Read Ruth 1 -- 4
In Today's Reading:
How did a Moabite widow get a book in the Bible named after her? We see a famine, a funeral, a field, and finally, a firstborn! What a thrilling story! This is a record of the first of three all-important trips to the little town of Bethlehem. Ruth and Naomi make the first. The prophet Samuel made the second (1 Samuel 16). Joseph and Mary made the last (Luke 2:4). Some of Scripture's most beautiful words of love and devotion are found here: Where you go, I will go; and where you lodge, I will lodge: your people shall be my people, and your God my God (Ruth 1:16).
Verses for Today:
Boaz said to the elders . . . I have bought all that was Elimelech's. . . . Ruth . . . I have purchased to be my wife . . . that the name of the dead may not be cut off from among his brethren. . . . So Boaz took Ruth . . . and she bore a son. . . . they called his name Obed: he is the father of Jesse, the father of David (Ruth 4:9-10).
Elimelech and Naomi move from Bethlehem to Moab because of a famine; Naomi returns with Ruth to Bethlehem; Ruth works in Boaz' field; the marriage of Boaz and Ruth; the genealogy of King David.
When Naomi spoke about her hopeless future to her daughters-in-law and urged them to remain in Moab, she was not aware that Boaz, her kinsman in Bethlehem, had become wealthy. But, no matter how bleak Naomi's future seemed, Ruth was willing to abandon her family, her country, and her false gods to go with her, saying: Your people shall be my people, and your God my God (Ruth 1:16). Ruth's loyalty to and love for Naomi and the One True God were richly rewarded.
Little could Naomi realize that God would use her to bring Ruth, a Gentile Moabitess, to Boaz, and thereby unite Gentiles into the ancestry of Jesus Christ, the Messiah! Praise God! Though the Lord had made a covenant with Israel, He did not deny salvation to the rest of the world. The marriage of Ruth and Boaz foreshadowed the declaration by the Apostle Paul that we are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus (Galatians 3:26).
The outcome of Naomi's bitter experiences and Ruth's destitute circumstances should give assurance to every despondent, defeated Christian. Out of even our most bitter experiences, God can perfect His will when we submit and commit to live for Him. Jesus still calls today: Come to Me, all you that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest (Matthew 11:28).
A Thought from Proverbs: Whoso despises the Word shall be destroyed: but he that fears the Commandment shall be rewarded (13:13).
Christ is portrayed as the kinsman-redeemer. Through Bethlehem, which means "house of bread (Ruth 1:19)." Jesus, the Bread of Life, satisfies the spiritual hunger of all who hunger and thirst after righteousness for they shall be filled (Matthew 5:6).
1:17 the LORD do so to me = may the Lord kill me; 1:20 Mara = the unhappy bitter person; 2:1 kinsman = relative; 2:2 glean = gather grain that was left by the reapers; corn = grain; 2:3 her hap was to light = she happened to come; 2:8 fast by = close by; 2:15 reproach her not = do not hinder, shame, or insult her; 3:4 mark = notice; 3:18 fall = what will happen; 4:1 the gate = the meeting place to transact legal or official business; 4:4 advertise = give notice, to inform; 4:5 thou must also buy it of Ruth the Moabitess = in order to redeem property your purchase requires, you must also take Ruth as your wife.
Government Officials: Rep. Barney Frank (MA), Rep. Greg Ganske (IA), Vice President Al Gore, Gov. Angus King, Jr. (ME), and Sen. Patrick Leahy (VT) · Pray for the missionary ministries · Country: Antigua and Barbuda (64,000) in the Leeward Islands of the eastern Caribbean · Major languages: English and local dialects · Religious freedom · 83% Protestant; 11% Roman Catholic · Prayer Suggestion: Remember that one of the purposes of prayer is to glorify God (Psalms 115:1).
Optional Reading: Acts 1
Memory Verse for the Week: Matthew 5:16