Women of the Bible Podcast

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Ruth - Week 4: A Life That Speaks Volumes

Season:  Ruth

Kristen Clark: Do you know you can do the most mundane tasks for God’s glory? Here’s Erin Davis.

Erin Davis: I am loving walking through the book of Ruth with you. I hope that you are loving walking through the book of Ruth with us. I hope you need no introduction, but just in case somebody is just joining us, tell us your name and anything else you want us to know.

Portia Collins: Hey, guys, it is Portia Collins here . . . and I don’t know what else to share.

Erin: Do you have a favorite color?

Portia: Purple.

Erin: Purple—the color of royalty.

All right. And your name and whatever else you want us to know, or tell us your favorite color if you can’t think of anything else.

Kristen: I’m Kristen Clark from the great state of Texas.

Erin: Yes, you’ve got to get that great state in there.

Kristen: And I’ve got a cute little Maltipoo named Sadie. I love her.

Erin: People who are listening, go, “Awwww! Sadie!” (laughter)

And I’m Erin Davis. In this session we’re going to consider our work as an act of worship.

So let’s catch people up. This is session 4. We are just finishing chapter 1, and we’re going to have to speed it up a little bit to get through it. But to recap . . . we’ve mostly been talking about this woman named Naomi. What has happened in Naomi’s life so far in this first chapter?

Portia, what comes to mind?

Portia: Naomi has left her native land and has gone to Moab where they have much trouble and just death. She experienced the death of her husband and her sons. And so then from there, she decides, “Okay. Time to go back home—got to turn around.” And she returns to Bethlehem, and Ruth decides, “Okay, I’m going to stay with you.” Orpah does not. And now we get to kind of learn a little bit more about Ruth.

Erin: Yes. We’ve made it all the way to session 4, and we’ve barely talked about Ruth. I feel like this book of the Bible could have been named many things. It could have been named Naomi. It could have been named Kinsman Redeemer. Nobody asks my opinion on the naming of books of the Bible. (laughter) But, certainly, Ruth is important, and we’ve barely talked about her.

So let’s catch up a little bit on Ruth. Kristen, would you read us Ruth 1:8–18?

Kristen:

But Naomi said to her two daughters-in-law, “Go, return each of you to her mother's house. May the Lord deal kindly with you, as you have dealt with the dead and with me. The Lord grant that you may find rest, each of you in the house of her husband!” Then she kissed them, and they lifted up their voices and wept. And they said to her, “No, we will return with you to your people.” But Naomi said, “Turn back, my daughters; why will you go with me? Have I yet sons in my womb that they may become your husbands? Turn back, my daughters; go your way, for I am too old to have a husband. If I should say I have hope, even if I should have a husband this night and should bear sons, would you therefore wait till they were grown? Would you therefore refrain from marrying? No, my daughters, for it is exceedingly bitter to me for your sake that the hand of the Lord has gone out against me.” Then they lifted up their voices and wept again. And Orpah kissed her mother-in-law, but Ruth clung to her.

And she said, “See, your sister-in-law has gone back to her people and to her gods; return after your sister-in-law.” But Ruth said, “Do not urge me to leave you or to return from following you. For where you go I will go, and where you lodge I will lodge. Your people shall be my people, and your God my God. Where you die I will die, and there will I be buried. May the Lord do so to me and more also if anything but death parts me from you.” And when Naomi saw that she was determined to go with her, she said no more.”

Erin: So we’ve already looked at this part of the story, but it reminds you of that strategy sometimes in movies and TV shows where you see the story from one person’s point of view, and then they tell that exact sequence of events from a different point of view. That’s kind of what we’re doing here. We’ve thought about this from the perspective of Naomi. Let’s now think about it from the perspective of Ruth.

So Ruth, a Moabite, is with her mother-in-law. She’s buried her father-in-law. She’s buried her husband. And now her mother-in-law is trying to send her away. Her sister-in-law makes that decision to go. Ruth makes the decision to go with Naomi into a foreign land—which we’re going to assume she’s never been to before. For Naomi, Moab was the foreign land. But for Ruth, Judah is the foreign land.

