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understanding the book of ruth

They were blessed with a son, Obed, who eventually became the grandfather of King David, from whom our blessed Lord Jesus descended (see Matthew 1:5ff). Her steps were divinely guided to a certain field, that God’s good purpose should be worked out” (Ellicott’s Commentary, Zondervan, 1959, Vol. We can read in the Book of Ruth how this law was able to support those who had been widowed in Ruth 2:1-2 “Naomi had a relative of her husband’s, a worthy man of the clan of Elimelech, whose name was Boaz. This short book, only four chapters, shows how God uses unexpected people in amazing ways. In the days of the judges, a famine in Canaan forced Elimelech and his wife, Naomi, along with their two sons, to leave Bethlehem and migrate eastward across the Jordan into the region of Moab. The Book of Ruth Ruth is a story about loyalty, love, and faith. Thus she is an ancestor in the messianic line that leads to … Boaz thus was a “kinsman-redeemer.”. Are Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit “God” in Nature? Moreover Ruth the Moabitess, the wife of Mahlon, have I purchased to be my wife, to raise up the name of the dead upon his inheritance, that the name of the dead be not cut off from among his brethren, and from the gate of his place: ye are witnesses this day. and redemptive love, B.   Boaz is a type of our Now it came to pass in the days when the judges ruled, that there was a famine in the land. The book of Ruth is such a touching love story and such a charming tale of emptiness to abundance that we can easily think there is nothing more to it. This may account for the fact that Boaz was not hostile to marrying a Gentile. As the genealogy in chapter 4:17.22 goes down to King David this short book of Ruth was written at the time of David (around 1000 BC). Well, to begin with, it looks impossible.  You have an interdiction from God, in the Book of the Law concerning the marriage of a Jew with a Moabite.  For example, in the seventh chapter of the Book of Deuteronomy: "Neither shalt thou make marriages with them: thy daughter thou shalt not give unto his son, nor his daughter shalt thou take unto thy son" [Deuteronomy 7:3].  Now then in the twenty-third chapter of the Book of Deuteronomy and the third verse: An Ammonite or a Moabite shall not enter into the congregation of the Lord, because they met you not with bread and with water in the way, when you came forth out of Egypt.  An Ammonite or a Moabite shall not enter into the congregation of the Lord forever. But the Lord, through seemingly natural means, can manipulate events to accomplish his sovereign will. So Boaz took Ruth, and she was his wife: and when he went in unto her, the LORD gave her conception, and she bare a son. Why did Ruth and Orpah make different decisions? And they came into the country of Moab, and continued there. The Book of Ruth in the Bible The Book of Ruth is one of the Bible's shortest books, telling its story in just four chapters. Ruth proposed marriage, but Boaz knew of a nearer redeemer who had the rights to redeem the land of Naomi's family. Providence so ordered it, that without knowing it, she entered the field of one who was of the family of Elimelech” (Lange’s Commentary, Scribner & Armstrong, 1875, p. 28). So they two went until they came to Bethlehem. to light on the portion of the field belonging to Boaz” (2:3). When she saw that she was stedfastly minded to go with her, then she left speaking unto her. So I see that picture in Elimelech and Naomi [Ruth 1:1]: there’s a judgment of God upon His people, and they are taken out of the land and scattered among the nations.  Some of them live here even in our city, and they live all over this earth, buried among the nations [Deuteronomy 28:64].  And while they’re in the land, while they are in the foreign countries and while they are among the nations of the earth, the land falls into other hands, and their inheritance is lost [Matthew 21:43].  And then their story is one of trial and trouble, and the four, the family of four is reduced to one [Ruth 1:3-5].Â. B. Ruth does site its setting with the time of the Judges (“when the judges judged” myfpvh fpv ymyB ) (1:1), and probably occurred toward the end of the period: 1. What a great tribute to Ruth, whom God so signally honored, that he chose her over all other maidens of Israel at this critical moment in history. Let me briefly illustrate three of these. And when a poor lost undone sinner comes and lays himself down at the feet of Jesus, our Kinsman Redeemer, Jesus receives us [Matthew 11:28].  And He takes us and He washes us [Revelation 1:5], and He cleanses us [1 John 1:7], and He forgives us [1 John 1:9], and He writes our names in His Book of Life [Revelation 20:12, 15; 21:27], and He loves us [1 John 4:19], and He cherishes us and He keeps us [John 10:27-30].  That is the first meaning of the Book of Ruth.Â, Now of this second, its practical application: well, you could just stand up here and take it verse by verse, and speak of the marvelous practical lessons that come to our heart from this beautiful story.  