RUTH – A Wealthy Jew (Boaz) Takes A Gentile Bride (Ruth) – A Picture Of The LORD Jesus Taking The Church For A Bride
The author of Ruth, as in the case of Judges, is unknown. It would have been penned during the reign of king David. Perhaps a good theme would be “The Backsliding of Naomi” or “The Marriage of Ruth to Boaz.” Perhaps the most important lesson to learn in general is the danger and the price of backsliding.
Ruth is one of the two books in the Bible named after a woman. Ruth becomes a proselyte of Judaism during the times of the judges (Acts 2:10; Eph. 2:12). She fulfilled the will of God as a virtuous woman during a time of national apostasy.
Ruth demonstrated the true act of cleaving in regards to marriage and religion (Gen. 2:24). She followed the common-law principle of a marriage coverture. The marriage of Boaz and Ruth pictures the Lord Jesus and the Bride of Christ (Eph. 5:31-32). God’s grace towards Ruth was evident by placing her in the lineage of the Messiah through the house of David and this established the monarchy of the Lord Jesus within the tribe of Judah.
Ruth 1:1-2 Now it came to pass in the days when the judges ruled, that there was a famine in the land. And a certain man of Bethlehemjudah went to sojourn in the country of Moab, he, and his wife, and his two sons.
2 And the name of the man was Elimelech, and the name of his wife Naomi, and the name of his two sons Mahlon and Chilion, Ephrathites of Bethlehemjudah. And they came into the country of Moab, and continued there.
There was a famine in the land of Bethlehem. A man named Elimelech and his wife, Naomi , took their two sons, Mahlon and Chilion, left the land of Bethlehem-judah, and went to Moab to find food. In other words, they left the will of God and backslid. They let the circumstances of life determine what they should do. Circumstances are not supposed to rule the Christian’s life. Principles are supposed to rule in the life of a Christian. Circumstances are always rough and shaky. The troubles and trials of life you go through in life are not what will hurt you. It is when you turn to the wrong things instead of God while you are in those troubles and trials that will hurt you.
John 13:15 For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you.
1 Peter 2:21‑23 For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps:
22 Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth:
23 Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously:
I John 2:6 He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked.
Sin will always take you farther than you want to go; keeps you longer than you want to stay; and costs you more than you want to pay.
Hebrews 3:13 But exhort one another daily, while it is called To day; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.
Obadiah 1:3 The pride of thine heart hath deceived thee, thou that dwellest in the clefts of the rock, whose habitation is high; that saith in his heart, Who shall bring me down to the ground?
Romans 14:7 For none of us liveth to himself, and no man dieth to himself.
You don’t just affect you, whatever you do good or bad is affecting someone else.
2 Corinthians 5:15 And that he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again.
You’re not supposed to live for you. You are supposed to live for God.
You should at least want to live right so God’s blessing can be upon your life and the life of your children one day. Your children are going to follow in your footsteps. They are going to copy you.
Numbers 14:18 The LORD is longsuffering, and of great mercy, forgiving iniquity and transgression, and by no means clearing the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation.
Deuteronomy 5:9 Thou shalt not bow down thyself unto them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me,
God won’t punish your children for your sins, but this is talking about your children doing the same sins you do only worse. There is a reason to be holy and there is a reason to live right.
THE PRICE OF BACKSLIDING.
1 Corinthians 5:9‑10 I wrote unto you in an epistle not to company with fornicators:
10 Yet not altogether with the fornicators of this world, or with the covetous, or extortioners, or with idolaters; for then must ye needs go out of the world.
Hanging around the wrong crowd can get you killed. When a Christian won’t do right there is no reason for God to keep them on this earth.
Ruth 1:4 And they took them wives of the women of Moab; the name of the one was Orpah, and the name of the other Ruth: and they dwelled there about ten years.
When parents backslide, their children pay for it . How important it is that parents stay in the will of God so their children can marry good Christian young people! God says you are not supposed to marry anyone who is lost. The only reason you would be interested in someone who is lost is because of lust and not love. Lust cares only about looks. Love cares about the soul.
2 Corinthians 6:12‑18 Ye are not straitened in us, but ye are straitened in your own bowels.
13 Now for a recompence in the same, (I speak as unto my children,) be ye also enlarged.
14 Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?
Unbelievers – Someone who doesn’t believe that Jesus is the only way to Heaven.
Unrighteousness – Lawbreakers, rulebreakers
Darkness – Sin
15 And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel?
Belial – Worthless, lazy, loafers
Infidel – Unfaithful or unloyal – those not faithful to church.
16 And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.
Idols – False religion
17 Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you,
18 And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.
Exodus 34:14‑16 Deuteronomy 7:1‑4
Ruth 1:5 And Mahlon and Chilion died also both of them; and the woman was left of her two sons and her husband.
