Focal Passage: Ruth 3:1-18
This lesson begins a new unit entitled “Partners in
Marriage.” In this unit we will study the relationships of four couples and
explore what God’s Word has to say about our closest relationships.
We begin with Ruth and Boaz.
The Book of Ruth is a story about a family in trouble.
The story begins with Elimelech, Naomi, and their two sons
fleeing famine-ravished Judah
and going to Moab
because they heard things were better there.
Soon after their arrival, Elimelech died, leaving Naomi with
two sons in a foreign land.
Her sons, Mahlon and Kilion, took Moabite wives, Orpah and
Ten years after their arrival in Moab,
Naomi’s sons died.
Naomi felt that she had no choice but to return to Bethlehem.
One daughter-in-law, Orpah, remained in Moab.
But the other one, Ruth, helped Naomi return to Judah.
It was Ruth’s loyalty and support to Naomi that eventually
won for Ruth the notice of Boaz, who was Naomi’s kinsman on her husband’s side.
Indeed, Boaz was impressed not only by Ruth’s loyalty to
Naomi, but also eventually by her loyalty to him in spite of the fact that she
could have attracted younger men (3:10).
Thus, Boaz and Ruth married (4:10).
A couple in my church has displayed on their wall a framed
piece of needlework they received as a wedding gift. On it appears their names,
their wedding date, and the phrase “God gave us each other.”
I think many Christian couples believe that they were brought
together by God’s providence.
But why would we think such a thing?
I’ve never known anyone who said God literally told them who
to marry. Yet, we believe God is guiding His people. If that’s true, how does
The story of Ruth tells us about God’s way of carrying out
His plans, and about how we become aware of God’s work in our lives. Ruth’s
story tells us that God wields the power to change things.
The picture of Ruth at the beginning of the story is one of
sadness, poverty and hopelessness.
At the end of the story, Ruth is happily married to Boaz.
They have a son, Obed.
Obed would become the grandfather of none other than King
David, from whose lineage came Jesus.
The amazing reversal in this story is brought about by God,
who is the master of transformation.
Often, God’s work is seen only in hindsight and requires
complete trust in Him to guide our lives.