home speaking schedule bookstore contact

Thursday, June 3, 2021



Ruth and Naomi arrived in Bethlehem after the cold winter at the beginning of the barley harvest. This was the time of Passover when the blood of a lamb without spot or blemish is sacrificed as atonement for sin.  The wheat harvest is 50 days later at the time of the feast of Pentecost. Christians walk spiritually in Christ like Ruth and Naomi walked together in love and unity. The natural speaks to the spiritual.  Jesus was crucified at the time of Passover and the Holy Spirit was poured out at the time of Pentecost in fulfillment of these two set times of God. Like Ruth, those who believe in Jesus begin with accepting the shed blood of the Lamb of God for our sin. Then, we receive the Holy Spirit (Pentecost) to empower, teach, train, and equip us to walk as Jesus walked and do as Jesus did to bring in a harvest of souls to Jesus and eternal life.

The Israelites wait for the early rain that softens the ground before plowing. The plowing and seed planting take place after the early rain making the ground ready for seed.  The ground is broken and turned over, then seeds are scattered and planted. The sun and water provided by God makes the seed grow and eventually mature. This is also true in the spiritual. The Son Jesus sent the water of the Word and Holy Spirit to plant His seed of Truth within us and waters it by the Holy Spirit so we will grow and mature spiritually. The seed is hidden in the ground for a time as the seed of God’s Word is to be hidden in our hearts for a time until it takes root and begins to grow and translate into spiritual fruit. Jesus said that those who love and serve Him will be “known by their fruit.” Matthew 12:12

In late March or early April, after the seeds have become full- grown into grain, the barley harvest begins. The barley harvest is completed in late April or early May. Then the wheat harvest begins through the rest of May and early June.  Though the barley and wheat seeds are sown at the same time, it takes the wheat longer to grow and mature. This is also true of the seed of the Word of God. When we come to Jesus and begin being taught the seed of His Word, we are newbies just beginning to have the truth sown into our hearts and minds. It takes time for this truth to have a harvest in our souls. As the truth within us is watered by the Holy Spirit of God, it grows and matures within us. Wheat ripens at the time of Pentecost when the Holy Spirit is poured out upon believers. In the Newer Testament, Jesus told His disciples to “gather the wheat into His barn.” Matthew 13:30; Matthew 3:12 Jesus wants to mature us in the faith by the power of His Holy Spirit and Word. His barn is His Body/Church.

The Passover Lamb of God Jesus was born in Bethlehem (house of bread). Bethlehem is not far from Jerusalem. Jesus came to earth as a babe but as He grew “became strong in spirit, filled with wisdom and the grace of God was upon Him.” Luke 2:40 Followers of Christ are to also become strong in spirit through His wisdom and grace. At Passover, Jesus was crucified for both the Jew and Gentile symbolized in Naomi, the Jew, and Ruth, the Gentile. 


In order to fully understand the Book of Ruth, you must understand the levirate marriage, the law of gleaning and the role of a kinsman-redeemer. God who knows the end from the beginning has always had a plan of redemption in His heart. This plan of redemption was foreshadowed in the Older Testament, revealed through Christ, and will be completed at the end eternally when we join our Eternal Redeemer Jesus, and all things are restored back to their original holy condition at the beginning of Genesis.

Naomi and Ruth have nothing to offer God but themselves. They are poor both materially and in spirit. Naomi and Ruth will put the past behind them and move forward to a new beginning in God’s Land. The relationship between Ruth and Naomi will lead them to their kinsman-redeemer. God is the God of new beginnings. He took redemption out of the hands of sinful man and gave it to His Pure Perfect Son Jesus who is the Redeemer of the whole world. As Ruth rejected the false gods of Moab and accepted the True God of Israel, believers in Christ are to reject the false gods of this world and accept and follow Jesus.

The story of Ruth and Naomi began with tragedy, but will end with redemption, restoration, a wedding, blessing, happiness, peace, and a son just as Jesus will do before the time of the end.      

Naomi understands the obligation of a kinsman-redeemer according to the Law because she is Jewish. Naomi cannot redeem herself and her deceased husband’s land. She needs a kinsman-redeemer who is born among her own people to fulfill the law of redemption in Leviticus 25:23. God will use Naomi’s brokenness and willingness to return to God and His Land as a way of preparing her to receive her redeemer and renewed inheritance. Ruth does not understand this, but she is submitted to the elder Naomi and her wisdom of God and His ways. Ruth trusted Naomi and Naomi trusted Ruth. Love and trust are always the cement of any relationship.

