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Redemption (4 of 4)
Series: Bitter/Sweet: The Story of Ruth
Today is part 4 out of 4 in our study of the book of Ruth. Every week the story has left us hanging, and today we finally get to see how it all turns out.
So we've been saying that Ruth is a story about loss. Because this woman, Naomi, loses so many things. There's a famine in her hometown of Bethlehem, so she and her husband and their two sons go to a place called Moab, looking for food. When they're in Moab, first her husband and then both of her adults sons die. So she returns to Israel with her one daughter-in-law, Ruth. Naomi feels bitter and empty; Ruth somehow has the energy and the optimism to go out in the fields and find work; and she winds up in the field of a guy named Boaz. Boaz is not only an eligible bachelor; he's related to Naomi's family-which, in that culture, meant there was some social pressure for him to consider marrying the young widow, Ruth. So one night, Ruth sneaks into the area where the workers are; she goes over to a sleeping Boaz and uncovers his feet, which you should never try today, but in that culture it signified her interest in marriage. Boaz is flattered and very interested, but he informs Ruth that there's actually a relative who's closer to Naomi's family than he is, which means this other guy has the first shot at marrying Ruth.
Everybody with me?
If you're having trouble connecting this ancient story with your 2016 life, remember: this is a story of loss. And the reality is, if you live in this world, you will experience significant, painful, sometimes life-altering loss. Whether it's a relationship or health or a job or a child or a parent; living in this world means you will lose things. No one is exempt. So as you think about the losses that Naomi and Ruth experienced, ask yourself, ''How can I find myself in their story, and what is God trying to tell me?''
So…that brings us to chapter four. Here's how the story ...
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