Chapter 1
Elimelech from Bethlehem goes to live in Moab for 10 years due to famine.  His sons marry Moabite wives, Orpah and Ruth.  All 3 men die in Moab.  Naomi goes back home to Judah and asks her daughters-in-law to stay in their native land to find husbands.  Ruth insists on going back, so that Naomi's God can be Ruth's.

Chapter 2
Ruth gleans in Boaz' field.  She works hard, and Boaz is impressed also with her loyalty to Naomi.  He protects and provides for her.

Chapter 3
Naomi sends Ruth to Boaz' threshing floor at night, basically to propose marriage (seek redemption).  He promises to resolve it the next day, and sends her home with a ton of grain - twice the amount Sarah baked for the three angels in Genesis 18 - almost 80 liters, about 100 pounds!!

Chapter 4
In the gate, Boaz gathers elders and the nearer redeemer and offers him first dibs on buying Naomi's land.  He agrees until he hears marrying Ruth is part of the deal.  I think this makes his refusal based on Ruth's race, not a financial loss, as he claims.  Or part of his estate would go to the heir of Ruth, when he already had children.  Boaz then claims the right to redeem Naomi's land and marry Ruth.  The elders of Bethlehem are not racist against Ruth, but wish her to be fruitful "like Rachel and Leah, who together built up the house of Israel" (4:11).  This is more true than they can imagine!  They do acknowledge the irregularity in referring to Tamar.

How this is about Jesus
He is born in Bethlehem, being a descendant of David.
He agrees to redeem Ruth, though it cost Him much.
He has rich resources and stewards them well, like Boaz.
He covenants with God to redeem us, as Boaz agreed with the elders of Bethlehem.
He protects and provides for the needy, and His bride.
He promises future blessing with generous signs of much grain (bread and wine of Communion).

Life can make us bitter, like Naomi, so that we spurn the loyalty of friends (Chapter 1).
Work hard, even when life seems against you (Ruth in chapter 2).
Pursue options God has given to improve your life, even if they seem unconventional (chapter 3).
Resolve issues that distress people as soon as possible (3:13).
Initiate such resolution to the best of your ability (4:1-4).
Sacrifice to provide for the needy.
Express your best wishes for others, especially when they are outside your circle of friends.

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