So, as you look at these verses again, does that kind of change of frame as you look at these verses again and consider Ruth? What do you see about her character? It’s not all spelled out for us. Portia, I love how you tell us to use our imaginations. But read between the lines. What do you see about the character of Ruth here in these verses?

Kristen: She had such an interest in the God of Israel, which, really, to me is mind blowing, because here she is, a Moabite woman. She’s grown up in a land where all of these false gods are the ones that are worshipped. And yet somehow, she just has this heart for the Lord. She wants to go back with Naomi to go worship this one true God. To me, that’s just mind blowing.

It’s this foreign land, like you said. She knows really nothing about these people. But she wants to go back, and she’s willing to leave everything behind in order to do it.

Erin: We know that she heard stories about God, because the text tells us that Naomi had heard the stories that God had visited His people. For me, that’s so compelling—the power of the stories of God on the people who do not know Him. And so, yes, we see this real interest in learning from her.

Portia, what conclusions do you draw about Ruth’s character?

Portia: What really stands out to me is what she says in verse 17: “May the Lord do so to me and more also if anything but death parts me from you.” That “the Lord”—not everybody is saying “the Lord.” She didn’t say, “May your God do,” or . . .

Erin: Or, “the God of Israel.”

Portia: Right! She said, “May the Lord,” which, for me, indicates Lord over her life. And so that submissiveness there, even though she doesn’t know everything about this God, the one true God, there is still an initial submissiveness and trust in the one true God.

Erin: I’m glad you pulled that out of the text. She didn’t walk through the Romans Road or pray the kinds of things you need to pray, but isn’t it in a way a declaration of faith?

Kristen: Yes.

Erin: He’s “the Lord.” The Lord is going to do what the Lord is going to do. So we see faith in her. We also see loyalty to her mother-in-law.

And, man, I want to hire Ruth to write for me. Her language here, “Where you go, I will go. Where you stay, I will stay. Your people will be my people.” It’s so poetic. She’s very articulate.

She seems very calm to me as well. We don’t ever see hysterics from Ruth. I don’t want to villainize Naomi or Orpah at all. That would maybe make it easier to understand. It’s, like, “Well, these were bad women, and Ruth is the good woman.”

We really don’t know enough about either of them to do that. But we know we love Ruth. And we’re going to love her even more as we continue learning about her in Ruth chapter 2.

Portia, can you pick it up for us, and we need to hear Ruth chapter 2, verses 1–7.

Portia:

Now Naomi had a relative of her husband's, a worthy man of the clan of Elimelech, whose name was Boaz. And Ruth the Moabite said to Naomi, “Let me go to the field and glean among the ears of grain after him in whose sight I shall find favor.” And she said to her, “Go, my daughter.”So she set out and went and gleaned in the field after the reapers, and she happened to come to the part of the field belonging to Boaz, who was of the clan of Elimelech. And behold, Boaz came from Bethlehem. And he said to the reapers, “The Lord be with you!” And they answered, “The Lord bless you.” Then Boaz said to his young man who was in charge of the reapers, “Whose young woman is this?” And the servant who was in charge of the reapers answered, “She is the young Moabite woman, who came back with Naomi from the country of Moab. She said, ‘Please let me glean and gather among the sheaves after the reapers.’ So she came, and she has continued from early morning until now, except for a short rest.

Erin: So as we’re trying to continue to get a picture of Ruth’s character, as we head into this next part of the narrative, what else do we learn about her character? We know she has some faith. We know she’s loyal. We see her to be calm.

And then they get to Israel, which by the way, all anyone there wants to say about her is that she’s from Moab. Right? She’s the Moabitess from Moab. That’s all anybody there wants to say about her. But what else do we learn about her character in these next set of verses? Kristen?

Kristen: She’s a hard worker. This girl gets to work. She’s, like, “All right. We’ve got to eat. We need some food. I’m going to go out, and I’m going to find food for Naomi and for me.” And she goes out, and she works hard. Wow!

