Message NotesRuth – Part 1 Page 1
Sunday January 24th 2016
1). Ru 1:1 ¶ 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 Bethlehem, Judah, went to dwell in the country of Moab, he and his wife and his two sons. 2 The name of the man was Elimelech, the name of his wife was Naomi, and the names of his two sons were Mahlon and Chilion-Ephrathites of Bethlehem, Judah. And they went to the country of Moab and remained there. 3 Then Elimelech, Naomi's husband, died; and she was left, and her two sons. 4 Now they took wives of the women of Moab: the name of the one was Orpah, and the name of the other Ruth. And they dwelt there about ten years. 5 Then both Mahlon and Chilion also died; so the woman survived her two sons and her husband.
a). As we might remember the Book of Ruth is one of only 2 Books in the Bible named for women, the other being Esther – and these 2 books, along with Hebrews, are the only books for which no earthly author is known.
b). And interestingly both Ruth and Esther are types of those who will be the Wife of God in the Millennial Kingdom – Ruth picturing those who will be the Bride of Christ, God the Son, and Esther picturing the repentant and restored Israel whom God the Father will re-marry following the nation’s restoration at the conclusion of the Tribulation – a marriage that is prophetically pictured through the first sign given in the Gospel of John within a sequence of 7 days - Joh 2:1 ¶ On the third day there was a wedding in Cana of Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there.
c). And of course the 7 days with a wedding seen in John with regards to Israel is a repetition of what is found in the opening Chapter of all of scripture, Genesis Chapter 1, with regards to Christ and His Wife as both take us to exactly the same point in time.
d). And as we go back into the foundation for a moment there is something in particular that we will want to take note of from the Genesis account following the ruin of God’s original creation brought about by Satan’s
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rebellion which we can see in - Eze 28:15 You were perfect in your ways from the day you were created, Till iniquity was found in you. 16 "By the abundance of your trading You became filled with violence within, And you sinned; Therefore I cast you as a profane thing Out of the mountain of God; And I destroyed you, O covering cherub, From the midst of the fiery stones. 17 "Your heart was lifted up because of your beauty; You corrupted your wisdom for the sake of your splendor; I cast you to the ground, I laid you before kings, That they might gaze at you. 18 "You defiled your sanctuaries By the multitude of your iniquities, By the iniquity of your trading;
At an unspecified time following the ruin of the heavens and the earth God intervened through a sovereign act of His own will to set in motion the process to restore that which had been ruined - Ge 1:2 The earth became without form, and void; and darkness was on the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters. 3 ¶ Then God said, "Let there be light"; and there was light. 4 And God saw the light, that it was good; and God divided the light from the darkness. 5 God called the light Day, and the darkness He called Night. So the evening and the morning were the first day.
e). There is then a beginning point to God’s restoration as seen here in the first day, but then beyond this beginning point there are another 5 days of restorative work, making 6 days altogether, culminating in the creation of a Man and the building of a Woman from a part of the Man’s body on the 6th day for the purpose of the Man and the Woman together in a marriage relationship, having dominion, ruling, over the earth in the place of Satan and his angels during the 7th day – Ge 1:26 ¶ Then God said, "Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth." 27 So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. 28 Then God blessed them, and God said to them, "Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth."
f). And that set out through the 6 days of work followed by the 7th day of rest with a view to rulership is God’s divinely perfect and unchangeable method and purpose for restoring His ruined creation. Having set this pattern
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in place at the very beginning of scripture any subsequently ruined creation must be restored according to exactly the same pattern.
g). Well as we know God’s new creation on the 6th day, Man, was ruined in the fall – the Woman being deceived by Satan and the Man knowingly and intentionally entering into sin with her looking to redemption so that God’s purpose for their creation would be accomplished – The Man could not rule apart from the Woman and the Woman could not be redeemed apart from the Man entering into her sin as only together could they be complete and only as a complete being could they fulfill God’s purpose for them – Ge 2:21 ¶ And the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall on Adam, and he slept; and He took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh in its place. 22 Then the rib which the LORD God had taken from man He made into a woman, and He brought her to the man. 23 And Adam said: "This is now bone of my bones And flesh of my flesh; She shall be called Woman, Because she was taken out of Man." 24 Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh. 25 And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed.
