The Book of Ruth
by James Jacob Prasch
The book of Ruth is read in the Jewish Synagogue at the feast of Pentecost, which is the first day, as it were, of the Gentile church. The book of Ruth tells the story of a rich, powerful Jewish man who takes a Gentile bride and exalts her, the way that Jesus, on the day of Pentecost, raised up the Gentile church, as the Bride of Christ.
Now it came about in the days when the judges governed, that there was a famine in the land. And a certain man of Bethlehem €¦
€¦meaning “the house of bread” €¦
€¦in Judah went to sojourn in the land of Moab with his wife and two sons. And the name of the man was Elimelech €¦
€¦which means “my God is King” €¦
and the name of his wife Naomi; and the names of his two sons, Mahlon and Chilion, Ephrathites of Bethlehem in Judah. And they entered the land of Moab and remained there. Then Elimelech, Naomi’s husband, died; and she was left with her two sons. They took for themselves Moabite women as wives.
(The Moabites were particularly despised by the Jews because of the maltreatment of them during the Exodus period.)
€¦the name of the one was Orpah and the name of the other Ruth. And they lived there about ten years. Then both Mahlon and Chilion also died; and the woman was bereft of her two children and her husband.
Then she arose with her daughters-in-law that she might return from the land of Moab, for she had heard in the land of Moab that the Lord had visited His people in giving them food. So she departed from the place where she was, and her two daughters-in-law with her; and they went on the way to return to the land of Judah. And Naomi said unto her two daughters-in-law, “Go, return each of you to her mother’s house. May the Lord deal kindly with you, as you have dealt with the dead and with me. May the Lord grant that you may find rest, each in the house of her husband.” Then she kissed them, and they lifted up their voices and wept. And they said to her, “No, but we will surely return with you to your people.” But Naomi said, “Return, my daughters. Why should you go with me? Have I yet sons in my womb, that they may be your husbands? “Return, my daughters! Go, for I am too old to have a husband. If I said I have hope, if I should even have a husband to-night and also bear sons, would you there-fore wait until they were grown? Would you refrain from marrying? No, my daughters; for it is harder for me than for you, for the hand of the Lord has gone forth against me.”
And they lifted up their voices and wept again; and Orpah kissed her mother-in-law, but Ruth clung to her. Then she said, “Behold, your sister-in-law has gone back to her people and her gods; return after your sister-in-law.” But Ruth said, “Do not urge me to leave you or turn back from following you; for where you go, I will go, and where you lodge, I will lodge. Your people shall be my people, and your God, my God. Where you will die, I will die, and there I will be buried. Thus may the Lord do to me, and worse, if anything but death parts you and me.” When she saw that she was determined to go with her, she said no more to her.
So they both went until they came to Bethlehem. And it came about when they had come to Bethlehem, that all the city was stirred because of them, and the women said, “It this Naomi?” And she said unto them, “Do not call me not Naomi; call me Mara, for the Almighty has dealt very bitterly with me. I went out full, but the Lord has brought me back empty. Why do you call me Naomi, since the Lord has afflicted me?” So Naomi returned, and with her Ruth the Moabitess, her daughter-in-law, who returned from the land of Moab. And they came to Bethlehem at the beginning of barley harvest.
This is read in the synagogues at the Feast of Weeks, when the barley harvest in underway in Israel.
Boaz Will Redeem Ruth
And Naomi her mother-in-law said to her, “My daughter, shall I not seek security for you, that it may be well with you?” “And now is not Boaz our kinsman, with whose maids you were? Behold, he winnows barley at the threshing floor tonight. Wash yourself therefore, and anoint yourself and put on your best clothes, and go down to the threshing floor; but do not make yourself known to the man until he is finished eating and drinking. And it shall be when he lies down, that you shall notice the place where he lies, and you shall go and uncover his feet and lie down; then he will tell you what you shall do.” And she said to her, “All that you say I will do.”
