The Book of Ruth is one of the smallest Books of the Bible. Even though the historical event described in the book seems easy to understand yet the book is difficult to comprehend as far as its contribution to the gospel.
By this time in the Bible history, God has dropped some hints about the coming of Christ and the nature of His salvation. Let us look at some of these hints:
- In Genesis 3:16, God prophesied or made reference to the warfare that will go on between Christ’s believers (seed of the woman/Christ) and unbelievers (Satan) until the Day of judgement.
- In Genesis 12:1-7, God promised Abraham the land of Canaan. Even though this was an earthly land, it has a deep spiritual meaning. The land of Canaan represents or was a picture of the New Earth in God’s kingdom.
- In the story of Noah’s flood (Gen. 6-9) and the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah (Gen. 18 and 19); God reveals that His judgement on the human race will come on the Last Day and that it will be swift and complete.
- In Gen. 22:18 and in Num. 21:8-9, God pointed out to us how we can be saved from His wrath which means eternal damnation in hell. The seed through which all the families of the earth are blessed (saved) is Jesus Christ. Also the serpent which the Isrealites bitten by snakes looked toward for healing was a picture of Christ Himself on the cross. Everyone that must be saved from the wrath of God must look toward Christ for Salvation.
- In God’s choice of Isaac over Ishmeal; Jacob over Esau; and Joseph over his brothers, God points to the fact that His salvation is free and that He would save those whom He likes to save. Salvation will not be by anywork we have done. It will be based on grace earned by Jesus Christ work alone.
- In Deut. 18:15, 18, God announced the coming of Jesus Christ to the Jews. Unfortunately, as a nation they rejected Him. Jesus was also rejected by the Gentiles. Only a chosen remnant of the Jews and the Gentiles accepted Jesus and these are the ones that will be saved.
- Leviticus 25:47-49 pointed to the fact that in order for Christ to be able to redeem us; He must have a earthly mother; that is a human mother. This will make Him our kinsman, thereby fulfilling God’s law on redemption.
What has all these points got to do with the Book of Ruth? The Book of Ruth in a nutshell reiterates these points or is about these points.
Let us now take the Book of Ruth apart and exhume the deep spiritual meaning buried within the Book.
The Book of Ruth contains four short chapters. I will therefore suggest at this point that the reader quickly read through the four chapters.
Chapter One verse One of the Book of Ruth tells us that there was a famine in the land of Isreal and that a certain man of Bethlehem of Judah went to sojourn in another country (country of Moab) with his wife and two sons; who married two women in the land of Moab. In this verse, God drops us a hint (even though we were not paying attention) as to where the Saviour Christ will be born (See Micah 5:2). The land of Isreal or the land of Canaan is a picture of the spiritual kingdom of God. The verse also tells us about a famine in the land. At the time of the writing of the Book of Ruth only a handful of the people of the world have been saved and these mostly are Isrealites. Examples include Abel, Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Eliezer, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, Joshua, Caleb, Ruth, etc. So the population was small or thin or sparse because God has not evangelise the world even though Enoch and Noah did some preaching before the flood. The country of Moab is a picture of an unsaved world. Naomi’s husband, Elimelech; her two sons Mahlon and Chilion; one of her daughters-in-law (Orpah); the kinsman; are pictures of those who died unsaved. Boaz and Naomi represent the picture of the small remnant saved in the Nation of Isreal. Ruth of course played double roles in the story. Ruth on one hand was a picture of the remnant of the Gentiles saved. On the other hand she was a picture of Jesus Christ Himself in that she (as Christ) was first offered to the First Kinsman (Nation of Isreal) which refused her. It was after this rejection that she was offered to another (Boaz representing the Gentiles). The ten years in which they dwell in the land of Moab was just a figure that God uses to denote completeness of His time table. In this case the number ten represents the period from beginning of time (creation) to end of time (Judgement Day).
In Chapter Four, Verses Thirteen to Seventeen, we read of the birth of Obed by Ruth to Boaz. We also read that Obed became the father of David the king of Isreal after King Saul. And it was from this line of King David that Joseph the stepfather of Jesus and Mary the Mother of Jesus came.
From this lineage we can see the connection of the entire Bible from Genesis to the New Testament.
Also from the Book of Ruth we can see that Jesus was not only a Jew but also a Gentile which makes Him a Universal God that is God of the Jews and the Gentiles.
Jesus came into the world to save His people. His people are both Jews and Gentiles who will accept Him as their Lord and Savior. Gentiles include the Arabs the children of Ishmael and everyone that is not a Jew.
“And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord”. (Luke 2:10, 11).
Why don’t you accept Christ Jesus today and stop procrastinating. His second coming on the Judgement Day will be like a thief in the night (unexpectedly). No one knows when except God and it will be too late to do anything on that Day of Judgement. “Behold, I come quickly” (Rev. 22:12) says the Lord. I invite you to confess and repent of your sins and believe in Jesus Christ for your salvation. Today is the right day to do so. Tomorrow may be late.
Grace of our Lord be with you. Amen.