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Risk (3 of 4)
Series: Bitter/Sweet: The Story of Ruth
This is week 3 of our study in the book of Ruth-which is a little, obscure story sort of buried in the Hebrew Scriptures. And we've been saying every week that Ruth is a story about responding to loss. When you lose something that's really valuable to you, how do you keep from spiraling downward; how do you think about God; how do you move forward?
So: just a quick review: the story starts out with a woman from Israel named Naomi; she's married with two sons. There's a famine in Bethlehem, where they live, so they pack up and move to a place called Moab, for survival. But while they're there, everything falls apart. Her husband and her two adult sons die. So Naomi decides to return home to Bethlehem, accompanied by her one daughter-in-law, Ruth. When they get there, Naomi seems to be paralyzed by her loss-she feels empty and bitter. But Ruth, the daughter-in-law, goes out and finds work in the fields. And it just so happens that the field where she's working belongs to a guy named Boaz, who's actually a relative of Ruth's deceased father-in-law. Everybody with me? And Boaz treats Ruth kindly; he allows her to keep working in his fields, and he starts paying special attention to her. And that's how chapter two ends.
So last week, in chapter two, we saw that loss can paralyze us, and so we have to make the choice to persevere, right? To get up and walk out the door. And I would say chapter three takes that concept deeper. Because not only do we have to persevere, we have to be willing to take risks. And that can be really hard to do after you've experienced loss. So…let's read chapter three, and then we'll talk about it.
1 One day Ruth's mother-in-law Naomi said to her, ''My daughter, I must find a home for you, where you will be well provided for. 2 Now Boaz, with whose women you have worked, is a relative of ours. Tonight he will be winnowing barley on the threshing fl ...
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