Christian Churches of God

No. CB18_2

 

 

The Play of Ruth

(Edition 1.0 2005010-20050101)

 

The play of Ruth tells the story of young woman and her loyalty to her beliefs and her God. It is also an example of the relationship between Christ and the Church and how Christians should respond to Godís Laws.

 

 

 

 

Christian Churches of God

PO Box 369,WODENACT 2606,AUSTRALIA

 

E-mail: secretary@ccg.org

 

 

(Copyright 2005 Diane Flanagan, ed. Wade Cox)

 

This paper may be freely copied and distributed provided it is copied in total with no alterations or deletions. The publisherís name and address and the copyright notice must be included.No charge may be levied on recipients of distributed copies.Brief quotations may be embodied in critical articles and reviews without breaching copyright.

 

 

This paper is available from the World Wide Web page:
http://www.logon.org and http://www.ccg.org

 


 

The Play of Ruth

 



Overview read by Narrator:

The book of Ruth is typically read at Pentecost. Yet the concept of the kinsman redeemer has strong ties to Passover. God the Father is the true Redeemer (Isa. 44:6; 63:16). God the Father gave us His only begotten son to reconcile mankind and the fallen Host back to Him. Messiah redeemed, restored or brought us back from the death penalty (Heb. 9:15).

 

The book of Ruth clearly shows a part of Messiahís lineage that is from Moab through Ruth because of the Levirate Law. It also gives us a very good example of what we should be doing as we prepare to be brides of Christ.

 

Ruth is one of the two books of the Bible named after a woman. Here we see a gentile woman who marries a Hebrew man. We see the word of God going out to all the world and how we should respond when we hear the word of God.

The story of Ruth revolves around the family of Naomi, who is a Hebrew, and obeys God and His Laws totally. She was fine example to all she came in contact with and a great help and support to Ruth. Naomi is representative of the Church.

 

Boaz represents a type of Christ and Ruth represents what all Christians should strive for, as we are brides of Christ. See the paper Ruth (No. 27) for a more detailed explanation of the book of Ruth.

 

Characters: (in order of appearance)

Elimelech: husband of Naomi; his name means my God is King.

Naomi: wife of Elimelch and mother of Mahlon and Chilion. Her name means my pleasant one and is representative of the Church.

Mahlon: the oldest son; his name means sick. He married Ruth.

Chilion: younger son; his name means pining. He married Orpah.

Orpah means gazelle.

Ruth means friendship. She represents the Church or individual Christian commitment.

People / women of Bethlehem.

Boaz means fleetness. He represents Christ.

Servant in charge of reapers.

Close elder man relative: He represents Levi, Judah and Satan

Elders

 

Act 1: Naomiís departure from Moab.

Act 2: Naomiís return to Bethlehem.

Act 3: Ruth gleans in Boazís field.

Act 4: Boaz redeems Ruth.

Act 5: Ruthís marriage to Boaz.

Act 6: The line of David.

 

Act 1 Naomiís departure from Moab

 

Scene: Land of Moab

Characters:

Naomi

Ruth

Orpah

 

Props: 3 bundles of clothes, baggage or luggage

 

Narrator: The setting is the time of judges with a famine in the land of Judah. Naomi and Elimelech lived in Bethlehem. At the time of the famine Elimelech moved his wife, Namoi and two sons, Mahlon and Chilion to Moab. Elimelech died in Moab and Mahlon and Chilion took wives from the land of Moab. The Moabites descended from Lot. Deuteronomy 17:1-3 states that Israelites could take wives of Moab but not of Cana. The names of Naomiís daughters-in-law were Orpah and Ruth. After about ten years both of Namoiís sons also died. Some time after the death of Mahlom and Chilion Naomi heard that the Lord visited his people in Judah giving them food. So we take up the story in the land of Moab where Naomi is travelling with her daughters-in-law and returning to Bethlehem.

 

Naomi: Go; return each of you to your motherís house. May the Lord deal kindly with you as you have dealt with the dead and me. May the Lord grant that you may find rest, each in the house of her husband.

 

Naomi kisses Ruth and Orpah and all three cry.

 

Orpah and Ruth together:No we will return with you to your people.

