Bible Narratives Devotional, Week 15: Ruth and Boaz
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Week 15: Ruth and Boaz
Weekly memory verse:
Psalm 19:14 – “Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sigh, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.”
The Heavens Declare Thy Glory, Lord (Free download)
What is sin?
Sin is any transgression against the law of God.
Day 71: God’s Revelation
Reading: Psalm 19–20
Psalm 19, Verse 1. Declare. Creation communicates something of God’s glory and power in a general sense. This revelation is not enough to lead someone to salvation, but it is enough to leave them without excuse (see Rom 1:18–20).
Verse 3. Speech. Creation reveals God, not through literal words, but through other means.
Verse 7. Law . . . testimony. These terms refer to the written Word of God. God’s Word communicates truths about him in a special sense. This revelation can lead someone to salvation.
God has clearly revealed himself to us, both through what he has made and through his inspired Word. The general revelation given to us through creation displays God’s glory and leaves us without excuse. The special revelation given to us through God’s Word tells us who God is, what he requires of us, and what is necessary for forgiveness of sin.
- What does creation tell you about God?
- Is the knowledge of God revealed in creation enough to lead you to salvation?
- What does the Bible tell you about what God requires, about your sin, and about how to receive forgiveness of sin?
Day 72: Warnings Against Sin
Reading: Proverbs 6-7
Proverbs 6, Verse 1. Security. This warns against taking responsibility for another person’s debt.
Verse 16. Six . . . seven. This is not meant to be an exhaustive list, but a representative list of the kinds of sins we should avoid. The two sequential numbers are meant to grab attention and communicate totality.
Verse 21. Bind. This was not necessarily meant to be literal, but it emphasizes the necessity to follow the wisdom of our elders in every circumstance of life.
The best deterrent against sin is giving careful attention to abide by the wise words of our elders. If we trust only in our own discernment, we may easily be led into sin. But if we always make the council of others our guide, we will be more likely to avoid sin and live a life of obedience to God’s commands.
- What are lessons we can learn from ants?
- In what ways can you apply the command to “bind” your parent’s instructions on your heart?
- How can you avoid the seven abominations to God?
Day 73: Wisdom’s Call
Reading: Proverbs 8
Verse 22. His work. Here wisdom claims credit for the agent through which God created all things at the beginning of time.
Verse 27. Circle. This Hebrew idioms seems to indicate a recognition that the earth is a globe.
Verse 29. Its limit. God apparently has specifically assigned shorelines across which the oceans may not pass.
Wisdom should be the primary pursuit of all of God’s people, especially the young. Wisdom is the virtue through which kings rule justly and God’s people live righteousnessly. It is even that which God used to create all things. Wisdom should be treasured far above all earthly wealth.
- What is wisdom?
- Why do you think Solomon chose to personify wisdom as a person in this proverb?
- In what ways can you pursue wisdom?
Day 74: Naomi and Ruth
Reading: Ruth 1:1–2:23
Chapter 1, Verse 12. Too old. Naomi was probably over fifty years of age.
Verse 15. Her gods. The primary Moabite god, Chemosh, required child sacrifices (2 Kings 3:27).
Verse 20. Naomi . . . Mara. “Naomi” meant “pleasant,” while “Mara” meant “bitter.”
Verse 22. Beginning of barley harvest. Normally the middle to end of April.
Chapter 2, Verse 1. Relative. Boaz could have been Elimelech’s brother, or at very least in the same tribe.
Verse 2. Glean. According the Mosaic Law, the edges of a field were not to be harvested, but were to be left for the needy. These needy did, however, need to work in order to harvest the grain for themselves.
Verse 20. Redeemer. According to Jewish tradition, a close relative, called a kinsman-redeemer, could redeem a family member who had been sold as a slave (Lev 25:47–49), land that had been owned by a family member but had to be sold during financial hardship (Lev 25:23–28), or the family name through marrying the widowed wife of a family member (Deut 25:5–10).
Verse 23. End of . . . harvest. This harvest period lasted for approximately two months, coinciding with the fifty days between Passover and the Feast of Weeks (i.e., Pentecost; Lev 23:15–16; Deut 16:9–12).
The providence of God over even the terrible circumstances of life is strongly communicated through the story of Ruth. God chose to redeem his people through famine, intermarriage with foreign women, death of husbands, and loss of property. God’s ways are mysterious, but they are always good.
- Was it right or wrong for Mahlon and Chilion to marry Moabite women?
- What did Ruth’s loyalty to Naomi reveal about her?
- Was it only coincidence that Ruth “happened” (2:3) to come upon Boaz’s field?
Day 75: Ruth and Boaz
Reading: Ruth 3:1–4:22
Chapter 3, Verse 2. Winnowing. Harvesters would toss grain into the air in the late evening when winds were at their highest, separating the grain from the chaff that would blow away.
Verse 4. Uncover his feet. This was an ancient Near Eastern custom that indicated Ruth’s desire to marry Boaz. This act would have been appropriate in this situation since Boaz was a generation older than Ruth (2:8) and thus would not have proposed marriage on his own.
God providentially chose to use the kinsman-redeemer tradition to rescue a Moabite woman and make her the mother of the kingly line of David, a line of kings from which would come the Redeemer, the Messiah.
- Why do you think God chose famine, unlawful marriages, death, and a Moabite woman to accomplish his plan?
- What do Boaz’s actions reveal about him?
- When something terrible happens that seems to contradict God’s promises, what should be your response?
About Scott Aniol
Scott Aniol is the founder and Executive Director of Religious Affections Ministries. He is director of doctoral worship studies at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, where he teaches courses in ministry, worship, hymnology, aesthetics, culture, and philosophy. He is the author of Worship in Song: A Biblical Approach to Music and Worship, Sound Worship: A Guide to Making Musical Choices in a Noisy World, and By the Waters of Babylon: Worship in a Post-Christian Culture, and speaks around the country in churches and conferences. He is an elder in his church in Fort Worth, TX where he resides with his wife and four children. Views posted here are his own and not necessarily those of his employer.