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God Behind the Seen, Part 3
A Study of Ruth
Bruce A. Hess
Now, if you would, please take out the Word of God and turn in the Word of God, in the Old Testament, to the book of Ruth and chapter number 3. You can find Ruth relatively easily, it is the eighth book in the Old Testament, hiding right behind Joshua and Judges.
You know, every once in a while, you hear about an unusual marriage proposal in an unusual place. I was just doing a little research this week on unusual marriage proposals in unusual places, and I found that a number of people have chosen a rollercoaster as a location for a marriage proposal.
I have a couple of pictures here where you see several people in various rollercoaster cars. You always have the bride sitting in the front. This one bride-to-be seems to not be enjoying it since it is always at the scariest part of the ride when they take your group picture. Then you have the groom sitting behind the bride, and then you have some friends who are holding up signs [will you marry me?] as the picture is taken. This one says, “Lindsey will you marry me?” The groom-to-be is holding up a sign with an engagement ring. When they come off the ride and they go to check out their ride picture, it is then that the prospective bride gets to see the picture and then realize there is a marriage proposal. That is indeed an unusual marriage proposal.
I came across another one where a perspective groom spent time doing a very detailed sand art piece at the beach that was about thirty yards by thirty yards in size. It says, will you marry me, Heidi? Then, after doing all that work without her knowledge, he walked her to an overhanging ledge so that and they could look down at his artwork, and that is where he proposed to her, up on that ledge, ‘will you marry me, Heidi?’ So, that is another unusual place for an unusual proposal.
Now, I want to share with you one other one. It is a really ‘fabulous’ [tongue in cheek teasing] place. It is 139 South 28th Street, Lincoln, Nebraska. It was a house that was built in 1900, so in 1972 when I lived there it was already old. It had been divided up years before into apartments. Specifically, what I want you to notice is 139 ½ South 28th Street. If look carefully you will notice a little stairwell at the side of the house. The picture shows some arrows pointing to a basement apartment. ‘Mr. Romance,’ Bruce Hess, invited his bride-to-be down the stairs to my tiny little living room there. I got down on one knee and presented her with a ring. It was a proposal. I am sure it was ALL my wife, Janet, ever dreamed it would be [smile and laughter]. Those are some unusual proposals in unusual places.
This is also what we are going to see in the Book of Ruth, in chapter 3: an unusual proposal in an unusual place. It is going to be on a threshing floor in the town of Bethlehem. The proposal is going to happen in a way much different than we probably anticipated that it would happen.
We are involved in a series that we are calling, “God Behind the Seen.” It is on the Book of Ruth. This is message number three. If you’ve missed one and two, I would encourage you to go back to our web page or our YouTube page, check those out because we are going to building on that. Throughout this series we have been sharing a perspective and that is this: Mystery in His plan does not mean there is no purpose in His plan. All of us can experience mysterious times where we don’t know what is going on, but that does not mean there is no purpose in His plan.
We have shared with you an overall outline of Ruth chapter 1, 2, 3, and 4. I particularly want you to notice chapter 3, which we come to today. The theme is Providence. Today we are going to see Providence and Character. It is going to occur on a threshing floor and the time period of chapter 3 is just one day.
Then, we’ve been tracing Ruth and also Naomi through the book and we’ve seen Ruth’s Decision, her Devotion, today we are going to come in chapter 3 to Ruth’s Character.
Then, with Naomi we’ve seen Naomi Embittered, Naomi Encouraged and today we are going to see Naomi Expectant.
Just so we have an orientation to chapter 3, we have Ruth and Naomi in the first five verses, then we have Ruth and Boaz in verses 6-15, then we have Ruth and Naomi again in verses 16-18. What I want to do is just zero in now on the first five verses on Ruth and Naomi.
Gary Phillips put on his imagination cap, and he was wondering what it would look like if Naomi, Ruth’s mother-in-law, wanted to get some advice and chose to write to an advice column in the second millennium B.C. asking for advice He imagined it might read a little bit like this:
Dear Abigail, my widowed daughter-in-law has daily contact with an older man who shows concern about her and respect for her. In fact, from the moment he saw her, he was deeply interested and has treated her like a princess. But fast forward two months and he still has not said one word to take their relationship to the next level. She likes him, but he’s not getting any younger! How do we get him to ignite his inertia, to light his lethargy, to cancel his coma? Signed, Befuddled in Bethlehem.
