Message NotesRuth – Part 7 Page 1
Sunday March 6th 2016
1). Ru 2:8 Then Boaz said to Ruth, "You will listen, my daughter, will you not? Do not go to glean in another field, nor go from here, but stay close by my young women. 9 "Let your eyes be on the field which they reap, and go after them. Have I not commanded the young men not to touch you? And when you are thirsty, go to the vessels and drink from what the young men have drawn."
a). We have seen in our previous weeks of study how Ruth is a type, or a picture, of the faithful Christian who is sown out into the world in order to produce fruit, just as we had seen in the 4th part of the parable of the sower.
b). We have seen that the production of this fruit can only be accomplished through the ‘new man’, the man of the spirit, as we deny ourselves, take up our cross and follow our Lord, pictured for us through Ruth working from the beginning of barley harvest to the end of barley and wheat harvest.
c). And we have seen that fruit production, seen in Ruth gleaning in Boaz’s field, is for a very specific and clearly stated reason –
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.
d). The Kingdom of God, literally the Kingdom of the Heavens, had been rejected by eternally saved Israel at Christ’s first advent and because of that rejection rulership from the heavenly realm of the Kingdom over the earth was taken from them and is presently being offered to the one new man in Christ, the eternally saved of the 2000 years of this dispensation, within the context of a redeemed inheritance - 1Pe 1:3 ¶ Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, 5 who are kept by the power of God through faith for salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. 6 ¶ In this you greatly rejoice,
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though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, 7 that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ, 8 whom having not seen you love. Though now you do not see Him, yet believing, you rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory, 9 receiving the end of your faith--the salvation of your souls.
And we know that our hope, our incorruptible inheritance, is inextricably linked to ‘salvation ready to be revealed in the last time’, that which scripture calls, ‘the end [or completion] of your faith the salvation of your souls’ – the ‘so great a salvation’ of Hebrews 2:3, which Peter continues to write about –
1Pe 1:10 ¶ Of this salvation the prophets have inquired and searched carefully, who prophesied of the grace that would come to you, 11 searching what, or what manner of time, the Spirit of Christ who was in them was indicating when He testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ and the glories that would follow. 12 To them it was revealed that, not to themselves, but to us they were ministering the things which now have been reported to you through those who have preached the gospel to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven--things which angels desire to look into.
e). And we have seen that all Ruth does, from her setting out to go to Bethlehem with Naomi to her appearance at Boaz’s threshing floor, is under the direct guidance of Naomi, her mother-in-law; picturing the faithful Christian being instructed by, and faithfully obedient to, the scriptures – scriptures which were given to Israel the ‘mother’ of Jesus who would be the ‘mother-in-law’ of those pictured through Ruth.
f). Scriptures, the very content of which, as we have just read from 1 Peter, declare the coming Kingdom rule of Christ with His co-heirs from the New Jerusalem during the 7th Day.
g). Seeing this, beginning in Genesis Chapter 1, receiving this and believing this, is to be accompanied by a wholehearted, sincere and serious determination to seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness just as we have seen through Ruth’s unwavering determination to cling to Naomi, Rebekah’s determination to leave her family to go with the oldest servant and Caleb’s determination to take the mountain he was to receive as an inheritance and seen also in the Apostle Paul - Php 3:12 Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of
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that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me. 13 Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, 14 I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. 15 ¶ Therefore let us, as many as are mature, have this mind;
2). All of this, as we return to the account of Ruth, brings us to the place we began this morning, Ruth working in Boaz’s field and having been singled out for his personal attention because of what she had done and was presently doing - 1Pe 3:12 For the eyes of the LORD are on the righteous, And His ears are open to their prayers;
2Ch 16:9 "For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show Himself strong on behalf of those whose heart is loyal to Him.
a). And this is exactly what we find in Boaz’s initial encounter with Ruth as he gives her a very specific commandment - Do not go to glean in another field, nor go from here, but stay close by my young women. 9 "Let your eyes be on the field which they reap, and go after them.
