Life-Study of Joshua, Judges & Ruthby Witness Lee
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
Chapter one shows Ruth’s choosing, chapter two shows Ruth’s exercising of her right, and chapter three shows Ruth’s seeking for her rest. We need to enjoy Christ to such an extent that we have rest. In order to have rest, we surely need a home. No place can give us as much rest as our home. In chapter three Naomi proposed and even pushed to gain a home for Ruth.
The steps taken by Ruth correspond to our spiritual experience. Before we were saved, we all had our own taste and choice. Under the Lord’s sovereign arrangement, we heard the gospel and made a resolution to become a believer of Christ. Our choice was to believe in Christ. By believing in the Lord Jesus, we were organically joined to Him. Now He is in us and we are in Him. With this intimate, organic union, we must begin to pursue Christ in order to gain, possess, experience, and enjoy Him. This is typified by Ruth’s exercising of her right to gain and possess the produce of the good land. Just as Ruth had the right to enjoy the produce of the good land after coming into the land, so we have the right to enjoy Christ as our good land after believing in Him.
It is a tragedy that Christianity, both Catholicism and Protestantism, has not seen this matter of enjoying Christ. The Lord Jesus said, “He who eats Me, he also shall live because of Me” (John 6:57). Our Savior can be eaten; He is our heavenly food and manna. According to Revelation 2, whoever overcomes may eat of Christ as the tree of life and as the hidden manna (vv. 7, 17). The Bible reveals that Christ is not only our food but also our drink, clothing, and breath. He is our daily necessities. Every day we need to enjoy Him. We must be like Ruth and exercise our right to enjoy Christ. Every morning we should “glean” from the “field” of the Bible.
However, after our gleaning we still need a home so that we can have a settled rest. This kind of rest can come only through marriage. In Ruth 3:1 Naomi said to Ruth, “My daughter, I must seek some resting place for you.” Naomi wanted to find a way to establish a home for Ruth. If Ruth was to have a home for her rest, she needed a husband. Naomi realized that the proper person to be Ruth’s husband was Boaz, who typifies Christ.
I realize that many of us love the Lord Jesus, but have we taken Him as our Husband? Have you ever had a time with the Lord when you said, “Lord, You are my Husband”? Even though you are saved and you love the Lord, you will not have a home for your rest until you marry the Lord Jesus, taking Him as your Husband.
In these messages on Joshua, Judges, and Ruth, the Lord has given us a clear view of how we should take Christ as our unique Husband. After the people of Israel entered the good land under Joshua, there was a history of miserable chaos because Israel was not faithful. She left God as her Husband to go to many husbands, to many idols. In this modern age there are many idols, such as entertainment, sports, and shopping, which cause Christians to be unfaithful. It seems as if they have never been married to Christ, that they have never actually taken Him as their Husband. As a consequence, they are roaming, wandering from place to place with no rest.
The place to find our Husband is in our home, the church. Christ is the Husband in the church. To have a husband is not sufficient. We must also have a home. Without a home we have no rest. If we have Christ, enjoy Christ, and experience Christ, yet we do not have the church, we are still homeless. Therefore, we must stress not only Christ as our Husband but also the church as our home. Christ as our Husband and the church as our home are a complete unit for us to have a proper and adequate rest.
Ruth was enjoying her life with Naomi, but Naomi was clear that Ruth needed to be married to Boaz. Although according to God’s law the Jews and the Moabites were to be separated, in His sovereignty God had a way to bring Ruth, a Moabitess, and Boaz together. By the time of chapter three, Ruth and Boaz had already met in the field where Ruth was gleaning, and they were prepared, qualified, and ready to be married. I believe that Boaz loved Ruth and that she loved him. But this love was entirely inward, with no outward expression. Since this was the situation, there was the need for Naomi, as the person in the middle, to push Ruth and Boaz to get married.
My burden today is like Naomi’s. I am seeking a resting place for you, and the only way for you to have rest is to take Christ as your Husband. Thus, I am here as a person in the middle to push you to marry Christ. I am quite concerned that you have never known Christ as your Husband and that you have not yet found a home for your rest. You may know Christ as your Redeemer, Savior, Master, and Lord. You may even know that He is your food, drink, breath, and clothing. But do you know Him as your Husband? Perhaps you glean daily in His field and recognize Him as the Landlord. You need to do more than to glean in His field—you need to take Him as your Husband. My burden, therefore, is to push all of us to marry Christ. I am pushing us to marry Christ so that we can build up a home and enjoy Him in this home, which is the church.
Nothing is more intimate than marriage. Taking Christ as our Husband is a most intimate matter. If we marry Christ, taking Him as our Husband, our life will be changed. We will realize that we must have a wife’s fidelity, and we will learn how to enjoy Christ as our life, walking and behaving in oneness with Him. Then we will become those who gain Christ and enjoy Christ, loving Him, staying at home with Him, and living with Him at home, in the church. If we do this, we will truly know the church life in the Lord’s recovery.
Now that we have seen the intrinsic significance of chapter three of Ruth, let us consider this chapter in more detail.
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