Message NotesRuth – Part 13 Page 1
Sunday April 24th 2016
1). Ru 3:1 ¶ Then Naomi her mother-in-law said to her, "My daughter, shall I not seek security [Rest] for you, that it may be well with you? 2 "Now Boaz, whose young women you were with, is he not our relative? In fact, he is winnowing barley tonight at the threshing floor. 3 "Therefore wash yourself and anoint yourself, put on your best garment and go down to the threshing floor; but do not make yourself known to the man until he has finished eating and drinking. 4 "Then it shall be, when he lies down, that you shall notice the place where he lies; and you shall go in, uncover his feet, and lie down; and he will tell you what you should do." 5 And she said to her, "All that you say to me I will do." 6 ¶ So she went down to the threshing floor and did according to all that her mother-in-law instructed her. 7 And after Boaz had eaten and drunk, and his heart was cheerful, he went to lie down at the end of the heap of grain; and she came softly, uncovered his feet, and lay down. 8 Now it happened at midnight that the man was startled, and turned himself; and there, a woman was lying at his feet.
a). We had seen last time the preparations that had been made by Ruth in obedience to that which Naomi had told her so as to be ready to meet Boaz on his threshing floor. And as we consider this let’s remember that Ruth is going to Boaz’s threshing floor to accomplish a very specific purpose.
b). Ruth had already been told by Naomi in the previous Chapter –
Ru 2:20 Then Naomi said to her daughter-in-law, "Blessed be he of the LORD, who has not forsaken His kindness to the living and the dead!" And Naomi said to her, "This man is a relation of ours, one of our close relatives [Lit. redeemer]."
Boaz, because of his family relationship, is able to redeem that which had been lost through the death of Elimelech, Mahlon and Chilion and this right of redemption needs to be seen within the context of the commands given in the Law of Moses - De 25:5 ¶ "If brothers dwell together, and one of them dies and has no son, the widow of the dead man shall not be married to a stranger outside the family; her husband's brother shall go in to her, take her as his wife,
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and perform the duty of a husband's brother to her. 6 "And it shall be that the firstborn son which she bears will succeed to the name of his dead brother, that his name may not be blotted out of Israel.
a). This may seem strange to our modern ear, but what we are seeing through this is the enormous importance the Lord puts upon inheritance within the family. Here in Ruth it is the Jewish family of Elimelech, but the picture we need to see is that of God’s family and the inheritance that had been lost in the Garden through the death of Adam and the redemption of the inheritance lost there has significance beyond measure.
b). We might recall that what we seen in Deuteronomy 25 is the very thing that Naomi is talking about as the journey to Bethlehem is about to begin back in Chapter 1 - Ru 1:11 But Naomi said, "Turn back, my daughters; why will you go with me? Are there still sons in my womb, that they may be your husbands? 12 "Turn back, my daughters, go-for I am too old to have a husband. If I should say I have hope, if I should have a husband tonight and should also bear sons, 13 "would you wait for them till they were grown? Would you restrain yourselves from having husbands? No, my daughters; for it grieves me very much for your sakes that the hand of the LORD has gone out against me!"
Because Mahlon and Chilion had both died there was not a brother to marry Orpah or Ruth and so there was no one to produce the child that would ‘succeed to the name of his dead brother’ and his inheritance. And Naomi points out the apparent hopelessness of this situation by telling Orpah and Ruth that even if she were to have a husband that very night there would be such a very long wait to the time when another son, if such a son was conceived, would be old enough to do ‘the duty of a husband’s brother’. And in this, given that Naomi is a type of Israel, we see Israel’s barrenness over the centuries, something that will not change until the Millennial Kingdom.
c). If we now bring this whole idea over into the antitype to see what is taught spiritually through it we need to set in place the original foundation from Genesis - 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.
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That which Adam and the Woman were to have dominion over was the newly restored ‘creation’ and this would constitute the inheritance.
d). However, because of eating from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil Adam ‘died’ and therefore never exercised dominion over that which had been restored for him and his wife - Ge 2:16 ¶ And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, "Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat; 17 "but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die."
His death was an instantaneous spiritual ‘death’ and if we also remember that Peter tells us - 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.