So she went down to the threshing floor and did according to all that her mother-in- law had commanded her. When Boaz had eaten and drunk and his heart was merry, he went to lie down at the end of the heap of grain; and she came secretly, and uncovered his feet and lay down. And it happened in the middle of the night that the man was startled and bent forward; and behold, a woman was lying at his feet. And he said, “Who are you?” And she answered, “I am Ruth your maid. So spread your covering over your maid, for you are a close relative.” Then he said, “May you be blessed of the Lord, my daughter. You have shown your last kindness to be better that the first by not going after young men, whether poor or rich. And now, my daughter, do not fear. I will do for you whatever you ask, for all my people in the city know that you are a woman of excellence. And now it is true I am a close relative; however, there is a relative closer than I. Remain this night, and when morning comes, if he will redeem you, good; let him redeem you. But if he does not wish to redeem you, then I will redeem you, as the Lord lives. Lie down until morning.”
So she lay at his feet until the morning and rose before one could recognize an-other; and he said, “Let it not be known that the woman came to the threshing floor.” Again he said, “Give me the cloak that is on you and hold it.” So she held it , and he measured six measures of barley and laid it on her. Then she went into the city. And when she came to her mother-in-law, she said, “How did it go, my daughter?” And she told her all that the man had done for her. And she said, “These six measures of barley he gave to me, for he said, “Do not go to your mother-in-law empty handed.” Then she said, “Wait, my daughter, until you know how the matter turns out; for the man will not rest until he has settled it today.”
The Marriage of Ruth
Now Boaz went up to the gate and sat down there, and, behold, the close relative of whom Boaz spoke was passing by, so he said, “Turn aside, friend, sit down here.” And he turned aside and he 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 closest relative, “Naomi, who has come back from the land of Moab, has to sell the piece of land which belonged to our brother Elimelech. So I thought to inform you, saying, ‘Buy it before these who are sitting here, and be-fore the elders of my people. If you will re-deem it, redeem it; but if not, tell me that I may know; for there is no one but you to redeem it, and I am after you’ ” And he said, “I will redeem it.” Then Boaz said, “On the day you buy the field from the hand of Naomi, you must also acquire Ruth the Moabitess, the widow of the deceased, in order to raise up the name of the deceased on his inheritance.” And the close relative said, “I cannot redeem it for myself, lest I jeopardize my own inheritance. Redeem it for yourself; you may have my right of redemption, for I cannot redeem it.”
Now this was the custom in former times in Israel concerning the redemption and the exchange of land to confirm any matter: a man removed his sandal and gave it to another; and this was the matter of attestation in Israel. So the closest relative said to Boaz, “Buy it for yourself.” And he removed his sandal. And Boaz said to the elders and to all the people, “You are witnesses today that I have bought from the hand of Naomi all that belonged to Elimelech and all that belonged to Chilion and Mahlon. Moreover, I have acquired Ruth the Moabitess, the widow of Mahlon, to be my wife in order to raise up the name of the deceased on his inheritance, so that the name of the deceased may not be cut off from his brothers or from the court of his birthplace; you are witnesses today.” And all the people who were in the court, and the elders, said, “We are witnesses. May the Lord make the woman who is coming into your home like Rachel and Leah, both of whom built the house of Israel; and may you achieve wealth in Ephrathah and become famous in Bethlehem. Moreover, may your house be like the house of Perez whom Tamar bore unto Judah, through the offspring which the Lord shall give you by this young woman.”
So Boaz took Ruth, and she became his wife; and he went in to her. And the Lord enabled her to conceive, and she gave birth to a son. And the women said to Naomi, “Blessed is theLord who has not left you without a redeemer today, and may his name become famous in Israel. May he also be to you a restorer of life and a sustainer of your old age; for your daughter-in-law who loves you and is better to you than seven sons, has given birth to him.”
The Line of David Begins Here
Then Naomi took the child and laid him in her lap, and became his nurse. And the neighbor women gave him a name saying, “A son has been born to Naomi!” So they named him Obed. He is the father of Jesse, the father of David. Now these are the generations of Perez: to Perez was born Hezron; and to Hezron was born Ram, and to Ram, Amminadab, and to Amminadab was born Nahshon, , and to Nahshon, Salmon, and to Salmon was born Boaz, and to Boaz, Obed, and to Obed was born Jesse, and to Jesse, David (Ruth 1:1-4:22).
The genealogy of Jesus does not begin in Matthew chapter one, it begins in Ruth chapter four.
My family is a combination of Jew and Gentile. My wife and I have seen two false religions in our lives: nominal Christianity (which does not teach that salvation comes from the new birth) and Rabbinic Judaism (which rejects its own Messiah).
