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Proverbs to Live By Part 2

Not Too Long Ago…

Previously we had shared a post full of Proverbs full of great insight and wisdom. They are a prominent source of valuable information that one could use to shape their actions, attitudes, and words to live a more Christlike life. Today, we are sharing more of these profound messages Solomon wrote for us. 

If you missed our first post with Proverbs to live by, check it out here

Getting Into It

Stay away from a fool, for you will not find knowledge on their lips.

Proverbs 14:7

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Like a city whose walls are broken through is a person who lacks self-control.

Proverbs 25:28

 

Do you see someone who speaks in haste? There is more hope for a fool than for them.

Proverbs 29:20

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Gold there is, and rubies in abundance, but lips that speak knowledge are a rare jewel.

Proverbs 20:15

The righteous choose their friends carefully, but the way of the wicked leads them astray.

Proverbs 12:26

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Do not answer a fool according to his folly, or you yourself will be just like him.

Proverbs 26:4

Fools give full vent to their rage, but the wise bring calm in the end.

Proverbs 29:11

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Fools find no pleasure in understanding but delight in airing their own opinions.

Proverbs 18:2

Those who are kind benefit themselves, but the cruel bring ruin on themselves.

Proverbs 11:17

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When justice is done, it brings joy to the righteous but terror to evildoers.

Proverbs 21:15

The poor plead for mercy, but the rich answer harshly.

Proverbs 18:23

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Walk with the wise and become wise, for a companion of fools suffers harm.

Proverbs 13:20

Do not envy the violent or choose any of their ways.

Proverbs 3:31

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The heart of the righteous weighs its answers, but the mouth of the wicked gushes evil.

Proverbs 15:28

As a dog returns to its vomit, so fools repeat their folly.

Proverbs 26:11

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The glory of young men is their strength, gray hair the splendor of the old.

Proverbs 20:29

All the days of the oppressed are wretched, but the cheerful heart has a continual feast.

Proverbs 15:15

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Whoever shuts their ears to the cry of the poor will also cry out and not be answered.

Proverbs 21:13

In Short

Take time to ponder these scriptures, jot down your favorite verses in a journal, recognize the areas in your life that need improvement, and apply the underlying message of each verse to those areas and your life, share the verses with others, and always strive to become more Christlike. 

-Torrance Church of Christ

135 Questions Every Christian Should Ask Themself to Evaluate Their Faith

The Importance of Reflecting and Evaluating your Faith

Taking the time to deliberate on your faith is imperative for your spiritual well-being and growth. Consistently evaluating your faith offers you the opportunity to really get to know and understand where you stand as a Christian. It can provide insight into where you stand solidly in your beliefs and relationship with God. Conversely, you will be able to see areas that are lacking, and are in need of focus and polishing up. Moreover, reflecting on your faith affords you the freedom to exercise awareness, allowing you to better take notice of God’s presence in your daily life. 

Taking a hard look at yourself is a valuable tool that can be used to enhance your spiritual development. We have assembled a list of questions every Christian should ask themself in order to get down to the nitty-gritty and truly understand where they stand in their faith. 

The Questions and Suggestions About Answering Them

  • These questions allow you to examine your faith, beliefs, and stances. Some of the questions may require much vulnerability on your end, causing you to feel overly exposed and uncomfortable. Feel free to skip over any question that makes you feel this way, but take note that answering these questions will provide the greatest insight into your strengths and weaknesses. It is in our discomfort that we latch onto the ability to grow. 