Then Adam also physically died in the same day [1000 years] as he ate from the tree – Ge 5:5 So all the days that Adam lived were nine hundred and thirty years; and he died.
e). And so, to follow the spiritual application for this, Adam had no ‘brother’ to redeem that which had been lost; that, which then as now, remains in the hands of the one originally created to rule – the anointed cherub of Ezekiel 28:14, the one who is - 2Co 4:4 whose minds the god of this age………..
f). This then presents one part of the picture and very simply we can keep in mind that an inheritance has been lost through death and requires a close family member to redeem it.
g). Another part of this same picture can be seen through the nation of Israel with regards to the land of promise - Ex 6:8 'And I will bring you into the land which I swore to give to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob; and I will give it to you as a heritage: I am the LORD.'"
The Jews are the physical descendants of Abraham to whom the promise was given – Ro 4:13 For the promise that he would be the heir of the world………….
And just as Lucifer was created for the purpose of rulership and Adam was created for the purpose of rulership, so there was a creation ‘in Jacob’ for the same purpose - Isa 43:1 ¶ But now, thus says the LORD, who created you, O
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Jacob, And He who formed you, O Israel: "Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by your name; You are Mine.
And just as Adam had to have a wife before rulership could be possible, so God the Father took Israel as His wife for the purpose of establishing the Theocracy.
h). But as we know Israel’s unfaithfulness and disobedience, referred to as ‘harlotry’ in the scriptures, resulted in God the Father giving a certificate of divorce to the nation causing death in the relationship - Jer 3:8 "Then I saw that for all the causes for which backsliding Israel had committed adultery, I had put her away and given her a certificate of divorce; yet her treacherous sister Judah did not fear, but went and played the harlot also.
This action on Israel’s part brought about both the end of the Theocracy and the forfeiture of Israel’s inheritance as the times of the Gentiles began; Israel finding herself in the place of death. All of which is pictured through the barrenness of Naomi following the death of Elimelech.
i). And here we have another part of the picture which takes us to the same place as previously - an inheritance that has been lost through death, requiring a close family member to redeem it.
j). And whether we are talking about Israel and the land or the Church and the heavenly Kingdom, that which has been lost can only be redeemed by a close family member who has the legal right of redemption just as is set out in the Law of Moses – all of which brings us back to the events in the Book of Ruth that speak prophetically of this very thing.
2). We will of necessity concentrate on that to do specifically with Christians, but let’s keep in mind that the redemption of the inheritance for the Church cannot be separated from that which brings about Israel’s repentance and restoration and return to the land. Quite simply the redemption of the inheritance for Christ’s Bride and the Tribulation for Israel is one and the same thing.
a). Now, we had also seen last week that Ruth at Boaz’s threshing floor is a picture of the resurrection/rapture of the Church, and although this is true what we see with Ruth really takes us to a point following on from judgment.
b). Ru 3:7 And after Boaz had eaten and drunk, and his heart was cheerful, he went to lie down at the end of the heap of grain; and she came softly,
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uncovered his feet, and lay down. 8 Now it happened at midnight that the man was startled, and turned himself; and there, a woman was lying at his feet.
We see in v7 that ‘Boaz had eaten and drunk and his heart was cheerful’ – within the natural we see that Boaz has finished his work, all is completed with respect to the harvest and he is happy with what he has accomplished and he lies down to rest ‘at the end of the heap of grain’ – the finished product.
c). Again in the natural, the presence of the heap of grain points to the fact that the chaff had now been separated from the grain as this is what took place at the threshing floor – within the spiritual the separation between the grain and the chaff pictures the separation of the faithful Christian from the unfaithful – the separation of those who had beaten out the grain during the course of their pilgrim journey from those who had not.
d). Following the separation made at the Judgment Seat the Lord’s heart will be ‘cheerful’ as His work with respect to the harvest will also have been completed and He will now be present among those who have been approved, pictured in the heap of grain with a view to the Day of Rest which awaits.
e). Ruth being a type of the faithful Christian, becomes the embodiment of those pictured through the heap of grain, she is representative of all faithful Christians, those who the Revelation calls overcomers - Re 3:21 "To him who overcomes I will grant to sit with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne.
f). The action that Ruth takes next, the uncovering of Boaz’s feet, must also be seen within the context of the Law of Moses with respect to inheritance which we had looked at earlier in Deuteronomy Chapter 25 – remember the redeeming of the inheritance and marriage to raise up a son for her dead husband is the reason Ruth is there and the reason why she has prepared herself – De 27:20 'Cursed is the one who lies with his father's wife, because he has uncovered his father's bed.'[Lit. ‘skirt’ – edge or extremity] And all the people shall say, 'Amen!'
