Finding the Love of Your Life

by Rev. Sean Finnegan on February 9, 2014
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1|Tragedy Strikes

Ruth 1:1 The famine in the land left people with few options:
1. Find a way to get food from someone who has some
2. Move to a land that is not experiencing famine
3. Starve

Ruth 1:2-5 The widow’s options:
1. Go back to family
2. Remarry (these were arranged)
3. Depend on charity of others
4. Practice prostitution
5. Starve

Ruth 1:6-14 Naomi decides everyone should go with option 1.

Ruth 1:15-18 Ruth abandons her country, her gods, and her family.

Background on Moab
- Moab was the son of Lot and his firstborn daughter (Gen 19:29-33, 37)
- God commanded Israel not to harass or fight with Moab (Deut 2:9)
- (But) Balak hired Balaam to curse Israel before they came into the promised land (Num 22:1-6)
- Moabite women seduced Israelite men to worship Baal (Num 25:1-3, 9; 31:16)
- God commanded that no Moabite should enter His assembly (Deut 23:3-6)
- During time of judges, Eglon, king of Moab, conquered Israel (Judges 3:12-14)

2|Ruth Gleans

Ruth 2:1-12 Gleaning in the barley fields was an accepted norm for the poor.
- Deut 23:25; 24:19; Lev 19:9; Mat 12:12

Ruth 2:20 Boaz is a potential redeemer.

3|Ruth Proposes

Ruth 3:1-14 Levirate marriage
- Deut 25:5-10; Gen 38:6-10
- “Any childless widow had the right to expect her dead husband’s brother to marry her. If no brother existed, some more distant male relative was required to perform this duty. Whichever relative married the widow became her “go’el” (redeemer or protector). The first son born to the widow by the new marriage was counted as a child of the dead husband and inherited his property” (Great People of the Bible and How They Lived, p. 132)

4|Boaz Redeems

Ruth 4:1-17 Boaz does the right things, and Naomi and Ruth both benefit.

Although she has every reason not to, Ruth chooses Yahweh and His people. Even if it is a forbidden love, she wants the God of Naomi. Instead of spurning her, this great lover accepts Ruth and provides for her. She comes under the protection of His wings, and He takes care of the rest. Not only does He provide her with a husband and the means to thrive, but He grafts her into the ancestral tree that one day would sprout the branches of not only king David but even Jesus the Messiah! Ruth is no longer an unfortunate Moabitess widow, but a matriarch—the great grandmother of David—and the premier example of a heart who found the love of her life.

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