Ruth: From Survival to Revival
1:1-22, 3:11 (Pastor Heo)
Naomi and Ruth
1 In the days when the judges ruled, there was a famine in the land, and a man from Bethlehem in Judah, together with his wife and two sons, went to live for a while in the country of Moab. 2 The man’s name was Elimelech, his wife’s name Naomi, and the names of his two sons were Mahlon and Kilion. They were Ephrathites from Bethlehem, Judah. And they went to Moab and lived there. 3 Now Elimelech, Naomi’s husband, died, and she was left with her two sons. 4 They married Moabite women, one named Orpah and the other Ruth. After they had lived there about ten years, 5 both Mahlon and Kilion also died, and Naomi was left without her two sons and her husband.
6 When she heard in Moab that the LORD had come to the aid of his people by providing food for them, Naomi and her daughters-in-law prepared to return home from there. 7 With her two daughters-in-law she left the place where she had been living and set out on the road that would take them back to the land of Judah. 8 Then Naomi said to her two daughters-in-law, “Go back, each of you, to your mother’s home. May the LORD show kindness to you, as you have shown to your dead and to me. 9 May the LORD grant that each of you will find rest in the home of another husband.” Then she kissed them and they wept aloud 10 and said to her, “We will go back with you to your people.”
11 But Naomi said, “Return home, my daughters. Why would you come with me? Am I going to have any more sons, who could become your husbands? 12 Return home, my daughters; I am too old to have another husband. Even if I thought there was still hope for me–even if I had a husband tonight and then gave birth to sons– 13 would you wait until they grew up? Would you remain unmarried for them? No, my daughters. It is more bitter for me than for you, because the LORD’s hand has gone out against me!”
14 At this they wept again. Then Orpah kissed her mother-in-law good-by, but Ruth clung to her. 15 “Look,” said Naomi, “your sister-in-law is going back to her people and her gods. Go back with her.” 16 But Ruth replied, “Don’t urge me to leave you or to turn back from you. Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God. 17 Where you die I will die, and there I will be buried. May the LORD deal with me, be it ever so severely, if anything but death separates you and me.”
18 When Naomi realized that Ruth was determined to go with her, she stopped urging her. 19 So the two women went on until they came to Bethlehem. When they arrived in Bethlehem, the whole town was stirred because of them, and the women exclaimed, “Can this be Naomi?” 20 “Don’t call me Naomi, ” she told them. “Call me Mara, because the Almighty has made my life very bitter. 21 I went away full, but the LORD has brought me back empty. Why call me Naomi? The LORD has afflicted me; the Almighty has brought misfortune upon me.” 22 So Naomi returned from Moab accompanied by Ruth the Moabitess, her daughter-in-law, arriving in Bethlehem as the barley harvest was beginning.
3:11 And now, my daughter, don’t be afraid. I will do for you all you ask. All my fellow townsmen know that you are a woman of noble character.
Last Sunday, we studied Judges, today is Ruth. Judges = book of judgment from God (failure stories as a cycle – in 5 stages – rebellion, retribution, repentance, restoration, rest)
- Judges = disaster that came when the ppl of God turned away from him.
- Ruth = blessing that came when the foreigner (Gentile) came to the true God.
Ruth – in the time of Judges – very terrible days – disaster, misfortune, disobedience, disunity, foreign oppression.
But it affects, reflects a very short, temporary time of peace between Israel and Moab.
Ruth – named after the main character (daughter-in-law of Naomi).
There are 4 chapters, it covers only 12 years in all. 10 years in the land of Moab, 2 years in Bethlehem.
In the times of Judges, there was a famine in Israel (esp. Bethlehem = “house of bread”). Elimelech = moved to Moab with wife and two sons (who married Moabite women). He died shortly thereafter.
After about 10 years, both sons died – only 3 widows were left.
One day, Naomi heard that the famine was over in Israel (God had visited his people by providing food again). Naomi decided to return home. The other two started out with her but Naomi eventually said, “Hey, thanks, that’s enough, just go ahead and go back home.” Orpah kissed Naomi goodbye, but Ruth clung to her. “Don’t urge me to leave you – wherever you go, I’ll go, wherever you die, I’ll die, etc” (3:16 = KEY VERSE = “your God will be my God”).
Her decision was too strong for Naomi to stop her – so the two of them arrived at Bethlehem.
The harvest for barley had just started at that time. They were poor and homeless – no money, no job, nothing. Naomi was old, Ruth young, so she had a responsibility to do something to provide for her mother-in-law. She said, “Let me go into the fields and glean some grain.” “OK.”
