Study 9 Presentation 

The Story also talks about five movements that take part in God’s Story: 

Movement 1: The Story of the Garden (Genesis 1-11) 

Movement 2: The Story of Israel (Genesis 12 – Malachi) 

Movement 3: The Story of Jesus (Matthew – John) 

Movement 4: The Story of the Church (Acts – Jude) 

Movement 5: The Story of a New Garden (Revelation) 

The Faith of a Foreign Woman 

Ruth 1:1 (ESV) 

1 In the days when the judges ruled there was a famine in the land, and a man of Bethlehem in Judah went to sojourn in the country of Moab, he and his wife and his two sons. 

One of two books of the Bible named after a woman 

Only book named for a non-Israelite 

One of three women named in the genealogy of Jesus from Matthew 1 

Book serves as a breath of fresh air after Judges 

Story of God’s faithful people during a time of unfaithfulness, violence and depravity 

Timeless Truth: God’s Gracious Redemption Extends to All 

I. Background 

A. Time of the Judges 

i. Early as Ehud – Moabite rule

ii. Late as Gideon – Ammonite rule 

B. Famine in Israel 

i. Ammonites – destroyed farm land and crops 

C. Moab 

i. Descendants of Lot – along with the Ammonites 

ii. Attacked Israel – Balak 

1. Balaam – hired to curse Israel 

2. Corrupted Israel – through sexual immorality and idolatry 

3. Forbidden from the assembly of God – Dt. 23:3-6 

iii. Enemies of Israel 

II. Elimelek 

A. “God is my king” 

B. Family 

i. Naomi – “Beautiful / Plentiful” 

ii. Mahlon 

iii. Kilion 

C. Bethlehem – “House of Bread” 

D. To Moab 

i. Ten years – decade of disobedience – fled from death only to find it in a foreign land 

E. Death 

III. Naomi, Part 1 

A. Single mother 

B. Marriages – Orpah and Ruth – practical decisions but not spiritual – Jews were forbidden to marry Gentiles – especially those excluded like Moabites – use all their resources to pay the bridal price 

C. Death – both boys die young 

D. Back to Judah – food in Judah; nothing left for her in Moab 

i. Encourages the girls to return home – practical decision, not spiritual; young enough for remarriage – both girls offer to stay (good mother-inlaw) – Orpah loves her mother-in-law but chooses to leave 

IV. Ruth, Part 1 

A. Where you go, I’ll go – powerful statement of love and faith 

B. To Bethlehem 

i. Barley harvest – plentiful food 

ii. Reaction of the people – “Can this be Naomi?” 

iii. Naomi to Mara – “bitter” – blames God, when decisions were made apart from God – “went away full, came back empty” 

C. Work 

i. Law of Moses – leave gleanings for the poor – Naomi and Ruth are without land and employment 

ii. Field – after the land owner’s workers go through the fields; leftovers 

iii. Hard worker – all day with only a short rest 

V. Boaz, Part 1 

A. “In him is strength” 

B. Worthy man – of the clan of Elimelech – reminder that even the godly suffered in the nation 

C. Greets the harvesters – YAHWEH be with you 

D. Notices Ruth – indicates he knows the people working his fields 

E. Report of the overseer – Moabite; with Naomi; asked first; worked all day with only a short rest 

F. Meets Ruth 

i. “My daughter” – suggests she is young and he is older 

ii. Invites her to work the fields 

iii. Upgrades her status – glean with my workers 

iv. Compliments her – care for Naomi; impressed by Ruth but no indication that he has any physical desire for her – no agenda, above reproach – a statement of his character 

v. Ruth responds – why are you doing all this? – humility and gratitude 

vi. Honored guest – at mealtime; commands his men to leave extra for her 

VI. Ruth, Part 2 

A. Continues to work – doesn’t relax or take it easy with her new status 

i. Gleans – as long as she can ii. Threshes – into the night 

B. Naomi’s reaction 

i. Surprise – at how much she has; “Where did you work?” 

ii. Hears about Boaz 

iii. Hope – because of Boaz – who he is and what he has done – leading her back to the LORD iv. Plan begins 

1. Kinsman Redeemer – keep the land within the tribe; if sold, close relative can redeem the land – also would take the responsibility for the family 

2. Safety – Judges – everyone did what was right in their own eyes – stories of rape and murder

VII. Naomi, Part 2 

A. Barley harvest 

i. Ruth continues to work 

ii. Nightly party – men stay in the harvest area; protect the grain; celebrate the harvest 

B. Plan 

i. Widow to bride – has Ruth prepare herself as a bride: wash, anointed with oil, best clothes; learn from Naomi how to present herself; trust – follow Naomi’s directions; submit – let Boaz take the lead – danger of rejection 

VIII. Boaz, Part 2 

A. Falls asleep 

i. Uncover his feet – unclear what this means; Ruth lies down with him 

ii. Delivers the message from Naomi – let Boaz know that you are interested in having him be your Kinsman Redeemer; message is clear 

B. Response 

i. Blesses Ruth 

ii. Recognizes she has acted honorably – she could have taken advantage of the situation 

iii. Aware of his relationship – knew he was a kinsman redeemer but also knew that there was a closer relative 

iv. Indicates the age difference – compliments her for not running after younger men 

v. Promises to act – as soon as possible 

vi. Concern for Ruth – leave before anyone sees you; protect reputation; not a walk of shame

vii. Gift – large gift as a promise 

IX. Boaz, Part 3 

A. City gate – early so not to miss the other relative; place where business is transacted 

B. Gathers 10 elders – witnesses; trying to do things right 

C. Kinsman Redeemer – Lev 25:25-27 

i. Close relative 

ii. Ability to redeem 

iii. Pay the price – costs the redeemer and benefits the redeemed; man is willing to do this 

D. Levirate marriage – Dt 25:5-10 

i. Produce an heir for the dead relative 

ii. Provide for the widow – unwilling to do this; fears for his inheritance: may not produce another heir, superstitious – dead husband, Moabite – prejudice 

E. Takes the obligations 

i. Redeem the land 

ii. Marry Ruth 

iii. Righteous – official witnesses; does everything properly 

F. Character 

i. Genuine faith – during a time of apostasy 

ii. Moral character – does everything the right way; older but unmarried 

iii. Family background – Son of Salmon and Rahab the prostitute from Jericho; raised to be righteous and exemplary; incredible story of redemption for Rahab 

X. Ending 

A. Whole town celebrates 

B. Obed – “Servant” – credited to Naomi – servant who restores Naomi – restores the promise of the Savior 

C. Great grandson – David 

XI. Application 

A. Love story – glimpse of the love between God and his people 

B. Union of Jews and Gentiles into the redemption story 

C. Helps us understand the process of redemption 

D. Part of the Lower Story of Jesus 

E. True Kingship – Judges: there was no king; Elimelech: God is my king, but didn’t live that way; Ruth: trusting in the true King to take care of His people 

Ruth 4:14 (ESV) 

14 Then the women said to Naomi, “Blessed be the LORD, who has not left you this day without a redeemer, and may his name be renowned in Israel!