Scriptures with Songs

Seven (7) Lessons from the Book of Ruth

ruth gleaningPrelude Music

Opening hymns

One of the important things we can learn from the book of Ruth is the love of God for the gentiles, even in a period of history when Israel was given prominence due to their role in God’s redemptive plan for humanity. Israel’s role was to show to the whole humanity that there is only one God to follow.  Though Israel failed, it was this failure that opened the doors for gentiles to know who God is. 

Another interesting thing to note is that though God had chosen the Israelites as the primary avenue through whom to send His Son into the world, however, the very fact that there are gentiles in the Lord’s background is evidence that God was and is a God of ALL people.

Ruth, a Moabite, was a descendant of Lot, Abraham’s nephew, a gentile. The meaning of gentile is simply a person or people who are not of Israel’s lineage.  It is noteworthy that the mother of Boaz was Rahab, a Canaanite, a gentile who hid Israel’s spies before the fall of Jericho (Matthew 1:5). 

Through all this, we can see that God’s plan and purpose was not only for Israel but to unite all people, Jew or gentile, to His kingdom.

 In light of this, let’s take a moment to look into seven (7) verses from the book of Ruth,

1. Ruth 1:16-17

“Do not urge me to leave you or to return 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 will I be buried. May the Lord do so to me and more also if anything but death parts me from you.”

 These words of Ruth became ours when we started to turn from our former ways and follow God.  Like Ruth, we are not of the stock of Israel but gentile by birth. We started to seek the truth, to learn, obey, trust and have faith in Him who created us.

Reader1 will read stories of conviction to obey God who called us out of the world and into His righteousness—

Acts 8:26-39

Acts 10:1-8; 44-48

Deut 26:17

Gal. 2:20-21

The eunuch and Cornelius were gentiles but chose to believe and obey God.  The Israel of old declared the LORD to be their God and walk in His ways.  And Paul who declared that he no longer lives but Christ lives in him.   So we did the same when we knew the truth and obeyed God. We declared: “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.”

Hymns

 2. Ruth 1:18

“And when Naomi saw that she was determined to go with her, she said no more.”

Naomi was so moved by such an act of loyalty that she didn’t speak another word about it. They both began to be deeply committed to their relationship to help each other. Each took responsibility to contribute to the fruitfulness of the relationship.  Ruth took care of the aged Naomi and followed her instruction.  Naomi gave her best to secure Ruth a place in Israel.

So is our relationship with God. We have given our commitment and conviction to follow God’s instruction.  God gives us His love, promises, blessings and secures a place for us in His kingdom.

Reader 2 will read on how to follow God’s instruction—

Exo. 11:1-2

Exo. 11:18-21

Deut 13:4

Eph 5:1-18

Reader 3 will read on God’s promises as we continue to obey and follow Him—

Jer. 29:11-14

Psalm 23:1-6

Rom 8:28-35; 37-39

Hymns

3. Ruth 2:10

“Then she fell on her face, bowing to the ground, and said to him, “Why have I found favor in your eyes, that you should take notice of me, since I am a foreigner?”

Ruth’s attitude was of humility and gratitude. Here was a Moabite woman, a foreigner who wanted to live and become part of the nation of Israel, falling down before Boaz in complete and total submission.  In the same way that we are foreigners, not born of Israel, should also have this attitude of humility, gratitude and total submission to God who has forgiven us of our sins and taken us into His fold.

Reader 4 will read Israel’s rejection of God and Gentiles grafted to Israel—

Rom. 11:11-35

Eph 2:11-13, 19-22

Gal 3: 26-29

Paul compares Israel to the natural branches of a cultivated olive tree and the Gentile believers to the branches of a wild olive tree. The natural branches (Israel) were broken off, and the wild branches (Gentiles) were grafted in (verse 17). We, the Gentiles, then, have been made partakers of the promises and inherit the blessings of God’s salvation. Though the natural branches were broken off, God will bring them back until all are gathered unto Him.  Therefore, we should always present ourselves to God in humility and gratitude for having been grafted into Israel through His love and the sacrifice of His son

Hymns

4. Ruth 2:15-16

“When she rose to glean, Boaz instructed his young men, saying, “Let her glean even among the sheaves, and do not reproach her. And also pull out some from the bundles for her and leave it for her to glean, and do not rebuke her.”

Gleaning is the custom of following a harvest so that what remains might be used primarily for the poor who have little or no means of supporting themselves. Here is the provision of God as we know that God is the provider of the orphans, the widows, the strangers or foreigners and all the poor. We were once alienated but now children of God.

Reader 5 will read about the blessings and provisions from God—

Deut 10:17-21

2 Cor. 9:8-15

Mat 7:7-11

Reader 6 will read about the happiness of those who trust in God—

Psalm 34:1-22

Psalm 121: 1-8

 Joshua 1:9 says have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened and do not be dismayed, for the Lord our God is with us wherever we go. Let us remember that we are not foreigners anymore. Nothing can separate us from the love of God. Whatever situation we are in, God will always be there to listen and to help us.

