Summary: The story of Ruth is more than just a simple love story: Boaz is a type of Jesus Christ, our Kinsman Redeemer.
THE STORY #9: RUTH AND THE KINSMAN REDEEMER
OPENING: Review Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy, Joshua and Judges.
• Ruth = one of only two books of the Bible named after women (the other = Esther).
• Ruth took place during the time of the judges, about 1,000 years before Jesus.
1. ACT ONE: FAMINE AND BITTER SUFFERING: Dramatized:
“1 In the days when the judges ruled in Israel, a severe famine came upon the land. So a man from Bethlehem in Judah left his home and went to live in the country of Moab, taking his wife and two sons with him. 2 The man’s name was Elimelech, and his wife was Naomi. Their two sons were Mahlon and Kilion. They were Ephrathites from Bethlehem in the land of Judah. And when they reached Moab, they settled there. 3 Then Elimelech died, and Naomi was left with her two sons. 4 The two sons married Moabite women. One married a woman named Orpah, and the other a woman named Ruth. But about ten years later, 5 both Mahlon and Kilion died. This left Naomi alone, without her two sons or her husband. 6 Then Naomi heard in Moab that the LORD had blessed his people in Judah by giving them good crops again. So Naomi and her daughters-in-law got ready to leave Moab to return to her homeland. 7 With her two daughters-in-law she set out from the place where she had been living, and they took the road that would lead them back to Judah. 8 But on the way, Naomi said to her two daughters-in-law, “Go back to your mothers’ homes. And may the LORD reward you for your kindness to your husbands and to me. 9 May the LORD bless you with the security of another marriage.” Then she kissed them good-bye, and they all broke down and wept.” (Ruth 1:1-9, NLT).
“But Ruth replied, “Don’t ask me to leave you and turn back. Wherever you go, I will go; wherever you live, I will live. Your people will be my people, and your God will be my God. Wherever you die, I will die, and there I will be buried. May the LORD punish me severely if I allow anything but death to separate us!” (Ruth 1:16-17, NLT).
• Names: - Elimelech means My God is King
- Naomi = delight / sweet and Ruth = friendship.
- Sons Kilion = sickness and Mahlon = consumption.
• It’s ironic that there was a famine in Bethlehem – as this name means “house of bread.”
• Elimelech took his family to Moab, a place of idol worshippers: The Moabites were born of an incestuous relationship between Lot and his daughter (see Genesis 19:37).
• This had disastrous consequences: He moved to Moab wanting to live, yet he died there!
QUOTE: “It is an evidence of a discontented, distrustful, unstable spirit, to be weary of the place in which God has set us, and to be for leaving it immediately whenever we meet with any uneasiness or inconvenience in it.” (Matthew Henry).
• His sons married Moabite women and later both of them died. They disobeyed God!
• The Bible is brutally honest about the pain and suffering we experience in our lives.
• God had told them to not marry foreigners. God doesn’t want Christians to marry (or date!) non-Christians: “Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers!” (2 Cor. 6:14).
• But we also see the providence of God: “The Lord had blessed His people.” (v.6).
• So Naomi has lost her husband and children, and she goes home to God and His people.
“19 So the two of them continued on their journey. When they came to Bethlehem, the entire town was excited by their arrival. “Is it really Naomi?” the women asked. 20 “Don’t call me Naomi,” she responded. “Instead, call me Mara, for the Almighty has made life very bitter for me. 21 I went away full, but the LORD has brought me home empty. Why call me Naomi when the LORD has caused me to suffer and the Almighty has sent such tragedy upon me?” 22 So Naomi returned from Moab, accompanied by her daughter-in-law Ruth, the young Moabite woman. They arrived in Bethlehem in late spring, at the beginning of the barley harvest.” (Ruth 1:19-22, NLT).
• After what Naomi went through, she was angry at God and blamed Him for her suffering.
• Could it be that they were experiencing the consequences of her husband’s actions?
• But: God still had a good plan for her life! Remember: it ain’t over, ‘til it’s over!
2. ACT TWO: GIRL MEETS BOY:
“Now there was a wealthy and influential man in Bethlehem named Boaz, who was a relative of Naomi’s husband, Elimelech. One day Ruth the Moabite said to Naomi, “Let me go out into the harvest fields to pick up the stalks of grain left behind by anyone who is kind enough to let me do it.” Naomi replied, “All right, my daughter, go ahead.” (Ruth 2:1-2, NLT).