Erin: She does. Maybe it’s the farm girl in me, but I just so admire the quality of hard work. I want to be the hardest working person in every room. I have a saying that I say, “Some people are work horses. Some people are war horses. Some people are show ponies.” (laughter) I want to be a work horse who just works so hard. And so I super admire that in the character of Ruth.

Listen, this harvesting business—that is hard work. And she just gets after it, kind of with a happy heart. She just gets to work.

I want to take this just a little bit further, and then we’re going to unpack this. I’m going to read us Ruth 2:8—16.

Then Boaz said to Ruth, “Now, listen, my daughter, do not go to glean in another field or leave this one, but keep close to my young women. Let your eyes be on the field that they are reaping, and go after them. Have I not charged the young men not to touch you? And when you are thirsty, go to the vessels and drink what the young men have drawn.” Then she fell on her face, bowing to the ground, and said to him, “Why have I found favor in your eyes, that you should take notice of me, since I am a foreigner?” But Boaz answered her, “All that you have done for your mother-in-law since the death of your husband has been fully told to me, and how you left your father and mother and your native land and came to a people that you did not know before. The Lord repay you for what you have done, and a full reward be given you by the Lord, the God of Israel, under whose wings you have come to take refuge!” [Oh, if you write in your Bible, I’d circle that “wings.”]

Then she said, “I have found favor in your eyes, my lord, for you have comforted me and spoken kindly to your servant, though I am not one of your servants.”

And at mealtime Boaz said to her, “Come here and eat some bread and dip your morsel in the wine.” So she sat beside the reapers, and he passed to her roasted grain. And she ate until she was satisfied, and she had some left over. When she rose to glean, Boaz instructed his young men, saying, “Let her glean even among the sheaves, and do not reproach her. And also pull out some from the bundles for her and leave it for her to glean, and do not rebuke her.”

Listen, if you read the story of Ruth and kind of thought she was working in the garden, you should pay attention to these verses again. It’s, like, “She might get attacked by young men. We’ve got to make sure that we protect her because if she’s not here, she will be attacked in another field.”

I think that’s important. What does that reveal about her character, Portia, that she was willing to go to work without knowing Boaz’s protection was going to be there for her? Does that show you anything?

Portia: She’s fearless. Like, “I’m going to do this.” And, once again, I’m using this imagination, but I really would like to think that it’s because she’s trusting in the Lord. Like, “I’m not going to worry about my life. I know that I have to go out here and try to get food for myself and my mother-in-law, so I’m just going to do it and trust that everything is going to be all right.”

Erin: Yes, there’s a fearlessness in her. I like her more and more the more we read.

Kristen: Yes.

Erin: Fearless. Hard worker. Faith-filled. A woman who speaks grace.

Portia: Yes.

Erin: That’s where I want to reframe Ruth. It’s not in the beginning she was this destitute woman with nothing to offer, and at the end she has somehow transformed. Some of that’s true. But right here in these early verses, we see a woman of virtue. And her reputation has preceded her—all the way from Moab to Judah.

Kristen: The word is getting out!

Erin: Yes. What had Boaz heard about our girl Ruth? What does it say?

Kristen: He had seen that she’s a woman of great character, really, in going with her mother-in-law, leaving behind everything. I mean, that really impressed him. That was, like, “Wow! Okay! This woman is serious.”

Erin: She’s willing to make sacrifices.

Kristen: Yes—willing to follow the Lord no matter the cost. I think He really saw that in her character.

Erin: Yes. And we see humility. There is never a point in this story there we don’t see humility in Ruth.

Isn’t humility tricky? The second you think you’ve got humility, it slips right out of your hand. (laughter) Either the Lord builds it in you, or He doesn’t. You either have it, or you don’t. It’s not something you can drum up in a tough situation. It’s so attractive in the character of Ruth.

And part of what Boaz must have been drawn to, I think, is her willingness to sacrifice. It takes humility, I think, to glean on the edge of somebody else’s field.

