Journey in the Word

Karen Ingrid Clark

Ruth: Loss to Legacy

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Week Two – Day 5WK02D05

Read Ruth 2:18-23; Psalm 119:68                               SOAP Ruth 2:20

Naomi calls Boaz “one of our redeemers.” What does she mean by this?

In Chapter 1 we see Naomi really struggling. Do you think verse 20 indicates a change in perspective and attitude? Why or why not?

17 So she gleaned in the field until evening. Then she beat out what she had gleaned, and it was about an ephah[b] of barley. 18 And she took it up and went into the city. Her mother-in-law saw what she had gleaned. She also brought out and gave her what food she had left over after being satisfied. 19 And her mother-in-law said to her, “Where did you glean today? And where have you worked? Blessed be the man who took notice of you.” So she told her mother-in-law with whom she had worked and said, “The man’s name with whom I worked today is Boaz.”20 And Naomi said to her daughter-in-law, “May he be blessed by the Lord, whose kindness has not forsaken the living or the dead!” Naomi also said to her, “The man is a close relative of ours, one of our redeemers.” 21 And Ruth the Moabite said, “Besides, he said to me, ‘You shall keep close by my young men until they have finished all my harvest.’” 22 And Naomi said to Ruth, her daughter-in-law, “It is good, my daughter, that you go out with his young women, lest in another field you be assaulted.” 23 So she kept close to the young women of Boaz, gleaning until the end of the barley and wheat harvests. And she lived with her mother-in-law.

Psalm 119:68 (ESV) – 68 You are good and do good; teach my Your statutes.

O – Ruth worked in the field until evening, then readied the wheat that she had gleaned, and ended up with an ephah of barley. (An ephah was about 3/5 bushel or 22 liters.)  She carried it home to Naomi, along with the left over food from lunch with Boaz.  Naomi started asking questions, and each time, it reveals the plan of God and protection that Boaz offered.

  • Where did you glean? Where did you work? (Blessed is the man who “noticed” you!) – Boaz’s field
  • Boaz was to be blessed by the Lord – as he did not forsake the living (Naomi) and the dead (Elimelech)
  • Boaz is a close relative – one of our “redeemers”
  • “By the way – Boaz told me to keep close to his workers until they finished harvest “– thereby giving Ruth and Naomi a source of food
  • Naomi agrees, thinking that in another field, Ruth might be assaulted


This is the point of the story when the concept of “redeemer” is introduced.  The “kinsman-redeemer” or “close relative” (qarob) refers to “one who is near – a close relative.

Amplified Bible footnote:  According to OT law (Lev 25:25), if an Israelite became so impoverished that he sold his property, his closest relative was to buy it back, so that the land would remain within the family. Such a person was called a redeemer. Another law stated that if a married man died childless, his brother was obligated to marry his widow and raise a son in the deceased brother’s name, so that the name would be carried on in Israel (Deut 25:5-10; cf Gen 38:8-10). Being aware of these laws and their applications by the scholars of that time, Naomi conceived of a plan (see ch 3:1-4) that might bring Ruth and Boaz together by having Boaz serve as a redeemer both to purchase a field that Naomi owned, and to fulfill the obligation of Deut 25:5 ff by marrying Ruth.

Boaz was in the place, at that time, to not only buy or take over Elimelech’s field, but also to carry on the family name.  Did Naomi realize this when she sent Ruth out to glean??

A – What is my take-away for today?

Take one:  Ruth was a worker!   She gathered an ephah (22 liters) of wheat – after beating out the grain – in one day.  And she did this for six weeks or more, according to the calendar of harvest.    She served Naomi, but in so doing, also provided for herself.  There is no note of complaining, of bragging, or even of self-pity.   It is sharing, thinking of someone else’s needs, and working diligently.  Is that my attitude?   Do I self-lessly work to provide, or do I promote myself?  Do I complain, or thank God for His provision?

Take Two:  Naomi seems to “change her tune” from complaining and calling herself Mara (bitter), to a woman who blessed others (Boaz).  She is starting to take the focus off herself.   BUT – she is doing this because of what Ruth is doing….. going out to the field to glean.  Wiersbe’s comment hit me on our effect on others:

Wiersbe – It is encouraging to see the changes that have taken place in Naomi because of what Ruth did. God used Ruth to turn Naomi’s bitterness into gratitude, her unbelief into faith, and her despair into hope.

One person, trusting the Lord and obeying His will,
can change a situation from defeat to victory


Does my life cause others to hope, or to change attitude or outlook?   Is my life an example of God’s grace and provision?


Take Three:   Where are my eyes?  What is my focus on?  Corrie Ten Boom’s quote also struck me:
Look at self and be distressed,
Look at others and be depressed,
Look at Jesus and you’ll be at rest!

-Corrie Ten Boom


I need to keep my eyes, my focus, on Jesus.  Jesus only.
P – Father God, thank You for Your continued provision in my life.  You have provided not only my physical needs, but my spiritual, my emotional, my heart needs as well.  You KNOW what I need, even before I know myself.  You work in my life so that I can serve You in Your strength.  Father, today, help me to live my life in such a way that others see YOU, not me.  Help me to be an example of Your grace and provision.  Help me to work today – to glorify You, not myself.  Amen.

Forever Reign (You are Good – Hillsong) –

You are good You are good
When there’s nothing good in me
You are love You are love
On display for all to see
You are light You are light
When the darkness closes in
You are hope You are hope
You have covered all my sin

You are peace You are peace
When my fear is crippling
You are true You are true
Even in my wandering
You are joy You are joy
You’re the reason that I sing
You are life You are life
In You death has lost its sting

I’m running to Your arms
I’m running to Your arms
The riches of Your love
Will always be enough
Nothing compares to Your embrace
Light of the world forever reign

You are more You are more
Than my words will ever say
You are Lord You are Lord
All creation will proclaim
You are here You are here
In Your presence I’m made whole
You are…


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