In uncovering Boaz’s feet by pulling back the edge of his ‘skirt’ Ruth is making clear to him not only what she expects from him, but also that she would do whatever was necessary to raise up a son upon her dead husband’s inheritance.
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g). We might remember the extraordinary lengths to which Tamar goes in order to raise up a son on her dead husband’s inheritance - Ge 38:11 Then Judah said to Tamar his daughter-in-law, "Remain a widow in your father's house till my son Shelah is grown." For he said, "Lest he also die like his brothers." And Tamar went and dwelt in her father's house.
Tamar had been married to Judah’s firstborn son, Er, who had died and according to the Law of Moses as we have already seen, Judah should have given his son Shelah to be Tamar’s husband, but didn’t. In consequence Tamar pretended to be a harlot so as to produce a child with Judah, her father-in-law
Ge 38:24 ¶ And it came to pass, about three months after, that Judah was told, saying, "Tamar your daughter-in-law has played the harlot; furthermore she is with child by harlotry." So Judah said, "Bring her out and let her be burned!" 25 When she was brought out, she sent to her father-in-law, saying, "By the man to whom these belong, I am with child." And she said, "Please determine whose these are -the signet and cord, and staff." 26 So Judah acknowledged them and said, "She has been more righteous than I, because I did not give her to Shelah my son." And he never knew her again.
And we can see according to the scripture here that Tamar acted righteously in conducting this deception – such is the importance attached to this.
h). And just so we don’t miss the connection between Tamar’s actions and Ruth, Tamar is mentioned in Ruth Chapter 4 - Ru 4:12 "May your house be like the house of Perez, whom Tamar bore to Judah, because of the offspring which the LORD will give you from this young woman."
So, again, Ruth uncovering Boaz’s feet indicated to him her intent and he knew exactly what she meant by this action as he understood perfectly well what was written in the Law concerning this.
i). We then see in Ruth Chapter 3 that it is ‘at midnight’ that Boaz becomes aware of Ruth laying at his feet - De 33:3 Yes, He loves the people; All His saints are in Your hand; They sit down at Your feet; Everyone receives Your words. [and he will tell you what you should do.]
In the actual events themselves it would literally have been at midnight that Boaz found Ruth, but in the antitype for this, we are not seeing judgment here per se through the use of midnight, as that had already taken place, pictured
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through the heap of grain. Rather we are seeing Ruth’s presence in relation to judgment, or as a consequence of judgment.
j). Scripture is often presented in this way and we can find another good example of this in Revelation Chapter 4 - Re 4:1 ¶ After these things I looked, and behold, a door standing open in heaven. And the first voice which I heard was like a trumpet speaking with me, saying, "Come up here, and I will show you things which must take place after this." 2 Immediately I was in the Spirit; and behold, a throne set in heaven, and One sat on the throne. 3 And He who sat there was like a jasper and a sardius stone in appearance; and there was a rainbow around the throne, in appearance like an emerald.
The beginning of Chapter 4 takes us once again to the resurrection/rapture of the church first seen in Chapter 1, but the imagery used here makes it clear that we are now seeing things that come about after the resurrection/rapture and after the events of the Judgment Seat not the resurrection/rapture itself.
3). Ru 3:8 Now it happened at midnight that the man was startled, and turned himself; and there, a woman was lying at his feet. 9 And he said, "Who are you?" So she answered, "I am Ruth, your maidservant. Take your maidservant under your wing,[Lit. ‘spread your skirt over your maidservant] for you are a close relative.[redeemer]" 10 Then he said, "Blessed are you of the LORD, my daughter! For you have shown more kindness at the end than at the beginning, in that you did not go after young men, whether poor or rich. 11 "And now, my daughter, do not fear. I will do for you all that you request, for all the people of my town know that you are a virtuous woman.
