The book of Ruth ends with a genealogy. The closing verses contain the word "generations" which in Hebrew is 'toledot'. A genealogy is a record of generations, and though we often gloss over them these words too, are breathed out by God and have been given to us for teaching, correction, training in righteousness to equip men and women of God for good works. We have been called to love the Lord our God with all our hearts, souls, strength and minds, and this study on the last 5 verses of Ruth invites us to do just that in its context; in them, we behold our loving God who includes and invites us to Himself through Jesus Christ.
This study picks up the story midway, after the nearer-redeemer relinquishes his claim to buy the land of Elimelech and his family.
In this study, we'll move on the book of Ruth to the final chapter of this book. Here, the theme of redemption, and the idea of a kinsman redeemer, which was previously mentioned, will take centre stage. Ruth 4 picks up from Ruth 3, as indicated by a well-placed "now" in Ruth 4:1. In chapter 3, we read of Ruth and Boaz's encounter in the field in the middle of the night. Ruth proposed marriage, but Boaz knew of a nearer redeemer who had the rights to redeem the land of Naomi's family. Boaz, a man of integrity, took pains to prevent any misunderstandings and scandals in the middle of the night, and promised to settle it immediately. He sealed his promise by sending Ruth away with a lot of barley discreetly (Ruth 3:15).
We're still in chapter 2 of Ruth. Through this study of Ruth, we learn another way of reading the Bible, that is that narratives can be read again and again with an emphasis on different themes. Today we'll read through Ruth 2, choosing to focus on God's grace through the kindness of Boaz.
In Ruth 2, we saw God's invisible grace in unseen ways, as well as visible favour revealing God's kindness in many different ways. In Ruth 3, we continue to see God at work, and we will see the theme of redemption unfolding a bit more. Chapter 3 tells us how God redeems in practical, day-to-day ways, and we experience His redeeming work daily. The book of Ruth helps us see and reminds us that God floods our seemingly mundane lives with grace. In Ruth 3:1-18, the various characters draw up plans and act on them. Perhaps one way to think of this passage is to ask the question:how do people touched by God's grace live their lives as part of God's redemptive plan? Let us first take a closer look at each character, the plans they came up with, and their motivations/reasoning.
This week, we take a little tangential detour from the main story, and focus on the inner workings of one our our key characters, Naomi.
In this study, we'll take a closer look at the theme of grace and favour in the narrative
Today's passage shows us three women - Naomi, Orpah and Ruth, and their reactions to calamity and suffering.
The Bible has many different genres -- prophetic literature, wisdom literature, narratives, historical accounts, epistles etc. Ruth is a narrative, and narratives, as we know has elements such as setting (including time and geographical location), characters (with names and relationships), themes, problems, etc.This introductory study on the first seven verses of this book helps establish the context of this book, and we will uncover more of the characters, themes and problems in the subsequent weeks!