Now, that may be a little over the top [exaggerated], but I think it’s actually not too far from reality. As we come to chapter 3 of the book of Ruth, Naomi has done some gear shifting. I think she has awakened out of her embittered self-focus that we saw in chapter 1. By the way, here is an interesting thing to note: an excellent way to come out of the paralysis of spiritual discouragement and spiritual disillusionment—an excellent way to come out of that—is to start to think about other people; to start to serve other people.
What I surmise is that Naomi, because remember she was at home while Ruth was out gleaning every day and had a lot of time on her hands, she just began to reflect and think a little bit. I think she began to think back to a time earlier in Moab when she had expressed a very clear prayer concern for her daughters-in-law in Moab. She had said to them, “May the Lord (may Yahweh God, the God of relationship) grant that you find rest each in the house of your husband.” I think she was probably thinking back to that prayer. She was thinking about Ruth’s situation now in Bethlehem. I mean Ruth has no dowry which was a very big thing then. Ruth was a Moabitess. Remember we’ve been talking about that. And something we haven’t mentioned yet, but it was very significant in that time, is while Ruth had been married in Moab for ten years, she had been barren for ten years! She had never had a child, and that was an issue that put prospective husbands off.
So, I think she was thinking about Ruth’s situation, and she was thinking about Boaz, she was thinking about how he was a blood relative, how he had shown care and kindness both to Ruth and to her. She was thinking maybe, perhaps Boaz could be our kinsman redeemer. In fact, back in chapter 2 and verse 20, she had said to Ruth, of Boaz, “He is one of our closest relatives.” That is the way the New American Standard translates it. The ESV says, “He is one of our redeemers.” The New Living Translation says, “He is one of our family redeemers.” Then, in the NIV it is translated, “He is one of our kinsman redeemers.”
That leads us to a question: what is a kinsman redeemer? A kinsman redeemer was someone who could rescue their relatives, rescue their family from a time of trouble. It could be different forms of trouble. They might be able to buy the land of a deceased or impoverished member of the family, so that the land would not be lost to the family at large over time. A kinsman redeemer would be someone who might marry a widow in the family who had lost a husband. But one important thing that is interesting about a kinsman redeemer is there were qualifications that had to be met in order to be a kinsman redeemer.
The first qualification is they must be a blood relative. Leviticus 25, Deuteronomy 25, talk about that. We know from chapter 2, verse 1, verse 3, and verse 20, that Boaz was a blood relative.
The second requirement for a kinsman redeemer is, they must be fully free to redeem. See, if you were too poor you couldn’t be the kinsman redeemer. If you were too encumbered in your own debt, you couldn’t be the kinsman redeemer. In fact, you might need a redeemer of your own.
The third qualification for a kinsman redeemer is, they must be willing to redeem. So, was Boaz going to be willing? Naomi had thoughts, but she wasn’t sure.
Then, the fourth requirement for a kinsman redeemer is they must have the price of redemption. It would appear, because of Boaz’s status in the community, and being the businessman, the agri-business man that he was, that he would likely have that.
So, let’s delve a little more deeply into this idea of Ruth and Naomi in verses 1-5. We are going to see Naomi’s concern (1); Naomi’s plan (2-4); then Ruth’s response (5).
Let’s look at Naomi’s concern in verse 1. Look at verse 1 with me if you would. Verse 1 says, “Then Naomi, Ruth’s mother-in-law, said to her, “My daughter, shall I not seek security (a key phrase here) for you, that it may be well with you?” Do you see how Naomi now has Ruth on her mind? She has been observing the whole situation and she’s been observing Boaz and she has been thinking ahead.
It is worth noting this I think: whenever we are bound up in discouragement or we are bound up in disillusionment, or whenever we feel spiritually paralyzed—you know what doesn’t happen? We don’t think forward; we don’t think strategically. When we are in those kinds of situations, we don’t make plans for the future because when we are bound up in discouragement and disillusionment, when we feel spiritually paralyzed, wel,l we are just road-blocked from thinking forward strategically, in making plans for the future.
