Message NotesRuth – Part 5 Page 1
Sunday February 21st 2016
1). Ru 1:14 Then they lifted up their voices and wept again; and Orpah kissed her mother-in-law, but Ruth clung to her.
a). As we have seen in previous weeks both Orpah and Ruth remain members of the Jewish family beyond that seen in this verse and that family relationship does not change. However, the outcome for each of these women as a result of the decision they make here is starkly different.
b). It is only Ruth who we see being rewarded on Boaz’s threshing floor, whereas nothing more is said of Orpah.
c). And as we have also seen in previous weeks, the Book of Ruth is a Book which presents a type of the faithful Christian, and this is the focus of the Book – and because of this there is no need for Orpah to be seen again because the outcome for the unfaithful Christian, of whom Orpah forms the type, is dealt with elsewhere in the scriptures.
d). And to find the complete picture for Orpah, and indeed Ruth for that matter, we would need to do that which we instructed in Isaiah putting precept upon precept, line upon line and taking here a little and there a little.
e). Now as we look at the separation that takes place in v14 we will realize that there is not only a separation between Orpah and Ruth but also between Orpah and Naomi.
f). As Ruth continues on the journey with Naomi so she continues to receive that which Naomi, forming a type of the word of God given to Israel, instructs her. And these instructions are received with a very particular end in view.
g). So, as we consider Ruth continuing to receive and Orpah not receiving that pictured through Naomi’s instructions we will be drawn to a parable that parallels this situation and adds more detail to it –
Mt 25:1 ¶ "Then the kingdom of heaven shall be likened to ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. 2 "Now five of them were wise, and five were foolish. 3 "Those who were foolish took their lamps and took
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no oil with them, 4 "but the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps. 5 "But while the bridegroom was delayed, they all slumbered and slept. 6 "And at midnight a cry was heard: 'Behold, the bridegroom is coming; go out to meet him!'
Hopefully the parallels here will be obvious for us – the wise and the foolish are all virgins, they all have lamps and all have oil in their lamps, and this addresses the same picture as Orpah and Ruth becoming and remaining a part of the Jewish family and gives us another facet of eternal salvation; the oil in each lamp pointing to the indwelling of the Holy Spirit; the experience of every Christian who has believed on the Lord Jesus Christ.
h). In the lamp each one carries we would also see the word of God as pictured through Naomi - Ps 119:105 ¶ NUN. Your word is a lamp to my feet And a light to my path.
i). The only thing then that distinguishes the wise from the foolish is that the wise possess an extra supply of oil which the foolish do not. And we know from our study of this parable that the extra supply of oil is a metaphor for having an ‘extra supply’ of the Holy Spirit, the very thing that is addressed in - Eph 5:17 Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is. 18 And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be [continually] filled with the Spirit, 19 speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord,
And this we set aside the companion Book to Ephesians, Colossians –
Col 3:16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.
j). Having the extra supply of oil, being continually filled with the Spirit through ‘the word of Christ’ found in the scriptures, is exactly what we see pictured through Ruth clinging to Naomi and continuing the journey with her. For Ruth, as a result of her action, there is recognition at Boaz’s threshing floor, a redeemed inheritance and marriage with regality in view, the exact same thing seen with regards to the wise virgins in Matthew 25 –
Mt 25:10 "And while they [the foolish] went to buy, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready [those who were properly prepared] went in with him to the wedding; and the door was shut.
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k). Now, as we have seen, nothing is said in the Book of Ruth about Orpah after she separates herself from Ruth and Naomi, but we do get detail with regards to her and the Christians she typifies through the foolish virgins whom she parallels – Mt 25:11 "Afterward the other virgins came also, saying, 'Lord, Lord, open to us!' 12 "But he answered and said, 'Assuredly, I say to you, I do not know you.'
l). And please remember that what we see pictured through Ruth and Orpah and the wise and foolish virgins has nothing whatsoever to do with eternal verities – the Christian’s eternal destination has already been determined through the finished work of Christ at Calvary and nothing can change that – No, what we see here is all to do with the 7th Day, a marriage relationship and positions of rulership in Christ’s Millennial Kingdom, the final age before the endless ages of what we call eternity begin.
m). And the teaching derived from this is very clear – the faithful Christian who is properly prepared, pictured through Ruth, Rebekah and the wise virgins et al, will be rewarded with a position of rulership in Christ’s Millennial Kingdom as Christ’s Wife, His Consort Queen, whereas the unfaithful Christian who has not made the proper preparations pictured through Orpah, the foolish virgins etc. will be denied a position of rulership within the Kingdom Age.
