So What’s a Nice Moabitist Girl Like You Doing Living In Judah?

➡ Average Reading Time: 3 minutes

Introduction
So What's a Nice Moabtist Girl Like You Doing Living In Judah?
Because the fields around Bethlehem lie at different levels, the grain does not all ripen at one time. The harvest time could last for some time. According to Leviticus 19.9-10 and 23.22, Ruth was well within her rights to glean from the fields. The corners of fields were not to be reaped, and the sheaf accidentally left behind was not to be fetched away. Similar laws were given regarding vineyards and oliveyards.

Situation

Ruth had returned to Bethlehem with Naomi and took on the awesome task of providing for her mother-in-law. To work in the fields was a hot and tiresome job. But, Ruth was willing to work as a demonstration of her love for Naomi.

Observation

By her decision, she lost her country, her culture, and her status.

So what’s a nice Moabitist girl like you doing living in Judah? Ruth could have asked that question about her decision to follow Naomi from her homeland Moab to Judah. In Judah, she was despised because she was a foreigner. There was no love lost between the Jews and the Moabites. She took a risk to go into the fields to glean with other Jewish women. She had no one to protect her from physical or emotional harm. As a widow, she had absolutely nothing to depend on except her youthful strength and resolve. She had given up everything to follow Naomi.

It was in the fields of Boaz that she began to earn the respect and admiration of the villagers. When Boaz became aware of her situation, he made sure that there was an additional blessing for Ruth and Naomi. The harvesters were instructed to leave extra grain for Ruth to pick up and to make sure that she was not molested by anyone. Ruth harvested an ephah of barley (just under a bushel, Ruth 2.17). Here is a side of the character of Ruth that is often overlooked. She was willing to work hard in the arid heat of Israel to ensure that her mother-in-law did not starve.

When we do decide to quit, it is often just before God is ready to bring harvest into our lives.

When Naomi found out that Boaz had taken interest in Ruth, she set a plan into action that is told in the rest of the book. Naomi realizes that Boaz is one of the kinsman redeemers in the family tree of Naomi. The interest in Ruth by Boaz brings about a change of heart in Naomi. She declares, “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.” This glimpse of kinsman-redeemer may have given Naomi hope that some unexpected developments might be just around the corner. It appears in the economy of God that he is always in the business of working good in the lives of his people, whether with Ruth and Naomi in this story or with you in your own story, God is surely at work for good. Our task is to stay on course, keep working and serving others, and not give up too quickly.

Meditation

  • Think about the decisions you have made in the past. How hard did you have to work after making the decision? Did you hang in there or give up too soon?
  • Think about how it would feel to give up everything that you have: country, family, status, etc. How difficult do you think it was for Ruth to give everything up to follow her mother-in-law?
  • Think about your service to others. How dedicated are you to continue to serve others even when the service is difficult and dangerous?

Living into the Story

  • Choose one thing that you can do in your workplace that will cause others to begin to respect and admire you for being a Christian.
  • Pick someone that you can reach out to and bless by providing for them in a great time of need

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Read Me First

 

Throughout these sessions, I have used the word ecclesia (singular) for the usual word church and ecclesiae (plural) to indicate a church in a particular geographic place, i.e., the ecclesiae at Corinth, meaning the whole of the many smaller ecclesia that met in homes in Corinth. This is to distinguish between the Institutional Church model (IC) and ecclesia that meet in cities and towns around the world. The ecclesiae written about by the authors of the Second Testament were not the same as what the “church” has become over the years of its existence. Usually, but not always, folks think of a church as a place where they go to a building and set in rows of pews and listen to music and sometimes sing and listen to sermons by a pastor or senior pastor. The ecclesiae of the Second Testament time did not invoke this model.

 

I have discovered over the years that if you want to try and change minds about something special, you have to venture out and reword it in order to grasp a foothold for a new refreshed understanding of the idea presented by the word. Such is the case between "church" and "ecclesia."

 

Happy Reading!

Read Me Second

 

Referenced verses in the text of this study are not used to prove some point of view. They are merely markers where the subject matter is referenced by other books and authors. To gain a larger view of each quote, a serious student of the Holy Writ would take the time to view the reference and see what the background is. The background provides tracks on which the meaning of a text rides. So knowing the context of a referenced passage would help the reader to gain a more thorough understanding of an author than just the words quoted and marked by a verse number that was not a part of the original author's text, which as you might remember was performed on the text in a random fashion many years later.

 

Happy Reading!

