Studies in the Book of Ruth #8 (3:1-18)
In Ruth 2 we looked at Ruth’s REWARD, Ruth 3 covers Ruth’s REST. Aren’t you glad that spiritual REST is available today through the Lord Jesus Christ (cf. Matthew 11:28-30)! Remember that Boaz is a type or picture of the Lord Jesus Christ, Ruth pictures the predominantly Gentile bride of Christ, the church (cf. Ephesians 5:25-32), and Naomi pictures the current state of the nation of Israel. Keep these pictures in mind as you travel through this chapter.
I. NAOMI’S INSTRUCTION (v. 1-5)
Notice that it is Naomi that instructs Ruth. If you are saved, where do you receive truth? Hopefully, you said, “From the Bible.” It is through the word of God that the saved are instructed. Now, where did the Bible come from? Look no further than Romans 3:1-2 to find that God used the nation of Israel to keep His word through the ages. Here we find Naomi (type of Israel) instructing Ruth (type of the church) yet Naomi is in great bitterness because of her past. Did you know that many Jews today have never been able to see past Hitler’s Holocaust of 75 years ago? They are bitter against God for allowing such an event and many of them have rejected God’s only begotten Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. At the same time, it is through a Jewish BOOK that we receive instruction today. Keep in mind that a believing remnant of Israelites will be WONDERFULLY BLESSED by the Lord Jesus Christ when He returns at the Second Advent, so God is NOT FINISHED with the nation of Israel – see Romans 11:25.
Naomi’s instruction is to seek rest (for Ruth’s benefit) through Boaz. Naomi’s instruction is wise, and is based on Deuteronomy 25:5-9 concerning the lawful right of Boaz to take Ruth as his wife, if he so desires. Notice the instruction of Naomi has to do with Ruth getting to know Boaz on a personal level. There is much here in verse 3 to apply to the Christian getting to know the Lord Jesus Christ on a personal level.
“Wash thyself therefore” – a picture of the daily cleansing of the believer” – cf. 1 John 1:7-9
“anoint thee” – picture of being filled with the Holy Spirit” – cf. Isaiah 61:1
“put thy raiment upon thee” – picture of being clothed with “the new man” – cf. Ephesians 4:22-24
“get thee down to the floor” – the way UP is DOWN – cf. 1 Peter 5:6
Verse 4 – MARK the place where Jesus is… DO what He tells you to do!
Verse 5 – Here is a declaration by Ruth. Remember that a declaration is not enough, she still has to do as Naomi said.
APPLICATION: Many a Christian makes a commitment to do something for the LORD… and then FAIL to follow through.
II. RUTH’S SUBMISSION (v. 6-13)
Verse 6 reveals that Ruth DID what she SAID she was going to do… AMEN! What an incredible picture of an obedient Christian (cf. James 1:22-25); not a hearer only, but a DOER!
Verse 7 – This verse may sound strange in the modern context, but there were no immoral intentions on the part of Ruth or Boaz.
*Notice how Ruth “came softly” – when a person comes to Jesus Christ, they don’t come raging, they come softly
Verse 8 – Boaz is startled, so this reveals that he was not expecting some “secret romantic meeting” with Ruth, but instead is completely taken by surprise.
Verse 9 – By uncovering Boaz’s feet, Ruth was saying to him, “You are my near kinsman, and it is your responsibility to marry me and raise up children to your kin who died. You have a choice now: marry me or leave your feet uncovered because your shoe will be loosed off your foot.”
cf. Ezekiel 16:8
Verses 10-11 – Boaz reveals Ruth’s PURE MOTIVES – “thou art a virtuous woman” – cf. Proverbs 12:4, 31:10
Verse 12 – We are never told about where Boaz falls in the family of Elimelech, we are just told that he is indeed a KINSMAN – cf. Numbers 27:8-11
REQUIREMENTS FOR REDEMPTION:
1. There must be a near kinsman – there could be no redemption from outside of the family.
2. The kinsman must be WILLING to redeem – as long as the redeemer meets the qualification.
3. The kinsman must be ABLE to redeem – the man opposite Boaz is not named.
Verse 13 – Boaz is a near kinsman, he is ABLE, and he is WILLING
However, there is a NEARER kinsman.
cf. 1 Corinthians 15:45-50 – from Adam, you and I received a FLESHLY nature. The nearer kinsman pictures the FLESH and could also picture the LAW – neither of these can REDEEM.
Every person has TWO kinsmen – Adam and Jesus Christ. Only Jesus Christ is ABLE and WILLING to redeem!
III. BOAZ’S PROVISION (v. 14-18)
Verse 14 – “And she lay at his feet until the morning” – there is NO BETTER PLACE than at the feet of Jesus (cf. Matthew 15:30, Luke 8:35, Luke 8:41, Luke 10:39, John 11:32, John 12:3
Verse 15 – Boaz provides GIFTS for Ruth – Jesus Christ does the same for us, for the benefit of OTHERS (notice how Ruth takes and gives to Naomi)
Verse 16 – Ruth is not married YET, there is still a TRANSACTION that must take place.
Verse 17 – “Go not empty unto thy mother in law” – again, Boaz provided for Naomi THROUGH Ruth
*In the church age, the Lord can use a Gentile to relay His gift of salvation to the Jew!
Verse 18 – “the man will not be in rest, until he have finished the thing this day” – the Lord Jesus Christ did not SIT DOWN at God’s right hand until His work was FINISHED – see John 19:30.