She went to Boaz’s field to glean (coincidentally…maybe). He was a distant relative of Naomi.
At that time, the men cut the grain, the women followed to gather it up, in a third line, the poor, fatherless, widowed, homeless, foreigners, were allowed to come and pick up the leftovers.
Boaz eventually came to his field and noticed Ruth – he asked the men in charge “Say, who is she?” “She’s a foreigner from Moab – the daughter-in-law of Naomi.” Actually, he’d already heard about what she’d done for her mother-in-law and he blessed her for her sacrifice and work, “Just stay in my field and glean from here until the harvest is finished.” He blessed her with food and drink and ordered his workers “Do not touch her, do not rebuke her, do not molest her – in fact, pick out some grain specifically for her.” She picked up 10kg/km? of grain.
In this way, Naomi and Ruth lived together happily until the harvest season almost finished.
One day, Naomi said to Ruth, “I must find a husband for you.” (She was thinking Boaz) – they had a levirate marriage as a custom at that time (it means “husband’s brother” – leviritic marriage) – if a man dies without a son, his nearest relative marries the widow in order to continue the family name of the brother.
So, if MANY brothers live in the same place, and one brother marries without a son, then a surviving brother should take the widow as his wife and carry on the name of the son who had died.
This was not required – the son was not forced to marry the widow, the next relative/brother would have a chance to marry the widow. (Based on Deut 25:5 – this is a kind of family and inheritance custom “If brothers are living together and one of them dies without a son, his widow must not marry outside the family. His brother should take her and marry her and fulfill his duty as a brother-in-law to her.”)
According to this system, Naomi said, “Hey, tonight could be a huge chance for you.” Boaz would definitely be threshing – with a party and drinking and sleep outside. She told Naomi to get all cleaned up and attractive like a bride, “then go to the place he is threshing, but don’t let him know you’re there – when he sleeps, approach him, lift his cover, lie down at his feet.” This was the action of a request for marriage at that time.
Ruth did it all. Boaz was surprised to wake up and find something at his feet “Who’s there?” “It’s Ruth – you are the kinsman-redeemer – you are responsible to care for me, please marry me.” He praised her, “Wow, you are a woman of noble character, yes, I will do everything you ask. But wait. There is another closer kinsman than I, if he wants, I will not, but if he does not, then I will.” The other didn’t want, so Boaz got the girl.
Ruth eventually became:
- the great grandmother of David – the greatest king of Israel – and
- the great, great… grandmother of Jesus. (Matthew 1 … “Boaz, father of Obed, (mother Ruth), the father of Jesse, the father of David.”
So what lessons can we learn from this story? MANY – but let me say just a few:
#1: Decision is VERY important
Yes, our lives are a continuation of decisions – big or small. Sometimes ONE single decision can make EVERYTHING different. Sometimes we can know our decisions reveal and show WHO is really my king. We can say, “Jesus is my king” but your decisions SHOW whether or not that is true.
There is a big contrast between Elimelech (father-in-law) and Ruth: good/bad, right/wrong
1. Elimelech’s decision during the Famine
He turned to Moab (in the “house of bread” no bread is not by accident – but as a result of their disobedience and rebellion against God) – No food = discipline from God. In this case, he SHOULD repent and turn to God, NOT turn and run away from God to another place. Deut 23:3 “No Moabite, no Ammonite, nor any of their descendants may enter the assembly of God even to the 10th generation.” At that time, this was an EVIL culture.
Yes, if he’d gone as a missionary, OK, but to go and live there and mix with them, this is further disobedience.
Elimelech means “God is king” – but his decisions don’t show that… His actions reveal that his king is himself.
It is very EASY to say with our lips “Jesus is my king” but he is never deceived with our lip service.
If he is TRULY king, he must be so in EVERY area (even the really hard and painful ones).
As soon as he arrived in Moab, he died soon. And his two sons died soon as well. We don’t know how, but we know it was a WRONG decision.
2. Ruth’s decision after the Famine
She had a chance to go back and marry with another young man of her own country. But her decision was to cling to her miserable foreign mother-in-law.
So, she abandoned:
- her entire family, friends, language, culture, food, land, EVERYTHING,
In order to gain:
- a foreign, miserable, mother-in-law.
WOW. Stupid. Foolish. (That’s what we think.) But God thinks, “Wow. Best decision. Eternal decision.” – Ruth says, “Your God, my God.” She abandoned ALL things temporary to gain eternal things.
Yes, even today, Jesus tells us, “I tell you the truth, no one who has left family and friends, and land, etc, for me will not receive 100 times more in the life to come.”
