RUTH: The Hidden Pictures
By Mary Sisseck
The Bible is grouped into three MAIN categories for learning: (1) The Law (2) the Prophets, and the Writings.The book of Ruth IS considered one of the books of the Writings.
In the earlier manuscripts, it was in the books of the Writings. Without the book of Ruth, we cannot link David to the house and tribe of Judah. Without this book, Jesus would not have been born in Bethlehem! Without this book, Micah 5:2 would not have been fulfilled.
While we are studying the most famous book on earth, The Holy Bible, I want us to view our study as a walk of discoveries. Place an onion on your study table as an object lesson for all our studies. Why an onion? Because initially, when we look at an onion, we see a round orb that all of us immediately recognize to be an onion. Whether it be red, yellow or white, we readily recognize it for what it is: an onion. So it is with Bible study! We will be viewing more precisely many of the stories we learned as a child in Sunday School. We will gather evidences (witnesses) from other scriptures that will inevitably support our area of study. We will try to expel some of the mysticism around various stories while we explore the culture, the geography, and the customs of ancient Israel. By so doing, we will begin to see anew the things God intended us to see. If we were to look at an onion, and were we to pick it up and begin to peel behind that first layer, we discover a whole new layer. It is still onion, but our discovery will many times cause a physical and very visible response in our body such as leaking eyes. (Understand?) Just so, when we peel behind that first layer of God's word, we will discover wonderful new insights and truths and each discovery will most certainly point to Jesus Christ. What does this kind of study do for the diligent Bible student? It will give us a revitalized realization, with more certainty than ever, that not only does Jesus, the redemptive factor of the Godhead, love us, but God, Blessed be He, the Creator of the universe, loved us and made all the necessary provisions in the law, if only man could have been sinless!
When Paul states, in the book of Romans, that Jesus was the end of the law, he is in reality saying that Jesus was the goal or final target that all the laws and the prophets were aiming at. The law was the schoolmaster that brought us to Christ. Paul continues by saying that the law can't do for us what grace can! Grace came through the redemptive sacrifice of Jesus Christ. While we know that is true, we still need to study, and so much the more as we see "the day" approaching. We will be peeling behind the first layer to help us understand and see more clearly the love of God to each of us!
In the book of Ruth, Naomi is symbolic of Israel (hidden picture). She is rich. She goes out of the land, apparently because the land has ousted her, and seemingly against her desire. Naomi and Elimelech has either given up their right to the land or they have lost it. Then, because of the problems Naomi incurred in Moab, she comes back empty into the land of Israel and begins to build her life again. Ruth is symbolic of the church, as she is the gentile bride, yet is related to Boaz by marriage. Boaz is symbolic of Jesus Christ, our Messiah. The Nearer kinsman is symbolic of the law.
Almost from the beginning of time, God has chosen to teach in symbols. Jesus taught in parables. Amos calls God's teaching style secrets and Paul calls them mysteries. Jewish people have no problem with this way of teaching,, because the have been taught from childhood to ask why about everything. Therefore, Hebrew children continue to ask for meaning and interpretation. However, gentiles have more difficulty understanding symbolism since we have been influenced by Greek ways of thought. The teaching methods of the Greeks and the Hebrews were very different.
The book of Ruth is a historical account but, in the second layer God has given us a prophetic (hidden) picture to view, many years before the prophecy will actually take place. He did this so that you and I can see HIS hand in every event of history. If HE is there in the past, HE most assuredly will be there in the future.
Historically, Israel was rich but the people were forced out of the land by the Diaspora for 1900 years. When the Jews returned, they immediately began to build.
As we study this book, pay close attention to every word. God doesn't waste words. Each and every word has been strategically placed where it is by design. A casual Bible reader will miss much of what God intended us to see because they skim across the top and say, "Oh, yeow, it's an onion" and they neglect to dig deeper - to peel back that first layer - to see God's hand extended to discover His presence until it affects the way they live! There are hidden pictures encoded into God's word that absolutely can not be seen unless we know and understand the ways of Israel - their history, their culture, their customs and the geography of the land.
In the first verse of the book of Ruth, we find there is famine in the land. This famine came about in the days when the judges ruled. The Bible verifies that it was a time when "everyone did what was right in their own eyes."
There are 13 famines recorded in the Bible. A famine of food is always in direct response to the spiritual condition of the country. A famine of food follows on the heels of a famine of hearing the word of GOD. The places in our world today that have the greatest physical and spiritual needs, are those countries where God, the Great Creator of the universe, is not respected and worshipped. In India, for instance, where children are starving every day, the cows are well fed. The COW is what these people worship! (Holy Cow! - incidentally, that is where that phrase came from, too.)
So, Elimelech, whose name means God is my King takes his wife Naomi, whose name means Pleasant, and their two sons, Mahlon (which means unhealthy) and Chilion (that means puny) and they move to Moab, a heathen land. Apparently, the boys were not healthy when they were born, so they named them "Unhealthy- and "Puny", (Imagine what those boys suffered from their schoolmates!)(4 hidden pictures)
Why are names important? Because of the hidden pictures. Let's see if you can find some before I get there. Read the first chapter and use the meanings of the names rather than their names an see if you don't begin to see another picture coming into focus. Why not try this suggestion before reading the rest of this letter. Read the book of Ruth now to see what the Holy Spirit will show you. Then, write it down - keep a journal to record the times when you are aware that God's Holy Spirit has given you a nugget of truth! Blessed be He!
Elimelech, the father, dies and Naomi is left alone with her two sons. Her sons then take two girls from the Moabites to wife. Now, it was not lawful for an Israelite to marry a Moabite unless the Moabite converted to Judaism. Since the text does not even imply that these girls did that, we must assume that Puny and Unhealthy did not marry within God's will. But, since the boys apparently knew their days were numbered and few, they must have felt the need to get on with it! (Just like you and I did -" nothing new under the sun." Ecc. 1: 9)
Now, a bit of HISTORY:
When Elimelech's family had left Bethlehem, they had given up all right to their property. They either lost it or sold it. In the book of Ruth, we will discover the meaning of redemption, because we will discover how the land was redeemed under the Levitical law.
God has apparently singled out a piece of real estate called Israel and He says: "It is Mine!" Because God says it is Mine, every country on the earth is vying for it! But, God gave a law to the Children of Israel and decreed that no one could own the ground. It belonged to God then and it still belongs to God today! (see Lev.25:23) It was to be used for a time by whomever He allowed. You may read for yourself where God gave the title deed to Abraham: Gen. 12:7, 13:15, 15:7 & 15:18. The deed for the use of the land was handed down from generation to generation to the male descendants through their fathers. Only in the event of famine or poverty would a Israelite heir lose his right to the land. ( Lev.25:23-27). This title deed to the land is why the Jewish people are the only ancient people who kept records of their generations so accurately. Early on, Gentiles had never seen the need to keep family records, and only until recent years, have we done so.