But there’s a change that has gone on in Naomi’s life. By the way, that is another reason why bitterness is such a trap. Not only does it want to infect every part of our being in our life, but we can’t think forward, we can’t strategically make plans when we’re bound up in it. I really do believe that Naomi was unsure what was going on. It had been several months. Boaz had not stepped up; he had not expressed more interest in Ruth—and Naomi was thinking, why would that be? Well, one very real possibility is that Ruth was still in a state of grieving. In that time when you would become a widow, you would dress in grieving clothing. Remember, it had only been a few months that they had been in Bethlehem, and it is very possible that Ruth had those grieving clothes on every day and that may be a reason why Boaz wasn’t taking things to the next level.
Maybe the reason why he wasn’t making any approaches towards Ruth about a more serious relationship is that she was younger than him and he was older than her. Maybe he was thinking in his mind: well, she is aiming to have a young husband since she is a young woman.
Why is he hesitating? Maybe he was aware–as we are going to see unfold later, he was aware of a closer relative who had first responsibility to Ruth. Maybe Boaz was just waiting for that guy to either take initiation or not to initiate, and then he would maybe do something.
Another thing I think is going on is remember what has been happening. Ruth has been gleaning in his fields and they’ve been hanging out together through the barley harvest, then through the wheat harvest, and now it is all coming to a close. I think Naomi is thinking in her mind: it is going to be ten months until the next harvest. What kind of contact are Ruth and Boaz going to have over the next ten months?
Which leads us to Naomi’s plan in verses 2-4. As we get ready to look at these, I want to say this very clearly–this is not a ‘desperate housewives’ [popular TV program] conniving manipulation that is getting ready to happen. It is not that. You see, in that day when there was a widow, normally it would be the father or the brother of the widow who would approach a perspective groom. We’ve got no father here; we’ve got no brother here. So, Naomi takes the adult role to come up with a plan to approach a perspective groom.
Then, she says in verse 2 that “He is going to be winnowing barley at the threshing floor tonight.” The threshing floor, what in the world is a threshing floor? I mean, we might picture the threshing floor as being a room in some sort of building. It’s not that. In fact, we need to go to cultural school here. What was a threshing floor?
Well, a threshing floor was an outdoor, flat open area. Ideally, it would be on a hilltop so they could benefit from the wind. What they would do to make a threshing floor is they would lay down flat rocks as you see in this picture. Or they would work hard to tamp the ground down very hard. When you would have a threshing floor that might serve a general area–maybe several farms would utilize it–it might be the size of Wildwood’s front circle drive out here in front of the building, which is about 84 feet across. That is what a threshing floor is.
Now, what do you do on a threshing floor? You thresh, exactly. What does that mean? Well, what they would do is they would take the sheaves of the barley or the wheat, the stalks, and they would put them on the hardened ground and then maybe they would have oxen trample all that down or they would beat the stalks with a threshing sledge, which was a plank embedded with stones. So, they’ve got this grain on the ground, they are beating it down or they are trampling it down, and then what comes next is what they call ‘winnowing.’
You say what is winnowing? Well, what they would do then with all this stuff that had been tramped down and beat down is, they would wait for the west wind late in the afternoon or early in the evening, they would take large wooden forks, just as you see in this picture, and they would toss all that mixture up in the air. The wind would blow the chaff away, that is the grain covers and the straw, and the heavier grain heads would fall down to the floor of the threshing floor. Then what they would do is they would gather the grain heads into piles and then they would
often then bag those and stack them in one corner of the threshing floor.
Then what they would do, because it is ‘dark city’ [very dark] at this time of night, they would sleep there to guard their grain.
So, that is the situation that Naomi is pushing Ruth towards. She gives her some directions. In verse 3 she says, as part of the plan ‘you need to wash yourself.’ Now, it is important to remember that gleaning was a very sweaty and dirty job. Ruth had been doing that every day for a number of weeks. That means you don’t smell so wonderful, right? Remember, it not like they took a shower every night. No, no, no, no, no. In that part of the world water is at a premium. Naomi says, if you are going to go to the threshing floor, ‘you need to wash yourself.’
Then she says, ‘you need to anoint yourself’, there in verse 3. Remember, they had no deodorants in that day. I don’t know if you’ve ever traveled to a part of the world where they don’t have deodorant. I remember when I first went to Latvia years ago and was around some teenagers at a youth camp . Whew! That was a special experience. So, there is no deodorant in those days, so what they would do is they would use aromatic oils to make themselves smell more pleasant. So, I think Naomi said to Ruth, grab some of that ‘Midnight in Moab’ stuff that you brought with you and put that on.
