Wednesday 31 October, 2018

Ruth 4:7-12

7 (Now in earlier times in Israel, for the redemption and transfer of property to become final, one party took off his sandal and gave it to the other. This was the method of legalizing transactions in Israel.) 8 So the guardian-redeemer said to Boaz, “Buy it yourself.” And he removed his sandal. 9 Then Boaz announced to the elders and all the people, “Today you are witnesses that I have bought from Naomi all the property of Elimelek, Kilion and Mahlon. 10 I have also acquired Ruth the Moabite, Mahlon’s widow, as my wife, in order to maintain the name of the dead with his property, so that his name will not disappear from among his family or from his hometown. Today you are witnesses!” 11 Then the elders and all the people at the gate said, “We are witnesses. May the Lord make the woman who is coming into your home like Rachel and Leah, who together built up the family of Israel. May you have standing in Ephrathah and be famous in Bethlehem. 12 Through the offspring the Lord gives you by this young woman, may your family be like that of Perez, whom Tamar bore to Judah.”

I love Boaz. He’s such a compassionate, honourable man.

He probably could have simply married Ruth, but he takes an enormous risk in offering both Naomi’s property and Ruth to the closer relative. Fulfilling both the spirit and the letter of the law, down to every detail of witnesses and sandals was important to him. In the process he not only redeems Ruth, he also redeems her inheritance and the promise for Ruth and her children.

He’s another of those people that God puts throughout the Old Testament who are pictures of Jesus: Jesus who fulfilled both the spirit and every letter of the law; Jesus who paid an enormous price to redeem me, to bring me back into my rightful family (with God as father); and Jesus who redeemed my inheritance and promise and future.

I love Jesus too. I love that he redeemed me in just the right way. There is no legal loop hole that I can fall through.

Written by David Cornell

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Tuesday 30 October, 2018

Ruth 4:1-6

4 Meanwhile Boaz went up to the town gate and sat down there just as the guardian-redeemer he had mentioned came along. Boaz said, “Come over here, my friend, and sit down.” So he went over and sat down. 2 Boaz took ten of the elders of the town and said, “Sit here,” and they did so. 3 Then he said to the guardian-redeemer, “Naomi, who has come back from Moab, is selling the piece of land that belonged to our relative Elimelek. 4 I thought I should bring the matter to your attention and suggest that you buy it in the presence of these seated here and in the presence of the elders of my people. If you will redeem it, do so. But if you will not, tell me, so I will know. For no one has the right to do it except you, and I am next in line.” “I will redeem it,” he said. 5 Then Boaz said, “On the day you buy the land from Naomi, you also acquire Ruth the Moabite, the dead man’s widow, in order to maintain the name of the dead with his property.” 6 At this, the guardian-redeemer said, “Then I cannot redeem it because I might endanger my own estate. You redeem it yourself. I cannot do it.”

V1. Boaz went to the town gate and took a seat there.

I like Boaz. He has family business to attend to – so he goes straight to it – positioning himself at the town gate – where the town people pass by, positioning himself for success in his family business. He has promised Ruth he will sort things out for her future – and he immediately puts it at the top of his agenda. There is no mention of anything else Boaz does after he speaks to Ruth – except this.

I live in a culture where it is easy to put family business lower down on the agenda than it belongs. For me – family business is God’s business. They are not in opposition. Just as it was for Boaz – his commitment to Ruth was part of God’s plan.

I want to do what I say I will do, when I say I will do it. I want to position myself where I need to be. I want to sort out things that need to be sorted out in order to move forward. Lord I need your help to do this. Thank you for hearing me and answering me today.

Written by Ps. Linda Quinn

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Monday 29 October, 2018

Ruth 3:6-18

6 So she went down to the threshing floor and did everything her mother-in-law told her to do. 7 When Boaz had finished eating and drinking and was in good spirits, he went over to lie down at the far end of the grain pile. Ruth approached quietly, uncovered his feet and lay down. 8 In the middle of the night something startled the man; he turned—and there was a woman lying at his feet! 9 “Who are you?” he asked. “I am your servant Ruth,” she said. “Spread the corner of your garment over me, since you are a guardian-redeemer of our family.” 10 “The Lord bless you, my daughter,” he replied. “This kindness is greater than that which you showed earlier: You have not run after the younger men, whether rich or poor. 11 And now, my daughter, don’t be afraid. I will do for you all you ask. All the people of my town know that you are a woman of noble character. 12 Although it is true that I am a guardian-redeemer of our family, there is another who is more closely related than I. 13 Stay here for the night, and in the morning if he wants to do his duty as your guardian-redeemer, good; let him redeem you. But if he is not willing, as surely as the Lord lives I will do it. Lie here until morning.” 14 So she lay at his feet until morning, but got up before anyone could be recognized; and he said, “No one must know that a woman came to the threshing floor.” 15 He also said, “Bring me the shawl you are wearing and hold it out.” When she did so, he poured into it six measures of barley and placed the bundle on her. Then he went back to town. 16 When Ruth came to her mother-in-law, Naomi asked, “How did it go, my daughter?” Then she told her everything Boaz had done for her 17 and added, “He gave me these six measures of barley, saying, ‘Don’t go back to your mother-in-law empty-handed.’” 18 Then Naomi said, “Wait, my daughter, until you find out what happens. For the man will not rest until the matter is settled today.”

