Truth, Understanding, Insight

The Redeemer in the book of Ruth

24th May 2009, seh,mjh


1) It's not just a story!

One of the greatest dangers in our reading of the Bible, is that we can treat some of the books of the Bible as mere stories, and as such, we can fail to see the significance of what is written there. We have been advised that the scriptures can make us ‘wise unto salvation’ and the events that are recorded are for “ensamples” and “admonition”.(1Corinthians 10:11)

The two books of the Bible named after women present interesting contrasts. The book of Ruth introduces us to a servant – a gentile among Jews- and the book of Esther presents a queen - a Jewess among Gentiles.

The book of Ruth: redemption of a stranger

The book of Ruth establishes principles that are the foundations of the work of Yahweh through the Messiah. Boaz foreshadowed the character and mission of the Messiah, the Redeemer. The characters of Ruth and Naomi typify those qualities of faith, endurance and patience, that need to be cultivated by the faithful. The redemptive work of Boaz typified the principles of the Abrahamic covenant – the Messianic covenant. The book of Ruth is both history and parable, reflecting the Divine plan of redemption and shows that the Gentiles (non Jews) could be included in the covenant made with Israel on the basis of equality.

It is set between Judges and Samuel and when considered as a type of the future, suggests that at a time when Israel would fall into a state of spiritual anarchy, the Gospel would be proclaimed to the Gentiles, prior to the establishment of the Kingdom of God on earth.

The book of Judges records a period of violence and evil and a time of national misery for Israel. There was widespread apostasy in Israel. Worship had deteriorated to a mere legalistic approach, which destroyed the the true spirit of the Law. In what was a Theocracy, Yahweh was frequently rejected by His people. We are all familiar with the result as recorded in Judges 17:6 and 21:25, “There was no king in Israel; everyone did that which was right in his own eyes.”

The events in the book of Ruth, can be seen as a light in the midst of spiritual darkness. Despite images of chaos and wickedness in the nation of Israel, there were those who remained faithful to the principles of truth.


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