And all of this must be seen in both the type and the antitype within the context of the conclusion of the matter, marriage and a redeemed inheritance with regality in view – that which we had read in 1 Peter Chapter 1.
b). So, in the natural, it is easy for us to see Ruth staying in the physical boundary of Boaz’s field, close by his young women in order that she might find favor and protection from him as she completed her work, but what does this look like for us as we take this into the spiritual realm to try to understand the antitype of what is seen here?
c). Well let’s begin by remembering that according to - Mt 13:38 "The field is the world,
And as we have already seen today we have been sown out into the world to produce fruit in the antitype of Ruth gleaning. We also know that this can’t take place except by walking in the Spirit having put to death the deeds of the body, in faithful obedience to the scriptures. The idea of going to another ‘field’ then would be ‘working’ apart from the instruction of the scriptures, apart from walking in the Spirit. And as nothing we would do apart from the
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scriptures and apart from walking in the Spirit could have any value with respect to producing fruit for the Kingdom there is the implied warning not to lose that which God has promised us through choosing to be continually carnally minded. This idea of going to another ‘field’ is what we saw last week through the 10 spies’ bad report at Kadesh Barnea and that pictured in the 3rd part of the parable of the sower - Mt 13:22 "Now he who received seed among the thorns is he who hears the word, and the cares of this world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and he becomes unfruitful.
d). Now because of what we see in the Matthew 13 parables we would also need to take this a step further – Ruth had already been gleaning in Boaz’s field and in that sense was already being fruitful, just like the 4th group in the parable of the sower. And we will remember that in order to try to stop those in this 4th group who were producing fruit from continuing to do so, Satan had sown tares amongst the wheat - Mt 13:38 "The field is the world, the good seeds are the sons of the kingdom, but the tares are the sons of the wicked one. 39 "The enemy who sowed them is the devil, the harvest is the end of the age, and the reapers are the angels. 40 "Therefore as the tares are gathered and burned in the fire, so it will be at the end of this age.
That which the tares did at the beginning of this dispensation we will remember was to introduce a counterfeit message to that of the word of the kingdom amongst the eternally saved thereby beginning the leavening process pictured in the parable of the leaven.
e). To glean in another field, in this context, would be to receive this counterfeit message and begin the ‘work’ in relation to it completely outside of that which the whole counsel of God demands. It is not OK to fill our minds with any old thing that calls itself ‘Christian’; we must confine ourselves to that which is the truth of scripture, allowing scripture to interpret itself just as Ruth the whole time dwelt with Naomi.
f). And while looking at the parable of the wheat and tares at the moment, we can find an explanation for something else that Boaz says to Ruth in Chapter 2 v9 - Have I not commanded the young men not to touch you?
The young men and the reapers are one and the same and they are, according to Matthew 13:39, angels. And there is both a present and a future application to be seen in this. Let’s go back to what we find in the parable before the Lord
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gives His explanation of it - Mt 13:24 ¶ Another parable He put forth to them, saying: "The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field; 25 "but while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat and went his way. 26 "But when the grain had sprouted and produced a crop, then the tares also appeared. 27 "So the servants of the owner came and said to him, 'Sir, did you not sow good seed in your field? How then does it have tares?' 28 "He said to them, 'An enemy has done this.' The servants said to him, 'Do you want us then to go and gather them up?' 29 "But he said, 'No, lest while you gather up the tares you also uproot the wheat with them. 30 'Let both grow together until the harvest, and at the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, "First gather together the tares and bind them in bundles to burn them, but gather the wheat into my barn."'"
During this dispensation then there will be no uprooting of the tares in case the wheat would also be uprooted in the process. In this sense then there would be no interference from the young men towards Ruth which would prevent her from gleaning during the time of harvest and no interference for us as we produce fruit for the Kingdom – this is the present application for Boaz’s command to the young men not to touch Ruth.
g). If we then take this to a future application at Christ’s Judgment Seat then those who have continued as Ruth did will not be ‘touched’ by ‘the young men’, the angels at this time either - Mt 13:41 "The Son of Man will send out His angels, and they will gather out of His kingdom all things that offend, and those who practice lawlessness,
Either way we look at this the Lord has given command to His angels not to touch those who will inherit salvation with regards to separating them from that inheritance.
h). Rather than touching the faithful Christian the angels are seen in a gloriously positive role on their behalf - Heb 1:14 Are they not all ministering spirits sent forth to minister for those who will inherit salvation?