Then, she talks to her in verse 3 about changing her clothes. What does that really mean? I think she was saying: it is time to get out of your widow garb. It is time to set that aside and put on some regular clothes and bring along your large cloak.
Naomi says in verse 3, what I want you to do is, I want you to wait until he has finished eating and drinking. Why would she say that? Well, it’s like a typical guy, you know, you are in a better frame of mind when you’ve had something good to eat and something to drink.
Which leads us then to verse 4. She says, “It shall be when he lies down, that you shall notice the place where he lies (there’s going to be several men there, make sure you get the right guy) and you shall go and uncover his feet and lie down; then he will tell you what you shall do.” Now, this is not an inappropriate thing she is asking her to do. She is asking her to approach Boaz in a discreet and appropriate way. Naomi had observed Boaz and I think she was confident that he was a godly man of integrity. The whole idea of doing this is–we are going to see–is this little proposal that Ruth is going to do. Naomi is thinking, if he has no interest in Ruth he will respond in a proper and private manner.
Which leads us then to Ruth’s response there in verse 5. She basically said, what you’ve told me to do, I’m going to do
Then, we turn to Ruth and Boaz in verses 6-15, and we have Ruth’s proposal in verses 6-9. Verse 7 tells us that, “Boaz had eaten and drunk and his heart was merry.” Now, don’t misunderstand. It is not saying he was drunk. It is saying he was contented; he was satisfied. As I try to picture this, it’s been a lot of hard work for multiple days and now. Basically, everything is wrapped up and, in the morning, we are going to carry off all our grain, and I just picture him having a good meal, a little bit to drink, and he is maybe laying down now. He is staring up at the stars and he is just grateful to God that the famine is over, and they’ve had a great harvest. It has been very tiring, but he was very, very pleased with what God has allowed to happen and he soon falls asleep.
Then, it says in verse 7 that, “She came secretly (the idea is quietly) and uncovered his feet and lay down.” That little phrase ‘uncovered his feet’ is an interesting one. This is the only place it is used in all the Old Testament. Some people read that phrase and they go, this was something sensual, sexual, that was going on here, she uncovered his feet. Then they build further around a phrase that you often see in the Old Testament where someone ‘uncovers someone’s nakedness’ and they see that word,”uncovered,” being used and they think it is probably a sexual thing. It is not a sexual thing. What does it mean when it says that she uncovered his feet? It means that she…uncovered…his…feet. That’s what it means.
When you uncover someone’s feet during the night when there is going to be very cool night air, what is probably going to happen? They are going to wake up sometime in the night! And that is exactly what happens in verse 8. “In the middle of the night the man was startled.” The Hebrew word just means to be jolted, to be shocked. He realizes there is a woman at his feet! You have to think he was thinking, who is this? As we talked about, a lot of the prostitutes would come around at this time of the year. Is he thinking, it’s one of those prostitutes and man, oh my gosh, if the Bethlehem Beacon Tabloid got ahold of this one, there would be a city-wide scandal. So, he says to her there in verse 9, “Who are you? And she answered, “I am Ruth your maid.”
Now, it is important to understand here, this action took some spiritual boldness on Ruth’s part. By the way, did you notice that she did not wait for Boaz to instruct her as Naomi said should happen? In other words, she makes a bold move here. I mean, she is a Moabite, and she is now approaching an Israelite. She is a poor widow who is approaching a wealthy man. She is a young woman who is approaching an older man. It is a bold move that she makes.
I want you to notice two things that are said in verse 9. She says, “Spread your covering over your maid.” What does that mean? Well, it was an idiom. It was an idiom expressing her desire for marriage. The idea of spreading your covering over your maid was just a picture of protection and provision in life. She is basically saying, I would like you to provide protection and provision. It is an expression of her desire for marriage. By the way, in the Middle East, parts of the Middle East even today, that is a part of the marriage ceremony where a symbolic cloak is placed around the bride. This is so clear that it is an idiom, that The NET Bible translates it, “Marry your servant,” because that is what it meant when she used that idiom.
The second thing I want you to notice in verse 9, she says, “You are a close relative.” The NIV says, “You are our family redeemer.” See, really what Ruth was doing here, not only making a proposal for desire for marriage, but she was also expressing her concern for Naomi. She is basically saying to him, I want you to help provide for Naomi, too.