  • Consistency is key. Create and keep to a schedule where you can set aside the time to routinely check in and ruminate on your faith. This can be done weekly, bi-weekly, monthly, or whatever works best for you. You can break up the questions and answer 3 (or however many you’d like) of them at a time, according to your schedule. 
  • Sometimes it is too difficult for us to be fully honest with ourselves. Turn to God and ask Him to show us where in our lives need improvement and guidance on how to make it possible.
  • You can answer a question once, write your answer in a journal, and come back to it at a later date to compare and assess how you feel now. Tracking your answers is a fantastic way to chart your growth. 
  • It is expected that your answers will fluctuate over time. Don’t let that deter you from working on your spiritual health. 
  • Some of the questions may not seem like they are targeted toward your faith. They’re in there so you can analyze who you are as a whole person. While some of the questions seem irrelevant, they aim to give you a deeper understanding of the various roles you take on each day and how your faith factors into them. 
  • Many of the questions can be answered with a simple “yes” or “no”. Try to explore your answers further. 
  • Remember! Pray to God for guidance and help in any area you feel you are falling short. 

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  1. Would I be disappointed in someone else for behaving in a manner that I behave?
  2. Why do I follow Christ?
  3. Is there evidence that contradicts God’s existence?
  4. Do I think all sins are equal or are some worse than others?
  5. Do I tend to go against my values and conform to the group?
  6. Is there anybody I have not forgiven?
  7. Am I comfortable praying out loud?
  8. Is my faith a component of my personality?
  9. Why does God want a relationship with me?
  10. Am I a good example?
  11. What role does the Bible play in my life?
  12. What makes God, God?
  13. Am I the same person around others as I am by myself?
  14. Am I the kind of person that I would like to be friends with?
  15. What kind of people do I associate with?
  16. What is my purpose in this life?
  17. I know the Bible is historically reliable because…
  18. What do I pray for?
  19. Do I strive to be more Christlike every day?
  20. Do I stop and give a dollar or two to a person with a sign on a corner? Why or why not?
  21. Do I show patience?
  22. What do I expect from others?
  23. Do I hold grudges?
  24. What do I do to promote spiritual growth?
  25. What are my values?
  26. Something I do to stay true to my values is….
  27. Do I share any of the same traits with Christ?
  28. Do I serve others without complaint?
  29. What are my talents?
  30. Three ways I pray for others are:
  31. Sometimes I disobey God when….
  32. Am I easily irritated?
  33. Am I content with what I have or do I find myself always wanting more?
  34. How do I know God is listening?
  35. One thing I would tell a non-believer who was interested in learning more would be….
  36. My favorite thing about church is….
  37. Do I put others first?
  38. My favorite book in the Bible is….      Because….
  39. Do my thoughts reflect those of Christ?
  40. Is there someone in my life who doesn’t respect my relationship with God?
  41. Is it difficult for me to admit to my wrongdoings?
  42. How do I measure my spiritual development?
  43. I know prayer works because….
  44. If I were to meet Jesus today, what would I be ashamed of?
  45. How would I like to be remembered most in life? What steps do I need to take to get there?
  46. How often do I pray?
  47. Do my actions and words place God as my first priority?
  48. How much effort am I putting into my relationship with God?
  49. Do I ever experience doubts about my faith? 
  50. Do I enjoy praying?
  51. Do I embellish my stories?
  52. How much does His Word influence my decisions?
  53. How have I experienced feeling God’s presence?
  54. Is it enough to only pray for someone in need when I know I can serve them in another way too?