Naomi is too old to bear a son who would become an heir of her late husband’s portion of God’s land according to Deuteronomy 25:5, “When brothers live together and one of them dies and has no son, the wife of the deceased shall not be married outside the family to a strange man. Her husband’s brother shall go into her and take her to himself as wife and perform the duty of a husband’s brother to her.” Naomi knows that she needs a kinsman-redeemer to restore the land of her deceased husband. The Law of redemption is in Leviticus 25:23-55. Only a near relative through the bloodline of Elimelech can inherit his portion of God’s Land.  God in His grace provided a way for an Israelite to recover the God-given land in Israel through the Law of Kinsman-Redeemer and the Levirate marriage in Leviticus 25:23-28 and Deuteronomy 25:5-6. God did not want His people to be put to shame or impoverished, nor did He want any of His Land lost or a family line discontinued. Once God gave the land of Israel to the tribes of Israel, He wanted it to remain in possession of those to whom He gave it. This is God’s grace and love for His people. Not only did God provide a way of redemption and freedom from debt in the Law, but He also provided a way for the family line to be continued and not be blotted out of Israel just as God provided Jesus so those who believe in Him will not be blotted out of the Book of Life. Followers of Christ are to reproduce by sharing  God’s love and the wisdom of His Word with others, so they too become His spiritual sons and daughters and eventually His Bride.

In the Law of a Levirate marriage in Deuteronomy 25:5-6, the nearest relative of a deceased man without an heir is to willingly marry the widow. The firstborn son of this union would carry on the name of the first husband and would receive his inheritance. If a close kinsman did not redeem them, then they were set free of the debt in the year of Jubilee. God did not want His people to lose their God-given land. The male near-kinsman is to redeem and rescue (save) the widow in need. God is Israel’s Redeemer in the Older Testament. Jesus is God’s Supreme Kinsman-Redeemer of all – both Jew and Gentile -- revealed in the Newer Testament. God has given the whole earth to humanity to preserve and protect. God began His redemption plan with the small land of Israel. Through Christ’s death and resurrection and the Holy Spirit, He expanded it to the whole world. A redeemer is one who buys back a debt or something lost.

Since the Law is a foreshadow of the reality in Christ, the law of the kinsman-redeemer in the Older Testament pointed to Jesus, God’s Perfect Kinsman-Redeemer of the whole earth. Jesus had to have “natural” kinship in order to redeem, so He became a human -- flesh and blood -- making Him our “kin.” In order for Jesus who is God to identify with humans, He became one of us except for sin. He remained sinless. As a child, Jesus “grew in wisdom and stature” like any human. When He matured, He was given deep and pure understanding of the scriptures. Because He remained sinless, Jesus had the full power of the Holy Spirit of God to understand Truth.

Jesus’ holiness even in His flesh body gave Him the right to redeem humanity. Jesus will redeem anyone who puts his or her faith and trust in Him. Jesus also had to be Divine (sinless) because the first Adam who was created in the Godhead’s image and likeness was sinless (divine) when the Godhead created him. The original sin had to be reversed in the manner that it was committed – by a sinless human with sinless blood. Only the sinless blood of Jesus could pay the price of sin and redemption. Jesus is not only our redeemer, but He is also our jubilee because He set us free from a debt we couldn’t pay and from the slavery of sin and bondage. Jesus also gave us spiritual authority over the earth and the devil.

It was in Bethlehem (means “house of bread”) that Naomi and Ruth met their kinsman-redeemer as Christians meet their Kinsman-Redeemer Jesus in the house of bread – Christ’s Body, blood, and Word. In biblical times, barley was the food of the poor. Wheat was valued more than barley and came around 6 weeks after the barley. We meet our Kinsman-Redeemer Jesus when we are poor in spirit as Naomi and Ruth were when they reached Bethlehem.  As we are fed the spiritual seed of the Word of God, we grow in wisdom and mature spiritually. As Ruth the Gentile and Naomi the Jew united as one, Jesus – our Perfect Kinsman Redeemer – will unite the Jew and Gentile as One and lead us home to His Heavenly Promised Land. He will feed us the spiritual food of His Word and draw us together as one Body of Christ. Ruth and Naomi are a picture of the Bride of Christ made up of faithful Jews and Gentiles.

            The requirements of a kinsman redeemer in the Older Testament are:

·         He must be a kinsman (relative).

·         He must have the ability to pay the price to redeem.

·         He must be willing to redeem.

·         He has to actually do it.

Jesus meets all of the requirements to redeem every person who believes in Him. God changed the world in Bethlehem when Jesus was born. In order for Ruth to find her kinsman-redeemer and husband, she had to come to the “house of Bread”—Bethlehem -- as all must come to the House of Bread to find the Redeemer and Savior Jesus.

No comments:

Post a Comment