Ruth

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‘But she said to them, “Do not call me Naomi; call me Mara, for the Almighty has dealt very bitterly with me”‘ (Ruth 1:20 NKJV).

May 5, 2017

When Naomi returned to her hometown of Bethlehem, the women of that small town hardly recognized her in such a downtrodden and depressed state. They asked one another, “Is this really Naomi?”

Naomi, whose name in Hebrew means, “pleasant,” had left Bethlehem years ago during a time of famine to go with her husband and her unmarried sons to live in the land of Moab. However, Moab became the place where she buried her husband and both of her sons. Now she was returning to Bethlehem with only the widow of one of her sons, a woman named Ruth. She told the women that had trouble recognizing her, “Don’t call me Naomi anymore. Call me Mara, which means bitter, because the Lord has dealt bitterly with me. For I went out full, and the Lord has brought me home again empty.”

We tend to think in extremes when we are discouraged or depressed. We exaggerate the memory of a happier time in our former condition and overstate the troubles in our current one. Grief and loss easily turn into bitterness. Yet, as Naomi would soon learn, she had not returned as empty as she thought. For Ruth would soon show herself to be worth “seven sons” (Ruth 4:15). And Naomi would spend her last days in fullness and joy.

Are you empty or bitter today? Give it to the Lord in prayer. Who knows what wonderful blessings He holds in store for you tomorrow!

Ruth: A Redeeming Faith

May 9, 2016 | Ruth 1:15-18 | character study, faith

In the book of Ruth, the Moabite widow named Ruth put her faith in the redeeming power of the God of Israel to rescue and redeem her and her mother-in-law Naomi. We can have faith in the redeeming power of God today. The text gives three steps on how to have a redeeming faith like Ruth’s.

“Blessed be the Lord, who has not left you this day without a redeemer, and may his name be renowned in Israel!” (Ruth 4:14 ESV)

May 6, 2016

The little book of Ruth is unique. Only one of two books in the Bible named for a woman, it is considered one of the great literary works of the Bible. It is a book about faith, love and redemption. It illustrates the application of the redemption law as found in Leviticus 25, which provided for a woman who had no male heir to retain her family’s property. This provision in the law called for a close family member to become a “go’el,” which is the Hebrew word for “kinsman-redeemer.” In Ruth, a man named Boaz takes the role of the “go’el,” a selfless act that enabled Naomi and Ruth to not only have an inheritance, but gave them a son to carry on the name of their dead son and husband. It seems ironic that it was a foreign woman who activated this law. Yet, God loves to draw those far away, near to Him in faith. So, the love story of Boaz and Ruth informs us of the kinsman-redeemer practice and also prepares us for the ultimate Kinsman-Redeemer, Jesus Christ.

“In the days when the judges ruled there was a famine in the land, and a man of Bethlehem in Judah went to sojourn in the country of Moab, he and his wife and his two sons” (Ruth 1:1 ESV)

May 5, 2016

Ironically, in Bethlehem, the “House of Bread,” there was a famine. And rather than staying in the land that God had provided, Elimelech took his wife Naomi and two sons to “sojourn” in Moab. Like many best laid plans their “sojourn” turned into 10 long, hard years and ended in the death of all three men. After this, Naomi heard that the Lord had “visited” his people with bread, so she decided to return home. She was determined to get out of Moab and get back to God’s land of promise. Even her widowed, daughter-in-law, Ruth, was determined to go with her. Though Ruth was a Moabite, she desired a better estate, and by faith followed Naomi to Bethlehem.
Beware of sojourning in Moab. Return quickly to the Lord. The longer you stay out there, the harder it is to return. Yet, as both Naomi and Ruth learned, the Lord is full of lovingkindness and is ready to redeem those who come to Him.

“Then the women said to Naomi, ‘Blessed be the Lord, who has not left you this day without a close relative'” (Ruth 4:14 NKJV)

May 6, 2015

The little books of Ruth and Jonah have much in common. Four chapters, literary works of art, easily seen as 4-act plays, and more… But more profound is that they both foreshadow great doctrines of redemption. Both books show how God’s message of salvation is for non-Jews too. In Jonah it’s the Ninevites and in Ruth it’s a Moabite. Jonah’s 3-days in the fish foreshadows Christ’s time in the tomb and resurrection. And Ruth’s redemption by Boaz foreshadows Christ’s redemption of all who come to Him. In Boaz, we see the Hebrew “kinsman-redeemer,” — the one according to Levitical law that was to redeem a deceased kin’s wife and property. This foreshadows Christ redeeming His bride, which is the Church. The redeemed Moabitess Ruth became the great grandmother of David, and therefore in the line of Jesus. And Naomi (meaning “pleasant”), who had changed her name to Mara (“bitter”), was happier than ever! Now that’s amazing redemption!

“Then the women of the town said to Naomi, ‘Praise the Lord, who has now provided a redeemer for your family! May this child be famous in Israel'” (Ruth 4:14 NLT)

May 6, 2014

The little book of Ruth illustrates the use of the Levitical law (found in Lev. 25) which provided for a woman who had no male heir to retain her family’s property. This provision in the law called for a close family member to become a “ga’al,” which is the Hebrew word for “kinsman-redeemer.” In Ruth, Boaz takes the role of the ga’al, a selfless act that enabled Naomi and Ruth not only to have an inheritance but gave them a son to carry on the name of their dead son and husband. It seems ironic that it was a foreign woman who activated this law. Yet, God often brings people that are far away, near to Him in faith. So, the story of Boaz and Ruth inform us of the kinsman-redeemer practice and also show us the preparation for the ultimate Kinsman-Redeemer, Jesus Christ, son of David, son of Jesse… Obed… Boaz and Ruth, and the Son of God.

“But Ruth replied, ‘Don’t ask me to leave you and turn back. Wherever you go, I will go; wherever you live, I will live. Your people will be my people, and your God will be my God'” (Ruth 1:16 NLT)

May 5, 2014

Ruth’s determination to stay with Naomi was surely based on a combination of love and faith. Even though Naomi could promise her no husband and no future, Ruth was willing to leave Moab and follow Naomi to Bethlehem. Her faithful love was rewarded. The Lord provided a Kinsmen-Redeemer for her named Boaz. And Ruth the Moabitess was grafted into the line of Judah, eventually becoming the grandmother of King David and being included in the gospel lineage of Jesus.

“I am Ruth, your servant. Spread your wings over your servant, for you are a redeemer” (Ruth 3:9 ESV)

May 6, 2013

The little books of Ruth and Jonah have much in common. Four chapters, literary works of art, easily seen as 4-act plays, and more… But more profound is that they both foreshadow great doctrines of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Both books show how God’s message of salvation is for non-Jews too. In Jonah it’s the Ninevites. In Ruth it’s the Moabite. Jonah’s 3-days in the fish foreshadows Christ’s time in the tomb and resurrection. And Ruth’s redemption by Boaz foreshadows Christ’s redemption of all who come to Him. In Boaz, we see the Hebrew “kinsman-redeemer,” — the one according to Levitical law that was to redeem a deceased kin’s wife and property. The Hebrew word is “ga’al,” and foreshadows Christ redeeming His bride, which is the Church. The redeemed Moabitess Ruth became the great grandmother of David, and therefore in the line of Jesus. Now that’s amazing redemption!