The book of Ruth tells the story of an old woman who feels that God Himself is against her. She was forced out of her land for some time, her husband died, her sons died and she was left alone. She feels bereft, embittered, rejected. She feels that the hand of God is against her.
This is a picture of my wife’s parents, Jews who were in the Holocaust, their families murdered by people who claimed to be Christians. Some of the Jewish writers after the Holocaust wrote, “One and one half million Jewish children kicked into ovens. God must hate us.” Many Jews have asked, “Why us? Why the holocaust? Why the inquisition? Why the crusades? Why always us?”
Jews know they are different from other people, but they do not know why.
There is nothing special about Jews. There is nothing unique about Jews. Jews are people who need to be saved, the same as anyone else. There is something very special about the God of the Jews. There is something very special about the covenant of the Jews. There is something very special about the book of the Jews. There is something very special about the Messiah of the Jews! But until they see Him, they will not under-stand the rest of it. The Jewish people today are in the character of Naomi. They feel rejected, cursed by God.
For nearly two thousand years the Jews were outcasts from their own land. They have re-gathered because they heard things were beginning to get better and out of desperation they are returning to Israel. They are coming back the same as Naomi did. They are coming back with the burden of rejection, of pain, of a sense of anguish and agony of their souls. If you talk to them about God, even religious Jews express the feeling that God is against the Jewish people.
There are two Gentile women. Every Gentile Christian and Gentile church will come either in the character of Ruth or in the character of Orpah. Orpah seems to be quite polite and pleasant. But, once her own interests are at stake, she goes back to her people and to her gods.
Notice that: “To her gods” (Ruth 1:15). The post-Nicene Church, after Constantine “Christianized” the Roman Empire, the Church lost sight of its Jewish roots, something that Paul warned should not happen (Rom 11:17-18).
I say then, God has not rejected His people, has He? May it never be! For I too am an Israelite, a descendant of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin. God has not rejected His people whom He foreknew. Or do you not know what the Scripture says in the passage about Elijah, how he pleads with God against Israel? “Lord, they have killed Thy prophets, they have torn down Thine altars, and I alone am left, and they are seeking my life.” But what is the divine response to him? “I have kept for Myself seven thousand men who have not bowed the knee to Baal.” In the same way then, there has also come to be at the present time a remnant according to God’s gracious choice. But if it is by grace, it is no longer on the basis of works, otherwise grace is no longer grace. What then? That which Israel is seeking for, it has not obtained, but those who were chosen obtained it, and the rest were hardened; just as it is written,
“God gave them a spirit of stupor,
Eyes to see not and ears to hear not,
Down to this very day” (Romans 11:1-8).
The Church lost sight of their Jewish roots. Then what happened? Paganism invaded Christendom €“ the emergence of Roman Catholicism and Eastern Orthodoxy, perverting the original Christianity of the New Testament, which was a Jewish Hebraic faith. They went back to their old gods once they lost sight of their Jewish roots!
But then there is Ruth. “Your people shall be my people, and your God, my God” (Ruth 1:16). The New Testament speaks that kind of language.
Remember that you were at a time separate from Christ, excluded from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. But now in Christ Jesus you who formerly were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ (Eph 2:12-13).
You have been brought near, like a close relative €“ the Hebrew concept of a “relative” is someone who is close to you.
Romans chapter 11 speaks the language of incorporation, not of replacementism. Gentile Christians who repent and accept Jesus replace Jews who reject Him. But the tree stays the same. It is not a different tree, the church is not the “New Israel”. By a sovereign act of God’s Grace, Gentile Christians are spiritually grafted in and become descendants of Abraham by faith. That is the meaning of the book of Ruth.
To go further, we need to understand certain things about the Torah. The Torah had geriatrical and legal provisions. Remember that the book of Ruth records the beginning of the lineage of David. However, the genealogy of Jesus in Matthew has certain discrepancies when compared with that in Luke. There are two main ways to account for those discrepancies. One of the ways is called “Levirate marriage.”
