Journey in the Word

Karen Ingrid Clark

Ruth: Loss to Legacy

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Week Three – Day 3WK03D03

Read Ruth 3:10-11; Proverbs 31:31           SOAP Ruth 3:11

What is Boaz’s reaction to Ruth’s request?

10 And he said, “May you be blessed by the Lord, my daughter. You have made this last kindness greater than the first in that you have not gone after young men, whether poor or rich. 11 And now, my daughter, do not fear. I will do for you all that you ask, for all my fellow townsmen know that you are a worthy woman.

Prov. 31:31 – Give her of the fruit of her hands,  and let her works praise her in the gates.

O – Boaz blesses Ruth, and calls her “my daughter.”  She is blessed by the Lord – *Boaz’s immediate use of God’s covenant Name shows His acknowledgment and recognition of Jehovah’s sovereign and providential hand in all that was taking place.*  (PreceptAustin)  This must have helped to rest Ruth’s heart, knowing that Boaz recognized God’s hand in this gesture of “protection” that Ruth was asking.

But he also acknowledged the fast that Ruth was not just thinking of herself.  This kindness (seeking out Boaz) was greater than the first (taking care of Naomi).  Ruth could have been looking for a young man – one of her own age.  She could have looked for a rich man.  But no – she obeyed Naomi, and sought out Boaz, who could also carry on the family name of Elimelech, and Ruth’s first husband, Mahlon.  Here, we see Ruth’s heart – to care for Naomi.

From PReceptAustin:  * Boaz realized that Ruth was primarily concerned for Naomi’s. It would have been natural for Ruth to have sought a husband of her own age rather than someone old enough to be her father. He had observed her reticence and respected her for it. He could do all she asked without incurring blame because the whole community had come to appreciate Ruth’s integrity….Kindness  (lovingkindness) (hesed) (used also in Ru 1:8noteRu 2:20note) conveys the basic meaning of steadfast or unfailing love and devotion. Hesed for example is used to describe God’s faithfulness to keep His covenant.*

Boaz told her not to fear – he calmed her heart.  He is going to care for her – take care of the details.  Why?  Because of Ruth and who she was.

After all, her reputation preceeded her.   Her care of Naomi, her willingness to travel to Bethlehem, her self-less work in the fields, her work ethic, her day by day care – all this was known by the town.

She was a “worthy woman.”   This is the same term used to describe Boaz in the beginning of chapter 2:  “Now Naomi had a relative of her husband’s, a worthy man of the clan of Elimelech, whose name was Boaz.”  (Ruth 2:1 – ESV)  Ruth is described in the same manner – *A woman of excellence (cp Pr 12:431:10,293031) – A woman of valor. A woman of virtue. .. The Hebrew adjective  excellence  (02428) (chayil) conveys the basic meaning of being strong or firm. One could therefore translate this phrase as “woman of strong (not strong willed) character” and this is essentially the same phrase used in Pr 31:10 to describe the ideal wife, where the writer of Proverbs emphasizes the wife’s industry, devotion to her family and her concern for others, all characteristics which Ruth had amply demonstrated. In the present context then chayil refers to Ruth’s virtue, capability, inner strength.* (PreceptAustin)

A – A worthy woman.  The words describe Ruth, but it is not dependent upon looks, or social status, or prestige, or wealth.   It is an internal quality.  To be worthy.  To have virtue.  To have strong character.  Chayil – to have virtue, capability, inner strength.   THAT is what I want to have.

I am learning that God doesn’t care much about the “outer trapping.” He cares about the heart.  The chayil.  So what does that look like – if you can’t see it?

It is caring for others – the poor, the elderly, the family members who need care.  It is self-less giving.  It is working diligently – even if no one notices (but they may!).  It is taking account of someone else’s needs ahead of your own.  It is making time to give.  It is arranging a schedule to minister to others – but not bragging about it.  It is working behind the scenes.

Am I like Ruth?   Do I work diligently?   Do I consider someone else’s needs ahead of my own?  Am I aware of the needs around me?  Do I quietly go about my business, working diligently, not looking for affirmation or praise?  The inner me, I confess, DOES look for that.  Oh, may I be a woman of self-less service, quietly going about my business, serving others and caring for the needs around me.

Because – it isn’t ME that is important.  It is the God I serve.  It is HIM that others need to notice.  Not me.  It is HIS glory that I should be seeking.  Not mine.  It is for HIS service that I work.  Not my own.  To be known for chayil.  Not Karen.  Why?  Because of who I am.  I am HIS.  But – also, He is mine!

P – Father God, You are good.  You are my Lord, and my Savior.  You have worked in my heart today.  Break my pride.  Crash my idols.  Take over and remake my heart, so that it is soft and pliable, ready to serve – You.  Father, may I not be known for my “good deeds”, but for Your working within me.  Father, shine through me today.  May I serve self-lessly.  May I serve with Your hands, Your heart today.

Who Am I (Casting Crowns) – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mBcqria2wmg

Who am I, that the lord of all the earth
Would care to know my name
Would care to feel my hurt?
Who am I, that the bright and morning star
Would choose to light the way
For my ever wandering heart?

Not because of who I am
But because of what you’ve done
Not because of what I’ve done
But because of who you are

I am a flower quickly fading
Here today and gone tomorrow
A wave tossed in the ocean
A vapor in the wind
Still you hear me when I’m calling
Lord, you catch me when I’m falling
And you’ve told me who I am
I am yours

Who am I, that the eyes that see my sin
Would look on me with love
And watch me rise again?
Who am I, that the voice that calmed the sea
Would call out through the rain
And calm the storm in me?

Not because of who I am
But because of what you’ve done
Not because of what I’ve done
But because of who you are

I am a flower quickly fading
Here today and gone tomorrow
A wave tossed in the ocean
A vapor in the wind
Still you hear me when I’m calling
Lord, you catch me when I’m falling
And you’ve told me who I am
I am yours

Not because of who I am
But because of what you’ve done
Not because of what I’ve done
But because of who you are

I am a flower quickly fading
Here today and gone tomorrow
A wave tossed in the ocean
A vapor in the wind
Still you hear me when I’m calling
Lord, you catch me when I’m falling
And you’ve told me who I am
I am yours

I am yours
I am yours
Whom shall I fear, whom shall I fear?
‘Cause I am yours
I am yours

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