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Thursday, April 29, 2021

Book of Ruth -- Part 2

  RUTH’S DEVOTION AND LOYALTY TO NAOMI

            Ruth’s commitment and faithfulness to Naomi and eventually her Jewish kinsman-redeemer stand out in the book of Ruth. Ruth said to Naomi, “Do not urge me to leave you or turn back from following you, for where you go, I will go and where you lodge, I will lodge. Your people shall be my people, and your God, my God. Where you die, I will die, and there I will be buried. Thus may the Lord do to me, and worse, if anything but death parts you and me.” Ruth 1:16-17 Naomi must have made a great impression upon Ruth through her heart, ways, and love. Naomi drew Ruth to her God. Ruth was bonded to Naomi and Naomi’s God for life. Ruth will travel with Naomi to a new land and will abide with Naomi and her people. Naomi’s people will be Ruth’s people, and Naomi’s God will be Ruth’s God. She will be buried with Naomi. This extraordinary commitment and love of Ruth silenced Naomi. Ruth was so committed to her mother-in-law that she didn’t even want her dead body to return to Moab. She will not turn back! She will stay with her mother-in-“Law” Naomi until the day she dies. Ruth even invoked God in her oath. “Thus may the Lord do to me, and worse, if anything but death parts you and me.” Ruth 2:17 An oath made to God is not to be taken lightly. This is the type of commitment Christ wants from those who love Him. No turning back.

            When Naomi saw Ruth’s determination to go with her, she did not discourage Ruth any further. God took Ruth the Gentile and Naomi the Jew and made them partners. God led them back to Him and His land, redeemed them and restored their inheritance. These are the two sticks of Ezekiel 37:19-20 that must become one in God’s Hand. Jesus will make the two – Jew and Gentile – into “one new man” and bring them home to God’s Heavenly Promised Land. (see Ephesians 2:15) There is only one way to the Father – through His Son Jesus. Jesus said in John 14:6, “I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.”

            Naomi needed someone to walk with her, love her and provide for her. Ruth was motivated by faithfulness and love for both Israel’s God and Naomi, and eventually her love for God’s people. If Orpah had chosen as Ruth did, she would have shared in the salvation, redemption and blessing of Ruth and Naomi.

            Our Christian walk is a daily journey and oftentimes a wandering one and a difficult one, but God is faithful and if we are faithful and do not turn away from God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit. We will be blessed as Ruth and Naomi were.

            Again, a Jew and Gentile are united to carry out God’s plan. Ruth is “outside” Israel but will join Israel, which means “one who strives with God or prince with God,” by believing in the True God of Israel. Naomi and Ruth returned to God, His Land and His house of bread. God also wants Jews and Gentiles to unite in His Son Jesus. Jesus is the Divine Bread of Life as the Word of God. He was born in Bethlehem, which means “house of Bread.” Jesus is the spiritual house of Bread as the Word of God – truth.

Ruth’s journey went as follows:


·    Ruth left the place of “emptiness” and false gods to journey to God’s Land and blessing.

·  Ruth laid down her own life to join her Jewish mother-in-law in a unified relationship to return to God’s Land of Promise. Naomi had gone to a foreign land with her husband, now Ruth will go to a foreign land with her Jewish mother-in-law.

·       Ruth came to God’s Land and the True God.

·    Then she came to her Kinsman-Redeemer who paid the price to redeem her and provide for her. She met her kinsman-redeemer who was lord of the harvest in the harvest field.

·  She worked in the harvest field to provide food for Naomi (Jew) and herself (Gentile).

·  She humbly laid at her Kinsman-Redeemer’s feet in devotion, faith, rest, protection, and trust.

·       She was wed to her Kinsman-Redeemer. The two–Jew and Gentile-- became one in Jesus, the Supreme Kinsman-Redeemer who is God.

