Showing posts with label relationships. Show all posts
Showing posts with label relationships. Show all posts

Sunday

Ruth & Boaz - The Start of the Relationship


In this blog post we are going to look at the good and godly relationship between Ruth and Boaz from the book of Ruth in the Old Testament.

There are two parts clearly identified in the relationship between Ruth and Boaz so this is the first one which considers the start of the story which (although the book is named after Ruth) is clearly about the relationship between these two characters Ruth and Boaz. 







I have described this as a Devotional but it could be somewhat considered as a brief Bible Study of the main characters in the Book of Ruth because we are going to look at many of the verses in this short Book of the bible.



Although this is entitled Ruth and Boaz we could not look at this objectively if we did not first take the character of Naomi into consideration to see the feelings that lead to the journey and the destination.  This brings in another good and godly relationship within this book of Ruth.



Naomi

When looking at the book of Ruth the first chapter is all about the history and love of a family which seemed to have ended in sadness and hurt which was turning into bitterness.


Ch 1
20  But she said to them, “Do not call me Naomi; call me Mara, for the Almighty has dealt very bitterly with me.  21  I went out full, and the Lord has brought me home again empty. Why do you call me Naomi, since the Lord has testified against me, and the Almighty has afflicted me?”

It is with Naomi that this commentary of the whole situation begins and throughout the book she plays a very important role in the start of the relationship between Ruth and Boaz.



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Ruth

Ch 1


The verse below sums up the attitude of Ruth after all the heartache and unsettled circumstances she and Naomi found themselves in - she was not ready to give up and she was mindful of the responsibility she had towards her mother-in-law.


Ruth was in fact starting out in a new story of her life and had chosen who she was going to serve - God.









Boaz


Ch 2

To see what type of a man Boaz was we can look at some individual verses 

His Immediate Greeting  

The first thing Boaz did was to greet his workers  v 4


Now behold, Boaz came from Bethlehem, and said to the reapers, “The Lord be with you!”And they answered him, “The Lord bless you!”


and this greeting was one of blessing


Then he knew all his workers (long time ones and more recent ones obviously as some of these workers would come and go) well enough to notice a new person  v 5


Then Boaz said to his servant who was in charge of the reapers, “Whose young woman is this?”


He is considerate to someone who is not used to what they are now doing  v 8


Then Boaz said to Ruth, “You will listen, my daughter, will you not? Do not go to glean in another field, nor go from here, but stay close by my young women. 

He thinks of Ruth's safety  v 9


Let your eyes be on the field which they reap, and go after them. Have I not commanded the young men not to touch you? And when you are thirsty, go to the vessels and drink from what the young men have drawn.”


He recognises the good qualities in Ruth and wants God to bless her  v 11-12


11  And Boaz answered and said to her, “It has been fully reported to me, all that you have done for your mother-in-law since the death of your husband, and how you have left your father and your mother and the land of your birth, and have come to a people whom you did not know before. 12 The Lord repay your work, and a full reward be given you by the Lord God of Israel, under whose wings you have come for refuge.”


He comforts Ruth  v 13

He treats her kindly like a worker he is responsible for and not like a begger  v 13


13 Then she said, “Let me find favour in your sight, my lord; for you have comforted me, and have spoken kindly to your maidservant, though I am not like one of your maidservants.”

He personally makes sure she gets the food at the mealtime  v 14


14 Now Boaz said to her at mealtime, “Come here, and eat of the bread, and dip your piece of bread in the vinegar.” So she sat beside the reapers, and he passed parched grain to her; and she ate and was satisfied, and kept some back.


He provides easy access to the grain for gleaning  v 15


15 And when she rose up to [b]glean, Boaz commanded his young men, saying, “Let her glean even among the sheaves, and do not [c]reproach her. 


He then makes the gleaning easier for her by providing extra grain to fall  v 16


16 Also let grain from the bundles fall purposely for her; leave it that she may glean, and do not rebuke her.”


He is thoughtful not just for that one day but for the rest of the harvest time  v 23


23 So she stayed close by the young women of Boaz, to glean until the end of barley harvest and wheat harvest; and she dwelt with her mother-in-law.

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Ruth

Ch 2

Ruth knows she is a foreigner so she feels different and perhaps inferior  v 10


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


Obviously Ruth has been kind and others have noticed this so that it has been talked about  v 11


11 And Boaz answered and said to her, “It has been fully reported to me, all that you have done for your mother-in-law since the death of your husband, and how you have left your father and your mother and the land of your birth, and have come to a people whom you did not know before. 


Ruth had needed comforting and she was thankful to Boaz  v 13

She appreciated being treated like one of his servants even though she is only there to gain for herself and not work for him  v 13


13 Then she said, “Let me find favour in your sight, my lord; for you have comforted me, and have spoken [a]kindly to your maidservant, though I am not like one of your maidservants.”


She worked hard  v 17  & 23

17 So she gleaned in the field until evening, and beat out what she had gleaned, and it was about an ephah of barley.

23 So she stayed close by the young women of Boaz, to glean until the end of barley harvest and wheat harvest; and she dwelt with her mother-in-law.


