I Want to Learn about Biblical Dating & Marriage - Where Should I Start? The Book of Ruth!
- 2018 4 Apr
The following is a transcribed Video Q&A, so the text may not read like an edited article would. Scroll to the bottom to view this video in its entirety.
The Book of Ruth is one of my favorite books to preach and to teach to teenagers because it is this inspired love story by God. He is actually giving us a glimpse and a peek into when all the craziness is happening through the book of Judges, when everybody is doing right in their own eyes and this one judge has to sweep in, used by God to save the people, in the midst of all that in the time of the judges is this love story. This love story is no fairytale whatsoever. This love story of course starts out with Naomi who is a widow, and then goes onto with Ruth and with Orpah who become widows. It's this story that is birthed out of despair and depression and brokenness and loss. That connects with people so much today because everyone is looking for that fairytale but they can't find it except for on a screen because of all the different background and baggage and past that they've already gone through.
Where we see that God is doing this through the book of Ruth is you see an unbelievable loyalty when Ruth is saying "I want to be loyal to my mother-in-law. I want to stick with her. Her God will be my God. Where she goes will be my home. Her people will be my people. Her life will be my life." Then in the midst of that loyalty as God is blessing Ruth because of her submission to the authority in her life, God then brings in a man, Boaz, into her life.
In the first glimpse in instance we see of Boaz is he is a boss. He's a leader. He has people that are working under him. Even when he enters into his workplace all the people say of Boaz, "May the Lord bless you." They care about him. They appreciate him. He fires back at them, "And may the Lord bless you too." The very first thing that Ruth notices about him is how much he cares for the people that serve under him. He doesn't take advantage of them. He takes care of them.
In the same way we get to watch in the story how Boaz takes care of Ruth. He doesn't take advantage or Ruth, because he truly cares about her. He is a godly man of intense integrity. We see going through here that they are getting to know each other. Even in Ruth three we see as Ruth approaches him on this threshing floor, something that prostitutes would do back then with these tired, drunk men that would go to bed in this evening before they would get up to another long day of work. Ruth goes and she just lays at his feet and she does not try to seduce him. Instead, she submits to him and she basically says, "If you want to marry me, if you want to ask me to marry you, I will say yes."
Even in protecting her he says, "I don't want you to leave this spot. It's dangerous if you leave tonight. I want you to stay here and I will protect you." I love this, "Not only from the world, not only from harm, but I'm going to protect you from my own selfishness and sin. You lay at my feet where you will be safe."
Then the next morning we know that she goes back and he provides not only for her, but for her mother-in-law. Then knowing that he's not the next in line for Ruth, so he goes up to the man at the city gate the next day and says, and it is very shrewd of the way that he does it. He paints a picture that is true, but in a way that he is winning Ruth for himself. He says, "If you choose to have her, then you're going to get this mother-in-law as well, who is depressed and bitter and all of this." The guy says, "Well, I don't any part of that. Why don't you take her?" "Well, I'd be glad to have her."
Then we see how even in the midst of all the craziness and chaos of the judges, God's not just writing a love story, but he's writing the lineage, the story of Jesus as we see that this is a part of the family line of Jesus who is to come. How the gospel story fits into this love story as it does, as it should, in every marriage, in every marriage that brings glory to God.