This is the sixth and final message of a six-part series by Pastor Greg Scott of Waikoloa Community Church in Waikoloa, Hawai’i. This is the origin story of Ruth, a legendary hero of the faith.
ALL OF OUR LEGENDARY HEROES OF THE FAITH
1) Had a personal, faith-based relationship with God.
2) Obeyed God rather than his own will or the will of others.
3) Trusted God to do the impossible.
But Ruth said, “Do not urge me to leave you or turn back from following you; for where you go, I will go, and where you lodge, I will lodge. Your people shall be my people, and your God, my God. Where you die, I will die, and there I will be buried. Thus may the Lord do to me, and worse, if anything but death parts you and me.” ~ Ruth 1:16-17
FOUR DECISIONS MADE BY RUTH
1) She is committed to supporting Naomi.
2) She is becoming a Judean.
3) She is choosing Yahweh as her God.
4) She is making these commitments for life.
The custom of allowing the poor to follow the paid harvesters in the field
and pick up any fallen spears of grain after the harvest to keep for themselves
May the Lord reward your work, and your wages be full from the Lord, the God of Israel, under whose wings you have come to seek refuge. ~ Ruth 2:12
Go EL (Hebrew) ~ Kinsmen Redeemer (English)
The closest relative of a man who has died. He will marry the widow, provide for her, and their offspring will be known as the heirs of the relative who died rather than the Kinsman Redeemer’s heirs.
He said, “Who are you?” And she answered, “I am Ruth your maid. So spread your covering over your maid, for you are a close relative.” ~ Ruth 3:9
Then the women said to Naomi, “Blessed is the Lord who has not left you without a redeemer today, and may his name become famous in Israel. May he also be to you a restorer of life and a sustainer of your old age; for your daughter-in-law, who loves you and is better to you than seven sons, has given birth to him.” Then Naomi took the child and laid him in her lap, and became his nurse. The neighbor women gave him a name, saying, “A son has been born to Naomi!” So they named him Obed. He is the father of Jesse, the father of David. ~ Ruth 4:14-17
THE GRANDFATHER OF KING DAVID
One Who Serves In Worship (English)
ALOHA GROUP DISCUSSION QUESTIONS
READ: Ruth 1:16-17
1) How would you describe Ruth’s level of commitment to her mother-in-law Naomi?
2) Do you see why Pastor Greg says many marriage couples enjoy having this passage read at their wedding even though it is originally a commitment to a mother-in-law?
3) Have you ever had a relationship that was built on that level of supreme commitment? Was it one-sided or was it mutual?
4) What might the body of Christ look like if we could all make this level of commitment to each other? Is that possible in our current world? Why or why not?
5) Pastor Greg mentioned Ruth announced four decision here to Naomi. To support and live with Naomi, to become a Judean rather than a Moabite, to worship Yahweh as her God and to do all of these things for life. Do you think any of these decisions were difficult for Ruth? Why or why not?
1) Pastor Greg defined the term “gleaning.” Had you ever heard that term before? Were you familiar with it’s use as an agricultural term? Have you ever gleaned?
2) How might you feel if you were a young, widowed woman, in a foreign land, going out into the fields to do this kind of work? Would it be humbling? Frightening? Exciting?
READ: Ruth 2:1-16
1) What do you think of the conversation between Boaz and Ruth? Does it strike you as polite, tender, kind, loving?
2) Pastor Greg mentioned that Boaz’s role as a Kinsmen Redeemer points to a similar role by God the Father and by Jesus the Son. What similarities do you see between the way Boaz speaks to and treats Ruth compared to how God speaks to and treats us?
3) Does God care for, protect, provide for and reward us in similar ways? What is it about Ruth that makes Boaz want to treat her this way? What has he heard about her that impresses him? Do you think it pleases God to see us do something similar to what Ruth was doing?
1) Had you ever heard of a Kinsmen Redeemer before? While this was an ancient middle east and asian custom that doesn’t really exist in 2018 America, what might we take away from it and apply in our culture?
READ: Ruth 3:1-13
1) Does this type of marriage proposal seem odd to you? What do you think Ruth was indicating to Boaz by uncovering his feet and lying down at them?
2) What does she mean when she asks him to “spread his covering over her?”
3) Pastor Greg mentioned that Boaz is an example of the kind of Kinsmen Redeemer that Yahweh and Jesus both are as well. How do you see this image of lying at the feet and asking to be covered relating to what we ask of Jesus and how he responds to us?
READ: Ruth 4:14-17
1) The neighbor women give praise to God for the marriage of Ruth and Boaz and the birth of Obed. Why do you think that is? Ruth and Boaz seemed to be making their own decisions. What did God have to do with any of it? Do you see some similarities between this story and the story of Esther from two weeks ago in that God is implied throughout the story even when He is not specifically named? Why or why not?
2) In what way(s) is Ruth better than seven sons to Naomi?
3) Why do the women say “a son has been born to Naomi” instead of “a son has been born to Ruth?”
4) Does it seem odd to you that it is the neighbor women who give a name to the baby? Why wouldn’t Ruth and Boaz or Naomi be the ones to name him? Pastor Greg said the name Obed means one who serves or one who worships. Why do you think the neighbor ladies chose this name for him?
1) What can we learn from Ruth’s example when we encounter trouble, difficulty and loss in our lives? What does she teach us about the kinds of choices we can make that God will bless and reward?
2) Are you facing any kind of loss or struggle or other difficulty right now? Can you share it with your Aloha Group? Perhaps one or more of them has a heart and a spirit like Ruth and will make the same level of commitment to stand by you and help you no matter what life throws your way.