Scripture reading for March 15th: Ruth 1-4
The story of Ruth is set in the time of Judges between 40-100 years before the time of David (1000 BC). This simple story unfolds as a famine forces an Israelite family to leave Israel for Moab. Elimelech, his wife Naomi, and their two sons, Mahlon and Kilion, stay in Moab. The husband dies. Both sons marry Moabite girls and they die as well. Naomi is left bitter, without her sons, and ready to return to her land and people.
Naomi told her daughters-in-law to go back to their own people. She was too old to have more sons for them to marry. Orpah went back but Ruth clung to her mother-in-law and made a beautiful confession of devotion and faith. (Ruth 1:16-17) Ruth was ready to follow Naomi and Naomi’s God until death!
Choices have consequences. In choosing to go to the land of Israel, Ruth, a decendant of Lot, was an alien and would not have had an inheritance. There was no welfare or jobless benefits so Ruth began to glean fields. (Deuteronomy 24:19) She would work as she could to get food for her family. But God’s divine providence placed Ruth in the field of Boaz, a close relative of Naomi’s. Boaz was also a descendant of Rahab, the harlot that hid the spies! Because of her hard work and humble spirit, Ruth’s good reputation became known. (Ruth 2:11-12) Ruth appealed to him as a “close relative” and he took her as his wife, spreading his covering over her!
Both Ruth and Boaz are mentioned in the genealogy of Jesus Christ! (Matthew 1:5-6) Jesus Christ is our “kinsman-redeemer”. Ruth is a type of “Gentile” bride for Jesus. He is a “close relative” who has bought us back from slavery to sin. When we humbly appeal to Him in faith, He will surely make cover us and buy us back! When we closely read this beautiful story, we get a glimpse into the heart of God and Jesus Christ! Thank the Lord for being our “Kinsman-Redeemer”!
“Who are you?” he asked. “I am your servant Ruth,” she said. “Spread the corner of your garment over me, since you are a kinsman-redeemer.” (Ruth 3:9)
Greetings! Our faith brings us to another day of rest in Jesus Christ! He conquered our walled city of self and the walls fell outward. His love entered and we were overcome! Our “Joshua” advanced on us with the presence of God, in the Holy Spirit. His army went ahead, trumpets blaring, banners flying and worshiping their way to victory, speaking to the walls with a mighty shout! Each member of the army was armed with that powerful sword of His word and followed the Presence! The old man was slain and the goods of the city devoted to God! We were among the spoil, more precious than silver or gold, iron or bronze!
Like Rahab, we had prostituted ourselves but were drawn by members of God’s army to plead for mercy. We trusted in the scarlet cord of Jesus’ blood to save us from destruction. We gathered our loved ones in a blood-marked room. We waited in faith and heard the shout. The earth rumbled, walls fell, but we were kept safe. We were brought out and joined to the people of God with great joy! What a joy it is to be conquered by God! What a celebration it is to march with the army of God and be armed with His Presence and holy Word!
Take time today to celebrate with God’s people (army) and arm yourself with a sharpened sword (Word)! He is worthy of our faith and worship!
In His Love, Pastor John