5. Ruth 3:1

“Then Naomi her mother-in-law said to her, “My daughter, should I not seek rest for you,that it may be well with you?”

Naomi cared enough about Ruth to seek rest for her and find a home for her among the Israelites.  Her goal was “that it may be well with you”. She felt it her duty to do what she could to provide a home for the daughter-in-law who had so loyally followed her, lest her own death should leave Ruth unprotected and friendless. The marriage of Boaz and Ruth will not only ensure rest for the latter, meaning peace and comfort, but will also raise up the seed of her dead son and preserve the family name. 

God gave rest to physical Israel on which, if they followed whole heartedly would have received many blessings both physical and spiritual.  By entering the land of Canaan, the promise land, they were given rest, lived securely and abundantly. But we know that they did contrary to God’s way and in so doing did not enter God’s rest.

What does it mean to enter God’s rest?

Reader 7 will read about the physical rest God established for His people—

Gen 2:1-3

Exo. 20:8-11

Exo 31:12-18

Reader 8 will read the future, eternal Sabbath rest—

Heb 4:1-11

Rom 8:20-23

Reader will 9 read how Jesus Christ made it possible for us to enter God’s rest—

Heb 3:1-15

Matt 11:28-30

Rom. 10:1-4

There is no other Sabbath rest besides our Lord, Jesus Christ.  He alone satisfies the requirements of the Law and He alone provides the sacrifice that atones for sin.  He is God’s plan for us to cease from the labor of our own works, given us salvation and enter His glorious kingdom. We dare not reject this one and only way of salvation (john 14:6). God’s reaction to those who choose to reject His plan is seen in Numbers 15. A man was found gathering sticks on the Sabbath day, in spite of God’s plain commandment to cease from all labor on the Sabbath. This transgression was a known and willful sin, done with unblushing boldness in broad daylight, in open defiance of the divine authority. “Then the LORD said to Moses, ‘The man must die. The whole assembly must stone him outside the camp’” (verse 35). So it will be to all who reject God’s provision for our Sabbath rest in Christ. “How shall we escape if we neglect so great a salvation?” (Hebrews 2:3).

Hymns

6. Ruth 3:16-17

“And when she came to her mother-in-law, she said, “How did you fare, my daughter?” Then she told her all that the man had done for her, saying, “These six measures of barley he gave to me, for he said to me, ‘You must not go back empty-handed to your mother-in-law.”

Once again, God’s abundant blessing was poured out for these women who couldn’t have possibly provided for themselves.  In the same way that God knew that we will not be able to follow his laws and commandments perfectly.  Therefore He did not let us live our life empty handed but given us all the help to carry on until perfection

Reader 10 will read about God giving us His laws and commandments—

Exo. 20:1-6

Deut. 11:26-28

Deut. 6:1-9

Matt 22:37-40

Reader 11 will read about God giving us the Holy Spirit—

John 14:26-28

John 16:12-15

Rom 8:12-17, 26-27

Eph 1:13-14

Hymns

7. Ruth 4:13-14

“So Boaz took Ruth, and she became his wife. And he went in to her, and the Lord gave her conception, and she bore a son. Then the women said to Naomi, “Blessed be the Lord, who has not left you this day without a redeemer, and may his name be renowned in Israel!”

Naomi an Israelite and Ruth a Moabite were left with no inheritance since their husbands died. There is a necessity that a kinsman redeems the inheritance of the dead to continue the line of the deceased.  We know that Boaz typifies Jesus Christ.  As Boaz redeemed Naomi an Israelite, and Ruth, a gentile, so did Jesus who redeemed ALL and reconciled us to the Father.

Reader 12 will finally read the redemptive work of our Lord Jesus Christ—

Isaiah 61:1-3

Isaiah 53:4-6

I Peter 1:18-21

Eph 1:7-14

Job 19:25-27

We all are in need of redemption.  Our natural condition was characterized by guilt: “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). Christ’s redemption has freed us from guilt, being “justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus” (Romans 3:24).

The benefits of redemption include eternal life (Revelation 5:9-10), forgiveness of sins (Ephesians 1:7), righteousness (Romans 5:17), freedom from the law’s curse (Galatians 3:13), adoption into God’s family (Galatians 4:5), deliverance from sin’s bondage (Titus 2:14; 1 Peter 1:14-18), peace with God (Colossians 1:18-20), and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 6:19-20). To be redeemed, then, is to be forgiven, holy, justified, free, adopted, and reconciled. See also Psalm 130:7-8; Luke 2:38; and Acts 20:28.

Boaz and Ruth were married and the line was continued until the time of the birth of the Messiah.  In time, the Messiah will come down as the bridegroom and the bride waiting for His coming.  Thus, the redemption of all people will be complete and begins a new chapter in God’s kingdom.

This is the story of how both Israel and Gentile nations are included in the redemption plan of God.  There is no longer Jew or gentile, slave or free for we are all one in Christ.  He has reconciled us to God and now we are called children of God.

Rev. 19:7 “Let us be glad and rejoice and give Him glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and His wife has made herself ready.”These are the messages of the seven (7) verses found in the Book of Ruth. 

Closing hymns.

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