(Don’t forget to scroll to the end to see who won the book giveaway from last week)!
For the next seven months, the blog articles and Bite of Bread Bible reading plan will be based on my Bible study on Ruth. It sounds like an eternity, I know, but the study has 31 lessons with each focused on a Hebrew word. Though I’m nervous about stretching the study out that long, one of the virtues of the BoB weekly reading plans is brevity. . . Bible reading plans that fit your busy life and feed your hungry soul. I’m trying to keep with the short weekly plans, thus we will study one lesson of Ruth a week rather than three or five. We are taking one day at a time.
No Book Required
You don’t need to purchase the book to glean from what we’re studying. I will still make a BoB printable with the reading plan/theme for the week for those not using the book. These reading plans will be based on the lesson we’re working on. However, if you would like to follow along with the study, you can get it through Amazon or CBD.com. It’s on sale on both sites currently!
Come dig deep with me into one of the most beloved books of the Bible. Come meet Ruth and Naomi, two desperate widows. Watch how faithful God is to them. Oh my friends, he is so faithful. Our stories look very different from theirs, but we are so very much the same. We all need a redeemer–someone to turn our ashes into beauty and our mourning into joy.
In Need of a Redeemer (Ga’al)
In the book of Ruth, Naomi and Ruth desperately need a kinsman-redeemer. This man was a relative who could buy back the land once sold by Naomi’s deceased husband. By doing so he would be buying Naomi’s right to their land and home. The law also provided instruction for a redeemer to marry the widow of a deceased brother or kin. (There is so much more here, but I can’t get into the weeds of it now.)
The Hebrew word for redeemer is the beautiful word Ga’al. God provides a Ga’al for these women. His name is Boaz. If you’ve read Ruth, you know it’s hard not to fall in love with Boaz.
In Need of a Redeemer Everyday
I was stuck on the word “redeem” years ago when my kids were small. It became one of God’s characteristics (redeemer) that I appreciated most. I was in desperate need of redemption throughout the day. Children have a way of trying the Jesus in you, and sometimes I would fail. That’s when I would not be wise or loving handling a challenging moment, and I would pray that God would redeem those words, or actions. Sometimes I’d pray he’d redeem the whole day! Have you been there?
The English definition for “redeem” is to “compensate for the faults or bad aspects (of something)” or to “gain or regain possession (of something) in exchange for payment.” (Google dictionary)
My prayer for God to redeem my actions fall under the first definition. But I view redemption not only as God “compensating” for my faults but turning that bad moment into a better one. I’ve always considered redemption a lot like Romans 8:28:
He’s Working It Out for Good
We can learn so much from Ruth and Naomi. Their lives looked hopeless.
But hope was waiting for them. (If you are in a hopeless situation you might benefit from my post about being hopeless.) God had not abandoned her even though Naomi felt he was punishing her for the family’s move to the Moab.
In chapter one of my book we start with the end, the last chapter, because sometimes we need to. Sometimes we need to hold the good ending of the story to get through the pain.
Holding Onto the Good End of Our Story
At the end of the story, Boaz and Ruth marry and conceive a child. It’s better than any Hallmark movie I’ve seen! It’s a beautiful story of God not only providing the kinsman-redeemer but also hope and promise for their future as Ruth gives birth to a son.
The women said to Naomi: “Praise be to the Lord, who this day has not left you without a guardian-redeemer. May he become famous throughout Israel! 15 He will renew your life and sustain you in your old age. For your daughter-in-law, who loves you and who is better to you than seven sons, has given him birth.”
16 Then Naomi took the child in her arms and cared for him.
Our English word “left” has been translated from the Hebrew word, Shabath which means “ceased, ended, or rested.” Though there were many days when Naomi felt hopeless and that God has abandoned her, God never did. I write about the significance of this word in the study:
. . . I would like to plant the thought that not only did God not leave Naomi without ga’al,he never rested one minute, closed the door, burned the bridge, ceased providing the opportunity for Naomi’s redemption. And by leaving that door open, God himself was her “bigger picture” ga’al –her big “G” ga’al. He was the open door. Because he was the Provider, he was the Way for her to be bought back.The Book of Ruth Key Word Bible Study: a 31-Day Journey to Hope and Promise, p. 12.
You know where I’m going, don’t you? The love story, redemption story of Ruth is ours. We desperately need a Redeemer who not only pays the way for us to be brought into the family and restore our identity, but a redeemer who makes us His. We need to be loved. Accepted. Protected. And given hope.
Bite of Bread Bible Reading Plan….Redeemer
If you don’t have the book, here’s the reading plan for the week that you can use instead of purchasing the study. You don’t get all the good stuff in the chapters, but I’ve taken out the main scriptures we dig through and some of the questions. Click on the links for the printable to download or print these scriptures for your quiet time.
Ruth 4:14: The women said to Naomi: “Praise be to the Lord, who this day has not left you without a kinsman-redeemer. May he become famous throughout Israel!
Prompt: The word “left” is the Hebrew word Shabath which means rested, ended, or ceased. This is God’s personality. His faithfulness. Write down some things that God has done in your life that proves he has not rested from providing a way to be redeemed.
Ruth 4:16-17: Then Naomi took the child in her arms and cared for him.The women living there said, “Naomi has a son!” And they named him Obed. He was the father of Jesse, the father of David.
Prompt: Who did Obed become according to this verse? What does this tell you about God? Remember, Ruth was from Moab and Naomi’s family had moved there which was not a good thing for a Jewish family to do.
Psalm 103: 1-5: Praise
the Lord, my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy name.
Praise the Lord, my soul, and forget not all his benefits—
who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion, who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.
Prompt: How has God redeemed your life from the pit?
John 14:6: Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.
Prompt: Underline what Jesus says he is. Write down how he’s demonstrated these things.
Matthew 1: 1-6: This is the genealogy[a] of Jesus the Messiah[b] the son of David, the son of Abraham: Abraham was the father of Isaac, Isaac the father of Jacob, Jacob the father of Judah and his brothers, Judah the father of Perez and Zerah, whose mother was Tamar, Perez the father of Hezron, Hezron the father of Ram, Ram the father of Amminadab, Amminadab the father of Nahshon, Nahshon the father of Salmon, Salmon the father of Boaz, whose mother was Rahab, Boaz the father of Obed, whose mother was Ruth, Obed the father of Jesse, and Jesse the father of King David.
Prompt: This is so cool to me. Write down what you see that’s amazing about the names I’ve bolded. Who else came from this family line? (read 1:16)
Join Me Wednesday!
I hope you can carve some time out this week to begin this long journey with us through the Book of Ruth. We will be LIVE on Facebook Wednesday night at 7:30 PM ET. I can’t wait to dig deeper with you one day at a time to really glean all the treasures the story of Ruth holds. If you can’t join us, find me on You Tube. You can subscribe to receive notice of new teachings.
Winner of A Mary Like Me: Flawed Yet Called!
There’s a winner from last week’s giveaway on the post, How Do You Hear Jesus. Her name is Lee! I don’t have her last name (or maybe first) but I have her e-mail, so I’ll be reaching out to Lee. Thanks so much to all of you who entered by leaving a comment. I was so blessed by what you shared. (Ya’ll should check their comments out.)
Blessings on your week! See you Wednesday (I hope!)