Outsider in

Explore God's Word Daily
Explore God's Word Daily

 

 

As a widow, refugee and foreigner, Ruth is vulnerable to sexual harassment, exploitation and abuse. But she has come to take refuge under the wings of Israel's God. So what will she find among His people? Will this community be different in the way they treat an outsider?

Read Ruth 2 v 1-23

  • - What do we learn about Boaz's character?
  • - How does Naomi interpret the way in which Ruth is treated in Bethlehem (v 20)?
  • - Look at what people do, say, permit or avoid through the whole chapter. How does each show the LORD's kindness to Ruth and Naomi?

God's law

Read Deuteronomy 10 v 17-19 and 24 v 19-22

  • - How are these commands of God carried out when it comes to Ruth?

The time of the Judges was a time when God's law was ignored (Judges 21 v 25). But it seems that in Bethlehem, and in Boaz's house, God's law was loved.

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APPLY

Most people today, as then, see God's law as something that can be (and even should be) ignored.

Read James 1 v 25

  • - Why should we not only obey the law, but love it?

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God's kindness

A key theme of the book of Ruth is "loving kindness" (or "covenant love/loyalty")--the Hebrew word hesed. It describes loyalty to the obligations of a covenant or agreement, and the generous spirit that is willing to go beyond those obligations. This is the "kindness" for which Naomi praises God (v 20).

God is kind to Ruth and Naomi thorugh the kindness and obedience of His people. We are to show the same kindness towards others, especially the vulnerable. This creates an attractive community of kindness. God is revealed as a God who liberates and protects, and people of all nations come to Him for refuge.

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APPLY

  • - Who is vulnerable (materially, physically or emotionally) in your community?
  • - What could you do to show them the LORD's kindness?

Think of some specific ways you can show kindness this week. Pray that this would be an opportunity to show people the loving kindness of the LORD.

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This devotional is taken from Explore—a daily Bible-reading devotional from The Good Book Company which enables you to engage with Scripture and which will encourage, equip and inspire you to live for Christ. Explore features contributions from pastors such as Dr Timothy Keller, Mike McKinley and Tim Chester.

Click here and enter the code bstexplore61 when you check out to get the next quarter’s Explore for $5.84, a 10% discount.

Click here and enter bstexploresub when you check out to buy a year’s worth at 25% off—just $16.

Keep a record of what God is teaching you with "My Bible" at BibleStudyTools.com

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Originally published January 25, 2013.

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