Passionately Pursuing GOD: RUTH

~She allows her struggles to make her stronger and she never loses faith. She loves God so fiercely, she is wise and determined. She will not fail even when the odds are against her.

She is RUTH.

The book of Ruth is one of my uttermost favorite books of the Bible. There is something remarkable about women in the Bible. Their stories radiate goodness through tragedy. Their stories give us wisdom and make us feel powerful or at least they make me feel this way 🙂

RUTH CHAPTER 1

Elimelech, his wife Naomi, and their two sons Mahlon and Kilion, went to live for a while in the country of Moab. Moab is the land of Jordan. They moved from Bethlehem of Judah because of a famine in the land. Elimelech died soon after which left Naomi with her two sons. Both of the sons married two Moabite women, Orpah and RUTH.

Ten years after moving there and settling in, both sons/husbands died, leaving Naomi, Orpah and Ruth childless widows. Naomi had heard in Moab that the Lord had come to aid his people and he had provided food for them. Naomi along with her two daughter-in-laws prepared to return home to the land of Judah. These women were going to make the long journey into the unknown until Naomi told Orpah and Ruth that they needed to return to their mother’s home.

Ruth and Orpah had shown Naomi great kindness during the deaths of their husbands. Naomi wanted them to return so that they could move on with their lives and find rest in the home of another husband. Naomi begged them to return. Due to losing her own husband and her two sons, Naomi had become bitter. Orpah listened to Naomi, wept and kissed her good-bye.

But Ruth clung to Naomi and said “Don’t urge me to leave you or to return back from you. Where you go I go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God will be my God.” (RUTH 1:16-17)

Ruth did not go back to what was familiar. She stepped out in faith and walked into the unknown. The circumstance that she had faced could have made her bitter like Naomi. She lost her husband and now had made the choice to move off somewhere she had never been. It would have been so much easier to return home to her mother. Her courage brought her into her divine destiny. ! Ruth had no idea at that moment what God had in store for her. But she trusted and she passionately pursued God. 

Never look back…follow God and move forward..

Have you ever become bitter like Naomi after something tragic in your life?

Has God ever asked you to step out into faith and walk into the unknown?

RUTH CHAPTER 2

Naomi and Ruth arrive in Bethlehem during the harvest and Ruth begins working in the field of the Kinsman-redeemer, Boaz of the Elimelech clan. Boaz was Naomi’s relative on her husband’s side. Boaz asked the foreman of the harvesters “Whose young woman is that?” The foreman replied, “She is the Moabitess who came back from Moab with Naomi.” Ruth was a hard worker and her hard work had not gone unnoticed. Boaz spoke to Ruth saying “My daughter, listen to me, don’t go and collect grain in another field. Watch the field where the men are harvesting, and follow along after the girls.” Boaz told the other men not to touch her and that she could drink from the water jars anytime she was thirsty. This was a great honor. Ruth replied by bowing down to Boaz with her face to the ground and asking Boaz why he had found “favor in her eyes” because she was indeed a foreigner.

Boaz explains to Ruth that he had been told of her kindness towards her mother-in-law since the death of her husband and how she left her father and mother to come to a land that she was unfamiliar with. He tells Ruth, “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 taken refuge.” “May I continue to find favor in your eyes, my Lord, Ruth replied.” (RUTH 2:11-13)

So whenever you feel like your hard work is going unnoticed, or you feel like nobody sees all the kind things you do for others, God favors you and sees all that you do. You will be greatly blessed. Continue to be kind and continue to work hard and others will notice as well. If you are single, your Boaz is waiting for you. Love yourself and passionately pursue God. Keep sowing those seeds of hard work and kindness and your Boaz will soon find you. Step out into the unknown and see what God WILL do.

RUTH CHAPTER 3 & 4

Image result for winnowing barley on the threshing floor meaning

Ruth and Naomi were very close and Naomi wanted nothing more other than to see Ruth happy and prospering with a new husband. Noami asked Ruth, “My daughter, should I not try and find you a home, where you will be provided for?” Is not Boaz, a kinsman of ours? Tonight he will be winnowing barley on the threshing floor.

Boaz was a kinsman-redeemer, that meant that he was a male relative who according to various laws, had the privilege or responsibility to deliver or rescue a relative in danger, trouble or need. He was a relative of Naomi’s late husband, Elimelech. Naomi is meaning with this statement that maybe Boaz can find someone for Ruth, so she can finally stop working so hard and be provided for. Naomi states also that Boaz will be “winnowing” barley on the threshing floor tonight and that Ruth should go to him.

 Image result for winnowing barley on the threshing floor

 

A threshing floor is a smooth, flat surface that was used in the process of harvesting grain. Before there was machinery, farmers used a threshing floor to separate the grain from the chaff. The harvested produce would be spread over the threshing floor and then animals (cattle or oxen) would be led by it, to crush and break the sheaves apart with their hooves. At times, people used sticks to beat the sheaves apart (Ruth 2:17; Isaiah 28:27). The grain would be separated from the husks, or chaff (Deuteronomy 25:4; Isaiah 28:28) and then tossed into the air so that the wind could blow the chaff away, leaving only the good, edible grain. This was called “winnowing.”