Israelites did not drive around town looking for properties for sale. There never was a "For Sale" sign in Abraham, Isaac, or Jacob's yard! Neither did one find real estate agencies who sold properties in ancient Israel. Israelites could not buy properties as we think of purchasing ground. When money changed hands regarding property in Israel, they were actually only buying the right to use the land for a certain time period. The legal right to the earth is God's, who transferred the deed to the parcel of ground we call Israel, to Abraham, the first Jew, the called-out gentile, the man of God.
If one secured the rights of the land from a poor man, he understood that he could work the ground while the poor man was gone. It would be his if this poor man never returned. But, in the event that the poor man found wealth, he could return and buy back the rights of his own land. If a close relative of the poor man went to the city council, in behalf of the poor man and requested the property, paid back the dues (or balance ) to the man who had bought the rights, under the law of redemption, it would have been mandatory that he relinquish the property at once. The rights to use the land were usually bargained for in measured time periods of years. So, in the event of bankruptcy, tragedy, or extenuating circumstances which caused the rightful owner to vacate the premises, the owner would then transfer his rights to someone who would trade money for the rights and wished to farm the land while he was gone. It was a system sort of like leasing land but there were no payments, and no one was ever thrown off their own property. The title deed was actually transferred to someone else until (1) the rightful owner who was in the lineage returned or (2) until someone came on his behalf to redeem his property.
When Elimelech left, he no doubt planned to return with money enough to redeem his own land for his children. Since Naomi stayed in Moab for ten years, he possibly only sold the rights to the land for ten to twenty years. However, when Naomi returned, she was destitute with no possible way to ever redeem the land. Even in the year of Jubilee, since she was a woman with no rightful heir, she could not ever hope to have the property back! Only if one of her rich, single male relatives would help her redeem Elimelech's property and raise up children in her son's name, would it ever belong to her again. I doubt she ever entertained that thought even in her wildest imaginings , because Ruth, the daughter-in-law who returned with her was a Moabitess. Ruth might as well have had leprosy. Being a Moabitess was just that bad.
This concept of God owning the land, is very enlightening, especially when we read the case of the five daughters who had no brother (Numbers 26:3 3 & 27: 1 -1 1) to inherit their fathers property, These women went to Moses to present their case so that they might secure the rights to the property. This request had never been made before nor had it ever been considered in Israel. Nonetheless, Moses went to God and God made an allowance in the law for them to secure their father's property. (See, there's a second layer there, do you see it - all you girls reading this????? Isn't this juicy!!!) But, this was the exception to the normal rule.
The Bible tells us that God owns this property called Israel. (Lev.25:23) When we know that, it becomes very interesting, indeed, as we watch the evening news. I don't think Dan Rather and Peter Jennings know that ISRAEL BELONGS TO GOD!! God says it does! The title deed is held by the descendants of Abraham whose son Isaac was the promised son. Notice also, that when Abraham took Isaac up to Mt. Moriah (Gen. 22:2) to sacrifice him, God instructed him to take his son, his ONLY son. Now, God didn't forget about Ishmael! He simply stated that Abraham's son Isaac was the promised son through which all the nations would be blessed and through which the land was to be passed. Therefore, it is not possible for the Palestinians to OWN any part of the land today! The Palestinians (& other Arab nations) are descendants of Ishmael. The Palestinians are Arabs who moved to Israel when the Jews were ousted by the Romans after the destruction of the temple in 70 A.D. Many of today's so-called Palestinians are simply Arab's who came across the border to work when Israel became the only Near East democracy in 1948.
God does not love the Jewish people more than the Arabs. He just entered into a covenant relationship with them many years ago at Mt. Sinai and He promised them this land. It will be theirs forever! So, regardless of what our media says about rights of the Palestinians, it is God's property and God gave the right to the land to the Jews. God will have His way in this affair. You want to see God's hand working in our day? WATCH ISRAEL. WATCH THE NEWS! KEEP PEELING AWAY THE LAYERS AND YOU'LL FIND GOD THERE!
Back to the study of Ruth.
The hero of the story will go, on behalf of Ruth, and buy the rights of the land, NOT FOR HIMSELF! But for Ruth!!! The kinsman redeemer will make himself a substitution for Ruth. What Ruth and Naomi could not do for themselves, the kinsman redeemer willingly did for his bride. BUT - take note of this: he could not do anything until Ruth asks him to! (Think about it - see this layer?) (Jesus can do nothing for you and me until we ask Him to.)
So, we find Naomi destitute after the deaths of her husband and boys, sad and longing for home, and she logically concludes that she has no choice but to return to her native land. She has understood that the famine is over and there is bread in Israel. She begins on her journey back to Israel, and while traveling, she gets to thinking. She reasons that it is pure stupidity to take these girls back to Israel with her. She is poverty stricken, she can't take care of them and it is a selfish hope for her to ask that they take care of her. She can't do that in good conscience. She then speaks to her daughter-in-laws, telling them to return to their mother. (Notice, she doesn't say fathers house - but mothers! Naomi knows how gentiles think and do things!) So, she blesses them and sends them away. It was a very emotional time, for in v. 9, it says all three women, had become very emotional about their departure. Naomi reasons with them. Orpha agrees with her mother-in-laws logic and heads back to mama's house. Ruth, on the other hand, clings to Naomi. Naomi again tries to convince Ruth that there is no reason whatsoever why she should stay with her.
The friends and relatives Ruth left behind were no doubt convinced she had lost her mind. Why would a young beautiful lady want to take care of a broken-down old Jewish woman on welfare? Nonetheless, Ruth then makes that famous speech that contains such incredible beauty. Verse 16 and 17 has found a place of great honor in literary circles around the world! "...do not entreat me to turn back...where you go, I will go...where you die, I will die."
Life in Israel would be peculiar. Living in Israel would be very strange for Ruth. She would be. a foreigner there. She would be an outsider. Because of the laws of this strange, new land, she would be shunned; she would possibly be treated badly. Ruth undoubtedly knew that she was taking a giant step and that everyone on earth would now consider her peculiar, but she chose this life anyway. (See another layer here?)
In verse 18, after Naomi had tried her best to convince her to go back, she then gives Ruth the silent treatment! They traveled in silence until they arrived in Bethlehem, Israel. The people who recognized Naomi, wanted to rejoice over her homecoming. However, Naomi told them not to call her pleasant because she had found herself in this very bitter predicament. Life had dealt her such a bitter blow! Naomi had very little faith that the rest of her life on earth would be any different. (See the second layer - coming to Christ with our broken lives?) She was old and helpless with no family left except a heathen daughter-in-law! The only happiness she would ever find would be the safety of the welfare system in Israel. How could her life ever take on joy again? (This story should bring encouragement to every one of us who have struggled through tough times on this earth. Perhaps, you have thought:" I didn't know life would turn out this way!!" Well, just remember: it ain't over, till it's over! Hang in there while we look at the rest of this story!)