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 in to her and take her to himself as wife and perform the duty of a husband’s brother to her. And it shall be that the first born whom she bears shall assume the name of his dead brother, that his name may not be blotted out from Israel. But if the man does not desire to take his brother’s wife, then his brother’s wife shall go up to the gate of the elders and say, “My husband’s brother refuses to establish a name for his brother in Israel; he is not willing to perform the duty of a husband’s brother to me.” Then the elders of his city shall summon him and speak to him. And if he persists and says, “I do not desire to take her,” then his brother’s wife shall come to him in sight of the elders €¦
There had to be ten of them, a “minyan” €¦
€¦and pull his sandal off his foot and spit in his face; and she shall declare, “Thus it is done to the man who does not build up his brother’s house.” And in Israel his name shall be called, “The house of him whose sandal is removed (Deuteronomy 25:5-10).
Let me explain this.
Importance of Genealogy
Kings had to be descendants of David, priests had to be descendants of Levi, High Priests had to be descendants of Aaron. The tribal inheritance allocated by Joshua had to be preserved according to Torah. So a legal descent had to be perpetuated. Otherwise, how would you know who the high priest was going to be? How would you know who the king was going to be? How would you know what was the inheritance of your family? And ultimately, how would we know the Messiah?
The lineage had to be established and perpetuated. There is a biological bloodline, and a legal one. One of the genealogies in the New Testament gives a legal descent; the other gives the biological, or genetic descent. That is one of the ways you account for the discrepancies; there are other ways, but that is one of the two main ones.
There was only one form of birth control practiced in ancient near east €“ ex-vaginal ejaculation. Today you will find Christians teaching against birth control for married people based on the verse that says there was a sentence of death if you practiced ex-vaginal ejaculation. But the only situation where that was forbidden was in Levirate marriage. It was designed to prevent you from reducing your brother’s widow to a concubine, a sex object. The reason for having sex with your brother’s widow was to procreate offspring on his behalf for two reasons.
The first reason was financial provision for his widow. The Hebrew word for “honor your parents” (it has to do with honorarium) does not mean you have to agree with every word of your parents, just because they are your parents. It means it is something heavy for you that you are expected to carry. The same thing as a mother is supposed to take care of the baby when it is little so, when she is old, that baby is going to be responsible for her in God’s economy. Having children was a form of welfare provision for the aged. The first reason for Levirate marriage was so the brother’s widow would have provision for her old age.
The second was the inheritance. The off-spring would perpetuate the family inheritance. If the land went out of the family line, due to debt, in the year of jubilee there would be a restoration of it to the family. The Pharisees taught that you could legally deny giving help to your parents by dedicating your goods to God €“ rendering them “corban” (Mark 7: 11-13). They invalidated the commandments of God by their teachings. Jesus attacked them for this.
Your responsibility to your parents was woven into Jewish thought. It is perpetuated in the New Testament, which says you will not have a long life in this world if you do not look after your parents in their old age (Eph 6:2-3).
We read in Ruth that the widow’s brother would not raise up children on behalf of his brother in order to keep his brother’s name from being cut off. This is a typology of Jesus. The Jews who, under the Old Covenant, died faithful to God needed somebody to come after them to redeem them. When someone procreated children on behalf of their deceased brother and took his land, it was called a “right of redemption”. A Jew who died under the Old Covenant needed someone from among his kinsmen to come after him, someone who would redeem him, prevent his name from being cut off from his fathers, and prevent him from losing the inheritance of promise. It points to Jesus.
How were the Jews under the Old Covenant saved? The same way we are. Hebrews tells us that the blood of animals could never take away sin. They could only cover the sin, if accompanied by faith and repentance, until the Messiah came and He would take them away. Under the Old Covenant the Jews were dependent on someone to come after them, to bring their redemption. It all points to Jesus.
Another form of social provision was gleaning. We need to understand this. Narrow pathways would separate the fields of the different farmers or families. The Jews were forbidden from harvesting the corners of their fields. Why? As a form of social welfare provision, the poor, the widows, the orphans, the socially disenfranchised, even sojourners (foreigners traveling through the land), had the right to glean.
This is what we see in the book of Ruth. Ruth arrives with her mother-in-law who says, “Don’t call me Naomi, call me Mara; for the Lord has dealt bitterly with me.” When Jewish people today come back to their own land after the holocaust and after what happened with the Communists, they have a feeling of “God did this to us”.