And when you are thirsty, go to the vessels and drink from what the young men have drawn.
Ru 2:15 And when she rose up to glean, Boaz commanded his young men, saying, "Let her glean even among the sheaves, and do not reproach her. 16
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"Also let grain from the bundles fall purposely for her; leave it that she may glean, and do not rebuke her."
And this level of angelic involvement in our own lives should not be surprising to us as angelic activity is something we see consistently throughout the OT -
Ge 19:1 ¶ Now the two angels came to Sodom in the evening, and Lot was sitting in the gate of Sodom. When Lot saw them, he rose to meet them, and he bowed himself with his face toward the ground.
And seen in connection with the Lord’s birth and earthly ministry –
Lu 1:28 And having come in, the angel said to her, "Rejoice, highly favored one, the Lord is with you; blessed are you among women!"
Mt 4:11 Then the devil left Him, and behold, angels came and ministered to Him.
So it is no surprise to find angelic activity within the context of those seeking first His Kingdom - Re 2:1 ¶ "To the angel of the church of Ephesus write…….
Heb 2:16 For indeed He does not give aid to angels, but He does give aid to the seed of Abraham.
Let’s not forget that angels act within the fixed laws of God and because of this that done by angels is the same as God acting Himself.
3). To return to the remainder of the command Boaz gave to Ruth –
Ru 2:8 Then Boaz said to Ruth, "You will listen, my daughter, will you not? Do not go to glean in another field, nor go from here, but stay close by my young women. 9 "Let your eyes be on the field which they reap, and go after them.
Ruth is to stay close to Boaz’s young women, her eyes are to be on the field which the young women reap and she is to go after them.
a). The first thing we will note here is that these young women belong to Boaz, he says that they are ‘my young women’ – they are therefore known to him and they are doing that which he has instructed them to do and he wants Ruth to do the same.
b). To identify who they would be in the antitype is easy to do if we remember what Boaz asks his servant who is in charge of the reapers
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concerning Ruth - Ru 2:5 Then Boaz said to his servant who was in charge of the reapers, "Whose young woman is this?"
In other words, who does Ruth belong to? Which implies, ‘Does she belong to me or someone else?’
c). The word translated ‘young woman’ is the same word translated ‘young women’ showing that we are dealing with like individuals and the word itself means a ‘maiden’ – or to put that another way, a ‘virgin’.
d). Now clearly we are not dealing with physical virginity here as Ruth had been married to Mahlon for about 10 years, but we are dealing with spiritual virginity, those who are to keep themselves from an illicit and adulterous relationship with the world. We can see this in Paul’s second letter to the Corinthians - 2Co 11:2 For I am jealous for you with godly jealousy. For I have betrothed you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ.
With of course the obvious echoes from the parable of the wise and foolish virgins.
Jas 4:4 Adulterers and adulteresses! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God. 5 Or do you think that the Scripture says in vain, "The Spirit who dwells in us yearns jealously"?
e). That said then, it is easy to ascertain that Boaz’s ‘young women’ typify Christians, but not just any Christian, Orpah would not be found amongst Boaz’s young women in this picture. Rather we are dealing with Christians who are setting a pattern and an example to be followed by those in pursuit of Christ’s Kingdom - 1Co 11:1 ¶ Imitate me, just as I also imitate Christ.
Php 3:17 ¶ Brethren, join in following my example, and note those who so walk, as you have us for a pattern. 18 For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ:
f). That which the Lord says to us through this picture is pretty obvious, we need to stay close by those who are running the race of the faith with
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sincerity and seriousness, who are looking from this world unto Jesus, not only so that we can see how the scriptures are to be lived out on a daily basis, but also for mutual support, edification and encouragement through the trials and testing during the course of the race - Heb 10:23 Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful. 24 And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, 25 not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.
