Each week we LIVESTREAM the Lord's Day Sabbath School at 10a, Lord's Day morning public worship at 11a, and Lord's Day p.m. singing (3p) and sermon (3:45), and the Midweek Sermon and Prayer Meeting at 6:30p on Wednesday

Wednesday, December 11, 2019

2019.12.11 Hopewell @Home ▫ Ruth 2:18-23

Questions from the Scripture text: What did Ruth do with the 20 lb of barley grain that she had harvested and threshed (Ruth 2:18)? What did she do with her leftovers from lunch? What questions does this prompt from her mother-in-law (Ruth 2:19)? What does she assume that someone has done for Ruth? With whom does Ruth say she had worked? Upon whom does Naomi call to bless Boaz (Ruth 2:20)? Whom does Naomi say that the Lord has not forgotten? What information does Naomi now give to Ruth about Boaz? And what additional information does Ruth supply in Ruth 2:21? What is Naomi’s opinion of the situation (Ruth 2:22)? What does she tell Ruth not to let happen? How does Ruth respond to this advice (Ruth 2:23)?
Ruth has brought back quite a haul. Not only does she have around 20 pounds of freshly threshed barley grain, but she gives her mother-in-law her lunch leftovers. Naturally, Naomi would like to know from where all of this came. Surely someone has taken notice of Ruth (Ruth 2:19a)!

The news is better than Naomi had thought: Ruth reports that her benefactor was Boaz (verse 19b), which immediately calls forth exclamations of praise of Yahweh (Ruth 2:20). No longer does she speak of the Lord as smiting her, but rather remembering both her and her departed loved ones—probably, specifically, Mahlon or Chilion (we don’t know which had been Ruth’s husband!).

Why such a response? Because, as Naomi says at the end of verse 20, Boaz is their “close relative”—goel in Hebrew, “kinsman-redeemer.” Those in near enough relation to be called a goel had four responsibilities. (1) buy back any land that has been sold out of the clan (Leviticus 25:23-25), (2) buy back relatives who have become slaves by debt (Leviticus 25:47-49), (3) prosecute and avenge murder of any relatives (Numbers 35:16-19), and (4) marry a brother’s widow, if he died without an heir, so that their firstborn would be the heir of the brother (Deuteronomy 25:5-6).

It is this last duty of the redeemer that is most pertinent to Ruth and Naomi’s situation. Back in Ruth 1:11-13, Naomi had basically implied that no one back in Israel would ever do this for her daughters-in-law, sarcastically suggesting that she herself would have to remarry and have more sons for Ruth and Orpah. But now, Boaz, a relative close enough to be a redeemer, has shown favor toward Ruth!

Naomi urges Ruth to commit wholeheartedly to gleaning in Boaz’s field and not even meet anyone else. Ruth takes her advice, and stays for what would have been about three months of harvest. If this first day ended up being an average day, she could have harvested and threshed as much as 1500 lbs! This could have been sold for enough to make them quite comfortable, if not wealthy.

A Christian immediately recognizes his Redeemer here. The One who obtains for us all that we lost. The One who pays our debt and rescues us out of slavery. The One who has crushed the serpent’s head, and who avenges all wrongs done to us. And the One who is willing to take as His bride a church of those who are utterly disqualified—about whom the idea that one would have pity on her and marry her should have been laughable. And yet the Lord Jesus, our Redeemer, has taken us to Himself. Praise be unto the Lord, who has not forsaken His steadfast love to us in Christ!
Thinking of the four types of redemption that the goel was to do, in what ways have you personally needed Jesus do be your Redeemer? What has He done? Is He yours?
Suggested Songs: ARP183 “Under His Wings” or TPH265 “In Christ Alone”

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