Day Five: I’ve Been Redeemed. So, Thank You

Ruth 4:18-22 – This, then, is the family line of Perez :

Perez was the father of Hezron,
Hezron the father of Ram,
Ram the father of Amminadab,
Amminadab the father of Nahshon,
Nahshon the father of Salmon,
Salmon the father of Boaz,
Boaz the father of Obed,
Obed the father of Jesse,
and Jesse the father of David.

“This book and this genealogy demonstrate that in the dark days of the judges the chosen line is preserved not by heroic exploits by deliverers or kings but by the good hand of God, who rewards good people with a fulness beyond all imagination. These characters could not know what long-range fruit their compassionate and loyal conduct toward each other would bear. But the narrator knows…

But the narrator could not know what implications the piety of these characters would have on generations of his own people that would come after him. If only he could have known that in the glorious providence of God the hesed of Boaz, Ruth, and Naomi would have laid the groundwork for the history of salvation that extends far beyond his own time… For as the genealogy of Matthew 1 indicates, one greater than David comes from the loins of Boaz. In the dark days of the judges the foundation is laid for the line that would produce the Savior, the Messiah, the Redeemer of a lost and destitute humanity.” (Daniel Block, Judges, Ruth, NAC)

Take in the scope and extent of God’s far-reaching plan of salvation… Let’s thank Him for all He’s done… and all that is to come! Let’s sing and worship with this song – “Thank You Song + In Every Season” (Click here) by Upperroom.

– JP


Day Four: Will You Do What Others Won’t Do?

Ruth 4:9-10 – Then Boaz announced… “I have bought from Naomi all the property of Elimelek… 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… Today you are witnesses!”

“The role of the gōʾēl [guardian-redeemer], in one sense, is foreign to our culture. But in another sense, the examples of Boaz and Jesus certainly give us illustrations and models that we can emulate. There are many around us, whether in our families, extended families, or in the church, who desperately need a gōʾēl, that is, someone who can redeem them and restore them to wholeness. This is true in many physical contexts but also in numerous spiritual contexts.

At the root, however, there must be ḥesed. This rich term enables us to act with loyalty, love, and compassion. It provides the basis and proper motives for the action of the gōʾēl. As clearly illustrated in Boaz and Jesus, ḥesed sees the world in a different way. It is selfless, not like the nearer gōʾēl, who is apparently dominated by self-interest.” [K.L. Younger, Judges, Ruth, NIVAC]

We are conditioned to put ourselves first, but when we empty ourselves for God and for others, the Lord fills us in unexpected and abundant ways. Do you believe you are called to live a life of selfless loyalty and compassion, endeavoring to restore wholeness to broken lives? Pray for the Lord to guide you to people in need.

– JP


Day Three: Is God Recruiting You?

Ruth 4:16-17 – Then Naomi took the child in her arms and cared for him. The women living there said, “Naomi has a son!” And they named him Obed. He was the father of Jesse, the father of David.

The ancient Israelite culture was “a brutal environment for the disconnected woman. Widows were discarded as though they didn’t exist… Instead of losing interest in these two useless widows, [God] makes them the center of attention… These were the dark days when the judges governed. God’s chosen people were losing their way. God’s strategy involves recruiting two women to carry his redemptive purposes forward into the future…

They represent his interests in this world and a lot is riding on what they do at this crucial juncture in Israel’s history. What looks from their vantage point as simple acts of loving and caring for one another will actually take on cosmic proportions. They labor and sacrifice to bring blessing to each other, and simultaneously bring blessing to the world…

The birth of Obed is a picture of the gospel—suffering and sacrifice, the joy of renewed life, and hope for the future all mingled together. This is the Gospel of Ruth.” [Carolyn C. James, The Gospel of Ruth]

Loving someone with God’s love is significant because it matters to God. Pray and ask God how you are to love those around you in specific, intentional ways. Let us be filled with the Spirit and sing of His love with this song, “Open Heaven” (Click here).

– JP


Day Two: Mr. So-And-So

Ruth 4:6 – 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.”