And again we realize as we look at this that we are not being given a suggestion, but a command – and we will also realize that this is a command given to us for the purpose of our being successful in the race of the faith; a command given by the One who loves us and died for us with the intent that we should become part of His Bride. Such is the love and care that our Lord has for us.
g). Ruth of course does exactly as Boaz tells her and we know the end result for her, so it is not rocket science to work out that if we do the same as that pictured through Ruth then the end result for us must be identical to that for Ruth – it can be no other way.
h). And given what is at stake why would we not want to stay close by those who are like minded? - Php 2:1 ¶ Therefore if there is any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and mercy, 2 fulfill my joy by being like-minded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind. 3 Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. 4 Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.
1Pe 3:8 ¶ Finally, all of you be of one mind, having compassion for one another; love as brothers, be tenderhearted, be courteous; 9 not returning evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary blessing, knowing that you were called to this, that you may inherit a blessing. 10 For "He who would love life And see good days, Let him refrain his tongue from evil, And his lips from speaking deceit. 11 Let him turn away from evil and do good; Let him seek peace and pursue it. 12 For the eyes of the LORD are on the righteous, And His ears are open to their prayers; But the face of the LORD is against those who do evil." 13 And who is he who will harm you if you become followers of what is good?
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4). Ru 2:10 So she fell on her face, bowed down to the ground, and said to him, "Why have I found favor in your eyes, that you should take notice of me, since I am a foreigner? [stranger]" 11 And Boaz answered and said to her, "It has been fully reported to me, all that you have done for your mother-in-law since the death of your husband, and how you have left your father and your mother and the land of your birth, and have come to a people whom you did not know before. 12 "The LORD repay your work, and a full reward be given you by the LORD God of Israel, under whose wings you have come for refuge."
a). And Ruth’s reaction to Boaz cannot help but be our own. What else could we do as we realize that we have found favor in His sight than to fall on our face before Him - Heb 2:6 But one testified in a certain place [Psalm 8], saying: "What is man that You are mindful of him, Or the son of man that You take care of him? 7 You have made him a little lower than the angels; You have crowned him with glory and honor, And set him over the works of Your hands. 8 You have put all things in subjection under his feet." For in that He put all in subjection under him, He left nothing that is not put under him. But now we do not yet see all things put under him.
The writer of Hebrews quotes a Psalm of David with respect to the incredible favor the Lord extends to members of the human race and into this we can add what was previously our own sorry state - Eph 2:11 ¶ Therefore remember that you, once Gentiles in the flesh--who are called Uncircumcision by what is called the Circumcision made in the flesh by hands-- 12 that at that time you were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. 13 But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.
Col 1:19 For it pleased the Father that in Him all the fullness should dwell, 20 and by Him to reconcile all things to Himself, by Him, whether things on earth or things in heaven, having made peace through the blood of His cross. 21 And you, who once were alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now He has reconciled 22 in the body of His flesh through death, to present you holy, and blameless, and above reproach in His sight-- 23 if indeed you continue in the faith, grounded and steadfast, and are not moved away from the hope of the
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gospel which you heard, which was preached to every creature under heaven, of which I, Paul, became a minister.
It really makes no difference whether we look at God’s purpose for Man’s creation or the reason for our eternal salvation that which God is offering us with respect to the Day of His Kingdom is the most superlative thing that the Creator of the Universe could offer to His creation. And in His infinite grace and mercy He has set us within His family that we might love one another with a view to the end result of being approved at His Judgment Seat – What else might we do than bow down before Him as we seek refuge under His wings - Ps 36:5 ¶ Your mercy, O LORD, is in the heavens; Your faithfulness reaches to the clouds. 6 Your righteousness is like the great mountains; Your judgments are a great deep; O LORD, You preserve man and beast. 7 How precious is Your lovingkindness, O God! Therefore the children of men put their trust under the shadow of Your wings. 8 They are abundantly satisfied with the fullness of Your house, And You give them drink from the river of Your pleasures. 9 For with You is the fountain of life; In Your light we see light. 10 Oh, continue Your lovingkindness to those who know You, And Your righteousness to the upright in heart.
b). We will pick this up again next time – if the Lord is willing.