This week we read the book of Ruth. When you first read the book, it seems to be a love story between Boaz and Ruth. It is so much more.
- The book of Ruth is the only book of the Bible titled after a female who is a gentile and is written by Samuel. It takes place during the time of judges when there was moral and spiritual decline.
- Ruth was a Moabite. The Moabites were descendants of Lot (whose daughters, thinking their dad was the only male left on the planet, slept with him and then had children; Moab and Ammon [Moabites and Ammonites) (Genesis 19:31-35).
- There was a lot of strife between the Moabites and the Jews when Ruth was written. The King of Moab invaded and dominated the Israelites for 18 years (Judges 3:14).
- Ruth was a Moabite woman without children whose Jewish husband died. She loved her mother-in-law Naomi, and decided to stay at her side. They were both widows, and had no money. They moved back to Bethlehem during the barley harvest.
- Neither worked, and they were poor, so Ruth went to the fields to glean the wheat (farmers would leave the corners of the field open for the poor to collect wheat for free) (Lev 19:9).
- Boaz, who was from Elimelek’s family, owned and was at the field.
- Boaz encouraged Ruth to only get wheat from his field and he said he would provide protection.
- Ruth continued to glean wheat from his field and he showed her favor.
- After some time, Naomi had Ruth dress up and put on perfume, and lay at the feet of Boaz (this was custom) and asked him to “spread your garment over me.” This meant she wanted him to become the kinsman (guardian) redeemer. According to Leviticus 25:25, “If one of your fellow Israelites becomes poor and sells some of their property, their nearest relative is to come and redeem what they have sold.”
- A kinsman redeemer was a male relative that would rescue another in some way because they were in need or danger and could not rescue themselves.
- Boaz was this person. He married Ruth. He was wealthy, and what was his was hers and Naomi’s. Ruth and Boaz conceived a boy and named him Obed (Obadiah) which means servant of the Lord. Naomi was happy because her name would live on through Obed, and Ruth was happy being with Boaz and having a son.
- The prayer of Boaz was answered. (Ruth 2:11-12). “Boaz replied, “I’ve been told all about what you have done for your mother-in-law since the death of your husband—how you left your father and mother and your homeland and came to live with a people you did not know before. 12 May the Lord repay you for what you have done. May you be richly rewarded by the Lord, the God of Israel, under whose wings you have come to take refuge.”
- At the end of the book of Ruth, there is a genealogy. We find that Obed was the father of Jesse, who what the father of King David.
- In Matthew 1:5, we find that Boaz and Ruth are listed in the genealogy of Jesus, as well.
How is book about more than a love story? It is actually a foreshadowing of Christ.
- We are like Ruth in the following ways.
- She is poor, in need of redemption, and can’t do it herself. We are poor in spirit and need redemption and can’t do it ourselves. Romans 3:23-25 “There is no difference between Jew and Gentile, 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. 25 God presented Christ as a sacrifice of atonement,[i] through the shedding of his blood—to be received by faith.”
- The death of Ruth’s spouse caused her to lose her inheritance. Sin ruined our right to our inheritance and causes separation from God. Ephesians 2:1-3 “As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, 2 in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. 3 All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our flesh[a] and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature deserving of wrath.”
- Jesus is like Boaz in the following ways.
- He showed favor toward Ruth. Jesus favors us. John 3:16 “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”
- He was able to redeem Ruth because he was in the same family. Jesus became like us and was able to redeem us. Ephesians 2:12 “For this reason he had to be made like them,[a] fully human in every way, in order that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in service to God, and that he might make atonement for the sins of the people.”
- He redeemed her for the price of the land and through his marriage to her. Jesus redeemed us through His blood on the cross. 1 Peter 2:24 “He himself bore our sins” in his body on the cross, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; “by his wounds you have been healed.”
- He redeemed her willingly. Jesus redeemed us willingly. Matthew 20:28 “just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
- He restored her inheritance. Jesus restores our inheritance with Him for eternity. 1 Peter 3-5 “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. This inheritance is kept in heaven for you, 5 who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time.”
Ruth was redeemed by becoming the bride of Boaz. We can be redeemed by becoming the bride of Christ. Have you accepted His invitation to become His bride?
If not, all you have to do is Romans 10:9 “declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.”
Please let me know if you need any prayer or have any questions about the readings.
Next week we will start reading 1 Samuel Chapters 1-10. Have a blessed week!
References: Clarence L. Hayes Jr. & Mark Robinson