Life-Study of Joshua, Judges & Ruthby Witness Lee
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
In this message we will consider Ruth’s reward for God’s economy. We have seen that Ruth made a choice for her goal and that she exercised her right to enjoy the rich land. Under the prodding of Naomi, Ruth sought for a resting place, and finally she received a reward, a gain, for God’s economy. A real seeker after God, Ruth eventually gained what she sought after. She chose her goal, she exercised her right, and she sought for a husband and a home as a resting place.
According to chapter four, there are four aspects of Ruth’s reward. First, in verses 10 through 13 she gained a redeeming husband (typifying Christ as the redeeming Husband to the believers—Rom. 7:4). Ruth’s gaining of such a husband was witnessed and blessed by the people and the elders in the gate (Ruth 4:11-12), and it was also blessed by God (v. 13b).
We need to be impressed with the fact that Ruth’s reward was for God’s economy. Man was created by God with a purpose according to His eternal economy. This economy is not a common plan or merely a small arrangement. In the universe the divine and eternal economy is second only to God Himself. According to His economy God created the heavens, the earth, and man. But God’s enemy came in to attempt to break the line that joins man to God and God to man. In Genesis 3 Satan cut this line, but eventually Christ as the promised seed of the woman (v. 15) came to repair the line by redeeming man back to God.
In the books of Joshua, Judges, and Ruth, there were not many on earth who had linked themselves to God. At the time of Ruth the line between God and man was very thin. It was thin to such an extent that it consisted mainly of two persons, a couple—Boaz and Ruth. This couple was brought together in a marvelous and sovereign way. Although Boaz was born an Israelite and Ruth was born in Moab, an incestuous country, Ruth was brought to the good land, even to Bethlehem, the city of David.
Ruth had the right to glean from many different fields, but she went to Boaz’s field. When Naomi, Ruth’s mother-in-law, learned that Ruth had gleaned in Boaz’s field, she was very happy. Desiring to find a resting place for Ruth, Naomi instructed her about what to do (3:2-4). Ruth followed Naomi’s direction, and she and Boaz were brought into a courtship. When they were at the threshing floor, she applied to be his wife. He said to her, “All that you say, I will do for you; for all the assembly of my people know that you are a worthy woman. And now it is true that I am a kinsman, yet there is a kinsman closer than I. Stay for the night; and in the morning if he will do the kinsman’s duty, fine; let him do it. But if he is not willing to do the kinsman’s duty for you, I will do it for you, as Jehovah lives” (vv. 11-13). In a very kind way Boaz was indicating that he would act in accordance with God’s ordinances (Lev. 25:25; Deut. 25:5-10). Their courtship led to their marriage. Through that marriage Ruth, a Moabite widow, gained the holy citizens’ citizenship, becoming one among God’s elect.
The crucial point here is that, as part of her reward for God’s economy, Ruth gained a redeeming husband, who typifies Christ as the redeeming Husband to the believers. Only Christ can be both our Husband and our Redeemer. Before we were saved, we were in trouble and could not get out of trouble. Now as believers in Christ, we have a Husband who is our eternal, present, and daily Redeemer, rescuing us, saving us, delivering us, from all our troubles. What a gain this is!
In addition to gaining a redeeming husband, Ruth was redeemed from the indebtedness of the dead husband (Ruth 4:1-9). This typifies being redeemed from the sin of the believers’ old man. Ruth’s dead husband had sold his field, and the indebtedness of that transaction had fallen upon her in the marriage union and needed to be redeemed. Boaz said to the kinsman who was closer than he, “On the day you buy the field from Naomi’s hand, you must also acquire Ruth the Moabitess, the wife of the dead man, in order to raise up the dead man’s name upon his inheritance” (v. 5). That kinsman replied, “I cannot redeem it for myself, or else it will mar my own inheritance. Redeem for yourself what I should redeem, for I cannot redeem it” (v. 6). Boaz did so, redeeming Ruth from her indebtedness.
Our Husband, Christ, is not merely capable; He is almighty. He has redeemed us from the indebtedness of our dead husband. According to Romans 7 the dead husband, our old husband, is our old man. God created us to be His wife, but we rebelled against Him. We gave Him up and assumed the position of the husband for ourselves. Our sinful husband encumbered us with many debts. But on the day we married Christ, we received a Husband who is our almighty, omnipotent Redeemer. We all need Christ to be such a Husband to us. Having Him as our Husband, we should come to Him and simply say, “Lord Jesus, I need You.”
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