Monday, May 19, 2008

Pages from Ruth's Scrapbook, Part Last

Wow! Did I really turn this into a three-part post?!?!?!

Any way, Ruth is a picture of ordinary people trying to make their way and walk by faith in the God who invites them into a personal, covenant relationship.

Page One

Naomi and her family travel to Moab during a famine to find food. She goes out full, but returns empty. Her husband dies, her sons marry local gals and then 10 years later they die, too. In this time, that means she has no future, no hope. Her daughter-in-law, Ruth, comes back to Israel, too.

Page one has three Memorial Cards and a fold of black cloth.

Page Two

Women are not allowed to own property in this culture. So the ladies are destitute. Ruth goes out to support her aging mother-in-law the only way available--she goes to "glean" from the barley and wheat harvests. The Feast of Weeks regulations included a provision for the underprivileged. Farmers could not cut the grain in the corners of their fields. Those without means of support could then harvest these left-overs. Ruth and Naomi were at the mercy of God who made provision for them and at the mercy of the landowner as well.

Well, it just so happens (no such thing really), that the owner of this particular field was a man who could help with her inability to own property or support herself. And it just so happens that this particular man comes to this particular field on the day Ruth starts gleaning. And it just so happens that upon finding out she is the young woman caring for his widowed relative, he gives her favored treatment and things start looking up for Ruth. It just so happens that Boaz is a bachelor.

Page two has a shaft of barley and a shaft of wheat laying criss-cross.

Page Three

Naomi seizes on this show of kindness from God and Boaz to try and help Ruth find a home and a future. Whe lays out a plan for Ruth to invite Boaz to redeem their property and provide her a home and family. Boaz sees Ruth invitation as an act of kindess to him greater than the act of kindness she had shown to his family in gleaning to support her. He was an older man of limited means and is flattered that she would seek him out as her future.

Page three has a picture of a couple holding hands and an engagement announcement.

Page Four

The final scene of this scrapbook is an older lady bouncing a baby boy on her knee. There is a huge smile upon her face.

Boaz redeems the property and marries Ruth. After dealing with infertility, Ruth is blessed to have a son. He grows up to have a son. His son's youngest son is named David. Yes, THAT David--king of Israel.

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