Highlights From of Ruth - Information for personal study
Scriptural Questions Answered:1:8—Why did Naomi tell her daughters-in-law to return “each one to the house of her mother” instead of to the house of her father? Whether Orpah’s father was alive at the time is not stated. However, Ruth’s father was. (Ruth 2:11) Still, Naomi spoke of the mother’s house, perhaps thinking that the reference to their mothers would bring to their mind the comfort of motherly affection. This would be particularly soothing to daughters overwhelmed by the sorrow of parting from their beloved mother-in-law. The comment may also reflect the thought that unlike Naomi, the mothers of Ruth and Orpah had well-established homes.
1:13, 21—Did Jehovah make life bitter for Naomi and cause her calamity? No, and Naomi did not charge God with any wrongdoing. In view of all that had happened to her, however, she thought that Jehovah was against her. She felt bitter and disillusioned. Moreover, in those days the fruitage of the belly was considered a divine blessing and barrenness, a curse. Lacking grandchildren and with two sons dead, Naomi might have felt justified in thinking that Jehovah had humiliated her.
2:12—What “perfect wage” did Ruth receive from Jehovah? Ruth had a son and received the privilege of becoming a link in history’s most important lineage—that of Jesus Christ.—Ruth 4:13-17; Matthew 1:5, 16.
Lessons for Us:1:8; 2:20. Despite the tragedies she experienced, Naomi maintained her confidence in Jehovah’s loving-kindness. We should do the same, particularly when undergoing severe trials.
1:9. A home should be more than just a place where family members eat and sleep. It should be a peaceful place of rest and comfort.
1:14-16. Orpah “returned to her people and her gods.” Ruth did not. She left the comfort and security of her native land and remained loyal to Jehovah. Cultivating loyal love for God and manifesting a self-sacrificing spirit will help protect us from succumbing to selfish desires and ‘shrinking back to destruction.’—Hebrews 10:39.
2:2. Ruth wanted to take advantage of the provision of gleaning made for the benefit of the foreigners and the afflicted. She was humble at heart. A needy Christian should not be too proud to accept the loving assistance of fellow believers or any governmental aid he or she may qualify for.
2:7. Despite having the right to glean, Ruth asked for permission before doing so. (Leviticus 19:9, 10) This was a sign of meekness on her part. We are wise to “seek meekness,” for “the meek ones themselves will possess the earth, and they will indeed find their exquisite delight in the abundance of peace.”—Zephaniah 2:3; Psalm 37:11.
2:11. Ruth proved to be more than a relative to Naomi. She was a true friend. (Proverbs 17:17) Their friendship was solid because it was based on such qualities as love, loyalty, empathy, kindness, and a self-sacrificing spirit. More important, it was based on their spirituality—their desire to serve Jehovah and to be among his worshipers. We too have fine opportunities to cultivate genuine friendships with true worshipers.
2:15-17. Even when Boaz made it possible for Ruth to ease her work load, “she continued to glean in the field until the evening.” Ruth was a hard worker. A Christian should have a reputation for being a diligent worker.
2:19-22. Naomi and Ruth enjoyed pleasant conversation during the evening hours, the older one taking an interest in the activities of the younger, both freely expressing their thoughts and feelings. Should it be any different in a Christian family?
2:22, 23. Unlike Jacob’s daughter Dinah, Ruth sought association with worshipers of Jehovah. What a fine example for us!—Genesis 34:1, 2; 1 Corinthians 15:33.
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