Monday, 24 August 2009



There was famine in Bethlehem so Elimelech and Naomi decided to leave for Moab. Elimelech and his sons died whilst in Moab. Elimelech’s decision to move his family to the country of Moab is not evidenced as being God’s direction but simply his own decision. This does not indicate that it was a divine judgement, but rather the natural result of exposure to circumstances outside the canopy of divine promise. God’s protection canopy is to those who remain obedient to Him in the land of His appointment.

Naomi’s husband died and both sons got married for 10 years and they both died. Naomi decided to return. Chapter 1 of verse 14, then they lifted their voices and wept again; and Orpah kissed her mother in-law, but Ruth clung to her. Chapter 1 of 16&17,Ruth’s true commitment and friendship underscores the values of family commitment. Both values are important and we should reinforce it However, Ruth prioritise her daughter-servant role to her Naomi mother-in-law. Verse 18, when she saw that she was determined to go with her, she stopped speaking to her.
Ruth clung to Naomi because she had made a decision to go with her. Whatever in life we desire, we will get it if we hold on, but most of us give up too soon. The desires of our hearts must again line up with God’s word, eg: when we are sick we need to trust God and claim His word to be healed. “ By His stripes we are healed.”

3:3 Wash Yourself
She has been working hard gleaning, she was probably tired and smelly, and therefore she needed to wash. As Christians we need to take time o ensure we are clean. First we are washed when we repent of any sin, and allow the blood of Jesus Christ to make us clean. 1John 1:7 “The blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.” Verse 9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. But also day to day living in the world affect us, and we need to be washed clean. The Bible says that reading the word is like washing. Eph.5: 25&26 “Just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word.”

3:3 Anoint Yourself
Ruth needed a new fragrance for a new season. Ruth had been in widowhood, but was now moving into a season of inheritance. Anointing yourself with a mixture of olive oil, mixed with perfumes, was a sign that the time of mourning was ended. Isaiah 61:3 speaks of the oil of joy, to replace the mourning, and death that we received during the time of wilderness and desolation.

3:3 Put on your best garment
The garment that Ruth wore to work in the fields was not appropriate, her widow garment was not appropriate, to ensure her future the grief and mourning had to be replaced. Isaiah 61:3 speaks about exchanging the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness. We need to take off heaviness, hopelessness, despair, self-pity, and all those old clothes that are holding us back and restricting us. We need to get our best garment, a garment of praise, let’s breakthrough in the area of praise in our lives.

3:3 Go down to the threshing floor
That was the place that Boaz was. The threshing floor was the place where the wheat and chaff were separated, or winnowed, but that work was already completed. Here the threshing floor was the place of harvest, and the place of feasting. If we are prepared to humble ourselves and allow God to remove the chaff from our lives, (those things that are not part of His work in our lives at this time) then we can also share in the harvest. Just as Ruth went where Boaz was, we need to be where God is, and where He is working.

Wait for God's timing
Naomi told Ruth to wait until Boaz had finished feasting, (3:3) and stand back, and watch where he went, then she was to go and lay by his feet.(3:4) God has appointed times and seasons for our lives, we do not always understand why we have to wait for a certain prayer, or promise of God to come to pass in our lives, but we can always trust God that His timing is right, and we have to watch and see what He is doing in our situations.


At the feet of Jesus
Ruth lay at the feet of Boaz. (3:5) it is by submitting to God at the feet of Jesus that we shall learn from Him, and receive His best for our lives.