 

Naomi: Return my daughters. Why should you go with me? Have I yet sons in my womb that they may be your husband? Return, my daughters! Go, for I am too old to have a husband. If I said I have hope, if I should even have a husband tonight and also bear sons, would you wait therefore until they were grown? Would you therefore not refrain from marrying? No, my daughters, for it is harder for me than for you, for the hand of the Lord has gone forth against me.

 

Naomi, Ruth, Orpah all cry again.

 

Orpah: kisses Naomi and heads back to Moab.

 

Naomi (with Ruth hanging on to her tightly): Behold your sister-in-law has gone back to her people and her gods, return after your sister-in-law.

 

Ruth (while hanging tightly to Naomi): Do not urge me to leave you or turn back from following you; for where you go, I will go, and where you lodge I will lodge, your people will be my people, your God my God. Where you die I will die, and there I will be buried. Thus may the Lord do to me, and worse, if anything but death parts you and me.

 

Narrator: Naomi realized that Ruth was not going to return to her people and former gods and said no more to Ruth about turning back.Here we see Ruth willing to forsake all for the love of the truth (Lk. 9:62; Phil. 3:13). While Orpah initially had good intentions to follow Naomi she did return to the ways of the world (2Cor. 7:10).

 

Act 2 Naomiís return to Bethlehem

 

Scene: Gates of Bethlehem maybe with stone benches drawn by the gate if using same set for Scene 5.

 

Characters:

People of Bethlehem

Naomi

Ruth

 

Props:

2 bundles of clothes or luggage

 

Narrator: Naomi and Ruth return to Bethlehem at the time of the barley harvest in spring.

 

Women of Bethlehem:Is this Namoi?

 

Naomi: Do not call me Naomi; call me Mara for the Almighty has dealt very bitterly with me. I went out full, but the Lord has brought me back empty. Why do you call me Naomi since the Lord has witnessed against me and the Almighty has afflicted me?

 

Narrator: Though Naomi sounds like she is sad it appears she remained obedient and trusted God through famine, the death of her husband, and the death of her two sons. All these experiences happened over at least a 10-year period. She served as a fine example to all around her. Ruth left all she knew of her own people to follow Naomi wherever she went. Truly we are to be a light to the world and let our light shine (Mat. 5:15-16; Mark 421-22; Luke 8:16-17; Phil 2:15). We do not know who will come to God through seeing our example. That is why it is so important to always obey God.

 

Act 3 Scene 1: Ruth gleans in Boazís field

 

Scene: House of Naomi and Ruth and Boazís fields of barley.

 

Characters:

Ruth

Naomi

Reapers working in the field or people drawn on the picture of the field

Boaz

Servant in charge of the reapers

 

Props:

Grain in the head

Noon lunch of bread, vinegar and roasted grain

Ephah of grain beaten out

 

Narrator:

Naomi had a kinsman of her husband, Elimelech. His name was Boaz and he was very wealthy. A kinsman is a person that is a close relative of someone. It might be someoneís brother, or other close relative.

Gleaning means to gather what remains after harvesting. Leviticus 19:9 tells us to leave the corners of the field for the poor. The poor will always be with us (Deut. 15:11; Mat. 26:11 Mk. 14:7; Jn. 12:8). Since both Ruth and Naomi did not have a husband to provide for them any more, they were both poor.

 

Ruth: Please let me go to the field and glean among the ears of grain after one in whose sight I may find favour.

 

Naomi: Go my daughter.

 

Ruth walks to fields.

 

Ruth: Please let me glean and gather after the reapers among the sheaves.

 

Servant in charge of the reapers: Go and glean and gather.

 

Narrator: Boaz comes from Bethlehem and talks to the person in charge of the harvest.

 

Boaz: May the Lord be well with you.

 

Reapers: May the Lord bless you.

 

Boaz to servant in charge of the reapers. Whose young woman is this?

 

Servant in charge of the reapers to Boaz: She is the young Moabite woman who returned with Naomi from the land of Moab. She said: Please let me glean and gather after the reapers among the sheaves? She has remained from morning until now. She has been sitting in the house for a little while.

 

Boaz to Ruth: Listen my daughter do not go to glean in another field; furthermore do not go on from this one but stay here with my maids. Let your eyes only be on the field they reap, and go after them. Indeed, I have commanded the servants not to touch you. When you are thirsty go to the water jars to drink from what the servants draw.