Naomi continues to pay for her sin.
Ruth 1:19 So they two went until they came to Bethlehem. And it came to pass, when they were come to Bethlehem, that all the city was moved about them, and they said, Is this Naomi?
After ten years she decides to go back to Bethlehem-judah. When she got back the people could not believe that this was Naomi. They asked, “Is this Naomi?” Sin always shows on the face. Young people should know this. The best beauty aid is the Christian life. What makes a girl truly beautiful is Holiness. Living holy does what Mary Kay and Avon could never do. What makes a boy handsome is when he totally sells out to God. The best physical education and body-building aid is the Christian life.
Jeremiah 2:19 Thine own wickedness shall correct thee, and thy backslidings shall reprove thee: know therefore and see that it is an evil thing and bitter, that thou hast forsaken the LORD thy God, and that my fear is not in thee, saith the Lord GOD of hosts.
Ruth 1:20 And she said unto them, Call me not Naomi, call me Mara: for the Almighty hath dealt very bitterly with me.
Her name had been Naomi, which means “pleasant.” Her name was changed to “Mara,” which means “bitter.” Sin affected her personality. It ruined her from a very pleasant person to a bitter person. She became bitter against God.
Notice these verses on Chastisement or the Lord spanking us because of sin:
Job 5:17 Behold, happy is the man whom God correcteth: therefore despise not thou the chastening of the Almighty:
Ruth 1:21 I went out full, and the LORD hath brought me home again empty: why then call ye me Naomi, seeing the LORD hath testified against me, and the Almighty hath afflicted me?
This is very interesting. When she went to Moab to get full, she thought she was empty. Now she realizes that she was full when she left and empty when she re turned. How sad this is! Satan makes sin look so appealing and so alluring, but once we have tasted the last dreg in the cup we find out that we never have it as good as we do when we serve God! You will either listen to me teach you the Bible now and learn from it and do your best to live it, or you will think I don’t know what I am talking about and one day you will learn I’m right. You will either figure out that I am right now or later. You will either figure out God is right now or later. You will either get saved now or wish you would have later.
Proverbs 5:8‑14 Remove thy way far from her, and come not nigh the door of her house:
9 Lest thou give thine honour unto others, and thy years unto the cruel:
10 Lest strangers be filled with thy wealth; and thy labours be in the house of a stranger;
11 And thou mourn at the last, when thy flesh and thy body are consumed,
12 And say, How have I hated instruction, and my heart despised reproof;
13 And have not obeyed the voice of my teachers, nor inclined mine ear to them that instructed me!
14 I was almost in all evil in the midst of the congregation and assembly.
Deuteronomy 32:29 Romans 6:21
Make sure you are not doing things now that will bring you shame latter.
Psalm 16:11 Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.
Elimelech left the will of God for financial security. The rotten fruit of this act resulted in improper marriages, deaths, and bitterness. Naomi could have prompted this job transfer for financial gain and social prestige. Money cannot buy happiness and security (1 Tim. 6:9-10).
TRUTHS FROM THE BOOK OF RUTH
Ruth 3:6-11 And she went down unto the floor, and did according to all that her mother in law bade her.
7 And when Boaz had eaten and drunk, and his heart was merry, he went to lie down at the end of the heap of corn: and she came softly, and uncovered his feet, and laid her down.
8 And it came to pass at midnight, that the man was afraid, and turned himself: and, behold, a woman lay at his feet.
9 And he said, Who art thou? And she answered, I am Ruth thine handmaid: spread therefore thy skirt over thine handmaid; for thou art a near kinsman.
10 And he said, Blessed be thou of the Lord, my daughter: for thou hast shewed more kindness in the latter end than at the beginning, inasmuch as thou followedst not young men, whether poor or rich.
11 And now, my daughter, fear not; I will do to thee all that thou requirest: for all the city of my people doth know that thou art a virtuous woman.
This act was not forwardness, fondness, or fornication; it was the principal foundation of marriage. Coverture means the state of a married woman, who is considered as undercover, or the power of her husband (1 Corinthians 11:3-16). The parents give the bride to the groom and the groom is to leave his parents and cleave to his wife (Gen. 2:24; Matt. 19:5). Ruth left the false religion and culture of Moab to cleave to the oneness of her husband (Eph. 5:21-24).
Ruth 3:9 And he said, Who art thou? And she answered, I am Ruth thine handmaid: spread therefore thy skirt over thine handmaid; for thou art a near kinsman.
Boaz is a type of Christ redeeming His bride (Rom. 3:24; Gal. 4:1-5). Boaz was the Lord of the harvest (Matt. 9:38; Luke 10:2), master of servants (Gal. 1:10), bridegroom (2 Cor. 11:2; Eph. 5:32), redeemer (Gal. 3:13), and giver of abundant life (John 10:10).