Verse 22 says that they came into the land at the beginning of barley harvest. When is barley harvest????? (Hidden picture) Of course, it is Passover! Naomi returns to the land in time to celebrate Passover with her people! Passover is a time of rejoicing! Surely this festival will cause hope to arise in Naomi once again! (If you have never gone through a Passover Seder, you win not understand the happiness and rejoicing and blessings and presence of God that takes place during this most joyous festival! I can tell you, the things that are done makes it a most wonderful evening with God!)
MORE HISTORY OF THE CULTURE:
Immediately, Ruth, seeing wealth all around her and knowing that they are poor, realizes that she will be the one responsible for their livelihood. There was not any agency in Israel where she could apply for food stamps but there was a work-it-out system. The welfare system set up by God for ancient Israel was unique, to say the least! The law allowed the poor, the homeless, the widows and children to go into the edges of the field and take whatever they needed for their existence. The law stated that the owner of the field MUST leave the outer edges of his field untouched, and that he and his reapers could only make one pass through each field, just in case some poor person needed to gather food. Therefore, the outer edges were not to be gathered by the owner, nor could a reaper go back to retrieve anything that he had left behind for whatever reason!
On the way into town, Ruth spies a marvelous field and, after learning about the welfare system, tells Naomi that this is where she wants to glean. Naomi says that her rich relative, Boaz, owns this parcel of ground, and that Ruth would be wise to go there to glean. Naomi probably thought that Ruth, a foreigner, would be treated better in the field of her relative, than she would in the field of a stranger. (As a child [a relative] of King Jesus, may we always be found gleaning in as fields! - see the second layer?) Incidentally, this field belonging to Boaz is the same field where shepherds were keeping their flocks, when suddenly the glory of the Lord shown round about them, and they became sore afraid! This same field is where God sent his angels to announce the birth of his Son.
Now we come to v.3 of chapter two. It says "she happened" to come to the field of Boaz! The Rabbi's in Israel have a saying that says: "Coincidence is not a kosher word", which being interpreted means there are no accidental happenings in God's plan! Aren't you glad for that! I'm so glad that God has made a way of escape even when we messed up the first plan for our lives Even though we've messed up - God doesn't give up on us! It is very hard to understand how God just keeps on loving us still - as much as He ever has! We'd all be so much better off if we would just turn everything over to HIM, right now, and let Him begin to make some sense out of the messes we've already created. Let go and let God begin to direct your life! Just trust Him and obey Him and you're there!
Boaz comes into his fields and blesses as he comes! (Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!) He says, "Bless you" and all the people say, "Bless you!" Then Boaz sees Ruth and asks whose servant she is. He immediately recognizes that she is not his servant - that she looks different than his servants and he knows he has never seen her in his field before. But, he doesn't turn her away -because of the law- that gives her a right to glean!
An unnamed servant who has watched Ruth closely and carefully then tells Boaz that she is a Moabite who has returned from the land of Moab in order to take care of Naomi. The servant had watched her and explains that she had been working almost all day and that she rested only a little.
THIS SERVANT IS SYMBOLIC OF THE HOLY SPIRIT! (The spirit of God is watching your fife and knows the direction of your life. Do not ever worry, accurate records are being kept!)
Have you ever noticed that any time the Holy Spirit appears in scriptures as a type, He will always show Himself as the unnamed servant? Even when the servant, as in this case, has a dissernable name.
We know from subsequent scriptures that Abraham's oldest and most trusted servant was Eliezar, but there is no name given when, for our education, the servant is acting out a type of the Holy Spirit. The explanation can be found in the witness of scripture that tells us the Holy Spirit never testifies of Himself John 16:13 says, . . He will not speak on His own authority, but ... He will tell you of things to come.
The name Eliezar means comforter! In Gen.24, the father (Abraham) sends this unnamed servant, whose name means comforter, to bring back a bride for the son, Isaac. He is told not to take the son to find the bride, but the servant is given full charge to bring back the bride for the son! (see this picture -the bride and the church?)
Boaz was impressed and went to speak to Ruth. He was not overbearing but a perfect gentleman when he asked her to please listen and consider what he was about to say. (So much like Jesus see the picture?) He then invited her to always glean in his fields. Not only that, but he gave her permission to go further into the field and follow closely behind his reapers - not just at the edges! He assured her that nobody would belittle her nor give her a hard time. He gave her permission to drink from his source of water. She was so grateful! She bowed gracefully and thanked him (a position of repentance) and he thanked her for having the servant heart to work in Naomi's behalf.
Boaz and Ruth become instant friends. In verse 14 of chapter two, Boaz invites Ruth to dinner. They are seen here with bread and wine. (hidden picture -communion together)
When Ruth goes out into the field again, Boaz instructs his men that she can glean wherever she pleases, she can go whatever. direction she desires and stay as long as she wants. I imagine they got the message loud and clear - LEAVE HER ALONE - whatever is mine is hers!!! As a matter of fact, he instructed them to LEAVE HANDFULS ON THE GROUND for her to pick up. He said they should drop bundles of grain, accidentally on purpose, so that all she had to do was to simply pick them up! (OH, this is a wonderful piicture of what God has done for me and you! If we will begin to peel away the layers of His word, He has so graciously left behind such nutritious bundles of food that when digested, will cause us to be strong enough to ward off all the attacks of the cancerous sins of this world!!! Praise God!!!)
When Ruth returns home following that first day of work, she brings in seven (7) bushels of grain. I can just imagine the shock on Naomi's face when she sees the magnitude of her great haul. It did not take a rocket scientist to figure out that Ruth had met with some good fortune! "Where on earth have you been to find all this?", says Naomi. Ruth answers that is from the field of Boaz, your wealthy, wise and kind relative!
One key to understanding the entire book is located in verse 20. The KINSMAN REDEEMER is the powerful, mighty, yet kind character who is in complete control. "Blessed be He, of the Lord, who has not forsaken God's kindness to the living and the dead!". Then Naomi reiterates,": This man is a relation of ours, one of our close relatives. " I imagine, right then, hope came within Naom's heart. I think that right here, Naomi begins to see a possible way out of her dilemma and poverty, if only Ruth will
(1) listen to her instructions regarding the law (of which Ruth knows nothing ) and if
(2) Boaz will be willing and able to become their deliverer.
The KINSMAN REDEEMER had to meet three requirements:
1. He had to be a near kinsman.
2. He had to be willing to assume all responsibilities to redeem and to avenge blood.
3. He had to be able to perform.
*Regarding avenger of blood/Regarding Cities of Refuge in the Levitical Law.
