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Small Group Bible Study - Leader Guide​​ 

Ruth 2

Overview

Boaz​​ blesses​​ Ruth​​ and​​ takes care of her as she looks to God to provide her needs.

Background

The book of Ruth takes place during the time of the Judges in Israel, Boaz and Ruth are the great grandparents of King David, Israel’s shepherd king and patriarchs in the lineage of the promised Messiah.

Read

Read the entire chapter. What stands out? Comments? Questions?

Warm up

How do you react when you see a homeless person on the street? Why do we see poor people wherever we go? Who is responsible for their care? The government? Their family? The church?​​ 

 

Examine

Ruth 2

Notes

1​​ Now Naomi had a relative on her husband’s side, a man of standing from the clan of​​ Elimelek, whose name was​​ Boaz.

2 And Ruth the Moabite said to Naomi, “Let me go to the fields and​​ 
pick up the leftover grain​​ behind anyone in whose eyes I find favor.”

Naomi said to her, “Go ahead, my daughter.” 3 So she went out, entered a field and began to glean behind the harvesters. As it turned out, she was working in a field belonging to Boaz, who was from the clan of Elimelek.

Elimelek (RUth 1::2) was Naomi’s husband.​​ 

 

Boaz means “swiftness” “strength is within him”

 

Ruth demonstrated an intimate knowledge of Levitical Laws

 

22​​ “‘When you reap the harvest of your land, do not reap to the very edges of your field or gather the gleanings of your harvest. Leave them​​ for the poor and for the foreigner residing among you. I am the Lord your God.’” (Leviticus 23:22)

 

Discuss

1. Does the principle of the gleanings apply to us today?

If so, how?

 

 

 

2. How does this Levitical law reflect the character of God?

 

Yes. We are called not to be selfish, but generous. Especially to the poor and marginalized.​​ 

 

“Share your belongings with your needy fellow Christians, and open your homes to strangers.” (Romans 12:13)

 

God is merciful and a helper and defender of the poor.​​ 

 

“Learn to do right. See that justice is done — help those who are oppressed, give orphans their rights, and defend widows.”​​ (Isaiah 1:17)

 

Examine

4 Just then Boaz arrived from Bethlehem and greeted the harvesters,​​ “The Lord be with you!”

“The Lord bless you!”​​ they answered.

5 Boaz asked the overseer of his harvesters, “Who does that young woman belong to?”


6 The overseer replied, “She is the Moab
ite who came back from Moab with Naomi. 7 She said, ‘Please let me glean and gather among the sheaves behind the harvesters.’ She came into the field and has remained here from morning till now, except for a short rest in the shelter.”

8 So Boaz said to R
uth, “My daughter, listen to me. Don’t go and glean in another field and don’t go away from here. Stay here with the women who work for me. 9 Watch the field where the men are harvesting, and follow along after the women. I have told the men not to lay a hand on you. And whenever you are thirsty, go and get a drink from the water jars the men have filled.”

Both the master and the workers acknowledge God in their work.

 

Boaz demonstrates kindness. He addresses her as daughter. He would have been aware that she was a relative.​​ 

 

Boaz acknowledges God in word (his greeting) and deed (his kindness)

 

14​​ “What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save them?​​ 15​​ Suppose a brother or a sister is without​​ clothes and daily food.​​ 16​​ If one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it?​​ 17​​ In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.” (James 2:14-17)

 

Discuss

3. Can you think of a biblical example of someone who displayed faith without works?

 

4. What are some examples of “works” in our lives that will provide evidence of the genuineness of our faith?

Peter in claiming to stay with Christ only to deny Him later.

 

 

 

 

Tithing, serving the church, helping those in need. Etc.​​ 

 

Examine

10 At this, she bowed down with her face to the ground. She asked him, “Why have I found such favor in your eyes that you notice me—a foreigner?”

11 Boaz replied, “I’ve been told all about what you have done for your mother-in-law since the death of your husband—how you left your father and mother and your homeland and came t
o live with a people you did not know before. 12​​ May the Lord repay you for what you have done. May you be richly rewarded by the Lord, the God of Israel, under whose wings you have come to take refuge.”

13 “May I continue to find favor in your eyes, my l
ord,” she said. “You have put me at ease by speaking kindly to your servant—though I do not have the standing of one of your servants.”