Kristen: Right.

Portia: And to ask, “Hey, if I’ve found favor, and if you care, can I please just get some of your wheat?”

Kristen: Your leftovers.

Portia: Your leftovers. Right.

Erin: That takes humility.

Portia: Right.

Erin: Have you ever stepped into a room of women where you don’t know a soul and felt that feeling?

Kristen: Oh, yes.

Erin: And that’s what she did. She didn’t know anybody there. She kind of joins this female work crew she doesn’t know, and is probably not immediately accepted, because everybody is saying how she’s a Moabitess.

So, yes, a ton of humility, and just such obvious hard work. And she’s generous towards Naomi.

And to this point in the story, had Naomi been pleasant or unpleasant? How would you describe her? She had her name changed from Naomi, which means pleasant, to . . .

Portia: To Mara.

Erin: To Mara, which means bitter. So she’s pleasant towards the woman who no longer wants to be called pleasant.

That is hard to do. So I think we see an attitude toward work and an attitude toward others that we can all emulate.

I want to drill down on this concept of work. How would you assess or describe our culture’s view of work? Kristen?

Kristen: Oh, I don’t know. I feel like there’s two-fold. It’s, like, “Work like crazy—hustle, hustle, hustle.”

Erin: Work is everything.

Kristen: Work is everything. It’s all of your success. It’s your identity. Your worth. Just do it like crazy.

And then there’s this kind of other side, like, work is a burden. “I don’t want to work, so I’m just going to be lazy and do my own thing and do what makes me happy.”

Erin: Right. “I just kind of grind through work so that I can live my best life on the weekend.”

Kristen: Right.

Erin: Yes. I see both of those, too. And both are kind of oppressive. Right?

Kristen: Right.

Erin: That hustle culture can make me feel all kinds of pressure I don’t think the Lord intends for me. As can work being the part of my life I don’t want to do.

Kristen: Like the necessary evil.

Erin: Yes. Your thoughts on how our culture views work, Portia?

Portia: I always go back to Genesis. I think we missed the fact that we were given work before the fall.

Erin: Sister! Are you looking at my notes?! (laughter) That’s something I wanted to talk about because it’s so important.

Portia: Yes.

Erin: Take us there.

Portia: So in my mind, I’m, like, “We were created to work, to do work.”

Erin: Right.

Portia: But the thing is: Our work should not consume us. That’s not where the glory goes. The glory goes to God. So anytime we’re working and we make an idol of that work, we’re in dangerous territory.

And then on the flip side of it, when we are just totally against working and just want to sit back and kick our feet up, once again, we’re in some dangerous territory.

I think that there’s a healthy balance that God intentionally put in place. He created us to work. He worked six days, and He rested on the seventh. So He models everything that we’re supposed to be doing. I think we just need to go back to the beginning and take some notes.

Erin: Well, I think part of the reason the three of us are such close friends is because we’re all a little Type A. (laughter)

Kristen: Just a little bit.

Erin: I like saying, “I’m not Type A, I’m Type Double-A.” Like: “Get . . . the . . . job . . . done . . . all . . . the . . . time.” I have a sign in my office that says, “People over projects” because I have to remember not to just think that my to-do list is my be-all, end-all. I think I gravitate most into “work is my identity.” But I can see the other camp gravitating towards, “Work is a waste of my time.” I think Ruth is going to give us some healthy perspectives on work.

I want to read us a comment that came in through Grounded, which is a videocast we do on Revive Our Hearts. I love this comment. This takes us all the way back to COVID-19, she’s referencing that. But she says:

Thank you, COVID-19, for reminding me that work is a PRIVILEGE. [She had that in all caps, which you know means, “We mean business.” Work is a PRIVILEGE.] I don’t have to work, but I get to work and help provide for my family. May I never take work for granted.

I’ve thought about this comment many, many times—the privilege of work. I think Ruth must have felt that because if she didn’t get to work in Boaz’s field that day, what was going to happen for her and Naomi?

Portia: They were going to go hungry.