All of this of course forms a type, a picture of Christ and His Bride.
h). Then in addition to this foundational type we will realize that through the fall all of Mankind would now be fallen and no longer in the image and likeness of God, but in the likeness of fallen Adam - Ge 5:3 And Adam lived one hundred and thirty years, and begot a son in his own likeness, after his image, and named him Seth.
Every procreated human being from this time onwards is born dead in trespasses and sins and is completely incapable of doing anything to change this situation for themselves.
i). Adam and Eve were also expelled from the Garden and cut off from the tree of life unable to fulfill their purpose, but God had acted on their behalf in a realm that only He could operate in, redemption, through death and shed blood - Ge 3:21 ¶ Also for Adam and his wife the LORD God made tunics of skin, and clothed them.
j). And here is the beginning point, paralleling that seen in day 1 when the light shone in the darkness, for the restoration of God’s ruined creation
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Man. God had to act on Man’s behalf to begin the process of redemption – a redemption/restoration that would require another 5 days of work, making 6 days altogether, to be followed by a 7th day of rest and rulership, but these days of restoration would not be 24 hours in duration as seen in Genesis Chapter 1, but rather they would be 1000 years in duration as we see in –
2Pe 3:8 ¶ But, beloved, do not forget this one thing, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.
There are then 6000 years of work followed by a 7th 1000 years of rest. This gives us a complete period of time in which God will deal with all human beings with a view to their complete redemption spirit, soul and body. And for each of us individually, in the antitype of Adam and Eve in Genesis 3:21, we have all experienced the beginning point of this redemptive process. This happened when the Holy Spirit breathed the breath of life into the one dead in trespasses and sins as we believed on the Lord Jesus Christ’s sacrifice for us, His death and shed blood, and received the free gift of eternal life. This is the redemption of our spirit and that pictured through the subsequent 5 days of work in genesis Chapter 1 beyond this beginning point must be our experience also if we are once again to be in the image and likeness of God having a redeemed spirit, soul and body so as to have access to the tree of life in the Millennial Kingdom - Re 2:7 "He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes I will give to eat from the tree of life, which is in the midst of the Paradise of God."'
2). Now we have spent time laying all this foundation, because what we see in foundation is what the Book of Ruth is all about. And it is not possible to properly understand Ruth without this foundation being in place.
a). Briefly then, by way of a synopsis, we can see the same beginning point for Ruth in v4 of Chapter 1 which we read at the start this morning –
4 Now they took wives of the women of Moab: the name of the one was Orpah, and the name of the other Ruth. And they dwelt there about ten years.
Orpah and Ruth, both Gentiles, become members of a Jewish family, this is the beginning point for them previously seen in the light shining out of the darkness and Adam and Eve being covered with animal skins, which in the antitype points to our eternal salvation, the redemption of our spirit – and why do they become members of a Jewish family? Simply because of that
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which the scriptures record - Jon 2:9 But I will sacrifice to You With the voice of thanksgiving; I will pay what I have vowed. Salvation is of the LORD."
Joh 4:22b "…………….. for salvation is of the Jews.
b). Because of the pattern that has been set in Genesis Chapter 1 there has to be a process for Ruth beyond her beginning point, paralleling the subsequent 5 days of work. This process for her is pictured through her journey to Bethlehem, her gleaning in Boaz’s field and her preparation for going to Boaz’s threshing floor. This then leads to marriage with Boaz, the kinsman redeemer, and a redeemed inheritance. And beyond the redeemed inheritance regality/rulership are seen through their great grandson David the king – Ru 4:17 Also the neighbor women gave him a name, saying, "There is a son born to Naomi." And they called his name Obed. He is the father of Jesse, the father of David.
c). So then, by way of introduction, we have laid the foundation and seen the overview – let’s now go back and look at the detail beginning again with the first 2 verses.