            Ruth’s walk is the same walk Christians take with Jesus our Kinsman-Redeemer.  Jesus is our kinsman because He took on human flesh to redeem us. In the Book of Ruth, God will work through a faithful remnant of three people: Ruth (Gentile), Naomi (Jew) and Boaz, the Jewish kinsman-redeemer. These three are a type and shadow of Jesus and His Bride. During a time when God’s people were doing what was right in their eyes, these three will do what is right in God’s eyes.

            God will never completely leave His people. He will always have a faithful remnant through whom He will work. “For He Himself has said, ‘I will not leave you nor forsake you.” Hebrews 13:5 God commanded in the Law that atonement for sin be made through the shed blood of an innocent lamb without spot or blemish. (see Leviticus 1) Jesus fulfilled this requirement of the Law perfectly and as a result, the only way to the spiritual Father is through the sinless blood and life of His spiritual Son.

            The Godhead has always had one plan and one plan only! Jesus would come into the world through Israel and save the world through His shed, sinless blood. This is the theme throughout scripture—in the Older Testament concealed (hidden), in the New Testament revealed in part and in Revelation in all of Christ’s glory. The Word of God is a progressive revelation of the Godhead’s plan and ways. Throughout the scriptures, God worked through united Jews and Gentiles to bring His plan of salvation and redemption through His Son Jesus into the world. The Word of God is a progressive revelation of the Godhead’s plan.

            Before Jesus could redeem Jews and Gentiles who believe in Him, He had to first fulfill the claims of God’s Law in the Older Testament. God sent Jesus into the world to do this. For what the Law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God did by sending His Son in the likeness of sinful flesh. Romans 8:3 Jesus is the only One who can save because He lived in the flesh in perfect obedience to the Law giving Him the right to redeem all people. Jesus paid the bridal price by His precious blood. The Law is hidden in Christ as the two tablets of Law were hidden in the Ark of God’s presence in the tabernacle and temple. Jesus is the Ark of God’s covenant. He is the very presence of God on earth. He is the blood-stained mercy seat as the propitiation for sin by His shed blood. Hidden within Jesus are the two tablets of Law, the golden pot of manna as the Divine Bread of heaven – the Word of God – and Aaron’s rod that budded as the Supreme High Priest who gives spiritual life. Since Jesus is the presence of God on earth, the Law is hidden in Him. Galatians 4:4-5: But when the fullness of time came, God sent forth His son, born of a woman, born under the Law that we might receive the adoption as sons. When we belong to Jesus, we are His sons and daughters. Galatians 3:13 says, “Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the Law.” And in Romans 3:21-24, it says, “But now a righteousness from God, apart from law, has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God and are justified freely by His grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.” Jesus is our Kinsman-Redeemer. We are justified by faith in Him and His atoning work.

            Jesus was born through a young, Jewish virgin under the Law.  Jesus could only come to a pure place that was untouched by man because He was, is and will ever be holy. The young, virgin Mary’s birth canal and womb had not been touched by the flesh or seed of man. Her womb and birth canal were pure and sealed. Mary was not holy because she was born of sinful flesh. Her womb was holy because it had not been touched with the flesh or seed of man.

            Jesus paid the price of redemption by His shed, sinless blood, “not through the blood of goats and calves, but through His own blood He entered the Holy Place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption.” Hebrews 9:12 Jesus entered the heavenly sanctuary through the shedding of His incorruptible, holy, and innocent blood. There is no pure bloodline except the blood of Jesus. The Bible says that “life is in the blood.” Our human blood sustains our physical life which is sinful, but It is through the pure blood of Jesus and His holiness that we have eternal, spiritual life.

            The purpose of the first Covenant with Israel was so God could wed them and together they would produce a Son who would redeem the world. Despite the weakness of the flesh of His people, God carried out His plan through them. He honored the Jewish people by sending the Savior and Light of the world through them. He also honored His people by making them the preservers of the Word of God despite their sinful ways. The Jews have indeed been a light to the world. Without them, we would not have a Savior who is the Light of the whole world or the written Word of God.   

     

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