Wednesday, 29 July 2015

Study Time: Love (Part 1)

Hello all!

My last post was supposed to be a Study Time post. However, my notebook went wandering around and ended up entangled in all the evangelistic paraphernalia in the back of my church's store room. So I made a little amendment to my blogging agenda and decided to treat you all to a post on the definition of a SoulJourner.  Today, I bring you the second installment of Study Time.

Before I start properly, here come the disclaimers again: 

Disclaimer 1:  Study Time will be purely devoted to Biblical teachings. My other blog posts will be general motivational material. 

Disclaimer 2: Please remember that the original intended audience of my lessons are young people, so please excuse me if Study Time appears to be too basic for you.

My small offering today is a lesson in Love, and is a continuation from the last Study Time. I have decided to divide this into three parts, just because love is a much broader subject than most of you might think! 
Remember the last Study Time about loving yourself?

Key Bible Verses:
1 Corinthians 13
Ruth 4:10

What is love?
Dictionary definition: a feeling of warm personal attachment or deep affection as for a parent, child or friend.

Biblical definition: Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude... It is not irritable...
(1 Corinthians 13: 4 and 5, NLT)

Please note. It is much more than a feeling! It is a decision that is displayed through actions. Emotions, both good and bad just come with the package!

Get your Bibles and notebooks out. It's time to study!

Eros is an ancient Greek word which appeared in the original biblical texts and describes the romantic and passionate love that is shared between husband and wife, or boyfriend and girlfriend. 

From eros, derives the English words erotic and erotica. Unfortunately, modern English does not have wide lexicon to attribute a specific word to this kind of love. So along with brotherly love, love shared between friends, and the kind of unconditional love God bestows upon us, we simply refer to it as 'love'. 

Biblical examples of eros is depicted in the relationship between Rachel and Jacob, Ruth and Boaz, and King Solomon and the Jewish maiden in the Songs of Solomon.

Young ladies and gentlemen, please be weary of the portrayals of this kind of love you see in Disney, Hollywood and the music videos. It's more than happily ever after and not as simple as throwing in the towel when things take a turn for the worst. Remember it's also a lot of hard work, renouncing selfishness for selflessness and a lot of communication.

Young men, remember love is not rude, or self seeking (1 Corinth 13: 5 a)Young ladies, remember that love keeps no records of wrongs (1 Corinth 13: b). Trust me, I know what I am talking about!

For the sake of simplicity let's focus on the story of Ruth and Boaz. Please do take time to read the book of Ruth, but to make things easier for you, I will attempt to summarise the story in a paragraph.

Please open your Bibles to the book of Ruth

The story starts with Naomi, a Hebrew widow in the country of Moab who had two sons, Mahlon and Kilion. The two sons both had wives, Orpah and Ruth. In a terrible tragedy and a cruel twist of fate, Naomi's two sons also died, leaving her husbandless and childless!  So Naomi instructs her two daughters in law to go back to their people as she has nothing more to offer them. Orpah leaves, but Ruth stays. 
Ruth and Naomi travel to back Bethlehem, Naomi's hometown, as news reaches them that God had blessed the land with good crops (they had left Bethlehem around ten years prior due to a famine)  . 
Enter Boaz, a wealthy land owner from Bethlehem, and a relative of Naomi's late husband, Elimelech. Ruth is discovered by Boaz gathering grain on the edge of one of his fields, and after a couple more encounters, a cunning plan by Naomi and a bit of patience, Boaz eventually marries Ruth. Not only that, he also buys back Elimelech's property that Naomi was due to sell off, hence keeping it all in the family. Oh what a man!

This is a very short summary, and does not include all of the details so please do take out some time to study it, as the story has a lot more dimensions and much more to learn than the central theme that we are focusing on. 

