Praise songs lead by Weiting and Priscilla.
Prayer topics were 1. let what we learn today change our lives, and
2. Friday night service. Minyoung closed the prayer.
Read Ruth chapters 1-4.
Ruth is a woman outside of Jewish society. She was a Moabite woman. She was married to a Jewish man who died when she was still young. When her husband died, she was given an option to go back to her hometown instead of following Naomi – her mother-in-law who suffered deaths of her husband and two sons. Ruth refused the offer and decided to stay with her mother-in-law.
There was a man named Boaz in Bethlehem. He was a long relative of Naomi. Ruth did not know about it when she approached his land for food. However, when Boaz found out about Ruth’s faithfulness toward her family, Boaz granted protection and allowed her to pick wheat and to get water. Boaz and Ruth both had characters of faithfulness which both saw from each other.
Naomi found Boaz as a redeemer for Ruth. However, there was another closest relative who had the rights to redeem Ruth. Boaz initiates a conversation with the man and lets him know that Naomi has both land and a daughter-in-law from Moab. The closest relative refuses to redeem Ruth. Then, Boaz redeems Ruth and takes her as his wife. Ruth gives birth to Obed who eventually is a grandfather of King David.
What did we see from the story?
First, the background of this period of time was not such a good time in God’s eyes. People were rebelling against God, and they were punished by God by attacks from different nations. Even in this large flow of unfaithfulness, we see two very faithful people – Ruth and Boaz – who know and fear God and do what is right. It is an easy excuse to follow the current trend and worldly view. Yet, what we must remember is that God remembers us individually. He glorifies those who glorify His name.
Second, God loves and blesses individuals regarding their backgrounds. Ruth was a Moab woman. She was a gentile which God had forbidden His people (sons of Israel) not to marry. However, she becomes part of God’s promise. She is now included as a family in the lineage of Abraham, David, and Jesus. God blessed this gentile woman to be part of His great scheme of salvation of all men from sin.
Lastly, the Bible does not fail to show in every part how God is planning for the salvation. When Ruth approaches Boaz, her confession to him is that he is the redeemer. When we end up losing everything through a mishap or a mistake, what we need is a redeemer. As we are all bound to our sinful self, we lost what God had given to us in Eden. Our loss cannot be gained through our effort – just like how Ruth and Naomi could not save themselves from the despair. We must confess that we need a redeemer and that the only redeemer we can have for restoring what God had originally provided us is through Jesus Christ, God Himself.