3). Ru 1:1 ¶ 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 Bethlehem, Judah, went to dwell in the country of Moab, he and his wife and his two sons. 2 The name of the man was Elimelech, the name of his wife was Naomi, and the names of his two sons were Mahlon and Chilion-Ephrathites of Bethlehem, Judah. And they went to the country of Moab and remained there.
a). Although we look at the Book of Ruth through the type/antitype teaching it gives to us we should remember that this is an account of real people who existed within an historical context, an historical context seen in the Book preceding Ruth unsurprisingly called, ‘Judges’.
b). The period of time ‘when the judges ruled’ was about 300 years from the death of Joshua to Samuel the prophet and because we know that David the king was the great grandson of Ruth and Boaz the events in the Book of
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Ruth would have to have occurred towards the close of this 300 year period. And as Saul, Israel’s first king came to the throne about 1050BC and reigned for 40 years so the events recorded in Ruth would probably have occurred during the previous century, possibly any time from 1150BC onwards.
c). What is particularly significant for us though, because of the type/antitype structure of the Book, is to understand from a scriptural perspective what characterized the days when the judges ruled and what this then points to with regards to future events.
d). There is one verse which really sums up for us the circumstances that existed during the days when the Judges ruled, the very last verse in the Book of Judges, the last thing recorded before Ruth begins – Jg 21:25 In those days there was no king in Israel; everyone did what was right in his own eyes.
e). There was during this time a continuous cycle of action and reaction with regards to Israel and God as a result of what we see in the verse from Judges 21, something we can see demonstrated through Judges Chapter 2. A Chapter which sets the perspective for the rest of the Book - Jg 2:11 Then the children of Israel did evil in the sight of the LORD, and served the Baals; 12 and they forsook the LORD God of their fathers, who had brought them out of the land of Egypt; and they followed other gods from among the gods of the people who were all around them, and they bowed down to them; and they provoked the LORD to anger.
As a result of Israel’s disobedience the Lord’s anger was aroused against them
Jg 2:14 And the anger of the LORD was hot against Israel. So He delivered them into the hands of plunderers who despoiled them; and He sold them into the hands of their enemies all around, so that they could no longer stand before their enemies. 15 Wherever they went out, the hand of the LORD was against them for calamity, as the LORD had said, and as the LORD had sworn to them.
Israel then was afflicted at the hands of the Gentile nations who they had been commanded to drive out of the land when they entered it under Joshua, something they had failed to do. Then as a result of this Gentile affliction –
Jg 2:15b …………..And they were greatly distressed.
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Israel’s great distress led to a cry of repentance to which a merciful God responded - Jg 2:16 Nevertheless, the LORD raised up judges who delivered them out of the hand of those who plundered them.
But then the cycle began all over again - Jg 2:19 And it came to pass, when the judge was dead, that they reverted and behaved more corruptly than their fathers, by following other gods, to serve them and bow down to them. They did not cease from their own doings nor from their stubborn way.
This continuing cycle eventually led to the Assyrian and Babylonian captivities and the end of the Theocracy as we have seen in our previous studies.
f). So then, the famine in the land that caused Elimelech and his family to leave Bethlehem, Judah, to go to the land of Moab, a Gentile nation, would be part of God’s judgment upon His people and therefore place this event during one of the nation’s downward spirals into disobedience; Elimelech and his family picturing the Jewish nation as a whole. And although this would have been a literal famine we cannot help but hear echoes of that prophesied in - Am 8:11 ¶ "Behold, the days are coming," says the Lord GOD, "That I will send a famine on the land, Not a famine of bread, Nor a thirst for water, But of hearing the words of the LORD.
g). This then provides us with the historical context for the Book of Ruth which the Lord then uses to take us to events surrounding the time of the Lord’s first advent through to the future Millennial Kingdom.
4). Israel scattered amongst the Gentile nations is a circumstance that has existed since the time of the Assyrian/Babylonian captivity and although there were Jews back in Israel practicing Temple worship at the time of the Lord’s first advent they were there in disobedience under Gentile domination and still scattered in Gentile lands and this is still true of their condition today.
a). And just as Moses had come to Israel with the offer of the earthly realm of the kingdom so the One greater than Moses came to the nation with the offer of the heavenly realm of the kingdom – which as we know Israel rejected resulting in 2 consequences. Firstly, the heavenly kingdom was taken from them to be offered to those who would comprise a new nation –
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Mt 21:43 "Therefore I say to you, the kingdom of God will be taken from you and given to a nation bearing the fruits of it.