  55. How has my faith been influenced?
  56. How do I show praise to God?
  57. Do I put others' opinions above God’s?
  58. How do I show gratitude to God?
  59. How do I say no to temptation?
  60. Do I truly trust God?
  61. Something that inspires me is….
  62. How do I discern whether or not something is a temptation?
  63. How do I ask for forgiveness?
  64. Have I read the entire Bible?
  65. Are there limits to God’s grace?
  66. Are there any truths I am ignoring?
  67. Do my actions reflect those of Christ?
  68. Do I view myself as worthy of forgiveness or am I unable to push past guilt?
  69. Do I uplift and encourage others?
  70. Why are my values important to me?
  71. Who do I connect to most in the Bible? Why?
  72. Do I trust others with ease?
  73. When I repent, do I make a commitment to not repeat the sin?
  74. What steps do I take to study the Bible beyond just reading it?
  75. Do I unconsciously cast judgment on others by saying or thinking, “I would never do that”?
  76. Do I try to repair broken relationships?
  77. Do I take my faith into consideration when consuming media? (TV, movies, music, podcasts, books, etc.) 
  78. Do I surround myself with those who influence and encourage me to stay true to my values?
  79. Am I overly critical of anyone in my life?
  80. Am I open to receiving God’s answers?
  81. Do I show my real self to others or do I put on a performance?
  82. I know my relationship with God is at risk when….
  83. Do I show kindness and respect to those who don’t show it to me?
  84. Do I share my faith with others?
  85. Am I humble?
  86. Am I hiding from the purpose God has given me?
  87. One unanswered prayer of mine is….       I think it is unanswered because….
  88. Do I self-sabotage?
  89. Am I able to push away negative thoughts and feelings, instead opting to focus on the positive?
  90. Am I able to confidently stand up and defend my faith?
  91. Do I recognize the silver lining in situations?
  92. Do I often find myself judging others? 
  93. Do I minimize my mistakes?
  94. What benefits do I get from praying?
  95. Do I keep my promises?
  96. Do I justify my actions?
  97. Am I double-minded?
  98. Am I doing my part to fulfill God’s purpose?
  99. Do I interact daily with God?
  100. Do I hold myself accountable for my mistakes and wrongdoings?
  101. Do I have to always be correct?
  102. Have I centered my life around God?
  103. Do my words reflect those of Christ?
  104. Do I have meaningful relationships with my church family?
  105. Do I have healthy habits?
  106. Do I have a problem with authority?
  107. Do I allow day-to-day life to interfere with my relationship with God?
  108. Do I accept corrections or am I defensive?
  109. Does my attitude align with my faith?
  110. Are there times I feel undeserving of His love?
  111. Are there some things I don’t think I need to repent for?
  112. Do I love money to the point of idolizing it?
  113. Do I look down on others?
  114. Are there any aspects of my life where I can see the devil planting temptation?
  115. Are there any aspects of my life where I am prideful?
  116. Do I see the Bible as figurative or literal?
  117. Do I respond to everyone with love?
  118. Are my priorities in the correct places?
  119. In social situations, do I stand up for what is right?
  120. Are my actions driven by seeking approval from someone else?
  121. Am I trustworthy?
  122. Do I gossip?
  123. Do I focus on what I don’t like about someone, refusing to see the positive in them?
  124. Do I feel resentment toward anyone?
  125. Am I too busy to notice those in my community who need help?
  126. Am I sorry for all of my sins? 
  127. Why do I attend church service?
  128. Am I looking for ways to serve others?
  129. Am I fulfilling my purpose?
  130. Who can I share my testimony with?
  131. Where can I improve my faith?
  132. Am I aware of Satan in my life?
  133. If I could change one thing about church, it would be…
  134. Do I always turn to God for help?
  135. Am I a fake forgiver?