You could speak of the providence of God.  Elimelech should never have left [Ruth 1:1].  He should never have turned his back on his inheritance.  He should have trusted God and prayed to God, but he left.  Just like you do things that you ought not to do, you just close your eyes and think back.  Your life is full of mistakes, full of wrong decisions: things you should have done and you didn’t do, and the things that you didn’t do you should have done.  Your whole life is that, just close your eyes and think of the mistakes you made.  But the grace of God overruled.Â, God is turning these providences into a way that maybe we cannot understand and we cannot see, but God’s providence leads and overrules.  And there, finally, Ruth at the feet of Boaz [Ruth 3:7-8], that was the most secure place in all this earth for that poor Moabite girl: at the feet of the Boaz.  And the most secure place in this earth for you is at the feet of Jesus.  Why, you could just go on and on about the wonderful meaning of this blessed book.Â, Now, in the little moment that remains, I want to take the third.  What are these prophetic overtones that are to be found in this pastoral poem?  Oh, they are many.  There are many and they are marvelous.  Now, listen very carefully while we just briefly summarize them.  There’s a famine in Judah, there’s a famine in Bethlehem [Ruth 1:1].Â. This call applies just as clearly to us today.We belong to a loving, faithful, and powerful God who has never failed to care and provide for His children. And Elimelech Naomi's husband died; and she was left, and her two sons. It certainly illustrates Jehovah’s willingness to use pardoned sinners! Your browser does not support the audio tag. The author was anonymous but some believe it was perhaps written by Samuel the prophet; however, it is … (1-2a) Security for Ruth through a kinsman. And she said unto them, Call me not Naomi, call me Mara: for the Almighty hath dealt very bitterly with me. The LORD make the woman that is come into thine house like Rachel and like Leah, which two did build the house of Israel: and do thou worthily in Ephratah, and be famous in Bethlehem: And let thy house be like the house of Pharez, whom Tamar bare unto Judah, of the seed which the LORD shall give thee of this young woman. And they answered him, The LORD bless thee. And they lifted up their voice, and wept again: and Orpah kissed her mother in law; but Ruth clave unto her. And this, of course, was a hint of the time to come when all nations could hear the gospel and thus, ideally be united in Christ (Matthew 28:19; Ephesians 2:13ff). Who was Ruth in the Bible? Turn again, my daughters, go your way; for I am too old to have an husband. There, the two sons married Moabite women, one of whom was Ruth. However, because of her loyalty and desire for God, she plays a pivotal role in the storyline of the Bible, becoming the great-grandmother of King David! For centuries its literary excellence has been applauded by a wide variety of critics. And when Boaz had eaten and drunk, and his heart was merry, he went to lie down at the end of the heap of corn: and she came softly, and uncovered his feet, and laid her down. And now, my daughter, fear not; I will do to thee all that thou requirest: for all the city of my people doth know that thou art a virtuous woman. The book of Ruth is one of the most moving accounts in the Bible, a story of love and loyalty that is a stark contrast to today's cynical, throwaway society. The Book of Ruth offers no direct identification concerning its date. And they sat down. So she gleaned in the field until even, and beat out that she had gleaned: and it was about an ephah of barley. . Inspirational devotions delivered right to your email inbox. 9 The Lord grant that you may find rest, each in the house of her husband.” Then she kissed them, and they lifted And it came to pass at midnight, that the man was afraid, and turned himself: and, behold, a woman lay at his feet. As one scholar observed: “A chance in outward seeming, yet a clear shaping of her course by unseen hands. [Exodus 3:1-2]. "Lessons from the Book of Ruth." Ruth was a poor widow and a foreigner, yet God used her as part of the family line of both David and Jesus. The story of Ruth offers vital lessons to every generation and has enjoyed nearly universal acceptance by … He is in control of everything that happens, even when we do not understand the situation. Three Precious Lessons from the Book of Ruth. ISSN: 1559-2235. ChristianCourier.com. Ruth is the story of a little foreign girl who came out of paganism and idolatry in the land of Moab. Job once declared: “I know that my Redeemer [goel] lives, and at last he will stand upon the earth” (Job 19:25). The book of Ruth came along at a time of irresponsible living in Israel’s history and appropriately called the people back to a greater responsibility and faithfulness before God—even in difficult times. The book of Ruth connects the book of Judges with the books of Samuel. The Jewish community has always looked upon marriage as a sacred and divine institution. And he said, Blessed be thou of the LORD, my daughter: for thou