This passage of scripture, with some straightforward observations speaks really loudly.

The first for me is the way Ruth describes herself.  Previously Ruth was introduced to us as Ruth the Moabitess or as Naomi’s daughter in law.  Now, as Ruth is beginning to get on with her life she describes herself as Boaz’s servant.  Here is Ruth describing her future.  She is proposing marriage, by lying at his feet, and this description doesn’t reflect on her past, or her nationality, it is future focused, vision oriented.

How do you describe yourself?  Do you do so in relation to others, I am the son of, the daughter of, the employee of, the friend of.  There is nothing wrong with this of course.  Do you describe yourself in relation to your role, husband, father, mother, wife, builder, plumber, doctor, accountant… again nothing wrong here.  Or do you describe yourself with the future in mind?

In different situations we describe ourselves differently, at work, at church, at home, in a team.

Yet there is an important power to describing ourselves with the vision of God in mind.  How often do you do this – for Ruth it was “I am your servant…”  Speaking what we believe is a powerful principle of faith (2 Corinthians 4:13)  Let’s continue to practice this principle.

Father, fill our mouths with vision that we speak out over our lives!

Written by Ps. Richard Botta

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Sunday 28 October, 2018

Ruth 3:1-5

3 One day Ruth’s mother-in-law Naomi said to her, “My daughter, I must find a home[a] 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 floor. 3 Wash, put on perfume, and get dressed in your best clothes. Then go down to the threshing floor, but don’t let him know you are there until he has finished eating and drinking. 4 When he lies down, note the place where he is lying. Then go and uncover his feet and lie down. He will tell you what to do.” 5 “I will do whatever you say,” Ruth answered.

This is one of those passages where it’s tricky to work out what to say. It may mean more than is appropriate to talk about in such a blog – we don’t really understand some of the ways they approached matchmaking. However, we can look at Ruth and how she approached life to see what we can learn.

Ruth was committed to supporting Naomi, her mother in law. She had come with Naomi from her home to be with her in Naomi’s home. That’s a big deal. Naomi tried to talk her out of it a number of times. Ruth held true to what she believed she was to do.

In this passage Naomi is trying to look after Ruth in return (and herself). Ruth again stays true to what she believes. She trusts Naomi to know what is appropriate and good for her.  She doesn’t argue or question. I find her approach amazing – going to parties is not my favourite thing and putting myself in risky situations is also something I struggle with. But Ruth trusted that Naomi knew what was needed and was looking to help provide a future for Ruth.

We have times when we struggle to do what God has asked us to do. Sometimes we don’t want to do whatever it is, sometimes we are scared, sometimes we just think we heard wrong. But look at Ruth’s response – I’ll do it!!

Lord help us to learn from You what the plan for our life should be. Help us to choose to stick with that plan even when it gets tricky. Help us to be willing to follow You, to choose to believe that You are for us more than we can possibly imagine and You are trustworthy.

Written by Therese Manning

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Saturday 27 October, 2018

Ruth 2:14-23

14 At mealtime Boaz said to her, “Come over here. Have some bread and dip it in the wine vinegar.” When she sat down with the harvesters, he offered her some roasted grain. She ate all she wanted and had some left over. 15 As she got up to glean, Boaz gave orders to his men, “Let her gather among the sheaves and don’t reprimand her. 16 Even pull out some stalks for her from the bundles and leave them for her to pick up, and don’t rebuke her.” 17 So Ruth gleaned in the field until evening. Then she threshed the barley she had gathered, and it amounted to about an ephah. 18 She carried it back to town, and her mother-in-law saw how much she had gathered. Ruth also brought out and gave her what she had left over after she had eaten enough. 19 Her mother-in-law asked her, “Where did you glean today? Where did you work? Blessed be the man who took notice of you!” Then Ruth told her mother-in-law about the one at whose place she had been working. “The name of the man I worked with today is Boaz,” she said. 20 “The Lord bless him!” Naomi said to her daughter-in-law. “He has not stopped showing his kindness to the living and the dead.” She added, “That man is our close relative; he is one of our guardian-redeemers.” 21 Then Ruth the Moabite said, “He even said to me, ‘Stay with my workers until they finish harvesting all my grain.’” 22 Naomi said to Ruth her daughter-in-law, “It will be good for you, my daughter, to go with the women who work for him, because in someone else’s field you might be harmed.” 23 So Ruth stayed close to the women of Boaz to glean until the barley and wheat harvests were finished. And she lived with her mother-in-law.