A threshing floor is important in the biblical story of Ruth and Boaz. In those times, if a woman’s husband died, it was very difficult for her to survive on her own, and very often, the woman would be “redeemed” by her husband’s nearest kinsmen (Leviticus 25:25; Ruth 2:20). Ruth was encouraged by her mother-in-law, Naomi, to go down to the threshing floor where Boaz was winnowing barley. She was to wait until he had finished eating and drinking and was lying down for the night, and then uncover his feet and lay down at his feet, for this was a symbol of her desire to be redeemed by Boaz (Ruth 3:1-18). The connection between the kinsmen redeemer and the threshing floor in this story is likely not incidental.

Naomi tells Ruth to perfume herself, put on her best clothes and wait until Boaz finishes eating and drinking before she goes to him that night. Ruth is to note where he is lying, go to him and uncover his feet.

Image result for ruth lying at boaz feet

Boaz is startled during the night and he turned to discover a woman at his feet. “Who are you?” he asked. “I am your servant Ruth,” she replies. “Spread the corner of your garment over me, since you are a kinsman-redeemer.

By Ruth “lying” at Boaz’s feet, this was significant because it showed Boaz that Ruth was “submitting” herself to him.  This was not meant as a sexual gesture, so please do not get that confused. Both Ruth and Boaz were people of utmost virtue and dignity. In the culture of that day, this was understood as an act of total submission.

Naomi wisely counseled Ruth to not come as a victim demanding her rights, but as a humble servant, trusting in the goodness of her kinsman-redeemer. She said to Boaz, “I respect you, I trust you, and I put my fate in your hands.” Naomi was also a woman of God and would not have persuaded Ruth to come to Boaz in a seductive manner. Servants in that time would go to their master’s feet, showing submission to their commands. That is why Ruth did what she did. She showed Boaz a great kindness by submitting herself to him and in return, he gave her six measures of barley to be brought back to Naomi. Boaz was also attracted to Ruth because of her character. We don’t really know how Ruth looked, but we do know that she was a woman of godly character.

This just goes to show you that “GODLY” character outweighs outward appearance 10-1. God does not look at your outward appearance to determine his love for you, he looks at your heart. Having the characteristics of a virtuous woman is one of the greatest gifts to have. You do not need to dress provocatively to try and impress a man. A godly man will love you for your relationship with God. Boaz fell in love with Ruth due to her kind demeanor and her willingness to work hard. Ruth showed power in her generosity and her passion for pursuing God and not man. 

Boaz and Ruth were soon married and she bore a son thereafter and they named him Obed. Obed was the father of Jesse, the father of David.  

The story of Ruth & Boaz is a beautiful love story of God’s great love for all of us. A wise godly woman does not settle for less because she is lonely. She know’s God’s best for her requires sharing the same level of faith and that you both have compatible dreams, goals, visions, and callings. It means being on the same page concerning your destiny. Your soulmate will bring out the best in you and you in them. Your ultimate goal together should be to please God.

A modern day “Ruth” is a woman who has experienced great loss and pain, yet she remains loyal and faithful no matter what to God. She finds her strength in God alone. She keeps working hard toward her goal in spite of things that try to get her off course. We all need to let go of things that did not work out for us and walk toward our true destinies. Ruth ended up with a divine blessing because she was humble, kind and patient. She did not try to find a man on every corner to love her. She trusted in God’s pure love to lead her to the man that God so desired for her. 

We all need to let go of things that did not work out for us and walk toward our true destinies. Ruth ended up with a divine blessing because she was humble, kind and patient. She did not try to find a man on every corner to love her. She trusted in God’s pure love to lead her to the man that God so desired for her. 

So if you are struggling today, trust God with your whole heart! Study these verses and see how God worked miraculously through Ruth. You are strong women of God and God has a plan for you. So Passionelty Pursue him…

HAVE A BLESSED DAY YALL 🙂

 

 

 

K.D. RUSSELL

4 thoughts on “Passionately Pursuing GOD: RUTH”

  1. Thank you for this study! I’ve always liked the book of Ruth, but I never really thought about how I am like a modern day “Ruth.” I have not experienced losing a husband or close family members (other than grandparents), but I have experienced loss. I am still experiencing loss – though my deteriorating sight due to a genetic disorder. I still struggle with it, but I am choosing to find joy and live a fulfilling life through Jesus Christ. It is through Him that I am able to be joyful in my affliction!

    1. Thank you so much for reading and commenting! Sending sweet prayers your way through your journey with your deteriorating sight. It is so hard at times to find joy when you are going through tough situations, but God always provides everything we need!!

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