If we abandon all things for HIM, we gain all – as Paul wrote, “Whatever I’ve gained, I consider it as loss, and whatever I’ve lost, I consider it as gain. All things are rubbish in the light of Christ.”
- Ruth = us, the church
- Boaz = Christ, the “kinsman-redeemer”
This word is repeated 13 times “kinsman (close relative) redeemer”.
Yes, we were once just like Ruth – far from God, hopeless, helpless, foreign, poor – but God redeemed us like Boaz – VERY rich, kind, graceful, compassionate, and he rescued us and redeemed us and brought us into his family.
1 Peter 1:18-19 “We know it was not with perishable things we were redeemed, but it was with the precious blood of the Lamb – He redeemed us from the curse of sin by BECOMING the curse for us.”
Christ redeemed us so that the blessing of Abraham might come to us (Gentiles) as well.
Yes, in chp 1, when Naomi returned to Bethlehem, the neighbors welcomed her, but she said, “Don’t call me Naomi (happy), but call me Mara (bitter)” – she thought that God condemned her and sent her trouble.
BUT IN FACT, God had a wonderful plan for her so that she might experience a BETTER revival from mere survival.
Like this, God has a wonderful plan to rescue us from mere “survival” and lead us into “revival” – this is the wonderful plan of our Lord, Jesus Christ.
His promise: “Yes, we know that in ALL these things, God is working all things together for the good of those who love him and are called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8)
His plan for our future is a wonderful life – eternal life – abundant life in our LORD Jesus Christ. God is working (always) for the good of those who love him and have been called according to his purpose and design.
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룻기 : 간신히 살아남음에서 부흥으로
지난번 사사기서는 실패의 이야기 입니다. 5가지 단계를 거쳐 반복되지만 하나님께로 부터 돌아섰을 때 어떻게 되는 지를 보여줍니다.
룻은 이방인이 하나님께 왔을 때 받는 축복을 보여줍니다.
사사기 시대는 끔찍한 재난의 시대였습니다. 룻기가 쓰여진 시대는 사사기 때로 하나님이 사사를 보내셔서 잠시동안 쉼(평화)가 있었던 시기 였습니다.
룻기는 모압에서 10년 베들레헴에서 2년기간동안의 이야기입니다.
룻은 나오미의 며느리 이름입니다. 이스라엘에 기근이 있었고 베들레헴에 살던 엘리멜렉은 베들레헴이 빵의 집이라는 의미였음에도 불구하고 먹을 것이 없어서 모압으로 이사를 갑니다. 그리고 그 두아들은 모압여자와 결혼을 합니다. 어느날 남편과 두아들이 다 죽고 세 과부만 남겨집니다.
나오미는 이 절망적인 상황에서 이스라엘에 기근이 끝났다는 소식을 듣습니다. 하나님이 그의 백성에게 다시 음식을 제공하시기 시작하신 것입니다. 그래서 이스라엘로 떠나려고 할 때 두 며느리에게 말합니다. 나는 괜찮으니 너희는 너희 고향에 남아서 다시 결혼을 하고 살으라고 합니다. 두 며느리중 오르바는 울고 떠나갑니다.
그러나 룻의 대답은 달랐습니다.
룻1:16 ‘내게 어머니를 떠나며 어머니를 따르지 말고 돌아가라 강권하지 마옵소서 어머니께서 가시는 곳에 나도 가고 어머니께서 머무시는 곳에서 나도 머물겠나이다 어머니의 백성이 나의 백성이 되고 어머니의 하나님이 나의 하나님이 되시리니.’
이렇게 베들레헴으로 돌아간 룻과 나오미는 직업도 없고 돈도 없었기 때문에 살아남기 위해 뭔가 해야만 했습니다. 어느날 룻이 곡식을 주으러 가겠다고 합니다. 룻이 간 곳은 알고보니 보아스라는 엘리멜렉의 친족의 것이었습니다.
그 당시 남자는 곡식을 베고 여자들이 단을 묶으며 따라갔습니다. 가난한자, 과부, 집없는 사람, 이방인들은 그 뒤를 따라가며 이삭을 주을 수 있었습니다. 보아스가 그의 밭에왔을 때 그는 처음보는 룻이 누구냐고 묻자 벼베는 자들이 모압에서 온 돌아온 나오미와 함께 온 소녀라고 말합니다. 보아스는 이 말을 듣고 룻을 알아봅니다. 왜냐하면 나오미가 돌아올때에 베들레헴이 떠들석하게 반길 때 나오미가 여호와께서 나를 치셨으므로 나를 ‘마라’라 부르라며 이야기를 했기 때문입니다.
