he agrees, but first he must offer this role to a closer relative. Boaz assures Ruth if the closer relative will not redeem her, he will. Ruth tells all of this to Naomi and she says:
- She replied, “Wait, my daughter, until you learn how the matter turns out, for the man will not rest but will settle the matter today.”
Boaz meets with the other relative who declines to redeem Ruth. Boaz then performs the duties of the Kinsman-Redeemer as we see in:
Ruth 4:9-13, 17
- Then Boaz said to the elders and all the people, “You are witnesses this day that I have bought from the hand of Naomi all that belonged to Elimelech and all that belonged to Chilion and to Mahlon.
- Also Ruth the Moabite, the widow of Mahlon, I have bought to be my wife, to perpetuate the name of the dead in his inheritance, that the name of the dead may not be cut off from among his brothers and from the gate of his native place. You are witnesses this day.”
- Then all the people who were at the gate and the elders said, “We are witnesses. May the LORD make the woman, who is coming into your house, like Rachel and Leah, who together built up the house of Israel. May you act worthily in Ephrathah and be renowned in Bethlehem,
- and may your house be like the house of Perez, whom Tamar bore to Judah, because of the offspring that the LORD will give you by this young woman.”
- So Boaz took Ruth, and she became his wife. And he went in to her, and the LORD gave her conception, and she bore a son.
- And the women of the neighborhood gave him a name, saying, “A son has been born to Naomi.” They named him Obed. He was the father of Jesse, the father of David.
In these passages, what seasons do we see in Ruth’s life?
Ruth’s season of waiting, although a short one, must have been a nail-biter. From all you have read about Ruth, how do you think she spent this time?
What common thread runs through all of Ruth’s seasons of life?
Wow! What a story. In Chapters 3 and 4 you might come up with several answers to the first question, what seasons do we see in this time of Ruth’s life?
The big one I saw was waiting. I hate waiting. Ruth must have been pacing the floor waiting to hear if Boaz the kind and trustworthy man she had come to know would redeem her or would it be a stranger she didn’t know. Maybe, could it be, when Naomi told Ruth in verse 18 to wait until you learn how the matter turns out, she was quoting Genesis 49:18 to her?
“I wait for your salvation, O Lord.”
I see Naomi grabbing Ruth’s hands in her’s and pulling her to the couch. “Wait, my daughter, until you learn how the matter turns out.”
I have waited many years for some prayers to be answered and I am still waiting. Sometimes, I cry out with the Palmist: “My soul also is greatly troubled. But you, O Lord—how long” (Psalm 6:3)?
But then, I remember all the answered prayers and knowing that God is working all things for my good, I have learned to rest in God’s kind Providence.
We also see Ruth in the season of remarriage and motherhood. Ruth has learned that God provides redemption and restoration for those who trust and follow Him in good seasons and bad seasons.
Through all the seasons of Ruth’s life we see her fulfilling the vow she made to Naomi while still in Moab.
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.”
Marriage, Childlessness, Widowhood, Working, Caregiving, Remarriage, Motherhood
Through it all Ruth displays love and loyalty, commitment to the LORD and people, faith and trust in God that allowed her to lay down her life for others, and also enabled her to wait patiently for the LORD to work on her behalf.
This is a beautiful story with a happy ending. We sigh with relief when we know Ruth and Naomi are happily under Boaz’s care.
How do you survive in seasons of waiting? If you were in Ruth’s place would you be pacing the floor? Rush down to the city gate to see for yourself what was going on? Preparing a plan B?
Think about the season you are in now. What are your main concerns? What occupies the largest chunk of your thought processes? How does Romans 8:28 fit into your life?
Thinking about the future, what or who are you putting your faith in to get you to the great eternal season? Your good deeds or are you falling upon the mercy and grace of Jesus Christ and what He did for you on the cross?
William Cowper’s hymn, “God Moves in a Mysterious Way” fits so well with the book of Ruth. Sing it often.
God moves in a mysterious way
His wonders to perform;
He plants His footsteps in the sea
And rides upon the storm.
Deep in unfathomable mines
Of never failing skill
He treasures up His bright designs
And works His sov’reign will.
Ye fearful saints, fresh courage take;
The clouds ye so much dread
Are big with mercy and shall break
In blessings on your head.
Judge not the Lord by feeble sense,
But trust Him for His grace;
Behind a frowning providence
He hides a smiling face.
His purposes will ripen fast,
Unfolding every hour;
The bud may have a bitter taste,
But sweet will be the flow’r.
Blind unbelief is sure to err
And scan His work in vain;
God is His own interpreter,
And He will make it plain.