WEEK 3: LEVELS OF OBEDIENCE
Read: Chapter 3:1-6
1. During the threshing season it was customary for the landowner to spend the night, near the threshing floor, protecting his grain from theft (verses 1-4). In the absence of any real response from Boaz, Naomi believed it was an opportune time for Ruth to make a move. What did Naomi tell Ruth to do?
2. In a male orientated society, Naomi basically asked Ruth to appeal to Boaz’s obligations under the marriage laws. Naomi told Ruth to prepare herself as a bride, and effectively ask Boaz to marry her. How do you think that Ruth would felt to such a suggestion? What would have gone through her mind?
3. At no stage did Naomi ask Ruth to compromise herself. What Naomi suggested, although probably unusual, may have been in accordance with an early Bedouin tradition. However no sexual impropriety is suggested (verses 5-6). However, given similar circumstances would you be brave enough to do as Naomi suggested?
Read: Chapter 3:7-13
4. Once Boaz had eaten, and was a little drunk, he settled down and went to sleep. It was then that Ruth approached him, and did as Naomi had suggested (verses 7-8). How do you think that Boaz felt when he woke up, and what do you think he would have thought that this mystery woman wanted?
5. When Ruth identified herself, and explained her presence (verse 9-13), Boaz understood clearly what she was doing there. What did he say to her? And what did he promise that he would do?
6. Ruth’s obedience to Naomi, and God’s laws, resulted in Ruth being blessed by Boaz, and with his promise of finding a second husband for Ruth. When you have been obedient to God’s will, what sort of things have you been blessed with?
Read: Chapter 3:14-18
7. Early in the morning, Ruth removed herself from the scene before she could be seen and recognised by others (verse 14). Why were Ruth and Boaz so keen that no misunderstanding should take place? And what difference, if any, would any misunderstanding have had in regard to the promise that Boaz had made?
8. In the morning Boaz, again, went beyond what was legally required to care for Ruth, and then he went to town. What does this say about Boaz’s attitude towards Ruth, and the need to obey God’s laws?
9. When it comes to obeying God’s laws, do we always show the same kind of dedication and obedience that Ruth and Boaz showed? Explain.
10. Ruth would not have had long to wait for Boaz to resolve the marriage law issue. Even so, remembering that Ruth was a Moabite by birth and not an Israelite, consider some of the things that would have been going through Ruth and Naomi’s minds as they waited to hear back from Boaz.
11. Ruth and Naomi were in the process of being blessed because of their dedication and obedience to God, and to each other. What does that tells us about the level of dedication and obedience we need in our relationship with God and with each other?
Posted: 2nd February 2016
© 2016, Brian A Curtis