보아스는 룻에게 네가 네 남편이 죽은 후에 네 시어머니에게 어떻게 했고 네가 부모와 고국을 떠나 전에 알지 못하던 백성에게로 온 일을 알고 있다며
룻에게 이삭을 주으러 다른 밭으로 가지 말고 목이 마르면 소년들이 길러온 물을 먹고 곡식을 조금씩 룻을 위해 뽑아 버리게 해서 룻이 하루에 주은 곡식은 10kg나 됩니다. 추수기간이 끝날 때 까지 나오미와 룻은 행복하게 지냅니다.
어느날 나오미가 룻에게 너의 남편될 자를 찾아보겠다 합니다. 이것은 수혼(Levirate marriage 남편이 죽으면 남편의 형이나 동생 부터 가까운 친척이 결혼하여 그 사람이 이름이 이어지도록 하는 제도)
이것은 의무는 아니고 사랑에서 나오는 배려였습니다. 그래서 해당 사람(가장 가까운 친족)이 거부하면 그 다음사람에게 무르게 되어 있었습니다.
추수가 끝날 때의 관습은 같이 먹고 마시고 그 타작마당에서 자는 것이었습니다.
오늘 보아스가 타작마당에서 잘 것이다. 가서 신부처럼 꾸미고 먹고 다 마시고 누울 때까지 보이지 않도록해라. 이당시에 이것은 결혼을 요구하는 행동이었습니다. 룻은 시어머니가 시킨대로 따랐고 잠을 자다가 발끝에 뭐가 걸린 보아스는 깜짝 놀랐습니다. 룻은 보아스에게 말합니다. 당신은 기업무를 자이오니 저와 결혼해 주십시오 라고 합니다. 그러자 보아스는 나도다 더 가까운 친족이 있으니 내가 그에게 먼저 물으리라 하고 그가 응하지 않으면 내가 반드시 하겠노라고 합니다.
그 다음날 그 기업무를 사람이 거부하자 보아스가 룻과 결혼을 하게 됩니다.
이로인해서 룻은 다윗와의 할머니의할머니(great grand mother)가 됩니다. 멀리 예수님의 할머니의 할머니의 할머니……할머니가 된 것입니다.
여기서 우리가 얻는 교훈이 무엇입니까?
첫째, 중대한 결정입니다.
오늘 아침에도 작은 결정들을 하셨을 것입니다. 가끔씩 한가지 결정은 다른 모든 것들을 다르게 만듭니다. 그리고 그 결정은 누가 우리의 왕인지를 실제로 보여줍니다.
ㅇ엘리멜렉과 룻의 차이점
기근이 왔을 때 엘리멜렉은 모압으로 갔습니다. 빵의 집이라는 베들레헴에 식량이 없었던 것은 우연이 아니라 하나님께 반항하고 불순종한 결과로 하나님이 훈육하시는 것이었습니다. 신 23:3 “암몬 사람과 모압 사람은 여호와의 총회에 들어오지 못하리니 그들에게 속한 자는 십 대 뿐 아니라 영원히 여호와의 총회에 들어오지 못하리라” 할 만큼 모압의 문화가 악했습니다. 엘리멜렉은 선교사로 갔을 수도 있지만 거기에 섞여서 사는 우를 범했습니다.
엘리멜렉이라는 이름은 ‘하나님이 왕이시다’는 뜻이 지만 그의 결정은 그렇지 않았습니다. 그 자신이 왕이었습니다.
룻은 자기나라의 다른 젊은이들과 다시 결혼 할 수 있었음에도 비참한 이방 시어머니를 따르기로 결정합니다. 다 버려야 했습니다. 친정 식구들, 친구들, 언어, 문화, 음식, 땅-
예수님도 말씀하셨습니다. “내가 진실로 이르노니 누구든지 내게로 오는 사람은 자기 아버지나 어머니나 아내나 자식이나 형제나 자매 뿐만 아니라, 심지어 자기 목숨까지도 미워하지 않으면 내 제자가 될 수 없다.” 고
- 룻은 우리이고 또 우리 교회
- 보아스는 구원자 (기업무를자) 예수님을 의미합니다.
보아스를 설명할 때 13번 이나 기업무를 자 라는 말이 나옵니다. 우리도 한 때 룻과 같았습니다. 희망도 없었고 도움도 없었고 , 가난 하고 이방인이었습니다. 이렇때 보아스(예수님)보다 따뜻고 은혜롭고 부자가 우리를 구원해주시고 그 가족으로 받아주셨습니다.
하나님의 계획은 영원한 삶과 풍성한 삶입니다.