CITIES OF REFUGE AND AVENGER OF BLOOD REQUIREMENTS
There were five sins in the Old Testament that could not be covered by a blood sacrifice and murder was one of those sins. However, the law made provision in one of six cities of refuge for a murderer to flee to for safety. There were three cities on the east bank of Jordan and three on the West Bank. (By the way, in relation to Israel, when you hear someone speaking about the West Bank, it is in reference to the West Bank of the Jordan river.) If one was guilty of taking another man's life, he was eligible to flee to one of the cities of refuge. If he made it before the avenger of blood (usually the victim's angry relative) caught up with him, he would find safety within the walls of the city! Upon one's arrival at the gates of one of these cities, he was required to present the case to the city officials before entrance could be made and before his protection would be secured. Murder in the first degree was punishable by death, so in order for one to be granted entrance into the city of refuge, he had to be successful in convincing the officials at the gate that it was a case of second degree murder. One would have to prove beyond reasonable doubt that the death of another human had not been an intentional or premeditated act.
Once a man gained entrance into the city, he would be protected from the avenger of blood as long as He stayed inside the gates. He could leave at any time, but if He did, the law made no other provision to take care of him. When he chose, by his own free will, to go outside those gates of protection, he was on his own then. (Are you beginning to see a picture emerging behind the first one you've initially seen regarding the simplistic understanding of the Cities' of Refuge? This picture, of course, does PM support the doctrine of once in grace, always in grace! When one removes himself from the protection given by God, he is then on his own! Also bear in mind, this was God's laws, not something man made up!)
How long did that individual stay inside this city? A murderer would take up residence inside of the city until a very interesting thing happened down in Jerusalem. What was that? Upon the death of the High Priest, all persons inside the cities of refuge were free to go back to five wherever they wanted to go. Upon the death of the High Priest, the cities of refuge were emptied out At the death of the High Priest, all persons guilty of second degree murder could go free and had the full protection of the law. If that angry relative, the avenger of blood, was still angry and took that free man's life, then he would be guilty of first degree murder and the law required life for life!
Now, this was the law regarding the cities of refuge. Let's peel back the first (or perhaps second) layer to discover a truth that points specifically to Jesus and one that perhaps we have never considered in this context. Romans 15:4 says "whatever things were written before were written for our lea would have hope." Colossians 2:17 says that they "are a shadow of things to come but the substance is of Christ."
Who is our city of refuge? Jesus Christ, of course! For how long? Until the high Priest dies ... 00-OOH! (See a picture, here?)
Paul says , not just the Jews who hated Jesus, and not just the Romans who drove the nails, but mankind in general is guilty of the murder of Jesus. When you and I were born, we were automatically guilty of His death! When we willfully sinned, we became guilty of breaking the law. If we break one of them, we've broken all of them. We are guilty of Murder!!!
Since it is murder in the first degree, (premeditated and intentional) we must pay for it with our life. The avenger of blood, or the one who requires life for life, God, the Father, is on our trail and requires that we pay for our crime! So, we MUST flee, now, to the City of Refug6, who is none other than God's son, Jesus Christ. We must convince the officials of the city (the law) that it was unintentional on our part - that we had no choice.
Where will we get our witnesses to the crime to stand for us so that we can enter in and be protected from the avenger of blood? From the victim himself who requested before dying: Father, for,give them, for they know not what they do," Therefore, with that statement, you and I now become guilty of murder in the second degree and may gain entrance into the city of refuge and can be protected. How long will we stay there? How long will it be until we may go free to live a fife of freedom? Until the death of the High Priest who, in this case, was also the victim and the one who testified in our favor! (OH! OH! OH! Now we are free! Isn't God's word great fun?) With His Manna, He doth feed! He supplies our every need! O, 'tis sweet to sup with Jesus all the time!!!
By fleeing to the city of refuge we have protection. By the death of the High Priest back in Jerusalem, we may now go free!!! What a wonderful plan of God!. Every jot and every tittle was placed there by design! God's word has been sent from beyond the time domain and is ever true and never aging! When all else fails - we can count on God and His word! Did you ever flee to the city of refuge? You may place yourself in the protection of our Great City of Refuge and immediately go free just by repenting and believing and telling others.
BACK TO RUTH:
Now, Naomi was relieved that Ruth had not met with the unkindness of bigoted, prejudiced mind set that no doubt existed in Israel. Naomi instructed Ruth to go to no other field than the field of Boaz. Naomi wanted Ruth to stay safe. And Ruth was obedient to the command of her mother-in-law, and continued on in that good way from Passover, the beginning of the barley harvest, to Pentecost, the firstfruits of the wheat harvest! (Ruth 2:23)
In chapter 3, we find Naomi devising a retirement plan for Ruth. Naomi, once again, has hope in her life and something with which to busy herself The happiest people on earth are those who are busy! The most content people on earth are those who keep their minds busy. However, this portion of scripture is one of the most misunderstood in the Bible. In our Gentile minds, we might title this portion of scripture as, "The Seduction of Boaz", which is far, far from the truth! It is impossible to understand this next portion of scripture until we understand the law and customs of Ancient Israel. Naomi is not suggesting that Ruth proposition Boaz. This story is not a script from Hollywood! Let's look at this next scene through the eyes of the Levitical law and see if we can better understand it.
The custom of "winnowing barley" was as follows: The owner of the fields would go out with his servants to gather and thresh the grain. They took the grain to the highest point on his property, where there was a good, strong wind. By bringing the grain to the high point for threshing, it allowed the wind to carry the chaff away as the workers stomped and thrashed it. Whatever the wind carried away would settle down wind where the servants would then make large heaps of it. These chaff heaps were burned so that the land would be clean for the next growing season. if some wheat or barley had been blown away with the chaff, they also burned it. (see a picture?)
On the last night of the harvest, the owner would throw a party for all employees, to celebrate the end of harvest, to rejoice over their successes and to celebrate their home going on the next morning. It would be a great time of rejoicing together, with singing, dancing and eating. When the night was finished, they would lie beside the great mounds of grain in order to protect it from thieves. The owner himself, would stay right there every night during harvest, in order to protect his investment.
Naomi, knowing the law and the customs of the land, instructs Ruth to go down to the threshing floor. Other female servants may have been there, but remember, Ruth was not a servant. She had no right to go there except for another Levitical law Naomi knew all about. Naomi thought to seize the opportunity of the moment, while the heart of Boaz was rejoicing because of the end of harvest and a time of rest had begun.
This "other law" was that of the KINSMAN REDEEMER'S obligation to not only redeem the land but to redeem, or buy back, all the rights of the dead man, even to raise up a child to inherit their dead father's property! Perhaps, Boaz, a single man, might redeem the land for them. He had met the first criteria: he was related. The second qualification was that he had to be able. He had plenty of money, that didn't seem to be a problem. Thirdly, he had to be willing. Maybe, just maybe, he would be gracious enough to take Ruth as a wife to raise up children in behalf of her dead son! Naomi figured they might as well gamble on the likelihood of Boaz fulfilling this requirement of the law. Naomi decided to throw herself on the mercies of Boaz, the man Ruth told her of but whom she had never met. (It's interesting that Naomi tells Ruth about her relative but Ruth knows him. Naomi never sees Boaz until Ruth brings him to her!)
