Ruth: From Bitterness to Blessed – Part 3

Ruth 3:1-18

Ruth: From Bitterness to Blessed – Part 3

A Less Bitter Naomi Develops a Plan

I. From BITTER to HOPEFUL to a PLAN. (v.1-6)
A. Naomi BEGINS to take ACTION. (v.1-2)
B. For Ruth, a SHIFT from MOURNING. (v.3)

Chapter 2 and the surprising results that just “happen” to Ruth as she gleans seems to flick a switch of Hope within Naomi. It seems as if they haven’t been forgotten by God. And so she begins to come up with a plan to move Ruth into a better long term position than living with and serving her widowed mother-in-law.

1. Kid’s Question: When have you tried something that you thought was risky?

II. Some CULTURAL DECIPHERING of the plan. (v.6-11)
A. Why UNCOVER his FEET? (v.4-7)
B. Ruth is HUMBLE and yet BOLD. (v.5-6,9)
C. The role of a KINSMEN REDEEMER. (v.9; Dt. 25:5-10; Lev.25:25-28)
D. ECHOING the WORDS of Boaz. (v.9; 2:12)

We have to admit…this is a weird story. And while it appears that what is happening here is a little risqué, the reality is that given the cultural setting and the dynamics this becomes a bold move by Ruth (and Naomi) to wake Boaz up (literally and figuratively) to what they desire him to do.

2. What was your first perception of the actions that took place within this chapter? Did some of the cultural understanding around it help you to grasp what was happening?
3. What stands out to you about Ruth in this encounter?

III. The RELATIONSHIP status is COMPLICATED. (v.12-18)
A. Boaz WANTS to do this PROPERLY. (v.12)
B. But Boaz REALLY wants to do THIS. (v.10-11,18)
C. WISE as a serpent, harmless as a DOVE. (Chapter 4; Mt. 10:16)

Every good story has its moment of tension…and the love story of Ruth and Boaz is no different. There is one hurdle that must be dealt with if they are going to find their happily ever after. But Boaz is up to the task.

4. What stands out to you about Boaz in the encounter? Why?

A. LIVING a life of INTEGRITY. (v.8-14; Rev. 14:12)
B. FAITHFUL to what God has SAID. (v.12-13; Heb 10:23)
C. Being HUMBLE and yet BOLD. (v.5-9; Prov. 28:1)
D. In faith, WILLING to RISK. (v.5-6,9; Mt. 14:27-29)

In all of this we can see that while God drives the wheels of history, this doesn’t mean that we sit back passively and wait for things to happen. There is a synthesis between our actions and the work of God that we need to move toward. It’s a participation in the fulfillment of God’s plan for humanity, and it’s the greatest adventure we could ever imagine.

5. Which of the final four ideas about working with God challenge you the most? Why?
6. What role does the Bible play in helping us determine how to be faithful to what God has said? How confident are you that you know what God “has said”?
7. Where is God calling you to live more humbly? Where is He calling to to risk boldly?
8. Ruth goes home hopeful but still wondering what will happen. Is there a place inyour life today where you feel the same way?