2). Then as we look at the separation of Orpah from Ruth and Naomi there is another type that we can take from it that will be extremely valuable to our understanding of what is pictured through Ruth’s work during the time of harvest.
a). What we are about to look at is probably one of those details that we don’t think much about, but let’s look at it a bit more closely - Ru 1:4 Now they took wives of the women of Moab: the name of the one [Lit. the first] was Orpah, and the name of the other[Lit. the second] Ruth. And they dwelt there about ten years.
b). It is not just by chance that Orpah is the first named of the 2 women because there is a truth seen throughout the scriptures whereby God rejects first things and establishes second things amongst that which He has rejected. And this is a truth that begins, unsurprisingly, in Genesis – God has rejected the first heavens and first earth and He will, following the Millennial Kingdom,
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destroy that which He has rejected, the present earth and heavens, and will bring into existence a new heavens and a new earth.
c). God has rejected Satan the earth’s first ruler and He will, following the conclusion of the Tribulation, remove this first ruler and give the Kingdom to the second ruler, Christ.
d). God rejected the first man, Adam and He has brought forth and accepted the second Man, Christ.
e). God has rejected the works of the first man, works of the flesh, and He has accepted the works of the second Man, works of the Spirit – God rejected Abraham’s firstborn, Ishmael, ‘born after the flesh’ and He accepted Abraham’s second born, Isaac, ‘born after the Spirit’. God rejects Vashti and establishes Esther. No doubt we get the idea.
f). In Orpah and Ruth then we can picture our own present condition – the man of the flesh, inextricably connected to our first birth, and the man of the spirit as a result of our second birth, existing side by side together in our physical body for a complete period of time - Joh 3:6 "That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.
g). And as we have previously seen, God rejects the first and establishes the second. There is no blessing, no inheritance, no improvement for our old man, but despite knowing this we still have to choose on a daily basis whether we will follow the dictates of our old man and walk in the flesh or embrace the man of the spirit and walk in the spirit. And if we are to gain the victory over the world, the flesh and the devil, as we clearly see from the Book of Ruth, there must be a separation one from the other and this separation can only be accomplished by clinging to the word of God – Heb 4:12a For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit…….
Ro 12:2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.
h). Keeping all of this in mind let’s now continue in Ruth Chapter 1.
3). Ru 1:19 ¶ Now the two of them went until they came to Bethlehem. And it happened, when they had come to Bethlehem, that all the city was excited
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because of them; and the women said, "Is this Naomi?" 20 But she said to them, "Do not call me Naomi; call me Mara, for the Almighty has dealt very bitterly with me. 21 "I went out full, and the LORD has brought me home again empty. Why do you call me Naomi, since the LORD has testified against me, and the Almighty has afflicted me?" 22 So Naomi returned, and Ruth the Moabitess her daughter-in-law with her, who returned from the country of Moab. Now they came to Bethlehem at the beginning of barley harvest.
a). The first thing we will want to note is that Naomi and Ruth continue together to a particular destination, Bethlehem – a name that literally means, ‘House of Bread’. And it won’t escape our notice that Bethlehem is the place of our Lord’s birth - Joh 6:32 Then Jesus said to them, "Most assuredly, I say to you, Moses did not give you the bread from heaven, but My Father gives you the true bread from heaven. 33 "For the bread of God is He who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world." 34 Then they said to Him, "Lord, give us this bread always." 35 And Jesus said to them, "I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst.