The law was such that Boaz could not approach Naomi with the idea of redeeming Elimelech's land. The law stated that the only way for the land to be redeemed was for Ruth, the wife of a dead man, to confront him and ask him to do so. (see the picture?) If Boaz forfeited the claim and refused her, the law required that they both go to the gate, or the city hall, and in front of witnesses, Ruth would slap his face, spit on him and he would then be required to take off his shoe, as a symbol of shame, and to give it to the woman and he would have to walk around for one week wearing only one shoe. (This is all written in the Levitical law. If you don't know the law, then you miss alot of wonderful pictures.)
To the person giving the shoe at the city gate, it was a symbol of shame. To the person receiving the shoe, it is a symbol of success.
The shoe given when redeeming the land then becomes the title deed.
The shoe given when redeeming the bride becomes the marriage license.
Perhaps we can do a study on shoes in the Bible. The shoe is more than physical attire. Moses was told to take off his shoes - Joshua as told to take off his for the same reason - HOLY GROUND! The shoes of the Children of Israel did not wear out for the forty years they wandered around in the wilderness. This is intriguing! First of all because I'd ask, why shoes? and secondly because during the forty years, the shoes would have had to be handed down. Everyone died during that forty years of wanderings except Joshua and Caleb and those under the age of twenty years! (Bro. Carroll said that he had done some mathematical calculations and figured that it meant that they would have had a funeral every thirty minutes of those forty years!) Let's study shoes sometime!
*END OF SIDE TRACK*
It is of prophetical interest here, to realize that Naomi (Israel), who is related to Boaz (Jesus), never sees Boaz - she only hears of him through Ruth! (the church) Naomi (Israel, or the Jewish nation) instructs Ruth (the church) in the law, and Ruth (the church) is the one who ends up telling Naomi (the Jews) all about Boaz (Jesus Christ)! If Ruth had not obeyed all that Naomi said regarding the law of which she knew nothing about, Ruth would have died a poor Moabite. Do you see this prophetical picture emerging?
So, Ruth goes down to the threshing floor, clean, anointed and ready to present herself to this man of power. Ruth is instructed not to bother him until his earthly business has been completed, and until the time he lies down for rest. She is to "uncover his feet" or awaken him gently, and stay in a resting position at his feet. At midnight, (not a coincidence) he notices his bride to be, there at his feet. They begin talking. Their conversation proves beyond a doubt that this is not a lewd confrontation nor is it something from daytime television! Ruth asks Boaz to "cover her with his skirt" which is a Hebraic idiom that means that she is asking him to protect her, or take her under his wing or cover her over with his protection. She is begging for his mercy to straighten out her life that is a mess!!! She is not asking him to marry her. She could.only hope that he would agree to redeem the land and allow her to have a child to pass the land on to. (For Noami's sake!)(For Zion's sake I could not keep silent!)
SIDE TRACK, COMING UP
Perhaps we could do a study on hems and skirts and wings. If you were to use a Strong's concordance, studying the lexicon in the back, you will discover that these three words are interchanged frequently in the scriptures. Remember when David cut off Saul's skirt? What he actually did was to insult him and publicly ridicule him by stripping him of his personality or authority. It would be equivalent to ripping off the stripes and medals off the coat of a general in the U.S. Army. The skirt, in Biblical times, carried the honor, much like the sleeve of our generals display their honor or awards. To cut off the skirt would have been a great slam to a king. (The woman with the issue of blood wanted to touch the hem, or bottom of Jesus skirt or garment.) On the edge of the garment, great men kept their identity and many times pressed their hem into wet clay of a tablet and was used as their signature. * * * * *END OF SIDE TRACK* * * * *
They begin talking about the law and its provision. He tells her he knows that she is righteous because of the evidence - her care of Naomi. She tells Boaz that she is not completely ignorant of the laws of Israel. (The law, you know, is the schoolmaster that brings us all to Christ - Paul tells us that.)
She then asks him to be her savior so that she will have a secure and safe future, thereby fulfill the law to bring up children for her mother-in-law! He agrees, but tells her that there is someone standing in the way - A NEARER KINSMAN that must be dealt with.
Boaz tells her to stay at his feet until just before dawn so that nobody would twist the story of why she came to him in the night. (She hadn't done anything wrong at all, but He told her that she should abstain from even the appearance of evil.) She did as he instructed, and arose while it was still night and went back to the house of Naomi. However, before she left, Boaz measured six ephahs of barley for Ruth to take back to Naomi. This was a code. Ruth had no idea why she should take this back to Naomi other than it was food. Naomi, on the other hand, knew exactly how to interpret the message Boaz had sent!
Chapter 3, verse 17 tells about Ruth showing her mother-in-law what Boaz sent home with her six measures of barley! Immediately, Naomi interprets the message and tells Ruth to just sit tight! Boaz has just promised that he will not "rest" until the matter is finished in its entirety! In other words ' just as God has planned that the world will continue for 6000 years and then there will be another 1000 years, God's Sabbath for the ' world, the 1000 year millennial reign when all the world shall rest from troublous times, Boaz has promised that, God as his witness, he will not rest until their Sabbath rest arrives when this matter is finished and he has finally redeemed the land and taken Ms bride. This is the first time that Naomi knows that Boaz plans to not only redeem the land but to take Ruth as his very own wife!!! Just so, God will not rest (the 7000 day) until He has concluded the matter this day (the 6000th day). II Peter 3:8 and Psalm 90:4 says a day with the Lord is as a 1000 years and a 1000 years as a day! God is not slack concerning his promises! (II Peter 3:9) He will bring it to pass!
The next scene brings us to the gate, or the city hall. In scriptures where we find men that are seated in the gate, this will always speak of judgement. (In the book of Daniel and Revelation where the court is seated, it speaks of the throne judgements.) Here, we have Boaz going to the city council in behalf of Ruth, a gentile and a Moabitess, who by law had no rights at all. We see in this scene there are ten men, which in Jewish law is a minion. Anytime any significant decision is made, by law, it required a minion. ( Before there could be a synagogue built, the community would have to have at least ten men on the "board".) Jesus knew about this law when He said that He had fulfilled it and amended that law. For, He said that where two or three are gathered in HIS name, there He will be in their midst! In other words, Jesus said, for HISHoly Spirit to be in and bless a group, for God's presence to be with a group, you need only two or three and they won't necessarily have to be men - women will work here with this amended law!