Erin: They were going to go hungry. So you do hear that in her response. Like, “I’m so grateful I can glean in this field. I’m so grateful for my job. I’m so grateful that I can serve the Lord through working.”

I don’t know that I always have that heart attitude toward work.

Kristen: You don’t see her complaining. “Could I get a better field? Maybe one in the shade? Maybe some A/C.” (laughter)

Erin: Sure! And, “Why isn’t Naomi working? Why am I the only one out here?” None of that in her.

Kristen: She just praises the work the Lord has given to her.

Erin: Yes, she does.

Portia: She works to the glory of the Lord.

Erin: So, Portia, I’m so glad you mentioned Genesis. We see God doing the work of creation in Genesis 1. But, Kristen, could you read us Genesis 2:15?

Kristen: “The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and keep it.”

Erin: This is before the fall, which we know happens in Genesis 3.

I can’t take any credit for this, this actually comes from my pastor. He said this in a sermon recently. He reminded us that “Work is not a fruit of the curse.” Sometimes it can feel like it, “Oh, I wouldn’t have to work if the world wasn’t so broken.”

But actually, what is a part of the curse is fruitless work. You know, the Lord’s talking to Adam and Eve and the serpent, and He’s handing down those curses. He tells Adam, “You’re going to work the land, and it’s not going to produce the fruit that you want.”

And so, work is good. Work is part of God’s plan. And, let’s be honest, most of our work is gleaning. Right? Most of it feels pretty redundant, pretty tedious. I’m really looking forward to there not being laundry in heaven. (laughter)

Portia: Or dishes.

Erin: Or dishes! I don’t mind doing the dishes, but I do mind the laundry. So we could work together on that.

But in the bottom of all my laundry baskets at home is this verse: “He who can be trusted with little can be trusted with much.” It’s written there with a Sharpie because if I cannot be trusted to fold the laundry with joy, I cannot be trusted to do anything else with joy. But a lot of it just feels menial. Right?

I once heard another pastor say, “The Lord must care about the mundane because there sure is a lot of it.” (laughter)

He cares about our hearts in the mundane. And so, as you think about your work, I think there’s this mindset right now . . . Tell me if you’re hearing this: “Your work should be totally fulfilling every minute or you’re missing it,” and “What God most wants for your life is for you to live your dream and that is to feel good all the time.”

That’s not what we see in Ruth, and it’s not what we see elsewhere in Scripture. So, let’s head to a couple of passages that I think illuminate that. Who’s got Colossians 3:23–24?

Portia: I have it.

Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ.

Erin: We don’t have to get out our commentaries or hear the original languages or talk to a bunch of old theologians to understand what’s happening in this verse. It starts out with, “Whatever you do, work for the Lord because the Lord is your Boss.”

I was having a conversation with a friend recently. I was frustrated about some things happening at work, and that friend just cut right to the chase and said, “Oh, I thought you worked for Jesus.”

Kristen: Oh, oh!

Erin: Right. Where do you go from there? She was reminding me that the Lord is my Boss, and if the Lord is my Boss, then I should work differently than if He isn’t.

Portia: Yes.

Erin: Can you take us to Ecclesiastes 9:10? Did I give you that one?

Kristen: You didn’t.

Erin: Do you have that?

Kristen: I think I only have the Genesis passage.

Erin: Okay, Portia, could you read us Ecclesiastes 9:10?

Portia: Yes.

Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with your might, for there is no work or thought or knowledge or wisdom in Sheol, to which you are going.

Erin: Whatever your hand finds to do.” Both of these verses, they start with that, “Whatever.”

Portia: “Whatever.”

Erin: “Whatever.” All of it. Can’t there be an “except”?

Kristen: Except for this!

Erin: Everything is worship. All work becomes holy work.

Portia: It makes me think about this. I just had this conversation about the differentiation between paid and unpaid work. I think our culture wants to put more value on that work that you get paid for, but doing the laundry, doing the dishes, whatever it is, being a mom, that’s work, too, and it’s valuable in God’s eyes.