Scriptures Emphasizing the Need for Reflection

Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror, and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues in it—not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it—they will be blessed in what they do.

Those who consider themselves religious and yet do not keep a tight rein on their tongues deceive themselves, and their religion is worthless. 

James 1:22-26

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As water reflects a face, so a man's heart reflects the man.

Proverbs 27:19

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"Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened. “Which of you, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!

Matthew 7:7-11

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Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.

Romans 12:2

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Therefore, brothers and sisters, we have an obligation—but it is not to the flesh, to live according to it. For if you live according to the flesh, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live.

Romans 8:12-13

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As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance.

1 Peter 1:14

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How many wrongs and sins have I committed Show me my offense and my sin.

Job 13:23

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“I the Lord search the heart and examine the mind, to reward each person according to their conduct, according to what their deeds deserve.”

Jeremiah 17:10

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Let us examine our ways and test them, and let us return to the Lord.

Lamentations 3:40

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But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other.

Galatians 5:22-26

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Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace. The mind governed by the flesh is hostile to God; it does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so. Those who are in the realm of the flesh cannot please God.

Romans 8:5-8

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Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves. Do you not realize that Christ Jesus is in you—unless, of course, you fail the test?

2 Corinthians 13:5

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Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts.

See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.

Psalm 139:23-24

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If anyone thinks they are something when they are not, they deceive themselves. Each one should test their own actions. Then they can take pride in themselves alone, without comparing themselves to someone else, for each one should carry their own load. Nevertheless, the one who receives instruction in the word should share all good things with their instructor.

Galatians 6:3-6

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There is nothing concealed that will not be disclosed, or hidden that will not be made known. What you have said in the dark will be heard in the daylight, and what you have whispered in the ear in the inner rooms will be proclaimed from the roofs.

Luke 12:2-3

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Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult. On the contrary, repay evil with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing. For, “Whoever would love life and see good days must keep their tongue from evil and their lips from deceitful speech. They must turn from evil and do good; they must seek peace and pursue it. For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous and his ears are attentive to their prayer, but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.”

1 Peter 3:9-12

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This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. If we claim to have fellowship with him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live out the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin. If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word is not in us.

1 John 1:5-10

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Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters

Colossians 3:23

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To Conclude

Scheduling time for regular evaluation is an effective instrument that positively promotes your spiritual journey. It grants you the chance to pinpoint your position in your faith to develop an invaluable awareness and discernment allowing for a deeper and honest look past your perception of yourself. Reflection assists in assuring your actions, thoughts, and words are in accordance with your values. Seek out the guidance of the Lord to better understand and accept your shortcomings and how to navigate through them. He wants to help keep you on the path of righteousness. 

-Torrance Church of Christ 

 

The Legacy of Ruth

The Story of Ruth

The record of Ruth can be found in The Book of Ruth chapters 1-4. 

Albeit a quick read, the condensed version is as follows:

During the time of the judges' reign, there had been a famine in Israel, leaving many of the residents in a dire need of food. Desperate to feed their families, many of the natives fled in search of sustenance. One man, Elimelek, made the decision to leave his home of Bethlehem with his family. He brought his wife, Naomi, and their two sons, Mahlon and Kilion. The family found food in Moab and there they established a new life. 

Misfortune struck when Elimelek passed. Still, Naomi, Mahlon, and Kilion agreed to stay in Moab. Mahlon and Kilion eventually married Moabite women, Orpah, and Ruth. Tragically, affliction rose and claimed the lives of Mahlon and Kilion; leaving Naomi with her two daughters-in-law. 

Word spread that God had blessed the people back home with an abundance of food. Naomi concluded it would be best to return to Judah. No longer legally bound to the family, Naomi urged both Orpah and Ruth to go back to their own families, as she could no longer offer them the security and promise of a family of their own. She had no other sons and felt like she was robbing her daughters-in-law of the opportunity to have children. 

Reluctantly, Orpah left, but Ruth couldn’t be convinced. 


Naomi surrendered, and the two women made the journey to Bethlehem. Once in Bethlehem, the hardships continued. As embitterment enveloped Naomi, she informed others to now call her Mara.  Seeking stability, Ruth was reduced to gleaning crops in barley fields. 

In time, the proprietor of the field which Naomi worked, stopped by to greet the harvesters. His name was Boaz. Noticing Ruth, Boaz probed the overseer of the harvesters about her identity. Worried he would make her leave, Ruth spoke up, asking him to allow her to glean what the harvesters had left behind. Graciously, Boaz informed Ruth she could stay and extended the invitation to drink from the jars of water whenever she thirst. In spite of being grateful, Ruth couldn’t help but wonder why Boaz was being so generous. 

Boaz continued to show hospitality toward Ruth. He even instructed his men to pull out some stocks for Ruth to collect, and ordered them not to reprimand her. 