Boaz is respected, because when he says "sit" they all turn aside and sit! Boaz is in complete authority! He then states his affairs. He confronts the nearer kinsman about the need to redeem the land for their relative. Understanding the law, the nearer kinsman agrees willingly and says, "Fine! I will redeem it!" Then Boaz tells him that there is another law that must be fulfilled if he chooses to redeem Elimelech's land. He must take Ruth and cause her to have a child. He must cause Ruth to have children to inherit their grandfathers land!
Now, right here, if we were doing a screen play, we'd probably cast Charlton Hesten to play the part of Boaz and Danny DeVito to play the nearer kinsman. The music would swell to sinister tones when we get to this part.
Nonetheless, the nearer kinsman thinks about it for a while and says he can not fulfill this obligation! For whatever reason, he does not want to redeem the land if he must also raise up children for another man. Maybe it had to do with Ruth's being a gentile. Maybe it had to do with the inheritance of his children - perhaps he didn't want to change his will! It could have had to do with Ruth being a Moabitess. By taking her, there would be a blood curse on the following generations, down to ten generations. So, what the law (nearer kinsman) couldn't do, grace (Boaz) was willing and able to perform the task of accepting all legal ramifications and obligations!
The nearer kinsman, who represents the law, was able to redeem but he could not, for whatever reason, do what Boaz, the Kinsman Redeemer was willing to do. The law could not do what grace did! The law of Moses, although it is a great teacher in bringing folks to the knowledge of the Lord, can not do for us what Jesus Christ did! Jesus is the miracle worker in your life!!!
Now, why on earth would Boaz consider taking Ruth, a Moabite, to wife? To do so would cause his descendants to be marked with a bloodline curse that would last for ten generations! (see Deu. 23:3) A Moabite could not come into the Temple court for ten generations. After ten generations, the law stated that the bloodline would become pure again! So, why would Boaz even consider such a thing? Why would Boaz want to do this to his children? Why would Boaz be willing to allow his descendants to be so marred? Ten generations is a long time, even if a generation is considered to be forty years.
Why would Jesus allow Himself to be cursed by hanging on a cross? Jesus had no heirs the day He died! What did redemption at the cross get for the man Jesus? When Adam sinned against God, he gave up his right to the earth that God gave him the title deed to. Satan was now the proud holder of the title deed to the rights of the land. When Jesus went to the cross, he redeemed the land, or bought back the rights of the land for all of His descendants! If we are meek, a characteristic of the family of Jesus, then we will inherit the earth and on the cross Jesus the won the rights from Satan. In a future time, we will see Him come in power and authority. We will witness Jesus banishing Satan from ever coming on to our property again!!! Oh, I can hardly wait!!!
But, why would Boaz, even as a type of Christ, choose to take Ruth as wife? Does this make sense? Of course, it does! The answer can be found if we know our history. The answer to this question regarding Boaz' decision will be found in scripture itself God always defines Ms word within His word. The law and the prophets are witnesses for us to interview. Anytime God wants us to know anything, He will state it over and over and over again in His word. The Rabbi's call these witnesses! The witnesses will come forth within God's word and testify as to what God is trying to say. We can go to the genealogies to discover the secret as to why Boaz would dare to do this thing to his descendants.
Matthew, who was a Jew and wrote to Jews, lists the genealogies of the Kings, from Abraham to David, and from David through Joseph. Joseph, husband of Jesus' mother, would have been in line to be king, if the Jews still had kings at the time. Luke, on the other hand, was interested in presenting the humanity of Jesus Christ. Therefore, he lists his genealogical line from God to Abraham, through Shem after the flood to King David, Then Luke takes an abrupt right turn and shows the lineage through Nathan, a relative of Mary.
In Genesis 3:15 the first mention of a child of promise is spoken of as being "the seed of woman". This is a title that sages of old used to designate the Jewish Messiah to come. Every student of Biology knows that "the seed of woman" is a biological cal contradiction. The seed comes from man, not woman. But, there was a blood curse caused by Jeconiah, King of Israel, that made it impossible by law, for the Messiah to come through that particular lineage. ( Jeconiah had angered God so badly that God vowed that his name would be wiped out and his descendants would NEVER be in the kingly lineage.) (See Deut. 22:2 and Jer. 22:30 for the law and the entire story.)
Since the Messiah could not come from Jeconiah's lineage, Ms humanity can still be traced and proven by Luke, as coming from God to Adam and Noah to Seth, through Abraham to David, and then Luke traces the lineage from that point, not through Rehoboam, but through another child of David's of which we have little record, whose name is Nathan. (See Luke 3:32-30 and read the verses backwards because Luke traces the lineage from Jesus backwards in time while Matthew traces it from Abraham down to his present time. Also read II Sam.5:14 and I Sam 23:36 regarding Nathan, David's son.)
Contrary to Hebrew practice, Matthew names five women (Tamar, Rahab, Ruth, Bathsheba and Mary) in the genealogy of Jesus. The word "begat" in Hebrew genealogies is not exact in that it can indicate immediate descent or remote descent or even an adoptive relation or legal heir. (Just as I could refer to my grandfather and actually be talking about a man who lived five generations from the present. I could still call that man my grandfather, though.) It is thought by Gary C. Warton who compiled the New Compact Topical Bible, that Matthew gives the line of legal heirship. If this is true, then the heirship came through women too, not just men, and that puts a whole new light on "round yon virgin". Mary had a seed inside herself,. God gave it power to grow and this seed became Jesus!
So, to answer the question as to why Boaz would take on such a task and risk the future of his own children, we must read the genealogies as listed in the first chapter of Matthew. Here, we find that Boaz' own mother was none other than Rahab, a gentile, the harlot from Jericho. (She was married to Salmon.) Boaz then, was only one generation away from a blood curse! Perhaps Boaz did not find Ruth so offensive because his mother was a gentile also. But, get this: By marrying Ruth with the express purpose of raising up children to inherit the land,Boaz would cancel the curse on his own children! Ruth's husband had no curse attached to his family line! The law allowed Boaz to marry Ruth, to redeem Elimelech's land, to dwell with a very kind and beautiful woman for his wife, and to cancel the blood curse for the next nine to ten generations on his own descendants! What a deal!! What a bargain!!! With one giant swipe of the kinsman redeemer, he righted all the wrong caused by disobedience to the law! (see this picture?)
When the spies were sent into Jericho, what did they accomplish? Why were they sent? Forty years earlier, there were twelve spies that were sent out. We know that story, how ten returned with a bad report but Joshua and Caleb said they were convinced that, by the power of God, they were well able to take the land. History shows that the twelve tribes of the Children of Israel were a democracy and let the majority rule, to their destruction. Forty years later they are given the same chance again. However, these two spies who were sent to Jericho to spy out the land, didn't devise a battle plan, they didn't spy on the men of Jericho, they just went into the house of Rahab. Why? What was accomplished by these witnesses going? Nothing but that Rahab was saved from destruction. So, why send out the spies??? Because of God's promise in the law to send witnesses before destruction! Witnesses are needed and promised before the battle of the Lord. And what about that battle that Joshua fit? March for six days and on the seventh day, the day we are supposed to rest, march, shout, and the battle would be fought by God and Ms supernatural power! What kind of strategy is that? It doesn't matter, the battle was won at the beginning of the seventh day! (Here's a picture!)
