Friday, September 13, 2013

Journal Through the Bible: Week 36 Friday

Ruth 1:1-2:23

Ruth is such a beautiful picture of the Christian's life. She knows she is an outsider but she desires to become one of the people of God through grace. She is acknowledged by a wealthy man (who is both Jew and Gentile) to whom she is related by law and by whom she receives protection and provision. Then she labors while it is day and does not rest until evening. Afterward she shares what she has received with another.

Does God issue any commands in this passage?

  • God does not speak in this passage, however we do see that the command that God formerly gave to the Children of Israel through Moses concerning the kinsman-redeemer concept for protecting a person's inheritance was understood by Naomi and her daughters-in-law.
  • The concept of working for welfare was also one that the LORD had commanded through Moses.

Does God make any promises?

  • God does not speak in this passage but the promise of provision and inheritance through a kinsman-redeemer had already been promised when God spoke through Moses. God also promised protection through that same kinsman.

Does this passage teach anything about Jesus?

  • The speech of entreaty that Ruth made to Naomi is one that is often repeated during wedding ceremonies between a bride and groom. It would also make a nice prayer to the Savior. Even the part about death applies. It is appointed unto us to die once physically but always to die to self and sin. Jesus died in each of these ways here on the earth
  • In this passage Boaz is only introduced as a kinsman of Elimelech. He is a kind man who offers protection and provision. As our kinsman (meaning taking on flesh and being born into a human family) Jesus is our wealthy relative who protects and provides.
  • The speech that Ruth made as she bowed before Boaz when he first spoke to her is also one that every person should pray. "Why have I found grace in thine eyes, that thous shouldest take knowledge of me, seeing I am a stranger?" (2:10) He knew he was related to her by law but she did not possess that knowledge.
  • Just as Ruth was comforted by Boaz's speech telling her that she should remain in his field so that he could provide for her and Naomi and that he was aware that she had left her own family in Moab and had subsequently cared for Naomi, one of God's people, so does Jesus comfort Christians who have left behind everything familiar in the world and joined with God's people in their work. 
  • Boaz is himself a picture of Jesus, not only as the kinsman but in his ancestry. Jesus is both God and man. This was necessary because as God He was incapable of sin but as man He was tempted just as we are. Boaz was both Jew and Gentile, one of the Chosen and also one of the Canaanites (Rahab of Jericho was his mother).
  • Again, Boaz is clearly a picture of the Messiah as can be seen from Naomi's praise. She stated that the LORD had blessed them with a kinsman who was kindly disposed toward helping both the living and the dead.

Does this passage teach anything about yet-future events?

  • Jesus told His disciples that where He went they could not go at that time but they would follow Him at a later time. Whither [He] goest, [we] will go, and where [He] lodgest, [we] will lodge; [His] people will be [our] people and [His] God [our] God. And so shall we ever be with the Lord.
  • The replying speech that Boaz made to Ruth telling her that her good deeds had been noticed and rewarded by God is similar to what the Apostle Paul stated about good works after salvation being rewarded when we first meet Jesus face to face as our kind judge.

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Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer.
Psalms 19:14 (KJV)