Boaz continues to provide food & opportunity for Ruth to work & harvest from his fields. It is not until the end of the day that Ruth finds out who Boaz is – a relative.

I see in these paragraphs a story of reputation. Ruth’s reputation has gone before her – her faithfulness and loyalty precedes her and has been told to Boaz. Boaz’s responds to Ruth’s reputation and shows kindness, safety and generosity towards her due to her relationship with Naomi. His reputation is now forever recorded.

Kindness, faithfulness, loyalty, generosity & security – I have thought about these character traits and wondered about my reputation, what precedes me to others? Am I showing Christ like character? How do I respond to others … is it in kindness, generosity, do I offer security to others, am I loyal and faithful in my relationships?

Father thank you that you have challenged me through the character of both Ruth and Boaz, that reputation is something to be valued and guarded and more importantly it is to be a reflection of you in my life.

Written by Suzie Hodgson

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Friday 26 October, 2018

Ruth 2:1-13

2 Now Naomi had a relative on her husband’s side, a man of standing from the clan of Elimelek, whose name was Boaz. 2 And Ruth the Moabite said to Naomi, “Let me go to the fields and pick up the leftover grain behind anyone in whose eyes I find favor.” Naomi said to her, “Go ahead, my daughter.” 3 So she went out, entered a field and began to glean behind the harvesters. As it turned out, she was working in a field belonging to Boaz, who was from the clan of Elimelek. 4 Just then Boaz arrived from Bethlehem and greeted the harvesters, “The Lord be with you!” “The Lord bless you!” they answered. 5 Boaz asked the overseer of his harvesters, “Who does that young woman belong to?” 6 The overseer replied, “She is the Moabite who came back from Moab with Naomi. 7 She said, ‘Please let me glean and gather among the sheaves behind the harvesters.’ She came into the field and has remained here from morning till now, except for a short rest in the shelter.” 8 So Boaz said to Ruth, “My daughter, listen to me. Don’t go and glean in another field and don’t go away from here. Stay here with the women who work for me. 9 Watch the field where the men are harvesting, and follow along after the women. I have told the men not to lay a hand on you. And whenever you are thirsty, go and get a drink from the water jars the men have filled.” 10 At this, she bowed down with her face to the ground. She asked him, “Why have I found such favor in your eyes that you notice me—a foreigner?” 11 Boaz replied, “I’ve been told all about what you have done for your mother-in-law since the death of your husband—how you left your father and mother and your homeland and came to live with a people you did not know before. 12 May the Lord repay you for what you have done. May you be richly rewarded by the Lord, the God of Israel, under whose wings you have come to take refuge.” 13 “May I continue to find favor in your eyes, my lord,” she said. “You have put me at ease by speaking kindly to your servant—though I do not have the standing of one of your servants.”

I could focus today on the return of kindness to Ruth, after she showed so much dedication and selflessness toward Naomi, as described in Chapter 1. This is a strong message coming through, but I am strangely more captured by a peripheral message.


When Boaz arrived from Bethlehem, he greeted the harvesters with “The Lord be with you” (NIV). They answered with “The Lord bless you”.

David Guzik writes “The LORD be with you: This shows us something of the heart and character of Boaz. Apparently, his workers loved him and had a good relationship with him. You can often tell the real character of a man in authority by seeing how he relates to his staff and by how they think of him.”

This principle applies to many situations of life and in many forms of leadership. Respect, care, humility, concern for wellbeing of others, kindness etc, are all traits of a Godly person in authority.

The harvesters returned the greeting with “The Lord bless you”, and so they obviously had great respect for Boaz, their employer, but likely because he respected them first.

Father, in all of my roles of authority and leadership, I pray that I might always reflect Your heart of love and care for those I lead. Forgive me for when I have not, and continue to transform me into the leader with character that You desire. Amen

Written by Steve Fell

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Thursday 25 October, 2018

Ruth 1:15-22

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 even 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[d] me; the Almighty has brought misfortune upon me.” 22 So Naomi returned from Moab accompanied by Ruth the Moabite, her daughter-in-law, arriving in Bethlehem as the barley harvest was beginning.

I am always struck by Ruth’s complete dedication to Naomi. The complete dedication she shows to her mother-in-law and her God. Surely it would have been tempting (and easier) to go back to what she had known. But Ruth shows such resolution to stay with Naomi. The choice she made cannot have been easy but it placed Ruth in a position where God could bless her in ways she could not have imagined.

