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Thursday, February 11, 2021

Ruth

 

    The Book of Ruth is a story of redemptive love and marriage between a Jewish kinsman-redeemer and a Gentile bride. It is about a Redeemer, a harvest, and a bride. It shows that God’s love, grace, and blessing includes both Jews and Gentiles. Ruth is the only Gentile woman that a book is written about in the Older Testament.
    The Book of Ruth is also about the faithful love and bond between Gentile Ruth and her Jewish mother-in-law Naomi. It is also about the love and faithfulness of Ruth and Naomi’s kinsman-redeemer Boaz. This love and faithfulness deepen as the story goes on. Eventually Ruth and Boaz are wedded and have a son who will inherit the portion of God’s Land given by God to Naomi’s deceased husband. God in His steadfast, gracious love brought redemption and restoration to the Gentile Ruth and her Jewish mother-in-law Naomi.
    Hidden within the story of Boaz and Ruth is the foreshadowing of the deep love and faithfulness of Christ’s Bride made up of faithful Jews and Gentiles and her spiritual Kinsman-Redeemer Jesus. The Word of God has hidden manna from heaven within. Revelation 2:17, To the Church at Pergamum Jesus says, “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes I will give some of the hidden manna to eat.” In the book of Ruth is the story of Jesus and His Bride hidden throughout the Older Testament.
    Ruth began as a foreigner (Gentile) in a foreign land outside of God’s Land of covenant promise made to Abraham. The Book of Ruth is one of two books of the Bible named after women. The other is Esther. Ruth was a Gentile in the land of the Jews. Esther was a Jew in the land of the Gentiles. Ruth became the bride of her Jewish kinsman-redeemer, and Esther became the bride of a Gentile king. Together they represent the Bride of Christ made up of both Jews and Gentiles who believe in God’s beloved Son Jesus. Ruth is in the harvest field in Israel gathering a harvest and Esther is in the throne room ruling and reigning with her king.
    The story of Ruth reveals that God’s love, grace, and blessing includes both Jews and Gentiles. God in His steadfast love for humanity brought redemption and restoration to Naomi, the Jew, and Ruth, the Gentile. Boaz, a Jew from the tribe of Judah, will be the kinsman-redeemer of Naomi and Ruth. Boaz is a type and shadow of Jesus who is God’s spiritual Kinsman-Redeemer who will redeem a harvest of Jews and Gentiles who will eventually be His Bride.
    The godly attributes of Ruth are revealed throughout her story. She was faithful to Israel’s God, her Jewish mother-in-law, her kinsman-redeemer, and God’s people. She was willing to leave everything – her country, her family, her home, and her false gods – to join her Jewish mother-in-law in her journey to God’s Land. In God’s Land, Ruth would gather new food, a new husband, and a son by God’s grace. Ruth was also hard-working. Her hard work in the harvest field provided for herself and her Jewish mother-in-law. The grain that Ruth harvested fed both the Jew (Naomi) and the Gentile (Ruth). This is also true in the spiritual realm. The Body of Christ is to be faithful to Jesus and leave everything to follow Him. Christ will be our new Husband who gives us the new food of Truth as well as spiritual sons and daughters. Jesus also said that the harvest is ready, but the laborers are few. Like Ruth, those who love and follow Jesus must work hard to feed others the Truth to establish God’s Kingdom on earth as it is in heaven. God gave the Israelites an earthly Promised Land, but those who follow Christ will be given a spiritual Promised Land.
    Ruth’s loving-kindness and faithfulness to Naomi, and Naomi’s faithfulness to Ruth shines brightly throughout Ruth’s story. The story of Ruth shows how God can work through a faithful remnant who does what is right in His eyes despite the moral decay and sin all around them. We shine a light on Christ when we walk as He walked in obedience to His Word. If we are His Body and He is the Head and the feet of the Body, we are to have the heart of Jesus, the “mind of Christ,” and walk as He walked. The story of Ruth is a picture of the mostly Gentile Church of Jesus Christ reaching out in love, loyalty, and faithfulness to Jews as well as Gentiles to bring them to their Messiah Jesus.
    The book of Ruth begins with famine and death and ends with a Jewish kinsman- redeemer who is lord of the harvest taking a Gentile bride and redeeming the portion of God’s Land that belonged to Naomi’s deceased Jewish husband. The marriage of Ruth and Boaz will make Boaz the forefather of David, Israel’s mighty king. Boaz and Ruth are listed in the genealogy of Jesus in Matthew 1:5. Boaz is a type and shadow of Jesus, God’s Kinsman-Redeemer from the tribe of Judah, who will redeem both Jews and Gentiles who believe in Him and ultimately take His faithful ones as His Bride for all eternity. This marriage between Ruth and Boaz produced a son they named Obed. Obed means “one with a servant’s heart.” This son Obed is a Jew-Gentile and is a foreshadowing of those who serve Jesus with a servant’s heart. Jesus is the Supreme Servant of God.

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