Sunday School Material 8-28-11: Caring for One Another

(Ruth 4:1-10; 8/28/11)

Introduction: A key idea in today’s Sunday School material is that Boaz followed godly principles and ended up being a part of the lineage of Jesus.

Prayerfully, we will be challenged to live by godly principles and trust God with the results.

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Read Ruth 4:1-6
I. Boaz’s Proposition.
Boaz calls a session together to decide the matter of buying a piece of property and taking Ruth as a wife in this section of the Sunday School material.

The closest of kin (unnamed) wanted the land but not the wife. So the privilege of purchasing the land and having Ruth as a wife fell upon Boaz.

Applications –
- Handling business.
Notice in vs. 1 of this section of the Sunday School material that Boaz was noted for moving with deliberate speed and handling business in a decent and orderly way. Deliberate pace means not too fast and not too slow.

There are too many who are known for being procrastinators. Decent and orderly includes doing things the right way and making sure details are handled. Too many people handle business with too much sloppiness.

Let’s work on moving with a deliberate pace and handling business in a decent and orderly way. Too much money has been wasted on late fees, time wasted with disorganized papers, and opportunities missed because of slowfulness and sloppiness.

- Accessing the cost and doing the right thing. Notice in vss. 5-6 of the Sunday School material that the unnamed closest of kin wanted the land but not the wife, and because of his accessing the cost, he walked away from the deal.

There are some scholarly questions about why the land and marriage had to go together. But it is clear that Boaz and the unnamed man understood that they were tied together. There are those who want one part of a deal but not the other.

For example, there are those who want sex but not marriage. They want money but no job. They want membership privileges but no membership responsibilities.

Let’s access the cost and decide to either do all that is required of us or walk away from the deal. God prefers that we be hot or cold, but luke-warmness leads to His vomiting.

Read Ruth 4:7-10
II. Boaz’s Acquisition.
The transaction of purchasing the land and right to Ruth is completed. As was the custom of the day, a shoe was handed to the neighbor. Witnesses are present.

Applications –
- Operating above board.
Notice in vss. 7-9 of the Sunday School material that a shoe is being passed as a token of the transaction being done above board (i.e., in a legal and appropriate manner).

Some commentators suggest that it was a symbol of giving up one’s right to walk in or occupy that which is being transferred. In this case, the unnamed man is passing his shoe and right to occupy the land or have Ruth as his wife.

There were also witnesses to this transaction, so that there could be no confusion later on. When doing business, especially big business, it is a good practice to make sure you follow the official ways of doing things and that there are some witnesses.

When the other party doesn’t want to do things the right way and/or doesn’t want witnesses, it may well suggest that something is “shady,” and you may do well to walk away from the deal.

Let’s work on being wise stewards of what God has placed in our trust. This principle applies to our money, relationships, and any investment related to things that are valuable to us.

- Not taking advantage of people. Notice in vs. 10 of the Sunday School material that Boaz took Ruth as his wife.

Because it was “a man’s world” and Boaz apparently had a nice amount of wealth, was an older man, and Ruth was a Gentile, he could have taken her as a “girl friend.”

He could have been a “sugar daddy” and she would have been his “sex toy” – a bed and bread situation. However, Boaz was godly enough to respect her personhood.

There are too many men who prey on financially vulnerable women. And there are too many women who are too quick to use sex appeal and the like for their gain.

Let’s work on being people who honor God, by respecting people as people, no matter their financial status or level of vulnerability. If we mistreat the poor, we may well find ourselves in trouble with God (see Pro. 17:5).

- Obeying with trust in God. Notice in vs. 10 of the Sunday School material that Boaz was concerned about children. We know that from the union of Boaz and Ruth eventually came not only David but Jesus.

It is amazing how things work out, when we live by godly principles. I am certain that Boaz and Ruth had no idea how they played into God’s bigger plans. And often you and I don’t understand how we fit into God’s larger plan.

However, if we simply obey God, God can be trusted to work things out for the good of His people (see Rom. 8:28). Let’s work on living by godly principles and trusting God with the rest.

Conclusion: Let’s work on living by godly principles and trusting God with the results. God has much for those who obey His will.

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