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Naomi

Ch 2

Ruth shared all that happened to her in the fields with her mother-in-law.

Naomi pointed out to her this also was looking after her safety  v 22

22  And Naomi said to Ruth her daughter-in-law, “It is good, my daughter, that you go out with his young women, and that people do not meet you in any other field.”


Naomi had the extra view and thought on the whole situation and this was the wise counsel that Ruth in a strange land would need.


Ruth may have loved Naomi and said that was why she was going to stay with Naomi but actually this was leading to a new love between them and a new love to come in the future.








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Boaz

Ch 3

Boaz knew her situation and how it would not be easy for Ruth to look after herself and her mother-in-law when neither of them had a husband.  He clearly saw she was not rushing into finding a substitute for her first husband but was willing to work hard to take care of  herself and Naomi  v 10

10 Then he said, “Blessed are you of the Lord, my daughter! For you have shown more kindness at the end than at the beginning, in that you did not go after young men, whether poor or rich.



What is important in a good relationship?




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Ruth

Ch 3


Ruth was respectful enough to listen to advice from Naomi even if she may not have understood the traditions of her new homeland  v 3-4


Now Boaz, whose young women you were with, is he not our relative? In fact, he is winnowing barley tonight at the threshing floor. Therefore wash yourself and anoint yourself, put on your best garment and go down to the threshing floor; but do not make yourself known to the man until he has finished eating and drinking. Then it shall be, when he lies down, that you shall notice the place where he lies; and you shall go in, uncover his feet, and lie down; and he will tell you what you should do.”


Ruth was wise enough to agree to take this advice from Naomi  v 5


And she said to her, “All that you say to me I will do.”

But I think she must have felt something for Boaz to agree to do something so intimate and risky.  

So here we have it the start of the good and godly relationship between Ruth and Boaz.





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The second part of the story can be found HERE






Sunday Scripture - Hebrews 12 v 14


Sunday Scripture is just simply a thought or two on a Bible verse that may have struck me afresh or maybe for the first time or has always been special to me.


Today I am looking at Hebrews 12 v 14





The first thing that struck me when I was considering the verse for this week was the fact that within each of the last 3 verses in this Sunday Scripture series, there is a mention of one of the Fruit of the Spirit.

The first one had PATIENCE,

                 the second one had JOY

                       and now this one has PEACE.

I don't think this is a coincidence because the Fruit of the Spirit is very important in our lives and we should show this daily.


The other main word in this verse is HOLINESS.


I believe that there are two relationships here in this verse, the PEACE in is about the relationship between us and others and the HOLINESS is about the relationship between us and God.


Yet the two cannot be completely distinct from each other.




How can we possibly expect to be sanctified and lead holy lives if we do not live in Peace?


How can we who are naturally sinful and selfish live in peaceful relationships if we do not have the presence of the Holy Spirit with us each day as He helps us to live and grow more like Jesus?



What do we need for a true relationship with God and man?


Our Christianity cannot be complete if we do not have 
the right relationship with man and with God.


We are not to be completely apart from the world but we are to be God's representatives in the world showing peace and holiness to touch the lives of others.

In other words we are to be Christlike as we live with the hope of coming into the presence of Christ Himself.  And that links back again to that earlier Sunday Scripture that also mentioned patience.

Today's verse is a strong word on how we should live towards God and towards man and if we learn to live holy lives then the peace will be there as a result.  We cannot be holy and yet at odds with others, the peace will be the outworking of the holiness and through this the fruit of the Spirit will be seen.









Pondering the Psalms - Psalm 26


Each Sunday I am going to choose a Psalm and write down some brief thoughts on  it.



Today I'm looking at Psalm 26






I'm looking at this Psalm in six parts:

V. 1-2
Who is worthy to say this to the Lord?
Do we walk in integrity?
Have we trusted without wavering?
Are we confident of having God find no fault in us when He tries us?


V. 3
The reason David says he has kept true to the Lord is firstly because God's Love is steadfast and he has recognized God's faithfulness.


V. 4-5
Secondly it is because he has kept out of evil company.


V. 6-7
Thirdly it is because he has kept about the place of the Lord, praising God and telling of His greatness.


V. 8-10
Here David expresses his love for God's House and his desire for God to accept him.





V. 11-12
Because he walks in integrity he knows he is in the right place and he is going to bless the Lord there.



3 Things stand out in this Psalm:


Questions, Relationships, Blessings.


Questions.
The first two verses bring up all the questions stated above and thinking on these questions will keep us very humble because it would be impossible to meet this standard.

Relationships.
David recognized the steadfastness and faithfulness of God that was essential in God's relationship with him.
Then David also realized that he needed to abhor evil, stay close to God, worship God, love God's House and be acceptable to God because that was essential for his relationship with God.

Blessings.
David blesses the Lord because of the fact that he is in the right place and God has looked favourably on him.








Oh that we were careful to 
consider these questions, 
grow our relationships 
and 
bless the Lord in everything.



Then we could be like David and say to God