United with Jesus
Ruth asks Boaz to spread his garment over her Ruth 3:9 "Who are you?" he asked. "I am your servant Ruth," she said. "Spread the corner of your garment over me." (NIV) There was nothing immoral in Ruth's action, in Ruth's day she was saying to him. "I need a redeemer. I am a widow, disgraced, with no inheritance. You can take my shame, my poverty, and the bleakness of my future and give me an inheritance." John 14:23 "Jesus answered and said to him, "If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him." When we are united with Christ we can receive all the benefits of belonging to Him. He removes our shame, our poverty, and gives us hope, and the promise of eternal life. He spreads His garment over us. A garment of salvation, a robe of righteousness.
Jesus our Kinsman
Redeemer Boaz explained that there was a closer relative than he, (3:12&13) but when he approached him, although he was prepared to buy Naomi's field, which she had sold, he was not prepared to marry Ruth. Boaz however was willing to become their kinsman redeemer by buying the field and marrying Ruth. This is a wonderful picture of Jesus, at the cross, shedding His blood and dying, to redeem us from sin, death and the wrath of God. Jesus was willing to pay the price for us. By doing this He fulfilled all the requirements of the law, but He did not save us as a duty, nor because He had to, but because He loved us and wanted us to belong to Him, and to come into a personal relationship with Him. Jesus became our kinsman redeemer.
A new name
So Boaz marries Ruth, (4:13) and the desolation that Naomi and Ruth had endured is now complete, and their inheritance is restored. Isa 62:2-5 "The Gentiles shall see your righteousness, and all kings your glory. You shall be called by a new name, which the mouth of the LORD will name. You shall also be a crown of glory in the hand of the LORD, and a royal diadem in the hand of your God. You shall no longer be termed Forsaken, nor shall your land any more be termed Desolate; but you shall be called Hephzibah, and your land Beulah; for the LORD delights in you, and your land shall be married. For as a young man marries a virgin, so shall your sons marry you; and as the bridegroom rejoices over the bride, so shall your God rejoice over you?" God wants to call us by a new name, Beulah - married, Hephzibah - restored to God's favour. Naomi begins to lose her bitterness, and begins to move into her restored name - pleasantness & my joy. Jesus is preparing the church to be His bride, without spot or wrinkle! Eph 5:25-27 "Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish."
A new life
Ruth 4:13-17 "So Boaz took Ruth and she became his wife; and when he went in to her, the LORD gave her conception, and she bore a son. Then the women said to Naomi, "Blessed be the LORD, who has not left you this day without a close relative; and may his name be famous in Israel! And may he be to you a restorer of life and a nourisher of your old age; for your daughter-in-law, who loves you, who is better to you than seven sons, has borne him Then Naomi took the child and laid him on her bosom, and became a nurse to him. Also the neighbour women gave him a name, saying, "There is a son born to Naomi." And they called his name Obed." What a wonderful picture of the new thing God wants to begin in our lives. Naomi, the grandmother, had her inheritance completely restored, with her grandson, the child Obed, on her lap. The women of Bethlehem share in Naomi's joy. This was the ministry God had created her for! We need not be fearful that God will ask of us something that He is not able to accomplish through us, or that we shall not feel totally fulfilled in! So God will restore completely to us, those things that have been lost and in desolation, let's receive all He has for us!
An agent of restoration
The book of Ruth however does not end there. It goes on to list the genealogy of Obed, (4:17-22) and we soon realise that he became the grandfather of Israel's greatest king, David, but not only that, the line continued, and he also became a descendant of Jesus, born of David's line, in the same city of Bethlehem. Through Jesus we too can receive that same restoration in our own lives. So we see how by walking in step with God, Naomi was not only able to receive personal blessing, but also become an agent of restoration for the whole world.
The road that goes through the wilderness, and the river that flows through the desert (Isaiah 43:18&19) is Jesus. So we are not blessed and restored as an end in itself, but just as the river brings life wherever it flows, Jesus wants us to take that life, that abundant life, His blessings, His restoration and affect our families, our communities, and our churches. James Robison says, "God multiplies when He restores. And so in His restoration work today, God is not simply restoring the church to the glory it displayed in New Testament times. He is seeking to restore it to a state more powerful, majestic and glorious than anything the world has yet seen."
We have seen how Naomi was not content with a life of gleaning, she knew that she was not walking in the fullness that God had for her, and so she drew up a strategy. We can learn then, we need to be washed, and allow Jesus to cleanse us from our sin. We need the anointing power of the Holy Spirit, a new fragrance for a new season! And we need to put on our garments of praise. We need to humble ourselves, and await God's timing. Then at the feet of Jesus we can become united with Him, and He will become our kinsman redeemer, He will give us a new name, and a new life, His restoration life, so that we can go, and live the lives that He intended, unhindered by the past, and with all the benefits of our inheritance with Jesus. We can then go on to become fruitful agents of restoration ourselves.
Isa 43:18-19 "Do not remember the former things, nor consider the things of old. Behold, I will do a new thing, now it shall spring forth; shall you not know it? I will even make a road in the wilderness and rivers in the desert."

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