Orthodox Jews will look at Leviticus 26 and Deuteronomy 28 and admit that their experiences reflect the curse of the law as recorded in those passages. What happened to them was somehow God’s hand. Not all Jews make this admission, but the ultra-Orthodox certainly will.
I Will Bless Them That Bless Thee
Boaz, a Jewish man, said to Ruth, a Gentile woman, “Let your eyes be on the field that they reap, and go after them. Indeed, I have commanded the servants not to touch you. When you are thirsty, go to the water jars and drink from what the servants draw.”
Then she fell on her face, bowing to the ground and said to him, “Why have I found favor in your sight that you should take notice of me, since I am a foreigner?” And Boaz answered and said to her, “All you have done for your mother-in-law after the death of your husband has been fully reported to me” (Ruth 2:9-11).
I will bless them that bless thee, and I will curse them that curse thee. (Gen 12:3) Not because the Jews are special, but because the God of the Jews and his covenant with their fathers is special. God will honor his covenant, and it does not depend upon the faithfulness or unfaithfulness of man. His covenant depends on the faithfulness of God. This is illustrated to us in the story of Abraham, who is the father of all those who believe, both Jew and Christian.
And it came about when the sun had set, that it was very dark, and behold, there appeared a smoking oven and a flaming torch that passed between these pieces (Gen 15:17).
That flame is the same as the pillar of fire called the Shekinah of God, the Holy Spirit.
The term for making a covenant in He-brew is “to cut a covenant.” The corpse of an animal is cut in half. Both parties making the covenant would pass through the two halves of the carcass. When God made His covenant with Abraham, only the flame passed through, not Abraham. Why? Because God knew from the beginning, that His people would be unfaithful in keeping the covenant, but He would not. Praise the Lord that His covenants do not depend on the unfaithfulness of Israel or the church, but they depend on the faithfulness of God Himself.
If God is finished with Israel because they broke the covenant, give me one good reason why God should not be finished with the church also. Anything that the Jews have done wrong, I can say the same about the church, or worse. What has the church done? The same thing Israel did, gone after other gods. Look at New Age in the Church.
Sacrificing Babies to Demons
What did Israel do before the captivity? They sacrificed their babies to demons. Yes, they did that, and that is when the judgment fell. God said, “No more. I will put up with idolatry. I will put up with immorality. I will put up with social injustice. But I will not put up with you sacrificing babies to other gods, to demons.”
If you take all the medical considerations warranting abortions into account, they would account for less than 1% of all abortions performed. More than 99% of all abortions are performed for non-therapeutic reasons. They are not carried out for any clinical or medical reason. They are carried out for social and economic reasons, what Jesus called the “worship of Mammon.”
Make no mistake about it, non-therapeutic abortion, theologically and spiritually, is a form of demon worship. If God did not spare the natural branches, He will not spare you either. If Israel and the Jews did not get away with that abomination, neither will the Western Christianized world.
Learning from Israel’s Mistakes
Now these things happened as examples for us. (1 Cor 10:6)
The mistakes of Israel were recorded so that the church would not make the same mistakes. The church should learn from their errors. But have we? No! We have everything they had, and much more. They only had the Old Testament, but we have the New also. They only looked forward to the coming of the Messiah; the Church already has the Messiah. Under the old covenant the Holy Spirit was only for certain people at certain times: High Priests, Kings, and Prophets. Now the Holy Spirit is for all who believe.
On top of that, we have their example to learn from, but we do not learn. If God is finished with the Jews because they broke the covenant, how much more should He be finished with the church. Praise God that His faithfulness is what determines the validity of the covenant, not our unfaithfulness. Otherwise we would be as finished as the Jews ever were. But God is not finished with the Jews. The judgment of God would have fallen on the United States a long time ago, except for two things.
One, salt preserves. The USA still has more evangelical Christians and churches than any other Western country. Three out of four dollars spent on missions, Christian charity and evangelism comes from North America, while three out of five full time missionaries to poor countries come from America.