The main characters and their types
Naomi – Israel
Ruth – The Believer or church
Boaz – Jesus Christ
The unnamed near kinsman – the Law
Ruth doesn’t replace Naomi
Ruth learns of Boaz through Naomi
Boaz confronted the near kinsman as her advocate
What Is A Kinsman Redeemer?
Kinsman – 12x Redeem – 8x
The kinsman-redeemer is a male relative who had the privilege or responsibility to act on behalf of a relative who was in trouble, danger, or need. The Hebrew term (go el) for kinsman-redeemer designates one who delivers or rescues (Genesis 48:16; Exodus 6:6) or redeems property or person (Leviticus 27:9–25, 25:47–55). The kinsman who redeems or vindicates a relative is illustrated most clearly in the book of Ruth, where the kinsman-redeemer is Boaz.
The purpose of the Kinsman Redeemer
To protect the family’s inheritance
Provide for the widow of the brother
Procreation from the widow for a future seed
The requirements of the Kinsman Redeemer
Kinsman – He had to be related – this is why God had to become man
Must be able – He had to have the resources – God is rich in mercy and grace and is the only one with the pure righteousness you need for salvation.
Must be willing – He had to want to do it – Jesus wanted to redeem us – Ephesians 5
Ruth is a picture of the waiting believer, content to rest at the kinsman redeemer’s feet, until such time as he is ready to perform his work and take her to himself as his bride. Upon arriving in Bethlehem, Naomi sends Ruth to glean in the fields of Boaz, a wealthy relative of Naomi to whom they, through a series of divinely appointed circumstances, appeal as their “go el” or kinsman-redeemer. Boaz agrees, willingly takes Ruth as his wife, and together they bear a son named Obed who became the grandfather of David, the forefather of Jesus. Boaz was glad to accede to Ruth’s request, but there was another who had a previous claim.
Before God can move in our redemption the claim of sin has to be met. This Jesus did on
Calvary, therefore, we can be saved today just by trusting him.
Understanding MOAB helps you understand how (like us) Ruth was so unworthy and this is a picture of salvation by grace.
MOAB – Genesis 19:35-37 – cursed from the beginning
An idolatrous, immoral enemy of God and His people
King of Moab – Balak – Numbers 22-25
God cursed Moab – Deuteronomy 23:13; Isaiah 16:13-14
The curse is in place unless there is a turning to the LORD – Isaiah 56:1-10
Jehovah is Israel’s Redeemer, the one who promises to defend and vindicate them. He is both Father and Deliverer (Exodus 20:2). God is appealed to many times in the Old Testament as rescuer of the weak and needy (Psalm 82:4; Daniel 6:27; Jeremiah 20:13) and preserver of the sheep of Israel (Ezekiel 34:10–12, 22).
In the New Testament, Christ is regarded as an example of a kinsman-redeemer because, as our brother (Hebrews 2:11 & 17), He also redeems us because of our great need, one that only He can satisfy. In Ruth 3:9, we see a beautiful and strong picture of the needy beggar, unable to rescue herself, requesting of the kinsman-redeemer that he cover her with his protection, redeem her, and make her his wife. In the same way, the Lord Jesus Christ bought us for Himself, out of the curse, out of our destitution; (Galatians 3:13; 4:4-6) made us His own beloved; and blessed us for all generations. He is the true kinsman-redeemer of all who call on Him in faith.
Ruth 4:13-14 So Boaz took Ruth, and she was his wife: and when he went in unto her, the Lord gave her conception, and she bare a son.
14 And the women said unto Naomi, Blessed be the Lord, which hath not left thee this day without a kinsman, that his name may be famous in Israel.
Jesus is our Brother – Romans 8:17; Hebrews 2:11 & 17
Sin separated us from the Father leaving us orphans like Naomi and Ruth
Jesus came to our rescue – and through His shed blood on the cross for our sins, He has bought our salvation and freedom from sin and restored our relationship with the Father.
In exchange, we become the Bride of Christ
Ruth is a type of the Gentile bride of Christ. Ruth’s first husband died, which pictures the death of the flesh of the born-again believer (Romans 7:1-4). Her second marriage with Boaz was more binding than the first (Deuteronomy 24:1-4), which pictures the eternal security of the born-again believer.
CONCLUSION: Teacher, there should be a wealth of teaching in this lesson. Such lessons should be taught: Be careful whom you marry. Don’t let the Devil deceive you. Realize that the best place and the safest place and the happiest place is in the will of God. Realize what sin does to the face and to the body. Realize that God will take our lives if we get too far out of His will. Realize that there is no way to be happy unless we stay in the will of God. Realize the world’s offers are counterfeit. There are so many lessons that our young people need to know. Warn them of backsliding! Warn them of sin!