 

Ruth: (bowing on the ground to Boaz): Why have I found favour in your sight that you should take notice of me, since I am a foreigner?

 

Boaz: All you have done for your mother-in-law after the death of your husband has been fully reported to me, and how you left your father and your mother and land of your birth, and came to a people that you did not previously know. May the Lord reward your work and your wages are full from the Lord, the God of Israel, under whose wings you come to seek refuge.

 

Ruth: I have found favour in your sight, my lord, for you have comforted me and indeed have spoken kindly to your maidservant, though I am not like one of your maidservants.

 

Narrator: Time passes and at noon Ö the reapers are sitting down for the noon meal.

 

Boaz(to Ruth): Come here, that you may eat of the bread and dip your piece of bread in the vinegar.

 

Narrator: Ruth sat with reapers and was also served roasted grain. She was satisfied and even had some left. Ruth rose and went to glean again in the field.

 

Boaz (to the reapers): Let her glean even among the sheaves, and do not insult her. Also you shall purposefully pull out for her some grain from the bundles and leave it that she may glean, and do not rebuke her.

 

Narrator: Ruth worked in the field till evening. At the dayís end she beat out the grain she had and it was about an ephah of barley. We know the barley was harvested at the time of Passover (see the paper Godís Holy Days (No. CB22)).She took the grain and what she had left from lunch and gave it to Naomi. Here we see Ruth continuing to work as long as possible and still caring for those in her charge.

 

We see Baoz is a type of Christ. He protects, guides and cares for those under his care. Boaz paid special attention that Ruth would be provided for. Christ extends that same concern for each and every one us and assures that our needs are taken care of. Boaz instructed Ruth not to go to another field. It is the same for us when we come into the Church we should not go to looking to other religions or learning how others worship their gods (Deut.6:14; 8:19-20; 2Kgs 17:35; Jer. 35:15). We should work hard for the Faith just as Ruth worked all day in field. We should work while there is still light to work. Shortly the Witnesses will be here and our time to work will be finished.

 

Act 3 Scene 2: At Naomiís house

 

Scene: at Naomiís house

 

Characters:

Naomi

Ruth

 

Props:

Ephah of grain

Left over lunch

 

Ruth hands Naomi the ephah of grain and leftover noon lunch.

 

Naomi: Where did you glean today and where did yo work? May he who took notice of you be blessed.

 

Ruth: The name of the man with whom I worked today is Boaz.

 

Naomi: May he be blessed of the Lord who has not withdrawn his kindness to the living and to the dead. The man is our relative; he is one of our closest relatives.

 

Ruth: He also told me to stay close to his servants until they have finished all the harvest.

 

Naomi: It is good, my daughter-in-law, that you go out with his maids lest others fall upon you in the field.

 

Narrator: Ruth stayed close to Boazís maids until the end of the barley and wheat harvests and she lived with Naomi.

 

Act 4 Scene 1: Boaz redeems Ruth

 

Scene: Naomiís house

 

Characters:

Naomi

Ruth

 

Props:

none

 

Naomi to Ruth: Shall I not seek security for you that it may be well with you? Now Boaz, with whose maids you were with, he is our kinsman. Behold, he is winnowing barley at the threshing floor tonight. Wash yourself therefore, and anoint yourself and put on your best clothes, and go down to the threshing floor; but do not make yourself known to the man until he has finished eating and drinking. It shall be when he lies down, that you shall notice the place where he lies, and you shall uncover his feet and lie down; then he will tell you what you shall do.

 

Ruth: I will do all that you said.

 

Narrator: Naomi in this case is acting as the Church trying to draw others to Christ. Earlier in the strange land of Moab, Naomi proved to be a fine example of what a Christian should be. Here Naomi is encouraging Ruth to boldly go to Boaz and ask that the Levirate law be enacted for her.