Upon returning home that evening, Ruth had collected more food than expected. Impressed, Naomi questioned Ruth. Ruth debriefed Naomi, detailing the kindness the landowner had shown her. Naomi was delighted when she recognized Boaz’s name and excitedly disclosed Boaz was a relative of her deceased husband. Moreover, Boaz was a guardian-redeemer. Naomi suggested to Ruth that she should continue working for Boaz on his field, assuring her that he would keep her safe; something that was not a guarantee on other fields. 

Ruth worked for Boaz throughout the harvesting season. Sometime after the crops had been harvested, Naomi proposed an idea to Ruth. Naomi knowingly understood that Ruth would still have to one day move on and begin her life with a mate and start a family. Reminding Ruth that Boaz held the position of guardian-redeemer, Naomi advised her to clean up, dress in her best dress, and garnish herself in perfume. Naomi proceeded to tell Ruth that Boaz would be winnowing the barley on the threshing floor that night. She encouraged Ruth to go to the threshing floor and stay hidden until Boaz had finished eating and drinking. She was to only reveal herself once Boaz had retired for the night and laid down to sleep. Naomi indicated to Ruth that she would then need to uncover his feet and lie down. Naomi assured her that Boaz would know what to do next. 

Obediently, Ruth followed Naomi’s instructions. At some point during the middle of the night, Boaz was jolted out of sleep. Startled, he realized a woman was at his feet. Puzzled, Boaz asked the identity of the intruder.  Ruth revealed herself and her intentions, saying, “Spread the corner of your garment over me, since you are a guardian-redeemer of our family.”

Ruth stayed the night and slipped away early in the morning, returning home to Naomi with six measures of barley that Boaz had gifted her. She laid out the events of the night to Naomi. Naomi confidently guaranteed that Boaz would settle the matter and have an answer for her that day. 

Although flattered, Boaz was obligated by law to offer Elimelek’s land and the prospect of marrying Ruth to the guardian-redeemer first in line. True to Naomi’s expectation, that day Boaz met with his relative and a group of ten elders who would serve as witnesses. Boaz extended the offer of Elimelek’s land. His relative openly expressed his interest in becoming the proprietor of the land. Boaz continued, stating that the day the purchase was finalized, he would have to marry Ruth in order to maintain the name of the dead on the property. 

At the mention of marriage to Ruth, the man declined; ultimately allowing Boaz the right to the land and to marry Ruth. 

Boaz and Ruth married and they quickly conceived a son. Once born, they named the baby Obed. As a direct result of the baby, the resentment Naomi had built up melted away. 

Noteworthy Details and a Breakdown of the Significance of Ruth’s Story

There are several incredible aspects that build upon and fuse together to ultimately embody the significance of Ruth’s story. There is a lot to unpack, so let’s jump right in and start to dissect. 

First, Let's Start with Some Quick Definitions 

Gleaning:

Merriam-Webster defines glean(ing) as: to gather grain or other produce left by reapers.

Leviticus 19:9-10 outlines the idea behind the word. Here, we read that God gave Moses specific instructions stating: 

When you reap the harvest of your land, do not reap to the very edges of your field or gather the gleanings of your harvest. Do not go over your vineyard a second time or pick up the grapes that have fallen. Leave them for the poor and the foreigner. I am the Lord your God.

Again, we see this instruction under Mosaic Law in Deuteronomy 24:19:

When you are harvesting in your field and you overlook a sheaf, do not go back to get it. Leave it for the foreigner, the fatherless and the widow, so that the Lord your God may bless you in all the work of your hands.

Therefore, per law, the harvesters (reapers) and the master of the crop were to allow the needy to gather what had been left behind. 

Threshing

Threshing is simply the process of separating the grain from the husk and stalk of the plant. 

Winnowing

Winnowing follows threshing. The purpose of winnowing was to sift the grain; separating it from all of the different parts of the crop. During the threshing process, the pieces of grain were mixed with the husks and the stalks. The task of winnowing involved throwing the crop mixture into the air. The idea behind it was the wind would effectively blow away the light pieces of stalk, while the weight of the grain would cause it to instantaneously fall to the ground. 