hast shewed more kindness in the latter end than at the beginning, inasmuch as thou followedst not young men, whether poor or rich. Rth 3:3 Wash thyself therefore, and anoint thee, and put thy raiment upon thee, and get thee down to the floor: but make not thyself known unto the man, until he shall have done eating and drinking. And Naomi had a kinsman of her husband's, a mighty man of wealth, of the family of Elimelech; and his name was Boaz. Eventually, both Naomi and Ruth were widowed, hence they returned to Bethlehem. And Naomi said unto Ruth her daughter in law, It is good, my daughter, that thou go out with his maidens, that they meet thee not in any other field. The book of Ruth was written to provide a lovely example of the sovereignty and plan of God. Ruth’s magnificent and unselfish plea to accompany her mother-in-law — “where you go, I will go” — (1:16-17) has echoed across the centuries, and is a remarkable insight into the richness of her character. are there yet any more sons in my womb, that they may be your husbands? And she went, and came, and gleaned in the field after the reapers: and her hap was to light on a part of the field belonging unto Boaz, who was of the kindred of Elimelech. Then you will better understand the shadows contained in the book of Ruth. In this beautiful account, He demonstrates how He will use a person (Ruth) who for all practical purposes, is a foreigner and enemy of the Israelites. The book previews Christ. This Bible study lesson from Ruth chapter three takes us into the next stage of our Christian lives. Then said she, Sit still, my daughter, until thou know how the matter will fall: for the man will not be in rest, until he have finished the thing this day. She came from a people who were in many senses an outcast people, and she came into a knowledge of the Lord God of Israel, as Boaz said, “Under whose wings thou art come to trust” (Ruth 2:12). judgment on Israel. Behold, he winnoweth barley to night in the threshingfloor. Then she fell on her face, and bowed herself to the ground, and said unto him, Why have I found grace in thine eyes, that thou shouldest take knowledge of me, seeing I am a stranger? I went out full, and the LORD hath brought me home again empty: why then call ye me Naomi, seeing the LORD hath testified against me, and the Almighty hath afflicted me? And Naomi took the child, and laid it in her bosom, and became nurse unto it. and where wroughtest thou? What did it mean to spread the corner of your garment over someone? The Book of Ruth The Book of Ruth’s author is never mentioned but it was not written by Ruth. However, his atoning death is available still for those who acknowledge his identity, and obey his plan for redemption (Matthew 28:19-20; Mark 16:16; Acts 2:38; 22:16, Hebrews 5:8-9; etc.). II, p. 281). Go not to glean in another field, neither go from hence, but abide here fast by my maidens: Let thine eyes be on the field that they do reap, and go thou after them: have I not charged the young men that they shall not touch thee? turn aside, sit down here. Then Naomi her mother in law said unto her, My daughter, shall I not seek rest for thee, that it may be well with thee? III, p. 911). Matthew 1:5; Matthew 28:19; Ephesians 2:13; Job 19:25; John 1:14; Hebrews 2:11, 14; Luke 1:68; Ephesians 1:7; Matthew 28:19-20; Mark 16:16; Acts 2:38, 22:16; Hebrews 5:8-9, Jackson, Wayne. Just like in Hitlerite Germany, about six million of them were slain.  Most of them burned, literally, burned in the furnaces.  Ah, the troubles of this nation!  But word comes to Naomi that there’s bread in the land.  And word has come to these people, God’s chosen family, that there’s bread in Israel.  And Naomi, when she hears it, turns her heart back to the land [Ruth 1:6-7].  And these Jewish people buried among the nations of the earth [Deuteronomy 4:27] hearing that there’s bread in Palestine are turning their faces backward.  They’re turning their faces homeward.  They’re turning their faces to the land.  Isn’t that a miracle?  Two thousand years that land never had any Jewish people in it, now they’re there by the by the hundreds of thousands and the hundreds of thousands and they’re going back every year by the thousands and the thousands, for they have heard that there is bread in Judah. Then said Boaz unto his servant that was set over the reapers, Whose damsel is this? And she shewed her mother in law with whom she had wrought, and said, The man's name with whom I wrought to day is Boaz. The book of Ruth tells a touching story of the love and devotion of an ancestor of David and Jesus Christ. Its main character is a Moabite woman named Ruth, the daughter-in-law of a Jewish widow named Naomi. Now to show you what I mean by those three things, let us take, for example, the story of Moses as he stood on the back side of the desert and looked upon the bush that burned and yet was unconsumed [Exodus 3:1-2].  It has three great meanings.  First, the primary meaning, the "then" meaning, the then picture, the condition as it obtained at that moment when Moses stood there and looked at the bush that burned and was not consumed.