Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Book of Ruth ~ Intro

Ruth gleaning in the fields
Did you know I am in love with Esther and Ruth, two very special ladies from the bible? Well I am! I can't wait to meet them in heaven, they are like celebrities to me and I know they will be a joy to be with up there.

Last summer I did a bible study on Esther with the youth girls. We even had an Esther party! We dressed up like queens in fancy dresses, had a splendid meal and watched the Esther movie. It was a grand time!

Ruth has been on my mind a lot and I came across a verse yesterday at the post office on a thank you note.

May the Lord repay you for what you have done. May you be richly rewarded by the Lord, the God of Israel, under whose wings you have come to take refuge.

Ruth 2:12

Ruth was Naomi's daughter in-law who refused to leave her side after Naomi's last sons had died. Ruth was a Moabite woman. After Naomi, Ruth and Orpah had left to set on a journey to Judah, Naomi said to them " Go back, each of you, to your mother's home. May the Lord show kindness to you, as you have shown to your dead and to me. May the Lord grant that each of you will find rest in home of another husband." She kissed them and they wept aloud and said to her, " We will go back with you to your people." But Naomi said, "Return home my daughters. Why would you come with me? Am I going to have any more sons, who could become your husbands? Return home, my daughters; I am too old to have another husband. Even if I thought there was still hope for me - even if I had a husband tonight and then gave birth to sons - would you wait until they grew up? Would you remain unmarried for them? No, my daughters. It is more bitter for me than for you, because the Lord's hand has gone out against me!"

At this they wept again. Then Orpah kissed her mother-in-law good-by, but Ruth clung to her.

Look," said Naomi, "your sister-in-law is going back to her people and her gods. Go back with her."

But Ruth replied,"Don't urge me to leave you or to turn back from you. Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God. Where you die I will die, and there I will be buried. May the Lord deal with me, be it ever so severely, if anything but death separates you and me."

When Naomi realized that Ruth was determined to go with her, she stopped urging her.

Now that's love! Ruth really loved Naomi and it showed! I mentioned above that Ruth was a Moabitess. Moab and Israel were bitter enemies, and Ruth took a risk by emigrating to a land that might treat her as a despised foreigner. Ruth showed courage by gleaning in the fields, and her diligence soon attracted the foreman's attention, which was Boaz. Gleaning is where a poor person would go and pick up the harvest that was left by the workers, it was humiliating and dangerous, especially for a woman. In order for Boaz to marry Ruth, he had to go through a complicated legal procedure at the town gate, a public gathering place. The laws were designed to keep property in the family and to protect family members who might have suffered financial or other setbacks. As a distant relative, Boaz could purchase, or "redeem", Naomi's family property, but only after a closer relative, the "kinsman-redeemer" had declined. Along with the property, Boaz acquired marriage rights to Ruth, Naomi's relative.

I want to do Beth Moore's Ruth bible study really bad so if any of you ladies would be interested in doing an online study together that would be great! We could ask questions and take notes and learn about Ruth together. If anyone is interested please let me know!

I hope you enjoyed this little intro into the book of Ruth, she is quite fascinating!

~Gal Molly

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