Naomi/Mara

When Naomi arrived home in Bethlehem, she requested to be called Mara. This is because Naomi means pleasant and Mara means bitter.

Guardian-Redeemer

Based on the instructions and examples given in the following verses, we can conclude that Guardian-Redeemer is a close relative that holds the duty of redeeming their family members from dire circumstances. Suppose the family bloodline was at risk or any possessions in danger of being lost. In that case, the family members could reach out to their Guardian-Redeemer and it would become the Guardian-Redeemer’s responsibility to fix the situation and bring forth a positive outcome. This could be done through buying family possessions, including land, purchasing enslaved relatives, providing an heir for a relative who has passed, and general care for family members experiencing hardship. 

Guardian-Redeemer is also known as Kinsman-Redeemer.

Leviticus 25:25 says:

If one of your fellow Israelites becomes poor and sells some of their property, their nearest relative is to come and redeem what they have sold. 

Furthermore, Leviticus 25:47-49 reads:

If a foreigner residing among you becomes rich and any of your fellow Israelites become poor and sell themselves to the foreigner or to a member of the foreigner’s clan, they retain the right of redemption after they have sold themselves. One of their relatives may redeem them: An uncle or a cousin or any blood relative in their clan may redeem them. Or if they prosper, they may redeem themselves.

Deuteronomy 25:5-10 reiterates the concept:

If brothers are living together and one of them dies without a son, his widow must not marry outside the family. Her husband’s brother shall take her and marry her and fulfill the duty of a brother-in-law to her. The first son she bears shall carry on the name of the dead brother so that his name will not be blotted out from Israel.

However, if a man does not want to marry his brother’s wife, she shall go to the elders at the town gate and say, “My husband’s brother refuses to carry on his brother’s name in Israel. He will not fulfill the duty of a brother-in-law to me.” Then the elders of his town shall summon him and talk to him. If he persists in saying, “I do not want to marry her,” his brother’s widow shall go up to him in the presence of the elders, take off one of his sandals, spit in his face and say, “This is what is done to the man who will not build up his brother’s family line.” That man’s line shall be known in Israel as The Family of the Unsandaled.

Ruth's Character Traits

  • Devoted
  • Faithful
  • Obedient
  • Compassionate
  • Diligent
  • Humble

A Brief History of Moab and Moabites

After fleeing Sodom and Gomorrah, Lot and his two daughters settled in a cave in the mountains. Having lost her husband in the destruction of the wicked cities, Lot’s oldest daughter devised a plan that she proposed to her sister, who had also lost her husband. In order to preserve their bloodline, she suggested they get their father drunk and sleep with him so they could conceive. Lot was unaware of his daughters’ actions. Both became pregnant and birthed sons. The youngest daughter gave birth to Ammon, who became the father of the Ammonites. The oldest daughter named her son Moab and he became the founder of Moab and consequently, the father of the Moabites. 

The land of Moab’s incestuous beginnings ran parallel with the wicked and immoral conduct of its citizens. Moabites worshiped the pagan god, Chemosh. 

Israelites Were Not to Intermarry with Non-Believers 

We see in Exodus 34:10-16 that God commanded the Israelites to not marry those who were not a part of His covenant:

Then the Lord said: “I am making a covenant with you. Before all your people I will do wonders never before done in any nation in all the world. The people you live among will see how awesome is the work that I, the Lord, will do for you. Obey what I command you today. I will drive out before you the Amorites, Canaanites, Hittites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites. Be careful not to make a treaty with those who live in the land where you are going, or they will be a snare among you. Break down their altars, smash their sacred stones and cut down their Asherah poles. Do not worship any other god, for the Lord, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God.

“Be careful not to make a treaty with those who live in the land; for when they prostitute themselves to their gods and sacrifice to them, they will invite you and you will eat their sacrifices. And when you choose some of their daughters as wives for your sons and those daughters prostitute themselves to their gods, they will lead your sons to do the same.

