The Gospel written in the book of Ruth.

The book of Ruth tells part of the life history of an Israelite lady Naomi and her daughter-in-law Ruth and to me illustrates wonderfully the love of God working by grace through faith.

The story starts with there being a famine in the land of Israel. As a result of this one man, Elimelech, decided to move out of the country and go to Moab to live, as conditions were better in that land. This is often the way people think when things go wrong. They act like orphans who have no parents to help them and they act for themselves without consulting God.

I should mention that Israelites were not supposed to mingle with the people of Moab because when the Israelites were coming out of Egypt the people of Moab made them travel unnecessarily long on their journey. In fact if a man married a Moabite wife the offspring were not to be considered full Israelites until the third generation.

Anyway the family all travelled to Moab, Elimelech, Naomi his wife and their two sons in hope of a better life. The two sons married Moabite women and the family settled down. Unfortunately, Naomi's husband and both of her sons died, so she decided to go back to her homeland in Israel. When she was leaving, Ruth, one of her daughters-in-law refused to stay in Moab but clung to Naomi and the God of Israel.

Ruth had developed a close personal relationship with Jehovah and love for Naomi, as we can see from her statement in Ruth, chapter 1, verses 16-18.

Rut 1:16-18 But Ruth replied, “Don’t urge me to leave you or to turn back from you. Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God. Where you die I will die, and there I will be buried. May the LORD deal with me, be it ever so severely, if even death separates you and me.”

When Naomi realized that Ruth was determined to go with her, she stopped urging her.

As you might expect when so much trauma befalls a family, Naomi would sometimes consider what had become of her life. At those time she thought that her life was bitter but God had a plan to redeem her life and that of Ruth and he was drawing them back to Israel to fulfil that plan.

When they returned to Israel, Ruth went about providing for both Naomi and herself. As it was a season for reaping Ruth went into the fields and followed the reapers, gleaning what was left on the stalks to provide food for them. The law of reaping was that one should not take every last bit of the produce of the land but should leave the edges of the field undone so the poor could come and take to feed themselves.

Ruth was diligent and loyal and faithful to Naomi and God and unknown to her she worked in the fields of a kinsman/relative of Naomi's husband named Boaz. He was impressed by the loyalty and faith of Ruth and decided to look after her by giving her favour with his farm workers. He told them to leave extra grain in her path for her to get as she picked up any grain dropped by the reapers.

Seeing how much grain Ruth was bringing home Naomi realized the Boaz liked Ruth so she suggested that Ruth let him know that she was also drawn to him. Later when Ruth showed that she was attracted to him, he determines to redeem her for his wife.

Now the law in Israel was that where a family had fallen on hard times and had to sell their land a close relative could buy the land to keep it in the clan. If the males of the family had died without heirs then the one who redeemed the land would take the spouse as his wife to bring up an heir for the dead relative.

What Ruth did not realise was that another closer kinsman or relative besides Boaz had a prior claim to redeem the land. As Boaz knew this, he met with the other kinsman, with ten witnesses and asked him if he was willing to redeem the land of Naomi. We can read of this in Ruth Chapter 4:1-6.

Ruth 4:1-3 Now Boaz had gone up to the gate and sat down there. And behold, the redeemer, of whom Boaz had spoken, came by. So Boaz said, "Turn aside, friend; sit down here." And he turned aside and sat down.

And he took ten men of the elders of the city and said, "Sit down here." So they sat down. Then he said to the redeemer, "Naomi, who has come back from the country of Moab, is selling the parcel of land that belonged to our relative Elimelech. So I thought I would tell you of it and say, 'Buy it in the presence of those sitting here and in the presence of the elders of my people.' If you will redeem it, redeem it. But if you will not, tell me, that I may know, for there is no one besides you to redeem it, and I come after you.
"And he said, "I will redeem it."

It turned out that he was quite willing to pay for the land. Then Boaz told him that when he bought the land he was also redeeming Ruth the Moabitess and would have to marry her and bring up children by her.