I think there are times in all our lives when we have to be brave – make determined choices and ‘stick to our guns’. Ruth did the right thing. This was a big decision but there are decisions big and small every day that we face. I hope my choices show the same resolution to do the right thing as Ruth showed. I don’t know about you but I want to be positioned so I can do and receive all that God has for me.

Heavenly Father help me to be courageous in my choices. Help me to choose wisely every day and bring Glory to you. In Jesus name I pray, Amen.

Written by Christine Knight

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Wednesday 24 October, 2018

Ruth 1:1-14

1 In the days when the judges ruled,[a] there was a famine in the land. So 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 Elimelek, his wife’s name was 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 Elimelek, 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 Naomi heard in Moab that the Lord had come to the aid of his people by providing food for them, she 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 you kindness, as you have shown kindness to your dead husbands 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 goodbye 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 turned against me!” 14 At this they wept aloud again. Then Orpah kissed her mother-in-law goodbye, but Ruth clung to her.

The tragic story starts first with unfortunate circumstances. Bad news is followed by the toughest break. Already exiled by drought this small family then loses all its men. Father gone, husbands gone. The women are alone. Perhaps returning together to their first home (now that it has enough food) they might find a new start? Better yet, the young widows still might have a chance to begin again – to get their lives back – if they were to go alone back to their birth mother’s.

Out of this tragedy, perhaps, circumstances might turn out for the better, if only the 3 women would part ways. Orpah and Ruth might return to their god’s and Naomi, by implication, would be abandoned to the will of her God. Ruth, against all common sense, does not leave Naomi. Some kind of bond has grown between Naomi and Ruth, a bond of friendship on which this whole story will rest. The legendary activity of God is about to unfold in the footsteps of these two women and in their unique friendship. Ruth’s loving devotion to Naomi changes everything.

Jesus, show me today some of the significance of the loving encouragement and support that I can direct to my friends. When times of trouble come, I pray that I might be to them a source of your grace, love and safety. Amen.

Written by Sam Stewart

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Tuesday 23 October, 2018

Matthew 28:16-20

16 Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. 17 When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. 18 Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

I have had a new start at work in the last few months. While some things were familiar, there have been lots of new challenges and situations. It has helped me remember that new starts represent opportunity and offer hope.

Our God is a God of new starts. This meeting of Jesus and his disciples is a powerful reminder of this part of God’s character. This encounter with the risen Jesus represented a new start for the disciples, and through them all the nations. What better encouragement for the disciples in that moment to have a risen Jesus before them! What they had thought was the end was now an incredible new beginning.

Basically Jesus was telling them they were to be life changers from this moment on. Just as Jesus had changed their lives, he called them to impact others for Him. It is the same for us now – to impact others so they become disciples too. It’s not just up to Jesus, he needs us to be life changers too. When you think about it, I am continuing Jesus’ purpose, and he has authorised it! This is really incredible as God doesn’t need me to do this as he can call everyone to Himself if he chooses to. However he involves us, we are his spokespeople. What an amazing God!

Dear Jesus, The wonderful words you spoke in verse 20 are such a comfort. As I take the opportunities that appear to share you, I know you are always with me. I am looking for new starts in sharing you this week. Amen

Written by Claire Moore

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Monday 22 October, 2018

Matthew 28:11-15

11 While the women were on their way, some of the guards went into the city and reported to the chief priests everything that had happened. 12 When the chief priests had met with the elders and devised a plan, they gave the soldiers a large sum of money, 13 telling them, “You are to say, ‘His disciples came during the night and stole him away while we were asleep.’ 14 If this report gets to the governor, we will satisfy him and keep you out of trouble.” 15 So the soldiers took the money and did as they were instructed. And this story has been widely circulated among the Jews to this very day.

What strikes me in this passage is how these Jewish elders and chief priests were so quick to use their imagination to deny the resurrection of Jesus. Because they were pre-committed to being against Him, having sent Him to His death, they were now pre-committed to denying this unexpected and mysterious resurrection event. They did not skip a beat in making up something completely fanciful and fictitious, all because they’d committed their course to refusing, resisting, and rejecting Jesus.

Where have I made pre-commitments that are unhelpful like this? Where I’ve consciously or unconsciously become resistant to Jesus in a certain area of my life? And further, where do I notice this sense of pre-commitment in people I’m seeking to share the gospel with? Perhaps, instead of trying to persuade them when they’re pre-committed against Jesus, I need instead to pray for their hearts to soften to Him, in ways He alone has the power to work?

Lord, search my heart that I don’t have any pre-commitments that will keep me from being aware of, and open to, your unexpected and wonderful expressions of power, mercy, and grace in the world! Amen.

Written by Ps. Rob Waugh

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