Additionally, Deuteronomy 23:3-6 teaches us that the Ammonites and Moabites are excluded from the Lords’ assembly:

No Ammonite or Moabite or any of their descendants may enter the assembly of the Lord, not even in the tenth generation. For they did not come to meet you with bread and water on your way when you came out of Egypt, and they hired Balaam son of Beor from Pethor in Aram Naharaim to pronounce a curse on you. However, the Lord your God would not listen to Balaam but turned the curse into a blessing for you, because the Lord your God loves you. Do not seek a treaty of friendship with them as long as you live.

Does That Mean the Marriage Between Boaz and Ruth was Forbidden?

In reference to Boaz’s ability to marry Ruth, a Moabite, we can turn to Isaiah 56:1-8. Here we read that if a foreigner commits their life to Him, they will be forgiven of their evildoings and welcomed into the fold:

This is what the Lord says:

“Maintain justice and do what is right, for my salvation is close at hand and my righteousness will soon be revealed.

Blessed is the one who does this— the person who holds it fast, who keeps the Sabbath without desecrating it, and keeps their hands from doing any evil.”

Let no foreigner who is bound to the Lord say, “The Lord will surely exclude me from his people.” And let no eunuch complain, “I am only a dry tree.”

For this is what the Lord says:

“To the eunuchs who keep my Sabbaths, who choose what pleases me and hold fast to my covenant— to them I will give within my temple and its walls a memorial and a name better than sons and daughters; I will give them an everlasting name that will endure forever. And foreigners who bind themselves to the Lord to minister to him, to love the name of the Lord, and to be his servants, all who keep the Sabbath without desecrating it and who hold fast to my covenant—these I will bring to my holy mountain and give them joy in my house of prayer. Their burnt offerings and sacrifices  will be accepted on my altar; for my house will be called a house of prayer for all nations.”

The Sovereign Lord declares— he who gathers the exiles of Israel:

“I will gather still others to them besides those already gathered.”

If we quickly circle back to Chapter 1 in The Book of Ruth when Naomi was encouraging Oprah and Ruth to return to their mothers, Ruth’s reply in verse 16 states: 

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.”

In the last sentence of the verse, Ruth denounces the Moabite god and commits herself as a servant of the Lord. 

Against All Odds...

  • Ruth was not only a foreigner, she was a Moabite, a sworn enemy of Israel.
  • Ruth was a woman.
  • Ruth was a widow. 
  • Ruth was poor. 

In spite of all the odds Ruth had stacked against her, God knew her heart, saw her goodness shine brightly in her associations, her work, her actions, and her words; and He implemented her in His divine plan to bring salvation to the world!

Chapter 4 of Ruth ends with the genealogy of King David. It is here that we discover Ruth is his Great Grandmother. 

However, I’d like to share the genealogy of Jesus found in Matthew:

As you can see, Jesus Christ is a direct descendant of Ruth and Boaz. The faith Ruth displayed was so strong and pure, that all the marks against her didn’t matter. God didn’t care that she was foreign, it didn’t matter to Him that she was a widow, and her financial status meant nothing. The marks against her are only considered marks in the eyes of man- they are not flaws in the eyes of God.

The True Guardian-Redeemer

God is our Guardian-Redeemer. He redeemed Ruth, who had a questionable upbringing, and blessed her greatly because of her devotion, faith, and love.

He can, and will, redeem us too. God gave the world His Son. Christ took upon himself all of our sins; ultimately paying off our debt, and paving the way for redemption and forgiveness.

In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace

Ephesians 1:7

Wrapping Up

Ruth’s story shows us that God uses people from all walks of life to fulfill his promises. He does not discriminate. He does not judge based on the same judgment scale as man. Just the opposite: it is He who sees you, knows you, loves you, protects you, blesses you, and redeems you. 

- Torrance Church of Christ

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