"Your greatest contribution to the Kingdom of God may not be something you do, but someone you raise." ~Andy Stanley

May 30, 2012

Wednesdays in the Word

"Girls, wait for Boaz and don't settle for a Bozo!"
I love this quote from our pastor. He says he's sick of seeing "Bozo and Barbie" in need of marriage counselling. So, Girls, wait for your Boaz! It will be worth it. Amen?
After hearing this quote, I was excited that I had to teach on the book of Ruth for a high school girl's class! (yippee! I love teaching that class!)

Here's my crazy, fast overview of this romantic story:
But first the quote by Ruth that I'm sure everyone has heard in a wedding or read on a greeting card. : ) It is so sweet.
  "For wherever you go, I will go; And wherever you lodge, I will lodge; Your people shall be my people and your God, my God. Where you die, I will die...The Lord do so to me, and more also if anything but death parts you and me." ~Ruth 1:16-17

As you can see, Ruth would not be persuaded to head back to her parents after her husband died and her mother-in-law Naomi was going back to her homeland. It is was a good thing for Naomi that she didn't  because that sweet girl became her provider.
Ruth humbly took up gleaning. (a provision God made in his law for the poor) Gleaners were allowed to come into other peoples' fields at harvest time and pick up what was left along the edges of the field or dropped by reapers. And reapers weren't allowed to 'pick the field clean' so that the poor could be provided for. Cool arrangement.
On her first day of gleaning, the land owner, Boaz, saw Ruth and got the scoop on her from one of his men. He introduced himself and sweetly told her to always come to his field to glean and not to go to anyone else's because he had commanded that none of the "young men (who work for him) touch her."
Here's where I imagine that she was quite pretty and that gleaning might not have been the safest thing for a young woman to be doing. Then Boaz adds that he will provide for her thirst while she works. So, right off the bat, he's protecting her and providing for her. Sweet huh? (Girls, your Boaz will protect and provide for you..Bozo, not so much)
That offer meant so much to Ruth that "she fell on her face," bowed to the ground and asked why he's noticed her and why she's found favor in his sight when she's a foreigner. Boaz said he heard a "full report" on "all that you have done for your mother-in-law since the death of your husband" and how she had left her parents and her homeland to live among people she doesn't even know. (Girls, a Boaz will rejoice in your service to God and honor you for it)
He blessed her (in fact there's a lot of blessing going on in this book) and I love this verse:
 "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."
Ruth thanked him for comforting her and speaking kindly to her even though she was a foreigner and "not like one of your maidservants." Sweet!
Then he invites her to have lunch with him and his his reapers, which was not a privilege gleaners usually had! She stuffs a little of the food in her napkin or pocket to save for Naomi. (isn't she a dear?)
When it was time to head back to work, Boaz told the reapers to PURPOSELY drop grain for her. How cute was that?! He's still looking for ways to provide for her.
Ruth worked until evening (Girls, to get a Boaz, you have to be a Ruth and she was diligent) and then she took home the equivalent of 4 gallons of barely. They must have dropped a lot of grain on her behalf because when Naomi saw how much she picked, she said "Where did you work?!?!?"
And I guess because she's pretty smart, she said "Blessed be the one who took notice of you!" lol

Here's where I realize this is getting really long, and decided to divide it into two posts! So, come back tomorrow for the rest of: 'Ruth, Boaz and Bozos!'  : )


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