Moses is speaking of God’s care for the Israelites:

10​​ In a desert land he found him, in a barren and howling waste. He​​ shielded him and cared for him; he guarded him as the apple of his eye,​​ 11​​ like an eagle that stirs up its nest and hovers over its young, that spreads its wings to catch them and carries them aloft.​​ 12​​ The​​ Lord​​ alone led him; no foreign god was with him.​​ (Deuteronomy 32:10-12)

 

Let me dwell in Your tent forever; Let me take refuge in the shelter of Your wings. (Psalm 61:4)

 

1​​ Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.​​ 2​​ I will say of the​​ Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.” (Psalm 91:1-2)

 

9​​ If you say, “The​​ Lord​​ is my refuge,” and you make the Most High your dwelling,​​ 10​​ no harm will overtake you, no disaster will come near your tent. (Psalm 91:9-10)

 

Discuss

5. What does it mean to dwell under the shelter of the LORD’s wings?

 

 

 

 

Examine

14 At mealtime Boaz said to her, “Come over here. Have some bread and dip it in the wine vinegar.”

When she sat down with the harvesters, he offered her some roasted grain. She ate all she wanted and had some left over. 15 As she got up to glean, Boaz gave orders to his men, “Let her gather among the sheaves and don’t reprimand her. 16​​ Even pull out some stalks for her from the bundles and leave them for her​​ to pick up, and don’t rebuke her.”

17 So Ruth gleaned in the field until evening. Then she threshed the barley she had gathered, and it amounted to about an ephah.[a] 18 She carried it back to town,
​​ and her mother-in-law saw how much she had gathered. Ruth also brought out and gave her what she had left over after she had eaten enough.

Boaz demonstrated not only generosity in his treatment of Ruth but also a willingness to go “above and beyond” what​​ God required of him in this situation.​​ 

 

This foreshadows the New Covenant and Christ’s reinterpretation of Mosaic Law: the spirit, rather than the letter of the law.​​ 

 

13​​ The Lord says, “These people come near to me with their mouths and honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. Their worship of me is based on merely human rules they have been taught. (Isaiah 29:13)

 

“The days are coming,” declares the​​ Lord, “when I will make a new covenant with the people of Israel and with the people of​​ Judah. “I will put my law in their minds and write it on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people. (Jeremiah 31:31, 33)

​​ 

​​ 6​​ He has made us competent as ministers of a new covenant—not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life. (2 Corinthians 3:6)

 

Discuss

6. Share a biblical example of someone who went above and beyond what the Lord required?

 

7. What is an example of operating by the spirit, rather than the letter of the law?​​ 

 

 

 

Generosity is evidence of being free from legalism, as King David noted:

25​​ I​​ was young and now I am old, yet I have never seen the righteous forsaken or their children begging bread.​​ 26​​ They are always generous and lend freely; their children will be a blessing. (Psalm 37:25-26)

 

 

Examine

19 Her mother-in-law asked her, “Where did you glean today? Where did you work? Blessed be the man who took notice of you!”

Then Ruth told her mother-in-law about the one at whose place she had been working. “The name of the man I worked with today is Boa
z,” she said.

20 “The Lord bless him!” Naomi said to her daughter-in-law. “He has not stopped showing his kindness to the living and the dead.” She added, “
That man is our close relative; he is one of our guardian-redeemers.”

21 Then Ruth the Moabite said, “He even said to me, ‘Stay with my workers until they finish harvesting all my grain.’”

22 Naomi said to Ruth her daughter-in-law, “It will be good for you, my daughter, to go with the women who work for him, because in some
one else’s field you might be harmed.”

23 So Ruth stayed close to the women of Boaz to glean until the barley and wheat harvests were finished. And she lived with her mother-in-law.

The Hebrew word for kinsman-redeemer (ga’el) is a legal term for one who​​ has the obligation to redeem a relative in serious difficulty.

 

25​​ “‘If one of your fellow Israelites becomes poor and sells some of their property, their nearest relative is to come and redeem (ga’el) what they have sold.” (Leviticus 25:25).

 

The role that Boaz assumes as​​ ga’el, kinsman redeemer, is a picture of who God is. In the Old Testament He is the redeemer of the nation of Israel, and Christ, in the New Testament is the redeemer of all who would cry out to Him.

 

But now, this is what the​​ Lord​​ says—​​ he who created you, Jacob, he who formed you, Israel: “Do not fear, for I have redeemed (ga’el) you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine. (Isaiah 43:1)

 

4​​ But when the set time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law,​​ 5​​ to​​ redeem​​ those under the law, that we might receive adoption to sonship (Galatians 4:4-5)

 

Discuss

8. As you picture God as your kinsman-redeemer, how does this change or deepen your view of the LORD?

 

 

 

Apply

In response to today’s lesson, we can:

  • Remember that faith must be accompanied by action.​​ 

  • Strive to follow the example of Boaz and Christ and go above and beyond in our effort to show love to those around us.​​ 

  • Take comfort in the fact that Christ is our kinsman-redeemer.

 

Notes

 

 

 


 

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