 

The Bible clearly tells us what to do if a womanís husband dies and leaves her childless. It is referred to as the Levirate law. It is found in Deuteronomy 25:5-9 and Leviticus 25:25. Basically the dead manís brother or next-of-kin takes the deceased manís wife to himself and gives her a child. The child is named after the deceased manís family. That way the inheritance never leaves the tribe and the woman is cared for and provided for. There are three cases of the Levirate law being used in Messiahís lineage. They are 1.Perez, father of Hezron, father of Ram, father of Aminadab, father of Nahshon, father of Salmon, father of Boaz.2. Obed (Levirate son of Mahlon by Boaz), and 3. Zerubbabel (Zorobabel, levirate son of Pedaiíah/Shealtiel), (Gen. 38; Ruth 4:10; 1Chr. 3:19; Mat. 1:12).

 

Act 4 Scene 2: Boaz redeems Ruth

 

Scene: Boazís threshing floor

 

Characters:

Ruth

Boaz

 

Props:

Blanket

Cloak

6 measures of barley

 

Narrator: Naomi realized Godís hand was working with Ruth. Ruth did all that Naomi her mother-in-law told her to do. When Boaz had eaten and drunk his heart was merry and he went to lie down at the end of the heap of grain.Ruth quietly uncovered his feet and lay down by his feet. Somewhere in the middle of the night Boaz awoke and was surprised to find a young woman lying at his feet.

 

Boaz: Who are you?

 

Ruth: I am Ruth your maid. Spread your covering over your maid, for you are a close relative.

 

Boaz: May you be blessed of the Lord, my daughter, you have shown your last kindness to be better than the first by not going after young men, whether rich or poor and now my daughter do not fear, I will do for you whatever you ask, for all my people in the city know that you are a woman of excellence. Now it is true I am a close relative; however, there is a relative closer than I. Remain this night, and when morning comes, if he will redeem you, good, let him redeem you, but if he does not wish to redeem you, then I will redeem you, as the Lord lives. Lie down until the morning.

 

Narrator: Ruth lies at Boazís feet until very early in the morning before it was light.

 

Boaz: Let it not be known that a woman came to the threshing floor. Give me the cloak that is on you and hold it.

 

Ruth puts out the cloak and Boaz measured out six measures of barley. And Ruth hurried back to Naomiís house.

 

Narrator: Ruth was poor and a foreigner in the country. Boazís servants would have been viewed more worthy than Ruth. Yet Ruth had the courage and strength to do all that Naomi had instructed her and boldly asked Boaz to marry her, based on the Levirate law of Deuteronomy 25:5ff. Ruth was richly blessed for her obedience to Godís Law. We all need to have the courage and faith to do what God says at all times, even if seems like the odds are against us and things could not work out right. Ruth is an example of the Church. We too need to boldly ask for Christís hand in marriage (Rev. 21:2, 9; 22:17).

 

In scripture we see the term redeem used. Redeemed basically means to ďbuy back somethingĒ. The following definition is from Macquarie Dictionary:

 

Redeem: to buy or pay off; clear by payment; to recover (something pledged or mortgaged) by payment or other satisfaction; to discharge or fulfil (a pledge, promise etc.)

 

When we apply the term kinsman-redeemer to Christ we see that Christ was made like us, and upon our resurrections we will be made spirit like he is.

 

Christ our kinsman (or brother) redeemed (recovered or freed) us from death. By sacrificing his life for us, he paid the death penalty once and for all for all mankind and the fallen Host. In Ruth we see Boaz was functioning in a role of Messiah and he redeemed Ruth.

 

Act 4 Scene 3: Boaz redeems Ruth

 

Scene: Naomiís house.

 

Characters:

Ruth

Naomi

 

Props:

Cloak filled with six measures of barley.

 

Naomi: How did it go, my daughter?

 

Narrator: Ruth told Naomi all that had happened to her the previous evening and night.

 

Ruth: These six measures of barley he gave to me, for he said, do not go to your mother-in-law empty-handed.

 

Naomi: Wait, my daughter, until you know how the matter turns out; for the man will not rest until he has settled it today.

 

Act 5: Ruthís marriage

 

Scene: Gate of the city of Bethlehem, maybe with stone benches drawn by the gate.

 

Characters:

Close male relative

Ten elders

Boaz

 

Props:

Sandal

 

Boaz (to the ten elders): Sit down here.

 

Elders and close relative sit down.

 

Boaz (to close relative): Naomi has come back from the land of Moab, and has to sell the piece of land, which belonged to our brother Elimelech. So I thought to inform you, saying, buy it before those who are sitting here, and before the elders of my people. If you will redeem it, redeem it; but if not, tell me that I may know for thereís no one but you to redeem it, and I am after you.