Which then leads us Boaz’s response in verses 10-13. Notice he says there in verse 10, “May you be blessed of Yahweh God, my daughter. You have shown your last kindness to be better than the first.” What was the first kindness that she showed? A willingness to leave the land of Moab, to leave her family behind and to go with Naomi to Bethlehem, and to care for Naomi and then her willingness to work hard in the field and to glean.
That was the first kindness. The last kindness is better than that. What is the last kindness? Well, it is your desire, Ruth, to secure Naomi’s future. He basically says, you could have just married any young man, poor or rich. By the way, when he says that it indicates that Ruth had to be very attractive if she could have married any poor or rich guy. But he is basically commending her here for her concern for Naomi, for Naomi’s family’s land, for Naomi’s family name being carried on in the future.
Look at verse 11. He says, “Now, my daughter, do not fear.” Can you imagine the apprehension that Ruth had in all of this? The way her heart had to be beating fast? And the boldness of what she was doing? He says, don’t fear. Then, he says an amazing thing, he says, “All my people in the city know that you are a woman of excellence.” We’ve been talking about this, the importance of character when it comes to our testimony before other people.
Now, you may not know this, but in the Hebrew Scriptures, the Book of Ruth follows the Book of Proverbs [the books are in a different order]. It is interesting. If you look at the book of Proverbs, the last proverb is Proverb 31, “An excellent wife, who can find?” Remember that? A hard working, character, dignity, efficiency woman as a wife, who could find? It is interesting the way that is all laid out because in Ruth that is the exact same phrase about excellence that is used in Proverbs 31 of the excellent wife. It is almost as if, you know, you have the Book of Proverbs and you have Proverbs 31, then oh, let’s illustrate that by looking at the person of Ruth, which follows right after that.
Well, in verse 12 he says, “It is true I am a close relative; however,” that little word, however, means there is a fly in the ointment; there is a potential roadblock; there is a hitch in the giddy up [idiom = something preventing from moving forward]; there is a snag [something which might ruin everything, a problem] and that is “there is a closer relative than I am,” who has the first option of marrying you. He goes on in verse 13, he says, I want you to just stay here for the night, you don’t want to travel at night. It was highly perilous to travel in the middle of the night and the city gates of Bethlehem were probably closed. He said, basically, wait around until morning.
Then, we see Boaz’ provision in verses 14 and 15. What he ends up doing is, he says, I want you to give me the cloak and she held it out and he measured six of barley. It doesn’t tell us what the measuring amount was. He doesn’t use gallon or quart or whatever. I’m going to give you ‘six of barley,’ so we don’t really know for sure what the measurement was. We’ve already talked about some of the measurements in those days. We’ve talked about an ephah, which is a very large measurement. There was an omer, which was a very, very small measurement. Then there was a seah, which was sort of a medium measurement. Most commentators believe that when he gave her ‘six of barley,’ it was six seahs of barley, which would have been about sixty pounds of grain, that he put into her cloak and helped her to get that on her back.
Then, that leads us back to Ruth and Naomi in verses 16-18, where we have Ruth’s report in verse 16 and 17. It is interesting how verse 16 begins. She comes back to her mother-in-law and Naomi says, “How did it go, my daughter?” It is interesting, literally in Hebrew it is, who are you? Naomi knew who it was, but really what she was asking was this: who are you, Ruth the widow who is going to continue to grieve, or are you Ruth the future Mrs. Boaz?
So, she unpacks the whole story to Naomi and then she says in verse 17 that he said, “Do not go to your mother-in-law empty-handed.” Now, that is another statement of the providence of God in Naomi’s life, because in chapter 1, verse 21, she said the Lord brought me back here empty-handed and now Boaz is saying, don’t go to your mother-in-law empty-handed. The same word. It was really a statement that Boaz was making to Naomi, a statement where he was saying, I intend to care for Naomi also.
We look again at that perspective we’ve been looking at all along, Mystery in His plan, a lot of mysterious things happened, does not mean there’s no purpose in His plan.
Which leads us then to Naomi’s counsel in verse 18, where basically she says, “Wait, my daughter, until you know how the matter turns out; for the man (Boaz) will not rest until he has settled it today.” Remember, it is early in the morning. I mean, they’re anticipating some kind of exciting ending. How is it going to end? What is going to happen? Well, more than they could ever imagine, that’s what we are going to see when we get to chapter 4. Both of them are going to have the opportunity to be in the lineage of the greatest king of Israel, King David, and ultimately in the lineage of Jesus Christ. It is an incredible story.