Ruth 4:4-6Then Boaz said, "The day you buy the field from the hand of Naomi, you also acquire Ruth the Moabite, the widow of the dead, in order to perpetuate the name of the dead in his inheritance." Then the redeemer said, "I cannot redeem it for myself, lest I impair my own inheritance. Take my right of redemption yourself, for I cannot redeem it."

So, the other kinsman baulked! He wanted to have a perfect heritage. To redeem Ruth and marry a Moabite would spoil his own lineage. So because of this he offered Boaz the right to redeem Ruth.

The path was clear for Boaz to redeem the land belonging to Naomi and take Ruth as his wife. This he did and Ruth was the grand-mother of King David.

This is a picture of how Jesus gained the right to redeem us. He is the ultimate kinsman redeemer of course who paid with his life so that we all could be redeemed. Boaz is representative of Jesus and his role in our salvation. Ruth is representative of us individually and of the church as a whole, coming to Jesus through faith. So Jesus and his covenant of grace stands as Boaz, able and willing to redeem us though we are not pure or perfect.

There was another kinsman who had a prior claim on Ruth. The kinsman Boaz met in the gate with the ten witnesses. Many see these as representing Moses and the Law. But, Moses and his Law covenant cannot redeem us unless we are perfect; and there is none who is righteous - no not one! As we are imperfect the Law Covenant can only pass judgement and leave us to our fate. To accept imperfection would be to "break" the righteousness of the law!

The Law can only accept perfection; Grace accepts us as we are and teaches us to give up unrighteous things and become righteous through faith in Jesus.

Tit 2:11-12 For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age,

Mic 6:8 He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the LORD require of thee, but to do justly {live righteously; by faith}, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?

Jesus Christ our Lord is our perfect kinsman redeemer. God wants us to listen to his voice, believe him and believe in him. God wants us to put our trust in him and see his hand in our life for good. God wants us to exercise the measure of faith that he has put in us, by speaking in love and casting out fear and building up our trust in him. Like Abraham we live by faith and like him, in our case also - there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. Though imperfect we are accepted in the beloved.

We could boast that we can keep God's Law or tell others and ourselves that we must keep the Law but when we fail, as with Ruth, the law will not save us! And we know that we will fail because the word says that, "None is righteous, no not one!"

Instead, let us accept God's grace through accepting Jesus and allow the Holy Spirit to lead us, guide us and bring us to the maturity and stature of Jesus Christ; fully resting in the righteousness of Jesus, not in our own works.

Note what Paul says in the letter to the Romans...

Rom 14:17-18 for the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. For he who serves Christ in these things is well-pleasing to God, and approved by men.

So, seek righteousness. Not your own but God's righteousness. Like your father Abraham, build faith in God and grow in grace. Your faith will be counted as righteousness. You will be clothed in Jesus' righteousness. Live by the spirit and you will be well pleasing to God!

Heb 8:13 In speaking of a new covenant, he makes the first one obsolete. And what is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to vanish away.

Christians today do not live by a law code (it's obsolete for us) but by grace through faith, just like our spiritual father Abraham. Remember, we have the Holy Spirit in us and grace teaches us to say "NO" to all ungodly things; as Paul says in his letter to Titus (Tit 2:11-12).

Tit 2:11-12 For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age,

Which guide do you place your trust/faith in; The Law or The Holy Spirit? Jesus rose and sent us Holy Spirit to be our guide. The perfect helper.

Christians live under grace. We grow in holiness as we appreciate God's goodness and undeserved kindness towards us. And, it’s through grace and by faith we live lives pleasing to God, for without faith it is impossible to please him.

And who knows what might happen because you give yourself to Christ. Ruth gave herself to Boaz and the third generation from her was a King David.

So let’s put faith in our kinsman redeemer Jesus and let Him bring us into the kingdom of God. Like Ruth we are not naturally part of spiritual Israel but through our husband to be Jesus, we become heirs to all that God has promised. And God has great plans for us also like Ruth when we live by faith.


Attlee & Janetta.

Basic Christianity 101 Click Here.
What do you mean - Grace? Click Here.
Wilderness to the Promised Land Click Here.
The Heart Of God Click Here.

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