The book of Joshua is an earlier prophecy that will parallel the book of Revelation! The two witnesses is promised to come to earth just before the return of Jesus to catch HIS bride away. God will keep his promise. Jesus did fulfill - and is fulfilling - and will continue to fulfill the law!!! The Alpha and Omega!
*****End of side track*******
I would imagine that Satan thought he had won the battle entirely when he caused Jeconiah to mar the kingly lineage. Then I can imagine God saying, "Stand back and see the salvation of the Lord! " God then flips Satan on his ear when He does an about face and begins the lineage THROUGH A WOMAN! This is a concept Satan had never considered! Satan knows the law and all its requirements and he no doubt thought he had it all figured out. He no doubt thought he had blocked the way for time and eternity so that the Messiah, or the promised one, could never come to earth to rescue and redeem for himself a bride. The enemy has succeeded in marring the lineage. Satan understands biology, he just did not realize that God was going to cause a woman to be pregnant without ever having the seed implanted by an earthly father. (After all, reproduction was God's law, so God can change the order if He so designs.) Satan, I am sure, was shocked that God had enough power to interact so completely with one dwelling on the earth, that He would/could overshadow a woman, causing her to have a seed within herself. By God's power this woman had no need to know a man, and she also would be willing to sacrifice herself to the threat of shame and humiliation in order to give birth to "The promised One" or "The Seed of Woman".
Now, in Ruth 4: 10, we see that Boaz has stated that he has "bought" Ruth as his bride! That is a strange thing for Boaz to say until we understand redemption. The New Testament states that we, the bride of Christ, are bought with a price - see the picture?
Not only did Boaz redeem the land, fulfill legal obligations to Ruth and Naomi, he bought back the "good name" of his dead relative. No longer would Ruth's dead husband be known as one who had failed. Boaz had erased all the bad marks in the life of this dead man, (see the picture) all because Boaz chose to obey the law. In a way, Boaz gave his life for Ruth! Boaz gave up all his wealth by transferring it to Naomi's descendants that he would soon sire. He gave up his own life with the curse, when he purchased Ruth as his bride, thereby providing a fife for himself and his offspring free of the curse!!! (see this picture?)
Now, we come to a scene where the people of the town are giving blessings to Boaz who waves the shoe (his marriage license) in the air. They say they hope his family turns out to be like Jacob's family who originally built the house of Israel! That's a wonderful blessing! But then the next blessing, if you know your Bible, seems a bit strange. "May your house be like the house of Perez, whom Tamar bore Judah!" What did that mean? If you know who Perez was, you might be tempted to say, "Well, same to you, buddy"! Let's see why.
Genesis 3: 8 will tell a story about Judah, the forth son of Jacob, who had a son that the Lord killed. We're not told why except that God was angry with him. This son had a wife, Tamar, who had no heir (no child) to inherit the rights of the land. So, the law allowed for a brother to go into this wife and raise up a son to inherit the land. But, when Judah's second son went in to Tamar, he refused to plant his seed and the Bible says "he spilled his seed out upon the ground"! This made God angry with him, and God slew him also! After that incident, Judah was no doubt a bit leery about sending another son into Tamar, lest he lose that son also! Therefore, Judah knowing what God required of him, refused to send another son to give life on his dead sons behalf, Tamar became tired of waiting around, so she dressed herself in the garb of a harlot, put a veil over her face and waited out by the roadside. The plot thickens when along comes Judah and, on the spur of the moment, decides to take this harlot out for a good time! As payment for her services, they agree that Judah will give her a goat from his herd. Tamar insists that Judah hand over some kind of collateral until he brings the goat to her. Therefore, she asks for his ring, his belt and his staff. . This would be equivalent to his car keys, credit cards and his one of a kind ring!
He returned the next day to pay the harlot and to retrieve his things, but could not find her. The people of the town said there was no harlot who lived there! Confused, probably with a lump in his stomach, a troubled mind and fear in his heart, Judah goes home, hoping he'll never be caught.
However, in due time, the people of the town began to gossip about Tamar who was pregnant. They say she has played the harlot. Judah gets wind of it and demands that she stand trial and be stoned! When Tamar answers to the council in court, as to whose child she is going to bear, she announces. that she was with child by the man who owned these particular items. She then produces Judah's monogrammed personal belongings!
Judah was shocked, to say the least. (Be sure, your sin will find you out!) The town was shocked! The council was shocked! Judah acknowledges the recognition of his own property and makes the statement that Tamar was more righteous than he because, she was at least fulfilling the law in trying to produce a child to be heir. He, on the other hand, had neglected to do what God had instructed, by law, for him to do. The lineage of Judah was just that important to God! Judah knew that the promised son was to come from his lineage! This is probably the reason why the two sons of Judah were slain by God. The deaths of Judah's sons no doubt had something to do with (1) their refusal to do God's will (2) with Satan's attack upon the family so that Judah's lineage would be cut off. Why then, did Boaz receive this particular blessing? What on earth did these people wish upon Boaz and Ruth that had anything to do with this lewd and sordid tale about Judah and his daughter-in-law?
We will find it when we study the lineage of King David from Perez. (Count them for yourself in Ruth 4:18-22.) Perez was the illegitimate child borm to Tamar and Judah, her father-in-law! But, counting ten generations down, including Perez, we find that the kingly line is back up and functioning properly and in purity within that period! The minimal amount of time had elapsed and King David, who was in the direct lineage of Jesus Christ, came forth from a pure blood line!
Samuel knew the law backwards and forward. What do you suppose made him go to the tribe of Benjamin to get Israel's first king? Do you think Samuel didn't know that Israel's promised king was to come from the tribe of Judah? Do you think Samuel got mixed up when he ended up finding Saul from the tribe of Benjamin? Not on your life! Do you think David, was an after thought on the part of God because Saul messed up? Not on your life! Samuel knew that God had ordained a king from the foundations of the world to be King over Israel. Samuel also knew that this king would come from the tribe of Judah. Samuel intentionally went to the tribe of Benjamin to find the first king. It was not within God's timing for the tribe of Judah, or for David, to be king. God and Samuel knew that the blood curse was still upon the tribe of Judah for one more generation or until David's generation. David's generation was the tenth from the illegitimate child, Perez. With the tenth generation and with the blood line pure again, the curse is gone, the requirements of the law met, and David could become the king and truly be "a man after God's own heart." (Isn't that interesting?) Every jot and every tittle is of importance in the law! Everything is there by design! Let us pray for each other that we may see and understand more!