Â, The primary meaning, the then meaning, was this: the bush is a picture, a type, of the children of Israel, down in the furnace of Egypt, in the trials and the sorrows and the troubles of Egypt.  And yet God has preserved His people.  Though Pharaoh’s hand is against them, and the law of the land is against them, and the ruler of Egypt seeks to destroy them, yet God preserves them, and they live in the furnace and fire of Egypt unconsumed.  That would be a primary meaning – the "then" meaning.Â, Now the practical application is, as a man would stand up and preach about it and speak of the people of the Lord today, in the fiery furnace of this present world, he could speak of his people as they are in the communist world, in the fires and troubles of Russia, or of the satellites of the Soviet Union, or of China.  Then he could also speak of the trials and the fires and the troubles we have in this life.  Jesus said, "In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world" [John 16:33].Â. The book traces certain events in the life of a Hebrew family. In the Hebrew Bible, Ruth stands with the Song of Solomon, Lamentations, Ecclesiastes, and Esther; together they make up the Megillot, five scrolls that are read at prescribed times on Jewish religious festivals. And all the people that were in the gate, and the elders, said, We are witnesses. Now this was the manner in former time in Israel concerning redeeming and concerning changing, for to confirm all things; a man plucked off his shoe, and gave it to his neighbour: and this was a testimony in Israel. And she said unto her, Go, my daughter. The Book of Ruth is really a part of the Book of Judges.  And Obed is the father of Jesse, and Jesse is the father of David, and David is the father of Jesus our Lord in that story of the genealogy of our Savior [Ruth 4:17-22].Â, Now, there is far more than just the beauty of the pastoral poem.  There are only two books in the Bible that are named after women.  One is Esther and one is Ruth.  And both of the books are a fine demonstration of the providence and grace of God overruling.  In the genealogy of the families and tribes of Israel, only the man was followed.  The woman was never entered in keeping the family record except incidentally.  The genealogy was always taken down through the man.  Just like in our country we do not follow the woman’s name, we follow the man’s name, and the house is reckoned and the family name is carried on through the man.Â, For example, in my generation our family’s name shall die because all of the boys in our family have girls as children.  There’s not a boy in the family.  So our name shall die with me and my house.  That was even more true in the days of the genealogies of the people of Israel.  The genealogy was only followed through the man.  And yet the grace of God has so overruled, that the blessing to mankind has come through the woman and through her alone.  The promise was made to Eve that in her Seed, not the seed of the man, and the old rabbi used to ponder over that prophecy, for seed belongs to a man, not to a woman.  Yet the prophecy said: "The Seed of the woman shall bruise, shall crush Satan’s head" [Genesis 3:15].Â, And it wasn’t until the virgin birth of our Lord that that prophecy was understood [Matthew 1:20-23].  It was against the law that Boaz should marry a Moabitess girl, but grace overruled the law, and what was impossible to the law is possible under grace.  And the story of Esther and the story of Rahab, the story of these marvelous, marvelous women are all stories of the overruling providence and grace of God.Â. And he said, Let it not be known that a woman came into the floor. Then she arose with her daughters in law, that she might return from the country of Moab: for she had heard in the country of Moab how that the LORD had visited his people in giving them bread. would ye stay for them from having husbands? And he said, I will redeem it. In the book of Ruth he is referred to as Yahweh – the covenant God.) Third, God’s sovereign power can be seen. The Old Testament book of Ruth is truly one of the beauty spots of sacred literature. Though a “pagan” by birth, Ruth was selected by the Lord to be in the genealogical line of the world’s Savior. Then said Boaz, What day thou buyest the field of the hand of Naomi, thou must buy it also of Ruth the Moabitess, the wife of the dead, to raise up the name of the dead upon his inheritance. And when she came to her mother in law, she said, Who art thou, my daughter? Or, as Cassel pointed out: “Ruth, as a stranger in Bethlehem, knew neither persons nor properties. … The Birthplace of Jesus: Bethlehem or Jerusalem? And she said, Behold, thy sister in law is gone back unto her people, and unto her gods: return thou after thy sister in law. So you have those three things as you look at the incident.  Those three things are to be found in all of these stories and presentations in the Bible.  Now, let’s take one other.  In the thirty-seventh chapter of Ezekiel, you have the vision of the valley of dry bones [Ezekiel 37:1-14].  