In the school of Christ, only the humble learn.
RUTH 1, Verses 1-5
Not long ago were reading in the Book of Judges. We mentioned
that it was a very dark day for Israel. They had just come into
the promised land. Because they did not drive out the people in
it, they soon mixed in with them. These enemies soon overcame the
Israelites. In your mind, put the Book of Ruth into the very early
part of the Book of Judges, because that is when it took place.
The story we're starting today is like bright sunshine suddenly
bursting into a very dark and clouded day. One young woman, a
stranger, acts in faith, and comes into the richest blessing an
Old Testament person could have... to become the very ancestor of
our Saviour, the Lord Jesus!
Through man, the worst comes out of the best... the first
worship led to the first murder - Genesis 4. But through Christ
the best comes out of the worst... "where sin abounded, grace did
much more abound" Romans 5:20. This book is a beautiful example of
Ruth 1:1 A man - an Israelite - finds himself with a decision
to make... to stay in Israel where a serious famine has come... or
to go elsewhere. He could learn from Deuteronomy 8:7-20 that God
was speaking to His people, that there was disobedience. To have
stayed, and obeyed God, would have been to trust Him. He disobeys
and goes to Moab. A wicked place surely. He chose the worst. He
probably reasoned... "I must take care of myself, my wife, my two
Ruth 1:2-5 What disaster comes to this family. The father dies
first. If the wife, Naomi had been sensitive to God's action in
taking away her husband she would have returned to Israel at once.
But no, she stays. Next, her two boys marry Moabite girls, which
was absolutely forbidden (read Nehemiah 13:1). She doesn't stop
them. One son dies. She still has forgotten God's Word. Another
son dies. At last she is stirred. She hears something. In the ten
years, only one of the family of four is left - Gal. 6:7.
If the holiest man that ever lived were to fill our vision, it
would only hinder, not help us. CHRIST HIMSELF is our one great
RUTH 1, Verses 6-22
Ruth 1:6 Naomi (her name means "pleasantness") decides to go
back to the land of Israel.
Ruth 1:7 She and her two daughters-in-law (three widows) start
back... a good beginning.
Ruth 1:8-9 But instead of encouraging them to keep on with her,
here is what she says! This shows us that Naomi still thought it
all right to stay in that wicked land. (A careless believer does
not see any harm in staying in worldly things. Believers lose
their discernment when they get out of daily communion with the
Ruth 1:11-13 What arguments she uses!
Ruth 1:14 A moment of decision for two girls. (Are you in a
similar condition? Follow Ruth's decision!) Orpah disappears into
Ruth 1:15-17 What a contrast.
Ruth 1:18 (Are we steadfastly minded? See Acts 2:42).
Ruth 1:19-22 Naomi's life of disobedience has so changed her
appearance that the people hardly recognize her. (We have far more
responsibility to obey than Naomi ever had for we have the Holy
Spirit dwelling in us - 1 Cor. 6:20). So for the believer, we can
say that chapter 1 is "deciding to follow Christ".
A most serious heresy is that which though standing for a truth,
forms a party around itself. Titus 3:10. But the Holy Spirit seeks
to unite all believers, and build up God's household.
We believers could say that this chapter is like "Meeting with
Ruth 2:1 We are immediately introduced to a man... Boaz. His
name means "strength". He is a picture of Christ. He is rich, and
also a relative of Naomi's dead husband. Boaz didn't lose out by
staying in Israel during the famine. Our blessed Lord became a Man
in order that He might be one of us... a Kinsman... our Redeemer -
Ruth 2:2-17 A picture of us (Ruth) being found by the Lord
Ruth 2:8 But when he has found Ruth, the first thing he tells
her is not go to into any other field. (The Lord Jesus warns us
believers too, not to mix with the world. When close to Him, we
are protected, happy and blessed).
Ruth 2:14 She goes IN for communion with Boaz. She goes OUT for
Ruth 2:17 She obeys and reaps a good harvest (about 10 days
food for an individual).
Ruth 2:18 Love always gives.
Ruth 2:19-23 Obedience to God's Word always brings blessing,
unity and joy.
The Corinthians forgot all about the flesh, being so occupied
with the power of the Spirit.
The key to this chapter is "rest", so for us it is a picture of
our finding rest in Christ.
Ruth 3:1-15 Obedience and submission are two great pillars on
which this rest depends. Ruth displays both in this chapter. There
is no suggestion of immorality here. Boaz and all others in the
city knew that Ruth was a virtuous woman. He wants a woman of
worth for his wife. (In Scripture we learn that believers are to
be the bride of Christ. Eph. 5:25-32. We are to keep ourselves
unspotted from the world and pure for Him).
Ruth 3:16-18 Apply them to yourself as a believer.
When truth is presented, unless the will surrenders to it,
anger is produced.
Ruth 4:1-12 Boaz was obviously an upright man. According to
Scripture (Leviticus 25:25-28) he knew that the closest relative
to Ruth's dead husband had the responsibility to buy back (redeem)
the land formerly owned by him. So Boaz meets this closer relative
in the city. Ruth is a picture of Israel, which will come into
great blessing in the future millennium. However, we may also see
her as a picture of a lost sinner. The close relative can be a
picture of "the law", which could never redeem. But the law has to
have its opportunity, which it did, though it could never do the
work. Christ alone can redeem us from sin. Boaz is free to take
Ruth to be his wife.
Ruth 4:13-22 Later a son is born. He becomes the ancestor of
great King David. But from Matt. chapter 1, we can trace this line
to a greater than David, and thereby learn that this is more than
an earthly love story, for it leads us on to the birth of the Son
of Man, the Lord Jesus. In David the nation of Israel rejoiced,
but in Him who was great David's greater Son, all the nations of
the earth will rejoice. (In the millennium).