Boaz bypassed the blood curse by marrying Ruth and redeeming Elimelech's land, therefore keeping the blood line free of contamination for King David! As Ruth's husband, Boaz placed his children in the direct lineage of Elimelech, thereby bypassing himself There was no blood curse attached to Ruth because she became Jewish when she told Naomi: Where you go - I go! Where you die, I die!
Thus, the law is satisfied and Satan's plans once again foiled!!!
The life of Boaz took on a new dimension from the time Ruth approached him to ask him to help her. The battle between good and evil, caused by sin and Satan, was fought and won because the kinsman redeemer chose to do what God had placed him in a position to do. (Do you see a distinct picture, here?)
Do you see the fiery darts aimed at the lineage of Judah, by Satan, to keep the Messiah from being born? When Satan plays chess with God, he will always lose! Satan makes a play and God makes a counter play! You can't win if you're on Satan's side but you can not lose of God is on your side! (I like this game!!!!!)
Notice in Ruth 4:16 and 17. The women called Obed, Naomi's child, not Ruth's child. Ruth gave birth to this child in the name of Naomi's son so that Naomi, whose children were dead and could never bring about life, and who had no hope of ever producing offspring, through the miracle of the Kinsman Redeemer, is now given a new and fresh start on life. Naomi has now been given a child (a child is born) a grandchild from one of her dead son's! The law determined that Obed was Naomi's child! Genealogy under law determined that Obed was also her grandchild! The birth of Obed was a miracle! Obed was a miracle child! The birth of Obed, hope and salvation came to future generations! Boaz cleaned up the lineage and cleared the path for our Savior!!!!
Naomi is symbolic of Israel and among nations, the history of Israel is without parallel. It is the ancient civilization to have been utterly destroyed and yet to have been raised again to a place of prestige among nations. God has wrought a miracle in Israel!!!
Points of special interest:
Naomi, who introduced Ruth to the knowledge of Boaz, who also recorded, protected and taught others the oracles of God, now has children and grandchildren, even though Naomi's natural sons are still dead. (There's a picture here regarding the church and Israel, think about it.)
Allow me to clarify the above paragraph, just in case you might not get it.
Naomi (Israel) brought Ruth (the church) to the knowledge of Boaz (Jesus). Naomi (The Jewish people) recorded, protected and taught others the oracles of God (Through the scribes, Pharasees, disciples, apostles, Kings and Prophets). Naomi (Israel) now has children (Those born of God, i.e. Christians) and grandchildren (Christians who bore fruit), even though Naomi's natural sons (Israel-as a nation) are still dead (they haven't been born again - dead in trespasses and sins).
Israel brought the church to the knowledge of Jesus, although Israel never knew, saw or recognized Jesus as Messiah and Redeemer! Israel, who was dead and could not produce children of God, did so anyway, bypassing that sinful generation, through the bridge Jesus made of Himself when He died for us on the cross! The Church, which is Israel's offspring, has since then produced other sons and daughters, using the teachings given us by Israel. Israel is where our roots are! It is because of Israel that we know what we do about Jesus! We became the bride of Christ because of the fulfillment of the law. Jesus fulfilled/is fulfilling/will fulfill every law God gave! The law is our Lord's expertise!!! OH! How I love HIM! How He loves me!
The book of Ruth records a historic account. Everything in the book actually happened just as it is written. However, God has said that His word is a two edged sword. Let's move cautiously, but let's look at the provocative pictures that fill this book. Boaz is the kinsman redeemer and a type of Jesus Christ. Ruth is a type of the gentile church. Naomi is a type of Israel, or the Jewish nation. The kinsman redeemer is typical of the law. The unnamed servant is a type of the Holy Spirit.
1. Boaz has total authority, was mighty in power and showed the riches of his grace.
2. Who introduces Ruth to Boaz? An unnamed servant! Why does the Holy Spirit always shows himself as an unnamed servant? The Holy Spirit never testifies of himself. When the holy spirit appears as a type, he is always unnamed, even when he has discernable name as in the case of Eliezar.
3. In order for Ruth to come to Boaz, Naomi had to be exiled! (Think about it!)
4. Naomi did not return to the land until the bride was ready!
5. Ruth is brought into the picture by Naomi but Naomi never meets Boaz. Naomi learns of Boaz through Ruth! Yet Ruth doesn't!t know what to do because she does not know the law. Ruth has to learn what to do from Naomi!
6. Before Ruth goes to the thrashing floor, Naomi tells her she has to do three things:
A. wash (salvation?) or (baptism?)
B. anoint herself (sanctification?)
C. put on raiment (righteous deeds, which is our garment, see Rev. 19:8 & I Cor.3:13-15)
The mystery of the church is the only secret that God did not reveal in the Old Testament. Amos 3:7 says "The Lord God does NOTHING unless He reveals Ms secret to His servants the prophets." The exception is the secret of church. In Ephesians 3, Paul calls this secret a mystery and tells his hearers that these things, regarding the church, have been hidden from the foundation of the world. The secret, or mystery of the church is hidden inside of the book of Ruth. I submit to you that the mystery is written "between the fines" or "in the subsequent layers" of this book! Eureka!
The law prohibited the marriage to a Moabite. The law shut Ruth out but grace took her in!
Ruth 2: 1 0 says she found what??? GRACE! Ruth found grace in Boaz!!! (GRACE IN THE OLD TESTAMENT!)
What the Nearer kinsman could not do, Boaz did.
What the law could not do, Jesus Christ did!
The law curses but grace blesses!
The law condemns the best man but grace saves the worst man!
The law says, "Pay what you owe!" but grace says, "I freely forgive!'
The law says the wages of sin is death but grace says the gift of God is eternal life.
The law says, "The soul that sinneth it shall die" but grace says, " Believe and live."
The law reveals sin but grace atones for sin.
The law gives knowledge of sin but grace gives redemption from sin.
GRACE CAN DO THIS BECAUSE THE PRICE HAS ALREADY BEEN PAID - NOT COVERED OVER - NOT SWEPT UNDER THE CARPET - BUT FREELY FORGIVEN --PAID IN FULL!!!
The law demands obedience and grace gives power to obey!
The law shuts every mouth but grace opens mouths for praise.
Romans says that the law is holy. The law IS holy, that's why sinners are condemned by it.
Psalm 19 says the law is perfect. The law IS perfect, that's why imperfect men CAN'T keep it!
The law is just. That is why it can not show mercy!
The law says do! Grace says done!
REDEMPTION IS GOD'S GREATEST ACHIEVEMENT!!!
As great as God's creation accomplishment was, He wants us to know that the redemption of man was HIS greatest achievement as well as His main objective! The book of Ruth is a wonderful love story and a Mystery all wrapped in one! The God who loves us has recorded these words for our pleasure to cause us to see more clearly Messiah's love for us!
Enjoy studying God's word!
God Bless You 'till next time!!!