Lessons Learnt
1. Remember Rihanna's song lyrics "we found love in a hopeless place" ? Well this this is exactly what happens in this story, where God used famine, death and poverty as the backdrop to this lovely story. I think this is a good time to remind ourselves that God can make a lovely story out of a pretty bad situation.
Now Elimelek, Naomi’s husband, died, and she was left with her two sons. They married Moabite women, one named Orpah and the other Ruth. After they had lived there about ten years, both Mahlon and Kilion also died, and Naomi was left without her two sons and her husband. (Ruth 1: 3-4, NIV)
 “Don't call me Naomi*,” she told them. “Call me Mara**, because the Almighty has made my life very bitter. (Ruth 1:20, NIV)

2. When it comes to family,although blood is significant, it is not exclusive in binding people in brotherly, sisterly, motherly and fatherly love. (We shall look at this kind of love in the next Study Time) This is shown in the example of Ruth and Naomi's relationship, a Hebrew and a Moabitess. Ruth was so loyal to the one person that recent times have told us should be her number one nightmare!  True love, in all sense, transcends cultural barriers.
But Ruth replied, “Don't urge me to leave you or to turn back from you. Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God. Where you die I will die, and there I will be buried. May the Lord deal with me, be it ever so severely, if even death separates you and me.” (Ruth 1:16-17, NIV)

3. Young ladies, please take note. Did Boaz marry Ruth because of her full bodied Brazilian hair? Did the scriptures make mention of her massive backside? Or her cinched waist? Me thinks not. 
Young men, please do not get carried away by her ASSets! Get to know the strength of her character. Pay attention to her  demeanor. (A good point of reference is Proverbs 31:10-31)

A) Ruth was hardworking, and prepared to work in the field in order for her and her mother-in-law to be able to eat.
 And Ruth the Moabite said to Naomi, “Let me go to the fields and pick up the leftover grain behind anyone in whose eyes I find favor.” (Ruth 2:2, NIV)

B) She was humble throughout, yet still had a bit of steel to go along with Naomi's plan. She was no fickle character!
 Wash, put on perfume, and get dressed in your best clothes. Then go down to the threshing floor, but don't let him know you are there until he has finished eating and drinking. When he lies down, note the place where he is lying. Then go and uncover his feet and lie down. He will tell you what to do.” (Ruth 3:3-4)

(I do hope to cover the biblical significance of ministering to someone's feet in a later post!)

4. There is a joke that runs in church circles, and goes "whilst waiting on your Boaz, don't settle for any of his relatives: Brokeaz, Po-az, Lyinaz, Cheatinaz, Dumbaz, Cheapaz, Lockedupaz, Goodfornothinaz, Lazyaz, & especially his 3rd cousin Beat-yo-az". Please wait on ur Boaz & make sure he respects yoaz!
Please note that Ruth was patient: ...she continued working with them through the wheat harvest in early summer... then one day...and the story continues. 

5. Young ladies take note:
A) Boaz was family orientated, and this, I believe, is what moved him to act to keep the family property in the family (and also the fact that he had his eye on Ruth!). 
 Then Boaz announced to the elders and all the people, “Today you are witnesses that I have bought from Naomi all the property of Elimelek, Kilion and Mahlon.  I have also acquired Ruth the Moabite, Mahlon’s widow, as my wife, in order to maintain the name of the dead with his property, so that his name will not disappear from among his family or from his hometown. Today you are witnesses!” (Ruth 4:9,10)
Also note, young men, Boaz was wealthy enough to be able to acquire all that property!  I am not saying that money is the underlying key to being a good husband or partner, but having ambition most definitely is.

B) He was also sensitive, not only in the way he treated Ruth, but in the way he treated others. Young ladies. Watch and take note!
Just then Boaz arrived from Bethlehem and greeted the harvesters,“The Lord be with you!
“The Lord bless you!” they answered. (Ruth 2:4)

6. Last but not least, and the biggest revelation of all is that by getting married to Boaz, Ruth was brought into the ancestry of Jesus Christ. Thus, as followers of Christ, the person we fall in love with should bring us close to God!

This post is getting long now, so I will stop here. If you are still reading, thank you for sticking with me. I hope you are blessed by this post, and have learnt a thing or two. There is so much more depth to this story than meets the eye so please do send an email to if you have further questions.

I hope to continue to theme of Love in my next Study Time posts.


*Naomi means pleasant
**Mara means bitter


  1. Very insigtful. You will be rewarded for this.

  2. Very insigtful. You will be rewarded for this.

  3. Thank you, and God bless you for commenting :-)


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