The other reason is that America has treated the Jews better than any other nation in history. Otherwise God’s judgment would have come on them long ago. Amsterdam is the most wicked city in the developed world. I have seen depravity in a lot of cities. In Bangkok they are selling the kids into sexual slavery. Amsterdam is just as bad. If you were to walk through Amsterdam and Holland you would not believe the moral depravity. It is unspeakable, an absolute disgrace. However that country protected the Jews during the Holocaust. I am convinced that God’s judgment would have prevailed, but they blessed the Jews. “I will bless them that bless thee, and curse them that curse thee.” (Gen 12:3)
That does not mean that God’s judgment is not going to come. It just means that it has been delayed by grace. “Why are you showing me favor?” asked Ruth. Because you blessed my people. God will bless those Christians, churches and nations who bless His people. Not for their sake, but for the sake of His own name. And, by extension, God will even bless unsaved people who bless Christians.
“I have commanded my servants not to touch you,” says Boaz. Where they eat, you eat. What they drink, you drink.
The Hebrew word to “bow down” and “to worship” is the same word. When you see a Roman Catholic bowing down before a statue and praying, that is idolatry in the Hebrew language. That is why the Roman Catholic church took the second commandment out of their catechism for so many centuries. You shall not make for yourself an idol, or any likeness of what is in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the water under the earth. You shall not worship them or serve them (Deut 5:8).
I lived on Mt. Carmel in Galilee. At Mount Carmel they have apparitions of Mary, the same as in Fatima and many other places €“ demonic apparitions. The people there carry a statue of Mary from her summer home to her winter home. Why? Mary does not like the cold weather! Twice a year they carry the statue down the mountain and put it in the church in the middle of Haifa. They bow to it, pray to it, burn incense to it, and sing to it. I had a friend who was a Charismatic Catholic monk. He would come to our meetings, waving his hands, and be one of us, “Hallelujah!” Then, when they carried the statue down, he would be there with the rest of the idolaters, singing, burning incense, bowing down and worshipping the statue!
When the Jews and Moslems saw this idolatry, they thought that was Christianity. The born again Christians, the Messianic Jews, had to explain to them that it was not. Satan’s first tool for getting Jews into hell is false Christianity €“ Roman Catholicism, Eastern Orthodoxy, idolatry.
A Woman of Excellence
Which countries protected the Jews in the Holocaust? The ones with high evangelical Protestant populations: Denmark, Holland. Which ones betrayed the Jews? The Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox countries, Latvia, France, Romania.
If you go to Israel today, you will see the young volunteers working on the kibbutzes. Some are from Canada, Japan, Argentina, Holland. “What country are you from?” “Oh, Holland,” they will say. “Maybe you would want to come for tea tonight? We know it was Christians in Holland who saved my Grandmother during the Holocaust.”
“Where are you from?” “Denmark,” they would say, and the people would tell how the Nazis occupied Denmark and ordered all the Jews to wear yellow stars The Danish King, who was a Christian, came out wearing a yellow star and said Jesus Christ was a Jew. Anyone who believed in him had to identify with the Jews. Everyone in Denmark had to put on a yellow star.
A woman of excellence. The Jews teach about it in the high schools in Israel. If you love the Jews, get out of false churches. Get out of anti-Semitic churches. Get out of Jew-hating churches. Get out of idolatrous churches. Get out of Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, and so-called evangelical Jew-hating churches.
Then he said, “May you be blessed of the Lord, my daughter. You have shown your last kindness to be better than the first by not going after young men, whether poor or rich (Ruth 3:10).
What does it say about Jesus, in the fourth Servant Song of Isaiah?
He has no stately form or majesty
That we should look upon Him,
Nor appearance that we should be attracted to Him.
He was despised and forsaken of men,
A man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief;
And one from whom men hide their face,
He was despised and we did not esteem him (Isaiah 53:2-3)
The Key to Their Redemption
And now it is true I am a close relative; however, there is a relative closer than I (Ruth 3:12).
I am next in line, but he is first in line. He has the right of redemption from Elimelech €“ to buy the land, to get the inheritance, to take you, to procreate children for his deceased brother. At first this man €“ whoever he is, he is not named for some reason, only being referred to in Scripture as he whose sandal was removed €“ says, “Yes, give me the inheritance. I want it.” But when Boaz tells him that he also has to take the Gentile woman (Ruth 4:5), he changes his mind.
“I cannot redeem it for myself, lest I jeopardize my own inheritance” (Ruth 4:6).
The inheritance I want. The promise of my fathers I want. The right of redemption I want. The blessing I want. But I do not want anything to do with that shiksa (derogatory Yiddish slang, meaning “a Gentile woman”). Yet it was that shiksa who was the key to him getting his promise, his blessing, his redemption.