Erin: Yes. And isn’t it in those—I don’t want to say this is true for everybody—but for me, isn’t it in those unpaid areas of work where we find the most resentment and frustration and where we maybe are most prone to forget, “The Lord is my Boss. I’m doing this for the Lord”?

Portia: Yes.

Erin: If I think I’m doing the housework for my family, then I’m frustrated with them. I live with all boys. My house was last clean in 2008, and it’s not been clean since then. (laughter) I can be frustrated by that except for, “Am I working for the Lord?” Not that I think the Lord cares intensely about how clean my bathrooms are, but I think He cares intensely about how clean my heart is, and if I’m willing to do it for His glory.

I think that differentiation does exist in our hearts and can be really dangerous ground.

Kristen: I wonder if God gave us the mundane to expose our heart motive? Because without it, if it’s all work we’re being praised for, we’re getting accolades, we’re getting paid, it might not show where our real motives are and who we’re really working for and whose glory we’re really after.

Portia: Right.

Erin: But actually it was Ruth’s willingness to do the hard work that got her noticed. And so, as this whole book of Ruth is a picture of bigger things, the Lord does pay attention when we work with humility. The Lord does notice when we’re willing to do the hard without the complaining.

That’s another “all” thing, “Do all things without grumbling or complaining” (Phil. 2:14). Like, “You mean all things, Lord?” (laughter) It’s all things.

2 Corinthians tells us that “God loves a cheerful giver.” Not be that person who serves while grumbling. Not be that person who serves angry. But be that person who serves cheerfully. 

So here’s a little heart check: Are we Ruths in the area of our work? Are we willing? However you define work, are we willing to work with humility, cheerfully?

Now, there might be somebody listening who thinks, Not my job! I cannot do my job cheerfully. I cannot do my job with humility.

Maybe you picture us all working in idyllic work settings where all we do is sip gourmet coffee and talk about Jesus all day.

Portia: That’d be nice!

Kristen: Really!

Erin: There are challenges in my area of work. There are challenges in our area of work.

Kristen: Yes.

Erin: And, Portia, I’d like to hear from you because your work life has been primarily in the secular marketplace.

Portia: Yes.

Erin: I think of that woman who might be serving under a boss who’s a bit of a tyrant, or a lot of a tyrant, or serving beside that co-worker who, the things she talks about, the things she’s got posted, the things she’s looking at. And this woman who’s listening and thinking, I don’t know how to serve with joy in that place. What would you say to her?

Portia: First, God is not oblivious to where He has allowed you to work. 

Erin: Because it’s not an accident.

Portia: Right. It’s not an accident. He knows. I don’t know where this line of thought came from that, as Christians, we’re just supposed to be in our own little Christian bubbles and there is no ministry outside of that. But that is not the truth.

I believe that God does strategically place believers in hard-work places so that the light of Christ can be seen.

Erin: We need believers in every single industry.

Portia: Yes. That’s what I look to in my profession. “Lord, how do I, as a representative of You, go into my job? How do I engage with the various people that I engage with and show the light of Christ? How does my work ethic show that I value work, that I believe work is something good that was created by God?”

So everything that I do in my work, I’m thinking about, How can that reflect the glory of God to somebody who may be a believer, to somebody who’s nominally Christian, or somebody who just doesn’t know Jesus at all? I want them to look at me and not see Portia in how she works, but to say, “Man, there has to be something deeper there. What is this Jesus that she’s talking about?”

Erin: We see that in Boaz and Ruth. The reality is that Boaz was a man of faith, but it’s still her work ethic that he noticed. It’s still her integrity that he paid attention to. And that probably would have been true whether he was a man of faith or he was not a man of faith.

I think this idea of calling has gotten pretty warped. It true for generations—you served the Lord with gladness whether you were working in the field or you were taking care of babies. I think our Christian sisters throughout history didn’t have quite so much angst about it because they didn’t have the opportunity to quit their homestead and go pursue a more Christian opportunity for work. We can get kind of bound up in all of that.