Read Me Third

 

The verses that are referenced in these sessions are not meant to prove a point. They are simply pointers to where the idea being written about may have a correlation. In order to see if they accomplish the thesis presented by the original author, a student should read, at a minimum, the chapter in which the verse is found as well as trying to ascertain what the original author may have meant to say to the original audience.

 

Of course, this is a lot of work but it is beneficial work. If one does not understand what the author meant when it was written and the audience could not have understood by what was written, then the words on the page can mean anything that a present reader may assign as a meaning, thus distorting what God was inspiring for the original writer to write to the original audience to hear.

A great and recent book by N.T. Wright and Michael F. Bird entitled The New Testament in Its World would be a wonderful addition to your reading helps.

 

Happy Reading!

Jesus Followers

 

There are many synonyms to use for the word believer, which is the most common word for a person who has "converted" to follow Jesus. I have chosen "Jesus follower(s) or follower(s) of Jesus instead of the word believer in these presentations to allow the reader an opportunity to move away from the idea of believer which conjures up the possible thought of "ascent" to a set of doctrines that have been assembled by different groups over the centuries and show up in this day and age as a set of statements posted on web sites and other written material. These sets of beliefs are suggested by many as the ones that one should ascent to so that upon death the one who assents can go to heaven, i.e., just believe and you are good to go. Jesus followers/followers of Jesus suggest an action that one should take. Remember, Jesus told his disciples to follow him. Yes, belief is important, but one must move beyond belief to action.

 

(See "Discipleship" Dictionary of Jesus and the Gospels. 182-188.)

Read Me First

 

Throughout these sessions, I have used the word ecclesia (singular) for the usual word church and ecclesiae (plural) to indicate a church in a particular geographic place, i.e., the ecclesiae at Corinth, meaning the whole of the many smaller ecclesia that met in homes in Corinth. This is to distinguish between the Institutional Church model (IC) and ecclesia that meet in cities and towns around the world. The ecclesiae written about by the authors of the Second Testament were not the same as what the “church” has become over the years of its existence. Usually, but not always, folks think of a church as a place where they go to a building and set in rows of pews and listen to music and sometimes sing and listen to sermons by a pastor or senior pastor. The ecclesiae of the Second Testament time did not invoke this model.

 

I have discovered over the years that if you want to try and change minds about something special, you have to venture out and reword it in order to grasp a foothold for a new refreshed understanding of the idea presented by the word. Such is the case between "church" and "ecclesia."

 

Happy Reading!

Read Me Second

 

Referenced verses in the text of this study are not used to prove some point of view. They are merely markers where the subject matter is referenced by other books and authors. To gain a larger view of each quote, a serious student of the Holy Writ would take the time to view the reference and see what the background is. The background provides tracks on which the meaning of a text rides. So knowing the context of a referenced passage would help the reader to gain a more thorough understanding of an author than just the words quoted and marked by a verse number that was not a part of the original author's text, which as you might remember was performed on the text in a random fashion many years later.

 

Happy Reading!

Read Me Third

 

The verses that are referenced in these sessions are not meant to prove a point. They are simply pointers to where the idea being written about may have a correlation. In order to see if they accomplish the thesis presented by the original author, a student should read, at a minimum, the chapter in which the verse is found as well as trying to ascertain what the original author may have meant to say to the original audience.

 

Of course, this is a lot of work but it is beneficial work. If one does not understand what the author meant when it was written and the audience could not have understood by what was written, then the words on the page can mean anything that a present reader may assign as a meaning, thus distorting what God was inspiring for the original writer to write to the original audience to hear.

A great and recent book by N.T. Wright and Michael F. Bird entitled The New Testament in Its World would be a wonderful addition to your reading helps.

 

Happy Reading!

Jesus Followers

 

There are many synonyms to use for the word believer, which is the most common word for a person who has "converted" to follow Jesus. I have chosen "Jesus follower(s) or follower(s) of Jesus instead of the word believer in these presentations to allow the reader an opportunity to move away from the idea of believer which conjures up the possible thought of "ascent" to a set of doctrines that have been assembled by different groups over the centuries and show up in this day and age as a set of statements posted on web sites and other written material. These sets of beliefs are suggested by many as the ones that one should ascent to so that upon death the one who assents can go to heaven, i.e., just believe and you are good to go. Jesus followers/followers of Jesus suggest an action that one should take. Remember, Jesus told his disciples to follow him. Yes, belief is important, but one must move beyond belief to action.

 

(See "Discipleship" Dictionary of Jesus and the Gospels. 182-188.)