“As they gathered at the gate, Boaz called out to a man who remained noticeably unnamed… In a story where the author uses names to teach theological lessons, the irony can sometimes be humorous. This is especially the case when the reader learns that this nameless relative was afraid of jeopardizing his name. [The author] uses a phrase that has baffled many scholars. Its origin and use is not known… almost all agree that it was some kind of a colloquial phrase that could be translated as ‘so and so’ [Ruth 4:1]. We could humorously call him Mr. ‘So-and-so’…

Here the nameless character is known to us only as a man who refused to act as redeemer in order to preserve his name. What an irony! The man said, essentially ‘I can’t do this because I will jeopardize my name, my inheritance!’ He desperately wanted to do everything he could do to preserve his name, and in so doing, he lost the opportunity to have his name preserved… Is this not the paradox of which our Savior spoke in his own ministry? The man who seeks his life will lose it, but he who loses his life for Christ’s sake will gain it.” [L. Charles Jackson, “The Ultimate Philanthropist”]

May we fearlessly give our lives to love God and others. Let’s worship Jesus, whose name is the only one that saves! Let’s sing His name with this song, “Tremble” (Click here).

– JP


Day One: What’s Hesed Got To Do, Got To Do With It?

Ruth 4:13-14 – So Boaz took Ruth and she became his wife. When he made love to her, the LORD enabled her to conceive, and she gave birth to a son. The women said to Naomi: “Praise be to the LORD, who this day has not left you without a guardian-redeemer. May he become famous throughout Israel!”

“Ruth is more than a story of an interesting woman. The book revolves around the central themes of God’s loving-kindness, faithfulness, and loyalty—concepts communicated by the Hebrew term hesed…

Ultimately, the power and depth of God’s hesed lies in the underlying message, woven throughout the book of Ruth, that points to the coming Messiah… The Gospel of Matthew begins with a genealogy of Jesus the Messiah in which Boaz and Ruth appear (Matt 1:5). Ruth was not just the ancestor of the great King David, but of the Messiah himself. In God’s loving-kindness and faithfulness, he sent a messiah, Jesus, to represent all the peoples of the earth…

Ultimately, there is no more epic plotline than the one we find in Ruth. Through Ruth, God prepared the way for David and ultimately Jesus the Messiah. Ruth gives us a glimpse into the extent of God’s fierce loyalty and the lengths he will go in order to save us.” [Sherilyn Grant, “An Epic Plotline”]

Let us be in wonder of our God as we sing His praises with this song, “Living Hope” (Click here).

– JP


Day Five: Hidden Under His Wings

Psalm 91:2-4 –
I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress,
my God, in whom I trust.”
Surely he will save you from the fowler’s snare and from the deadly pestilence.
He will cover you with his feathers,
and under his wings you will find refuge;
his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.

The language of refuge and fortress has a military/battle language to it, meaning that this life is a battle. We live in a world that is constantly battling and confronting—with the purpose of either destroying or weakening our faith and living in the very presence of God. This can be seen whenever our hearts become detached or distant from God’s presence.
The Lord’s invitation is for us is to now make the Lord our dwelling, especially in times of battle.
The Lord also promises that He will save us from the fowler’s snare. A fowler is someone who captures fowls (birds). The way that fowlers captured birds was by setting up traps that the birds couldn’t see or were fooled into.
The point here is that the Lord will save us (rescue us) from the traps of life—those destructive things in life that are unseen and brings evil into our lives.
The Lord will surely save us from the traps that we cannot see—are tempted by—trying to fool us. Lastly, the imagery of being under God’s wings is one of deep care and intimacy. Like a mama bird that puts her young under her wings in order to protect—the wings of God will also shield us from all harm and the elements that can hurt us.
To be under his wings, is to be hidden in God. We are not touched, for the Lord shields us from harm. Do we live in this incredible sense of security and protection?

Today, come under the care and protection, and become hidden under His wings. Pray and worship with the song “Always” (Click here).

– GK


Day Four: Dwelling Place

Psalm 91:1 – Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High, will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.

The word ‘Dwell’ here is about residing in the place that is permanent and secure. This is in contrast to the temporary or short-term transient dwelling. The depth of this passage is to say that we are no longer to be alone—apart from the Lord—living in the effects of sin.
So, the passage is an invitation—that the beginning of a life of salvation is a life that now dwells—lives with the Lord. This is in contrast to the coming and going that we tend to do with the Lord. We are not to visit the Lord’s house. Rather, we are to make His house our own house/dwelling. When that occurs, it says that we will find rest in the shadow of the almighty.
To find rest, means that we are no longer wandering from one place to another—that sense of restlessness, (ants in your pants), that is easily swayed by the world. To live in the shadow of the almighty is the language of being ‘under the Lord’s personal care and protection’ watching over us. One imagery of this nearness of God is to feel the breath of God on your neck—He is ever so close, so near, and so over us.