He whose sandal was removed is not named. Those Jews who will not come to the body of Christ to receive their inheritance will not be named. Their names will be blotted out. Only those who come to the body of Christ will receive their redemption. That Gentile woman is the key.
Take the Grain to My People
Boaz gave Ruth six measures of barley (Ruth 3:15).
And she said, “These six measures of barley he gave to me, for he said, ‘Do not go to your mother-in-law empty-handed'” (Ruth 3:17).
What did Jesus tell the Gentile church? “Take the grain, and give it to my people Israel.” Be very careful of organizations that want to bless the Jews without giving them the Gospel. In the same way that God used the Jews to give the Gospel to the Gentiles in the 1st Century, God is using the Gentiles to give the Gospel to the Jews in the last century. For if their rejection be the reconciliation of the world, what will their restoration be but life from the dead? (Rom 11:15).
Make no mistake about it, God is going to bless the Church through Jewish people again before Jesus returns. The first Christians were Jews; the last Christians are going to be Jews. Give them the grain. The challenge is to bring the Good News back home again.
This particular man refused the right of redemption. So they went through the ritual prescribed in Deuteronomy 25. Then the marriage took place and, eventually, a baby boy was born.
Redeemer and Restorer
At the wedding they said to Boaz,
“May the Lord make the woman who is coming into your home like Rachel and Leah, both of whom built the house of Israel” (Ruth 4:110.
The typology here comes from Genesis. Jacob came for a bride from his own people. He desired Rachel, but he did not get Rachel at first, but Leah. After he learned to love Leah as much as he did Rachel, he got Rachel as well. In the beginning Leah had all the babies, her womb was most fruitful. But then Rachel conceives.
Israel shall be a fruitful vine. Jesus came for Israel. He wanted to marry Israel, but He did not get Israel. He ends up with the bride He did not desire at first, the Gentile church.
After He learns to love the Gentile church, then He gets Israel. In the beginning, the church has all the babies. But in the end, Israel becomes a fruitful vine. “Both of whom built the House of Israel.”
Don’t let Rick Godwin or any of these other lying heretics tell you different. Both of whom built the House of Israel. The church is Jew and Gentile, one bride.
Then the women said to Naomi, “Blessed is the Lord who has not left you without a redeemer today, and may his name become famous in Israel. May he also be to you a restorer of life and a sustainer of your old age; for your daughter-in-law, who loves you and is better to you than seven sons, has given birth to him” (Ruth 4: 14-15).
The baby who was born from this union between Boaz and Ruth was called the redeemer from Bethlehem.
“May His name become famous in Israel.”
Who came from Bethlehem? Who is a Redeemer? Who is famous? The lineage of David stems from a union between Jew and Gentile because the salvation that would come from it would be for both Jew and Gentile.
May He also be to you a restorer of life and a sustainer of your old age; for your daughter-in-law.is better to you than seven sons (Ruth :15).
The Gentile woman who gave birth to this baby called Redeemer is better to her than seven sons. There are Gentile Christians who treat the Jews better than their own kind. More than that, this baby who is called “the Redeemer from Bethlehem” becomes a restorer of life to the Jewish woman.
Then Naomi took the child and laid him in her lap, and became his nurse. And the neighbor women gave him a name, saying, “A son has born to Naomi” (Ruth 4:16-17).
He is a Jewish baby. And so begins the line of David from whom Jesus would come.
A woman of excellence can take a Jewish baby, born in Bethlehem, called the Redeemer, a restorer of life to the Jewish people, and present Him to this Jewish woman, who was bereft, who was grieving, who was scorned, who was embittered, who felt that God Himself had set His hand against her. But when the Jewish woman receives the child, she says, “This is really my baby here. He is really my Messiah. This baby is the restorer of my life.” Then all of her grief, all her anguish, all her pain, all her bereavement and rejection is taken away by that baby.
All of these brides, these good women in the Bible, teach about the Bride of Christ from different aspects. Ruth teaches us about the Bride of Christ as the one who would give the Redeemer back to the Jewish people. That Bride is you.
And I say to you, everyone who confesses Me before men, the Son of Man shall confess him also before the angels of God” (Luke 12:8)