In response to Boaz’s question in v9 Ruth states emphatically through the words she uses that she wants Boaz to take her as his wife so as to raise up a son for her dead husband’s inheritance, an inheritance that Boaz would have to redeem. This may appear somewhat bold to our eyes, but Ruth is acting completely in line with God’s word and as such this is an act of faith.
a). And because of all that Ruth has done prior to this moment in preparing for it, Boaz can only respond to her in a positive way, ‘I will do for you all that you request’. There is no element of doubt here. Ruth had done everything in accordance with God’s word and Boaz can only act in accordance with that same word.
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b). So what might we learn from this for ourselves as we look to the antitype? Quite simply this – those who will have properly prepared to meet Christ at His Judgment Seat are boldly declaring through their presence before Him, without having to say the words that Ruth uses, that they want Christ to take them as His wife and to redeem for them the promised inheritance that had been lost in the Garden - Ro 4:13 For the promise that he would be the heir of the world was not to Abraham or to his seed through the law, but through the righteousness of faith.
Ga 3:29 And if you are Christ's, then you are Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise.
1Co 3:11 ¶ For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. 12 Now if anyone builds on this foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, 13 each one's work will become clear; for the Day will declare it, because it will be revealed by fire; and the fire will test each one's work, of what sort it is. 14 If anyone's work which he has built on it endures, he will receive a reward.
Col 3:23 And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men, 24 knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance; for you serve the Lord Christ.
c). As we have already seen through the heap of grain on Boaz’s threshing floor, at Christ’s Judgment Seat a separation will take place between the faithful and the unfaithful Christian and we know - 2Co 5:10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad.
d). Just as at the end of the 6th day in Genesis God gathered together the dust of the ground to form the body of Adam, so at the end of God’s allotted 6000years/6 days, He will gather up all Christians from the earth to stand in His presence as the body of Christ.
e). Just as the Woman was created in Adam, so all Christians are created in Christ, and just as a part of Adam’s body was built into his Bride, not his whole body, so a part of the body of Christ, not the whole body of Christ is being built into Christ’s Bride.
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f). As the Woman was taken from Adam’s body, so the Bride will be taken from the body of Christ, just as we have seen in the separation between Ruth and Orpah, the wise and the foolish virgins, the faithful and unfaithful servant, the parable of the sower and so we could go on.
g). And just as Boaz could only respond in a positive way to Ruth because of all that she had done in accordance with the scriptures, so our Lord can only respond positively to those who have done as Ruth did as He must be faithful to His own word – there is no element of doubt here at all.
h). And that which determines whether we are wise or foolish when we come to that moment is preparedness - Mt 25:10 "And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the wedding; and the door was shut.
Lu 12:40 "Therefore you also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect."
i). And if we have the ears to hear this and the eyes to see it we know what awaits us in the near future and this will bring into sharp focus how we choose to live our lives now, in preparation for our life then. And we had seen last week that it is not in the big things, but in the ‘sheer plod’ of our ordinary, everyday, at times mundane, life as we seek to be faithfully obedient to the scriptures, through whatever circumstance, wherever we are, that the brightness of the glory of God will be revealed in us - 1Co 2:6 ¶ However, we speak wisdom among those who are mature, yet not the wisdom of this age, nor of the rulers of this age, who are coming to nothing. 7 But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, the hidden wisdom which God ordained before the ages for our glory, 8 which none of the rulers of this age knew; for had they known, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. 9 But as it is written: Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, Nor have entered into the heart of man The things which God has prepared for those who love Him." 10 But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God. 11 For what man knows the things of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him? Even so no one knows the things of God except the Spirit of God. 12 Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might know the things that have been freely given to us by God. 13 These things we also speak, not in words which man's wisdom teaches but which the Holy Spirit teaches, comparing spiritual things with spiritual.
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j). We will continue with this next time though – if the Lord is willing.