 

Close relative: I will redeem it.

 

Boaz: On the day you buy the field from the hand of Naomi, you must also acquire Ruth the Moabitess, the widow of the deceased, in order to raise up the name of the deceased on his inheritance.

 

Close Relative: I cannot redeem it for myself, otherwise I jeopardize my own inheritance. Redeem it for yourself; you may have my right of redemption for I cannot redeem it.

 

Narrator: Now this was the custom in former times in Israel concerning the redemption and exchange of land to confirm any matter. A man removed his sandal and gave it to another. Taking off a shoe or sandal and giving it another to confirm a business deal may seem strange to us, but this was the manner of attestation in Israel.

 

Close relative: Buy it for yourself. (Takes of his sandal and gives it to Boaz.)

 

Boaz: You are my witnesses today that I have bought from the hand of Naomi all that belonged to Elimelech and all that belonged to Chilion and Mahlon. Moreover, I have acquired Ruth the Moabitess, the widow of Mahlon, to be my wife in order to rise up the name of the deceased on his inheritance, so that the name of the deceased may not be cut off from his brothers, or from the court of his birthplace; you are witnesses today.

 

Elders: We are witnesses, may the Lord make the woman who is coming into your home like Rachel and Leah, both of whom built the house of Israel and may you achieve wealth in Ephraath and become famous in Bethlehem. Moreover, may your house be like the house of Perez, whom Tamar bore to Judah through the offspring that the Lord shall give you by this young woman.

 

Narrator: Here we see that Boaz did whatever he needed to redeem Ruth. Satan was placed in charge of the earth and the people on it. Satan did not teach and instruct mankind in the ways of God. Messiah was willing and qualified to replace Satan as Morning Star of the planet. Messiah did for all of us, man and the fallen Host, what Satan would not do. Messiah redeemed us with his own blood through his perfect acceptable sacrifice (1Pet. 1:18-19). Messiah restored us to the family of God by this act of redemption. The close relative in the book of Ruth represents Levi, Judah and Lucifer, because all failed in some way to help people become the brides of Christ.

 

Boaz had been protecting and looking after Ruth since she first entered his field. Boaz was functioning in the role of being a perfect husband. Ephesians 5:25-32 explains the roles of a husband and wife. Our physical marriages are an example of the spiritual marriage between the Church (as bride of Christ) and Christ, our future husband.

 

Act 6: the line of David

 

Scene: Sitting in front of Naomiís house.

 

Characters:

Women of the city

Naomi

Boaz

Ruth

 

Props:

Baby Obed held by Naomi.

 

Narrator: Boaz took Ruth and she became his wife and he went into her and the Lord enabled her to conceive and she gave birth to a son.

 

Woman of Bethlehem (to Naomi): Blessed is the Lord who has not left you without a redeemer today and may his name become famous in Israel. May he also be to you a restorer of life and a sustainer of your old age for your daughter-in-law who loves you, and is better to you than seven sons, has given birth to him.

 

Naomi: Holding the baby with Ruth and Boaz standing by her.

 

Women of Bethlehem: A son has been born to Naomi! So they named him Obed. He is the father of Jesse, the father of David. Now these are the generations of Perez: to Perez was born Hezron, and to Hezron was born Ram, and to Ram, Amminadab, and to Amminadab was born Nahshon, and to Nahshon, Salmon, and to Salmon was born Boaz, and to Boaz, Obed, and to Obed was born Jesse, and to Jesse, David.

 

Narrator:In summary we see the book of Ruth is not a simple story of a girl from a far-off country.

 

It would appear Naomi learned the lessons of which we read in Philippians 3:13 and forgot the things behind and pushed forward towards the goal of the Kingdom of God. She learned to be content in all things as Philippians 4:11 instructs. Naomi turned all things over to God in prayer and supplication (Phil. 4:6). It is truly the peace of God that surpasses all comprehension (Phil. 4:7).Let us all strive to follow the examples of Naomi and Ruth. As the Church, let us work individually and collectively at becoming a perfect bride to Christ. We are a positive example to the world as to what it means to be a Christian.Let us too follow Boazís fine example and continue to do all things in a right and Godly way.