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RUTH IV. II.

“THE Lord make the woman that is come into thine house like Rachel and like Leah, which two did build the house of Israel.”

While the story of Ruth is a wonderful example of the working of God’s Spirit in a human being, it is just as wonderful when worked out in every sinner saved by grace. The desire to know the Lord’s people, and to-dwell with them, the gleaning after the reapers, the welcome she found when she came to the Israelites, all these evidences are being manifested in our day. In herself Ruth had nothing with which to claim the favor of those with whom she was seeking a dwelling-place. She came out of an idolatrous nation which dated back to an incestuous beginning. All she asks is to gather a portion of what grain falls to the earth (apparently as waste, or that would otherwise be lost) that her hunger might be satisfied without any cost to those who have a right to the bread of the land and to dwell therein. Her desire and humble spirit make a welcome for her, her former nationality has nothing to do with the matter. After making her welcome, both to glean after the reapers and to share his own noonday meal, Boaz later makes her his wife. Thus she becomes an Israelite, and is entitled to all the rights and privileges of the Israelites, as much as if she had been born of their kindred; her former nationality, with all its idolatry, is left behind. Boaz in making her his wife makes her his equal in every respect, “and they shall be one flesh.” – Gen. ii. 24. He has given her his name, and made her an Israelite. But some say the stain of the sinful parentage of the Moabites still remains and taints the future generations. If that is sometimes so in nature it is not so in grace, nor is there anything on record to show that any after outcropping of evil had its origin from the union of Ruth with Boaz. I believe that these characters are types of the Lord’s people, and his way of calling them to know him in a personal manner, as well as serving their own place in the world’s history, and the purpose of God in the plan of redemption. Taking that view, Boaz represents the Lord of the harvest of human souls, or the Lord Jesus Christ, and Ruth represents those of whom the Lord speaks when he says by the mouth of the prophet, “ Bring forth the blind people that have eyes, and the deaf that have ears.” – lsaiah xliii. 8. When any came to Jesus asking to be healed, he cured so that they were whole; in no case on record did he leave one trace of the infirmity. If a sinner is saved by the blood of the Lamb the taint of evil is washed away. As his bride, the church is cleansed and pure, and no charge of former life or sinful ancestry can ever be charged against them collectively, nor individually, and of such sinners redeemed is the house of spiritual Israel built. Just as much in our time as it was in Ruth’s every sinner called by grace as much fulfills their place in the purpose of God in building his church as they do in the world’s history, and the history of the world is very closely connected with the history of the Lord’s people. Boaz did not marry Ruth and leave her of the family of Moab with a tainted reputation, nor did Jesus Christ espouse the cause of sinners and leave them unchanged, but saved them from their former condition and gave them a hope in his mercy. As the marriage rite creates the nearest kinship on earth, so also does Jesus raise sinners to sit with kings and princes, above all taint of the past, for, “Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God’s elect? It is God that justifieth. Who is he that condemneth?”

A. E. Rittenhouse
State Road, Del., Sept. 13, 1919

Signs of the Times
Volume 87, No. 21
November 1, 1919