ruth

 
 
 

On Sunday you were introduced to Ruth, the great-grandmother of last week’s character, David. Ruth’s story gets off to a rough start: she is a young, childless widow in a society that honors mothers and wives. She is also from Moab, a community that isn’t exactly getting along with Israel at this time. In more ways than one, Ruth is an outsider.

Along with her mother-in-law, Naomi, Ruth finds herself in Bethlehem after both women are widowed. In order to meet their physical need to eat, Ruth goes to the fields to take from the extra crops. This process is called gleaning, and is actually mandated according to Jewish Law (Leviticus 23:22, Deuteronomy 24:19), so the field owners would have intentionally left extras from their harvest for widows, orphans, and foreigners to glean.

The man who owns the field where Ruth gleans is named Boaz, and he takes special interest in Ruth, even though she could be seen as an outsider. After some time, Boaz marries Ruth and welcomes her into the family. Ruth is saved from poverty, brought into a close-knit community, and becomes a mother! Several generations later, her great-grandson David is the King of Israel. Several generations after that, Jesus is born in Ruth’s family line as well.

Ruth’s life is a powerful story of redemption, showing us God’s heart for the outsider.

 
 

Reflection

Ruth’s story is one that mirrors the Gospel’s unexpected grace and redemption in our lives.

Think through the past week or month. Where have there been moments of unexpected grace or redemption that God carried you through? Hold these experiences before God and express gratitude for God’s faithfulness to you.

 
 

S.O.A.P.

Psalm 86

1 Hear me, Lord, and answer me, for I am poor and needy.

2 Guard my life, for I am faithful to you; save your servant who trusts in you.

   You are my God;

3 have mercy on me, Lord, for I call to you all day long.

4 Bring joy to your servant, Lord, for I put my trust in you.

5 You, Lord, are forgiving and good, abounding in love to all who call to you.

6 Hear my prayer, Lord; listen to my cry for mercy.

7 When I am in distress, I call to you, because you answer me.

8 Among the gods there is none like you, Lord; no deeds can compare with yours.

9 All the nations you have made will come and worship before you, Lord; they will bring glory to your name.

10 For you are great and do marvelous deeds; you alone are God.

11 Teach me your way, Lord, that I may rely on your faithfulness;
give me an undivided heart, that I may fear your name.

12 I will praise you, Lord my God, with all my heart; I will glorify your name forever.

13 For great is your love toward me; you have delivered me from the depths, from the realm of the dead.

14 Arrogant foes are attacking me, O God; truthless people are trying to kill me—they have no regard for you.

15 But you, Lord, are a compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness.

16 Turn to me and have mercy on me; show your strength in behalf of your servant;
save me, because I serve you just as my mother did.

17 Give me a sign of your goodness, that my enemies may see it and be put to shame, for you, Lord, have helped me and comforted me.

 
 
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