Loving Faithfulness in Ruth

RuthAndNaomiSUBJECT: Faithfulness

TITLE: Covenant Faithfulness, Steadfast Love, Loving Faithfulness

PROPOSITION: In this lesson, we will look at the relationship of Ruth and Naomi. It is a relationship characterized by loving faithfulness. We want to explore: 1) The Significance of Faithfulness, 2) The Sacrifice of Faithfulness, 3) The Services of Faithfulness, and 4) The Sanctification of Faithfulness.

OBJECTIVE: By understanding healthy Bible relationships, we can improve our own.


1. Read: Ruth 1:16-17

2. About the Text:

1) The story of Ruth is a love story in many ways.

a. Between a daughter-in-law and mother-in-law.

b. Between a man and woman.

c. Between God and His people.

2) But this isn’t the kind of love story that we would understand today.

3) There is a very different concept of love in this story than we are used to seeing.

4) This is the concept of faithfulness, not romance.

3. Ref. to S, T, P, O, and A.


I.   The Significance of Loving Faithfulness

1. The Hebrew word hesed. Found 249 times in the OT.

1) The word is found three times in the book of Ruth, 1:8, 2:20, and 3:10.

2) “She said to them, ‘Each of you go back to your mother’s home. May the Lord show faithful love to you as you have shown to the dead and to me’” (HCSB) Ruth 1:8.

3) The word is translated a variety of ways in different contexts.’

4) Mercy, Lovingkindness, Kindness, Faithful Love, Steadfast Love, Covenant Faithfulness.

5) The word really has all of these thoughts within it.

2. God is the standard of hesed.

1) Psalm 118:1-4

2) In Ruth 1:8, Naomi prays that the Lord shows hesed to Ruth and Orpah.

3) In Ruth 2:20, Naomi praises God for His hesed to the living and dead.

3. Ruth shows hesed to Naomi and Boaz.

1) The story is really the story of Ruth’s hesed.

2) In Ruth 1:8, Naomi praises her for having hesed toward her, but this isn’t enough for Ruth; she grows in her hesed to speak the words of verses 16-17.

3) In Ruth 3:10, Boaz praises Ruth that her hesed has grown to be more than it was before.

II.  The Sacrifice of Loving Faithfulness

1. There was a sacrifice in Ruth’s leaving her homeland to be with Naomi.

1) Naomi told Ruth to go back to her people who could support her (1:8-9).

2) Naomi could not promise Ruth any more husbands (1:11-13).

3) Ruth 1:16-17.

4) Ruth’s sacrifice was faithfulness to Naomi and God (2:11-12).

2. There was a sacrifice in Ruth’s working to support Naomi.

1) Evidently, Naomi was too aged to work.

2) Ruth did the work of going into the field to reap the harvest (2:2).

3) She brought the barley home each night for them to eat bread (2:17-18).

3. There was a sacrifice involved in Ruth’s pledging herself to Boaz.

1) Notice the obedience of Ruth to Naomi in 3:5.

2) She could have had her pick of husbands, but she chose to care for Naomi and her family by choosing Boaz (3:10-11).

3) This sacrifice was a selfless act on her part.

III. The Services of Loving Faithfulness

1. Faithfulness provided for Naomi and Ruth’s immediate needs.

1) Boaz took notice of Ruth’s faithfulness (2:11-12).

2) Naomi and Ruth, in turn, found a dependable source of food (3:17).

2. Faithfulness provided for Naomi’s future needs.

1) When Boaz married Ruth, Naomi’s future needs as a widow were secured.

2) She would have children to provide for her (4:16-17).

3. Faithfulness provided for the needs of the family of Elimelech.

1) The house of Elimelech had a son whose name was Obed (4:17).

2) They could keep their family inheritance alive.

4. Faithfulness provided for Ruth’s need to have a husband and family.

5. God used this faithfulness to bless the nation and to bless us in Christ (Galatians 3:25-28).

IV.  The Sanctification of Loving Faithfulness

1. Ruth was sanctified from her pagan background by believing in the true and living God (2:11-12).

2. Naomi was sanctified from her wandering away from the nation of Israel (4:14-17).

3. Boaz was sanctified by fulfilling his role as a the near-kinsman/redeemer (4:8-12).

4. Israel was sanctified through the blessing of having David as king (4:18-22).

5. The world is being sanctified today through Jesus (1 Corinthians 6:11).


1. May we remember that the book of Ruth is a book of loving faithfulness.

1) The Significance of Loving Faithfulness.

2) The Sacrifice of Loving Faithfulness

3) The Services of Loving Faithfulness

4) The Sanctification of Loving Faithfulness

2. Invitation

1) God is faithful and He calls us to faithfulness through His Son, Jesus.

2) Will you response in love and faith?