He is ‘the bread from heaven’, ‘the bread of life’, the Word of God made flesh and Naomi’s and Ruth’s journey to Bethlehem pictures the Christian’s spiritual journey towards spiritual maturity through the process leading to ‘epignosis’ knowledge, understanding of the word of Christ, the word of the kingdom and being fruitful because of it - Mt 13:23 "But he who received seed on the good ground is he who hears the word [of the kingdom] and understands it, who indeed bears fruit and produces: some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty."
b). And this journey to maturity is only possible for the man of the spirit
Col 3:9……….since you have put off the old man with his deeds, 10 and have put on the new man who is renewed in knowledge [epignosis] according to the image of Him who created him,
c). This is the same process to maturity seen in - Ro 1:16 ¶ For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek. 17 For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith [from the faith with respect to the gospel of grace, to having faith with respect to the gospel of the glory of Christ]; as it is written, "The just shall live by faith."
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d). And the same maturing process as we move from milk, to meat, to the strong meat of the word - Heb 5:13 For everyone who partakes only of milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, for he is a babe. 14 But strong meat belongs to those who are of full age, that is, those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.
This is a process that takes us from the elementary principles of Christ, those things surrounding His death and resurrection, to understanding those things surrounding His Melchizedek Priesthood in the 7th Day.
e). It is then a process accompanied by work that has a specific and unambiguous end in view – Lu 19:16 "Then came the first, saying, 'Master, your mina has earned ten minas.' 17 "And he said to him, 'Well done, good servant; because you were faithful in a very little, have authority over ten cities.'
Re 2:26 "And he who overcomes, and keeps My works until the end, to him I will give power over the nations-- 27 'He shall rule them with a rod of iron; They shall be dashed to pieces like the potter's vessels' --as I also have received from My Father; 28 "and I will give him the morning star.
Ru 4:9 ¶ And Boaz said to the elders and all the people, "You are witnesses this day that I have bought all that was Elimelech's, and all that was Chilion's and Mahlon's, from the hand of Naomi. 10 "Moreover, Ruth the Moabitess, the widow of Mahlon, I have acquired as my wife, to perpetuate the name of the dead through his inheritance, that the name of the dead may not be cut off from among his brethren and from his position at the gate. You are witnesses this day."
Re 19:7 "Let us be glad and rejoice and give Him glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and His wife has made herself ready." 8 And to her it was granted to be arrayed in fine linen, clean and bright, for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints. 9 Then he said to me, "Write: 'Blessed are those who are called to the marriage supper of the Lamb!'" And he said to me, "These are the true sayings of God."
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And this specific and unambiguous end to which all of scripture moves, the end in which God’s purpose from the beginning will be brought to its conclusion – a Man and a Woman ruling together in the 7th Day, must be known if we are to make the journey correctly, work correctly in Christ’s field and thereby be properly prepared for our meeting with Him at His Judgment Seat.
f). And as an integral part of the process of ‘growing up in all things into Him who is the head’ we see that Naomi and Ruth arrive in Bethlehem at the beginning of barley harvest. And again, the timing of their arrival is not just an insignificant detail, but is rather fraught with spiritual significance.
g). Barley and wheat were planted in the fall and their harvest began in the spring of the following year with barley being the first crop to be harvested having been planted first – in consequence it was a sheaf of barley that the High Priest waved before the Lord on the Feast of Firstfruits, the third of the 7 feasts given to Israel as a prophetic calendar – Le 23:10 "Speak to the children of Israel, and say to them: 'When you come into the land which I give to you, and reap its harvest, then you shall bring a sheaf of the firstfruits of your harvest to the priest. 11 'He shall wave the sheaf before the LORD, to be accepted on your behalf; on the day after the Sabbath the priest shall wave it.
Now it was on the 3rd day following Passover in the year our Lord was crucified that Firstfruits was celebrated, therefore the High Priest’s waving of the sheaf of barley before the Lord on this day speaks of resurrection following death.
h). And so, what we need to learn from Naomi and Ruth arriving in Bethlehem at the beginning of barley harvest is that Ruth’s work in this harvest is a work in connection with resurrection.
i). This though is only part of the picture.
