Ruth and Boaz March 6-10
Ruth is the story of a young Moabite woman who comes to the love of God and the joy of belonging to His people through her Jewish mother-in-law, Naomi. As these two women navigate the battles of life, there is unmistakable evidence of God’s good purposes. God is at work to redeem Ruth and His people to Himself with the help from a man named Boaz. Through this story we see that we also need a Kinsman-Redeemer who will do whatever it takes to help us. This story of Ruth and Boaz is a picture of how Jesus redeems us. Jesus is the ultimate “Kinsman-Redeemer” who voluntarily paid the price for our debt and takes us as His bride.
Day 1 Ruth 1:1-22
Reflect: Why do you think Ruth insisted on going with Naomi? What does this say about Naomi? About Ruth? Describe Naomi’s faith and view of God at this point.
Apply: Who has been a “Ruth” to you, going out of their way to be there for you in a time of need? Using Naomi’s terms, in what way is your life “full”? In what way is it “empty”?
Pray: Father, thank You for the reminder of Ruth and Naomi, that no one is outside Your offer of salvation, no one is beyond redemption, and that no matter how far someone has strayed, You are ready and willing to bring them back into fellowship with You.
Day 2 Ruth 2:1-20
Reflect: What do you most admire about Ruth in this story? About Boaz? How would you rate yourself on the qualities you see in them? How do you see God already working?
Apply: When it comes to relating to other people, what lesson from this story do you most need to apply? How have you been “well provided for” by other people? By God?
Pray: Father, let me not rely on my own abilities, but trust You in all things. Help me to live my life in active dependence on You alone. Use my life to advance Your plans and purposes in whatever way You choose, living each day to Your honor.
Reflect: What were Naomi’s intentions in sending Ruth to Boaz? What do you think were Boaz’s motives? What is a kinsman-redeemer? (Leviticus 25:25)
Apply: What is your primary takeaway from this story? To whom do you most relate? Describe how Naomi and Ruth were redeemed and how this applies to us today.
Pray: Lord, may I be like Ruth, courageous, loving and clinging to You; like Boaz, a person of integrity, obeying God’s law even in the secret places; like Naomi, loved despite my failings and hurts and overwhelmed by Your unexpected blessing.
Day 4 Isaiah 54:5-8
Reflect: How does this passage relate to the story of Ruth and Naomi? How is God referred to and described, and how are we to understand our relationship to Him?
Apply: When have you experienced the compassion of God? When has He hidden His face from you and why? Which of these names of God do you use more often?
Pray: Great Redeemer, I humbly come before Your throne and thank You for redeeming me from the sin that entangled me. Guard my heart from deceptive lies and make me aware of Your daily presence.
Day 5 1 Peter 1:17-21
Reflect: What is implied in the command to live out your life as a foreigner (verse 17)? How does Peter describe the life from which we were rescued? The great value of our redemption?
Apply: When you think of Jesus as your Redeemer, what comes to mind? Who do you know in need of redemption? Ask God how you can bring His good news to them.
Pray: Father, I praise You for the precious blood of Jesus Christ, my Kinsman-Redeemer, and the sacrifice for my sin. Thank You that He set aside His glory in order to purchase me back from the slave-market of sin and death so that I might live with Him eternally.
Put It Into Practice!
Lent is the Christian season of repentance and renewal. This year we are focusing on and studying the ways God accomplishes His redeeming work in and through us. The suggested “Put It Into Practice” exercises for this series are practices of spiritual devotion fitting for this sacred period of cleansing, contemplation, and renewal. Try them all, a few, or just choose one to practice this Lenten season.
Reflect – The ancient practice of reflection is a tool for looking back at your day and noticing where God has been present and at work, as well as to recognize things about yourself that may need to be reshaped by the Potter. During this time, spend a few moments in gratitude for the gifts and blessings of the day. Ask God to enlighten you about where His presence in your day. Examine the moments of your day, noticing your reactions to what has led to consolation and what has led to desolation. Seek forgiveness for the times when you have acted, spoken or thought contrary to God’s grace and calling for you. Resolve to change. Decide what in your behavior or attitude you will try to improve tomorrow.
Practice generosity – Just as Boaz, be generous with your money, food, time and talents to those in need. Carefully examine what motivates you to be generous under the shadow of the Cross, for almsgiving is of little value if we give only to relieve our conscience but remain indifferent to those in need.
Strengthen relationships – Help your family and strive to sacrifice of yourself for their benefit. Go the extra mile to maintain communication, to heal old wounds, and mend broken bridges. Learn to apologize and to put yourself in others’ shoes. Reach beyond your comfort zone by engaging with people who are different than you. Seek out the best in others and give the best that is in yourself. Remember Jesus’ parable of the prodigal son, the loving Father, and the elder son.
Fast – Intentionally withhold something you would normally partake in for the purpose of creating space in your life to feast on the presence of Jesus “directly.” Fast from foods associated with “feasting”—chocolate, desserts, coffee/caffeine, alcohol, etc. Fast from media or entertainment: cell phone, TV, streaming video, radio, music, email, computers, video games, etc. Fast from habits and comforts—shopping, looking in the mirror, makeup, elevators, parking in a spot close to the store, finding the shortest checkout line, reading online, following sports, etc.
Confession – Allow the spiritual discipline of confession which leads to forgiveness, to be part of your daily practice. Before we can experience the full grace, healing and redemption made available through Jesus, we must turn from our sins and confess them to God. Dig deep. What sins of unfaithfulness to God do you need to confess?
Rejoice in the Lord— Let the joy of the Lord be your strength! On Sundays, if what you have sacrificed through fasting increases the joy of this wonderful day, then sacrifice it. If it does not, then do not. The joy of the Lord must be your strength!