Scripture is just saying, “Whatever you do, wherever you are, work hard for the Lord.” And that’s a heart check for me in this story.

Well, I can’t wrap up this session without talking about Boaz. We already read about them. As we’ve thought about what we could take away from Ruth’s character, what can we glean (See what I did there? laughter) about Boaz’s character from these verses here in chapter 2? What kind of man does he seem like to you?

Kristen: He seems like a man of compassion and grace and kindness—the way he cares for this woman he doesn’t know. He’s heard about her, but he just extends so much kindness and compassion towards her.

Erin: Yes, he does.

Portia: I look at the adjectives—that’s another one of my big things. I love looking at the adjectives in the text, and Boaz is described as a “worthy man.”So what does that mean? He’s like a noble man. So he’s got some umpf . . . there’s something about him.

He’s just not any old type of guy, but he’s an upstanding guy.

I think you see that from what he does with and how he engages Ruth. He has character—good character. He’s a very respecting man.

Erin: Oh, I hope my sons grow up to be worthy. What a great way to describe him.

I met a woman once, and she introduced me to her husband. She said, “This is my husband, John. (I don’t know if that was actually his name.)but she said, “This is my husband, John. He carries the banner.” That’s how she introduced him.

Kristen: Wow!

Erin: I just love that! She was saying, “He’s a worthy man. He carries the banner—of faith, of family.” He just acted like he’d been introduced that way a million times. I think we could say this is Boaz. He carries the banner.

I also see he has a culture of honoring the Lord in his business. He’s trained his workers. What was that little thing they said back and forth with you?

Portia: “The Lord be with you.” And they responded, “The Lord bless you.”

Erin: I don’t think that happens spontaneously. (laughter)

Portia: They’d probably been doing it a lot.

Erin: He trained it into them.

Anything else strike you about Boaz to this point? (Silence.)

Nope. Let’s move on. (laughter)

Actually, it was intentional that I added Boaz on as an afterthought, because I don’t want us to fixate on Boaz. We can do that with this book of the Bible because Boaz points forward to a better Boaz in Jesus. And the qualities we see in Boaz—the compassion, that generosity, being worthy, interacting with people as if they matter—those all point to our Kinsman Redeemer. He has these qualities of a kinsman redeemer, but Boaz is not the point. He’s not the hero. He points forward to Jesus.

In the study, we give the qualifications of a kinsman redeemer. They have the right to be a kinsman redeemer. They have the power to be a kinsman redeemer. And they have a willingness to be a kinsman redeemer. And all three of those point forward to Jesus, our Kinsman Redeemer.

So as we move toward the end of this book of Ruth, we’ll see it was all about Jesus all along.

Well, it’s time to say goodbye for now. Thank you, Kristen, for being with us.

Kristen: Oh, it’s so fun.

Erin: It was so fun. And the same for you, Portia.

Portia: Thank you.

Erin: We hope that you are following along with us. If you’ve not yet grabbed your copy of Ruth, run, don’t walk, to ReviveOurHearts.com/Ruth. That’s also where you can find this conversation on video.

And next time, Portia will be back, and she’s going to paint a picture for us of trying to please God through our works.

And if you feel that kind of exhaustion, the gospel gives you hope. We’re going to talk about that next time on the Women of the Bible podcast.

All Scripture is taken from the ESV unless noted.

*Offers available only during the broadcast of the podcast season.

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About the Speakers

Erin Davis

Erin Davis

Erin Davis is an author, blogger, and speaker who loves to see women of all ages run to the deep well of God’s Word. She is the author of many …

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Kristen Clark

Kristen Clark

Kristen Clark is married to her best friend, Zack, is co-founder of GirlDefined Ministries, and author of Girl DefinedLove Defined, and Sex, Purity, and the Longings of …

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Portia Collins

Portia Collins

Portia Collins is a Christian Bible teacher and writer/blogger who enjoys studying and teaching Scripture.  Portia is the founder of "She Shall Be Called" (SSBC), a women’s ministry centered on …

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