The first and the primary interpretation is found in the eleventh verse of that chapter: that’s the picture of Israel in exile, her nation destroyed, her people buried in a foreign country; but God says, "I will raise her up" [Ezekiel 37:11-14].Â, Then a practical application could be the dead dry bones of our own church, and of our own Christian people, and our own denomination, and our family.  We need the outpouring of the Spirit, and the breath of God, and a great revival.  That could be a practical application.Â, Then the prophetic overtone is to be found in the burial of God’s people Israel among the nations of the world.  But God will raise them up and restore them, and they shall stand in His presence as a people and as a nation again [Ezekiel 37:11-14].  So through all of the Bible, as you read these things, they have great meanings.Â, When Jesus stood with His disciples on the Mount of Olives and delivered His apocalyptic discourse, He looked over Jerusalem, could see the whole city there before Him, and He spoke of the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD [Mark 13:1-19].  But that not only had a "then" prophetic application, not only could a man preach of the judgment of God, its practical meaning now; but it also had tremendous prophetic overtones for that destruction of Jerusalem that Jesus was describing as He stood on the Mount of Olives.  It is a picture of the great final destruction and judgment of God over and upon this world.Â, So as you read these things in the Bible, if you have eyes to see and a heart to understand, beyond that written Word are great revelations of the truth of God; truths that can be applied now in our lives, and then great prophetic outlines of the vast denouement in the world that is yet to come.Â, Now that same thing is true in the Book of Ruth.  So we’re going to take the Book of Ruth and follow it through with those three great principles of interpretation.  The first one was its primary meaning, the great truth as it was then presented.  And that is a story of redemption.  Naomi has left with her husband her inheritance, and it is fallen into other hands, and it belongs to other people.  And Elimelech with Naomi and their two sons are over there in a strange land and among a strange people.  And their inheritance is fallen into other hands.  And over there in the land of Moab, in a foreign country and in a strange land, Elimelech dies, and Mahlon dies, and Chilion dies, and the three widows are left bereft and bereaved [Ruth 1:3-5].Â, And in the providence of the Lord, they return back into the land of Judah, to Bethlehem [Ruth 1:22].  You could not think of a more pitiful situation, one more fraught with sorrow than that.  Their inheritance is gone.  They are absolutely penniless.  They live in poverty and want.  And in order just to have bread to eat, Ruth offers, suggests that she go out, and in the fields behind the harvesters, she pick up whatever little stalk of grain that might have fallen from the bundle and the sheaf [Ruth 2:2].  You don’t know what poverty like that is.Â, So those two widows there in the land of Judah, in the fields of Bethlehem, with nothing, the inheritance gone, and the husband gone, and the son gone and all they have is sorrow, and tears, and want, and lack.  And Naomi said: "Call me not Naomi," pleasant, sweet, "call me Mara," bitterness, sadness.  "For the Almighty hath dealt very bitterly with me" [Ruth 1:20].  Now that’s the situation.  But how does the grace of God work and overcome and overrule?Â. So he drew off his shoe. And he said, Who art thou? And she said, These six measures of barley gave he me; for he said to me, Go not empty unto thy mother in law. And Boaz said unto her, At mealtime come thou hither, and eat of the bread, and dip thy morsel in the vinegar. And Naomi said unto her daughter in law, Blessed be he of the LORD, who hath not left off his kindness to the living and to the dead. ©2020. If I should say, I have hope, if I should have an husband also to night, and should also bear sons; Would ye tarry for them till they were grown? So she kept fast by the maidens of Boaz to glean unto the end of barley harvest and of wheat harvest; and dwelt with her mother in law. In a manner of speaking, a “type” is a sort of “shadow” that falls across the pages of the Old Testament, the reality of which comes into full view in the New Testament record. Chanced on fields of strange and unfriendly owners to follow the true God. bitterly with.... 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Mara: for the arrival of their Messiah on fields of strange unfriendly. Went until they came into the floor, and wept too Old to have an husband that did knowledge. Has a prophetic overtone, it has a prophetic meaning thee unto thy people,! Its date one scholar observed: “ a chance in outward seeming yet! It in her relationship with Boaz, grace, Israel, law, love and... Damsel is this story, told with consummate skill pass in the threshingfloor vail that thou hast upon thee and. This book is intertwined during the period of the sovereignty and plan of God for love and! And they lifted up their voice, and did according to all that her mother in,!

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