Let’s pull back and look at some life lessons that I think we can have from this. The first life lesson is this, When Seeking a Future Mate, Keep Character at the Top of the List. It is a great life lesson. Certainly, we hope every young person would learn that lesson. By the way, the best place to start in this is to become the right person yourself. You want to find a future mate who has character? Become the right person, become a person of character yourself.
Last time, when we were in chapter 2, we stated Boaz was a person of character and because he was a person of character, he values character in the life of other people, so he valued the character he saw in Ruth.
The second life lesson, Pursue Sexual Purity, God will Honor it. Translation: be like Boaz, be like Ruth. What did we learn from them? Remember the environment they were living in? Very immoral environment, what did we learn from them? Purity can be practiced in an immoral environment. You may be listening to my voice, and you are thinking in your mind, you know, I’m single and I’ve kind of slipped in this area of sexual purity. Hey, that is something that can be confessed to the Lord, and then you can make some changes and you can start a practice of purity, sexual purity, right where you are. If you do that, God will honor that.
The third life lesson, Don’t Allow Yourself to be Entrapped by Bitterness and Resentment. Remember, that only leads to spiritual paralysis, and we will find we can’t really do much of anything. We certainly can’t think about the future. Instead, what you do is, you shift your eyes to serving other people, which is what brought Naomi out of her bondage to bitterness and resentment.
Then, the last life lesson I think we can get from this is to Remember God Works through People. God works through people. Sometimes we just forget that. We are His hands, and we are His feet. Isn’t it interesting how we look at it? Naomi has concern for Ruth; Ruth has concern for Naomi; Boaz has concern for Ruth and Naomi. God wants to use you, even this next week. So, you need to ask yourself, I need to ask myself, who maybe could God use me or you to bring encouragement; or to bring blessing; or to bring compassion to someone who needs it? We need to remember that God works through people, He wants to work through you!
Let’s pray together. Father, we thank You so much for Your Word. We thank You for the Truth of Your Word. We thank You that it is so practical, it is so real. You want us, not just to travel through this story, you want this story to leave an imprint on our life, especially even as we are coming into this season of the year, as we at Wildwood have this whole opportunity of the Mission Norman Christmas Shoppe to reach underprivileged families. We pray that You would use us to bring some encouragement and some compassion to people. Maybe there are people at work; maybe some place at school; or in our neighborhood. Remind us that You want to use us for Your honor and for Your glory and we pray these things in Jesus’ name. Amen.
Questions for Reflection
God Behind the Seen
Ruth chapter three
1. Sometimes “playing it safe” spiritually can lead to missed blessings. I remember back in the summer of 1990 I faced the prospect of heading off for a trip to the Soviet Union and the nation of Latvia. Things were stirring politically in Eastern Europe and the Soviet Army was not happy. I was a 39-year-old dad of four kids aged 12, 9, 8, and 2. It was truly a risky trip. Taking a spiritual message into an atheistic nation could have serious ramifications.
As I prayed about it (and was frankly leaning toward declining the trip), it seemed as if the Lord was encouraging me to be bold and trust Him. Indeed, that was the beginning of an amazing ministry that Wildwood has had for decades in Latvia, including helping to found Latvian Christian Radio which today reaches 120,000 listeners in Latvia, along with many Latvian speakers in the UK, Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Norway, Spain, Germany, the Czech Republic, Russia, Canada, Australia, and the USA.
The point is that God can bless in ways we never could have imagined when we move out in boldness and trust Him. We saw that Sunday in Ruth 3 as Naomi (and Ruth) move out in boldness in approaching Boaz.
Have you ever stepped out in boldness to trust God in a special way? Share.
Is it possible that the Lord is leading you right now to be bold and trust Him in some way? Ponder that and elaborate some with others.
2. Naomi and Ruth were clearly counting on the integrity of Boaz. Can others in your family and around you count on your integrity? What are some practical things you can implement to enhance your integrity before others?
3. One of the sermon Life Lessons was that we all need to be reminded that God works through His people to touch others. We are His hands and feet. Brainstorm about how God could use you to bring encouragement, blessing and compassion to someone in your world.
4.Take some time to thank and worship the Lord for his faithfulness to you over the years. God is good!