Today, pray that you would dwell in the house of the Lord, and not come and go based upon your needs or emotions. Worship with the Lord with the song “The Secret Place” (Click here).

– GK


Day Three: Apple of Your Eyes

Zachariah 2:8 – For this is what the Lord Almighty says: …for whoever touches you touches the apple of his eye.

Psalm 17:8 – Keep me as the apple of your eye; hide me in the shadow of your wings.

In Chapter 3 of Ruth, she says, “spread your garment over me,” to Boaz. The word for garment is the Hebrew word for wing (also in Ezekiel 16:8). This word is used only one other place in Ruth—namely, in the key verse from chapter 2:12, where Boaz says to Ruth, “The Lord repay you for what you have done, and a full reward be given you by the Lord, the God of Israel, under those wings you have come to take refuge.” The desire and the need to find refuge in Yahweh was ultimately the reason why Ruth came with Naomi to Bethlehem. However, whatever her initial expectations might have been regarding God’s refuge, what is actually unfolding is a story of incredible grace, mercy, and blessing. For Ruth was now on the precipice of having even her widowhood being redeemed. This is what it means to find refuge under the wings of God. For we are kept as the apple of God’s eye (the most sensitive area), the ones whom the Lord has chosen and redeemed to be His beloved and chosen people.

Today pray through Psalm 17:8, knowing that you are the apple of God’s eye. Listen and worship with the song “Lover of My Soul” (Click here).

– GK


Day Two: Behind the Scenes

Romans 5:8-11 – But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through him! For if, while we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life! Not only is this so, but we also boast in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.

“The real love story is behind the scenes. It is the love of God for his straying sheep… This love took its fullest shape in the coming of Jesus Christ. His love for us took him much further than a grain pile at midnight. It caused him to leave the glories of heaven and come down and live as an ordinary worker. It led him to come as a baby to Bethlehem, where he found no refuge. Unlike Ruth, there was no place of rest for Jesus in Bethlehem, no godly Boaz to protect him…

This same love of God took Jesus all the way to the cross. There, in the midst of a darkness far deeper than any ordinary midnight, he offered himself up for the sins of his people… Jesus didn’t just risk his life; he gave it. Why? …It is because of God’s covenant faithfulness to the undeserving… He will be your Redeemer and receive you into his family. He will cover you with his wings and be your refuge. He will spread the robe of Christ’s righteousness to cover your nakedness…” [Ian Duguid, Esther & Ruth (Reformed Expository Commentary), Kindle Locations 3135 ff.]

Today as you approach the Lord, pray for His love to cover you, taking you deeply into His compassion, kindness, and care over your life. Worship with the song “Holy Overshadowing” (Click here).

– GK


Day One: No Risk with God

Colossians 1:19-22 – For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.
Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of your evil behavior. But now he has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation.

God has covered all the risks. What risks do we foresee in following/living for God? What unknown, ‘what if’ questions do we have that bring concern, that paralyzes us from moving forward or blinds us to see what God is already doing, already planned for us? Was it risky for Naomi to return to Bethlehem, to return to the people living under God’s wings? Was it risky for Ruth to propose to Boaz, the man that God singled out and placed in front of her who already showed her so much kindness? Was it risky for Boaz to covenant to Ruth, the woman that God singled out and placed in front of him who already has shown her good character in regards to her mother-in-law and now to him in asking that he would be the one to redeem her? No risk with God, no risk for the people of God – He is the author of hesed love, He Himself is hesed love – loyal, faithful, covenantal, kind, merciful, generous. Giving our lives to God may feel risky, but God gave up His only Son, Jesus, the One who gave up everything to save and redeem us. He covered all our risks so that we can be assured of God’s acceptance and His provision for our wellness and wholeness.

Today let’s pray in assurance of God’s care and love. What fears, what needs, what struggles are you facing? Pray to the One who rescues and provides for all of our needs. Worship with the song “Christ is Risen” (Click here).

– GK