4). Ru 2:23 So she stayed close by the young women of Boaz, to glean until the end of barley harvest and wheat harvest; and she dwelt with her mother-in-law.
a). We will deal with the detail in this verse at a later point, but what we need to take from it at the moment is the reference to the wheat harvest as well as the barley harvest – and once more the introduction of the wheat harvest, although in the natural it would always follow on from barley, is not just an horticultural aside, but another facet of the truth to be placed
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alongside the truth seen through the barley harvest – resurrection following death. [Precept upon precept]
b). And to grasp the significance of the wheat harvest we can go to that which the Lord says in - Joh 12:23 But Jesus answered them, saying, "The hour has come that the Son of Man should be glorified. 24 "Most assuredly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it produces much grain. 25 "He who loves his life will lose it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal [age lasting] life.
The grain of wheat must first die if it is to be fruitful and this statement is sandwiched between the coming time of the Lord’s glorification and our losing our ‘life’ in this age in order to keep it in the age to come.
c). And losing our ‘life’ here has to do with denying our self –
Mt 16:24 ¶ Then Jesus said to His disciples, "If anyone [anyone of you – His disciples]desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. 25 "For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it. 26 "For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul? 27 "For the Son of Man will come in the glory of His Father with His angels, and then He will reward each according to his works. 28 "Assuredly, I say to you, there are some standing here who shall not taste death till they see the Son of Man coming in His kingdom."
And once more we see the inseparable connection between denying ourselves, being rewarded at Christ’s Judgment Seat with the Kingdom following.
d). So, to say this as simply as possible – the work that Ruth is to do in Boaz’s field is to be done in connection with resurrection and is also to be done in connection with death and resurrection. The work to be done is through the resurrection power of the Holy Spirit and must necessitate the death of self for this to be accomplished; Orpah and Ruth must be separated - Ga 5:24 And those who are Christ's have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.
Ro 8:13 For if you live according to the flesh you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live.
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e). And as we would expect this is a truth that has its origins in the foundation - Ge 1:9 ¶ Then God said, "Let the waters under the heavens be gathered together into one place, and let the dry land appear"; and it was so. 10 And God called the dry land Earth, and the gathering together of the waters He called Seas. And God saw that it was good. 11 Then God said, "Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb that yields seed, and the fruit tree that yields fruit according to its kind, whose seed is in itself, on the earth"; and it was so. 12 And the earth brought forth grass, the herb that yields seed according to its kind, and the tree that yields fruit, whose seed is in itself according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. 13 So the evening and the morning were the third day.
It is only after ‘the dry land’ has been raised from beneath the waters, raised from the place of death, by the power of the Holy Spirit that the land becomes fruitful – and this happens on the 3rd day.
f). It is from this ‘dry land’ that Adam is created and then finding himself in the place of death following the fall the only way that he can be fruitful is through the resurrection power of the Spirit.
g). This same truth is to be seen in the Red Sea crossing made by the first generation of Israel to come out of Egypt and is pictured for us time and again as we witness the ordinance of baptism - Ro 6:3 Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death?
4 Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. 5 For if we have been united together in the likeness of His death, certainly we also shall be in the likeness of His resurrection, 6 knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin. 7 For he who has died has been freed from sin. 8 Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him, 9 knowing that Christ, having been raised from the dead, dies no more. Death no longer has dominion over Him. 10 For the death that He died, He died to sin once for all; but the life that He lives, He lives to God. 11 Likewise you also, reckon yourselves to be dead indeed to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord. 12 Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body, that you should obey it in its lusts.
But as we can see from v12, and as we know from our own experience, even though our ‘old man’ was crucified and buried beneath the waters of baptism
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he is still able to ‘Bob’ up and we find ourselves in the position of continually having to push him down under the water. It is as we see in Day 1 of Genesis, the light shines forth, but the darkness still exists, Isaac is the son of promise but Ishmael is still around, Orpah and Ruth remain together for a complete period of time.
h). Do not however be discouraged, we can reckon ourselves ‘to be dead indeed to sin’ and we don’t have to let sin reign in our mortal body; we can choose to walk in the power of His resurrection – we can make the choice to cling to Naomi and go on to Bethlehem and work in Boaz’s field during barley and wheat harvest and have every confidence that we shall receive a just recompense of reward - Ru 3:11 "And now, my daughter, do not fear. I will do for you all that you request,
i). We will carry on with this next time though – if the Lord is willing.