And secondly, Israel was set aside while God would deal with this new group of household servants. Something we have recently seen in our study of the Matthew 13 parables - Mt 13:1 ¶ On the same day Jesus went out of the house and sat by the sea.
b). If we now bring this back to the Book of Ruth this is what we find –
Ru 1:1 ¶ 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 Bethlehem, Judah, went to dwell in the country of Moab, he and his wife and his two sons. 2 The name of the man was Elimelech, the name of his wife was Naomi, and the names of his two sons were Mahlon and Chilion-Ephrathites of Bethlehem, Judah. And they went to the country of Moab and remained there. 3 Then Elimelech, Naomi's husband, died; and she was left, and her two sons. 4 Now they took wives of the women of Moab: the name of the one was Orpah, and the name of the other Ruth. And they dwelt there about ten years. 5 Then both Mahlon and Chilion also died; so the woman survived her two sons and her husband.
We see a Jewish family remaining in a Gentile land for 10 years – pointing to a complete period of time which pictures Israel scattered amongst the Gentile nations until the time that God has allotted for this has been completed.
c). We also see 3 deaths in this family pointing to God’s complete, divine judgment upon the nation within the complete period of time allotted to them, but we also see that Naomi survives her husband and her sons showing us that although complete, Divine judgment will be enacted upon the nation the nation will survive and will not be destroyed.
d). And in the midst of this we see Orpah and Ruth, Gentile women, becoming part of this Jewish family with death in view pointing us once again to that which we saw prophetically represented at the beginning of Matthew Chapter 13 – God calling out of the Gentiles a people for His name to receive the offer of the kingdom of the heavens which Israel had rejected. Something made possible through the death of our Lord with Israel also in the place of death during the time in which this is to take place.
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5). Ru 1:6 ¶ Then she arose with her daughters-in-law that she might return from the country of Moab, for she had heard in the country of Moab that the LORD had visited His people by giving them bread. 7 Therefore she went out 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.
a). Immediately following the verse telling of the deaths of Mahlon and Chilion we find the beginning of a journey that will end in the land of Judah. For Naomi this is a return journey, but for Orpah and Ruth this is entirely new.
b). The symbolism here is full of meaning - Ge 49:10 The scepter shall not depart from Judah, Nor a lawgiver from between his feet, Until Shiloh comes; And to Him shall be the obedience of the people.
The land of Judah then pictures the place of rulership, the place where the scepter is held and we will remember that the Lord comes from the tribe of Judah - Heb 7:14 For it is evident that our Lord arose from Judah,
c). And within the land of Judah they will return to Bethlehem, the house of bread, the city that will become the city of David and we will remember that our Lord is the greater son of David spoken of prophetically in –
2Sa 7:12 "When your days are fulfilled and you rest with your fathers, I will set up your seed after you, who will come from your body, and I will establish his kingdom. 13 "He shall build a house for My name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever. 14 "I will be his Father, and he shall be My son.
d). And so if we put all this together we realize that the journey to be embarked upon by Naomi, Orpah and Ruth finds its conclusion in the Millennial Kingdom of Christ. For Naomi, picturing the nation of Israel, this is a return journey in the sense that there was a time when God dwelt in the midst of His people Israel and the Theocracy existed upon the earth and this will again be true in its fullest sense in the 7th Day.
e). And for Orpah and Ruth, picturing Christians, rulership in the 7th Day is the same destination, but no Christian has yet experienced this and in this sense it is new.
f). We will need to continue with this next time though – if the Lord is willing.
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The light shines in the darkness
5 more days of restoration
A Man and a Woman to rule in the 7th Day
Part of a Jewish Family
gleaning in Boaz’s field
Boaz marries Ruth
Hearing the Word of the Kingdom
Christ marries His Bride