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Meditations on THE BOOK OF RUTH


After dwelling at some length in my previous article Olson the “Nearest Kinsman” and “Near Kinsman” we will pass on to the marriage of Boaz and Ruth. “So Boaz took Ruth, and she was his wife” and when he went in unto her, the Lord gave her conception, and she bare a son. The joy and happiness that came to Naomi and Ruth by the birth of this little son, will never be fully expressed by mortal tongues. Let us go back just a little and review the scene when they left the country of Moab. They were destitute of this world's goods, husbands dead, sons dead and all their earthly possessions gone. Only one little ray of hope, she heard that the Lord had visited his people in Bethlehem Judah in giving them bread. What a long and lonely journey this must have been. Can you not, dear reader, trace out some of the landmarks in your experience? How fitting are the words of the poet:

“Perhaps he may admit my plea,
Perhaps will hear my prayer;
But if I perish, I will pray,
And perish only there.

I can but perish if I go;
I am resolved to try;
For if I stay away I know
I must forever die.”

At last the dayspring from on high has visited them. A little son is born. Who can this little son typify but Christ formed in you the hope of glory? His name is Obed; Obed, means serving and how beautifully this agrees with the life of Jesus, who “took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men.” Phil. 2:7. Our mind is also led to the language of the prophet of old who said, “For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace” Isaiah 9:6. Who are the people that will call his name Wonderful? Are they not the ones unto whom this child is born ? Surely, they will call his name Wonderful. Is it not a great wonder of wonders to you, that this meek and lowly Jesus would condescend from his high and lofty state of heaven and take up his abode in you? Surely, you will call his name Wonderful. How wonderful are the words of Salary. “My soul doth magnify the Lord, and my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Savior.” Luke 1:46-47. “He hath filled the hungry with good things; and the rich he hath sent away empty.” Luke 1:53. Is it not true that the same one unto whom this child is born, is the same one that this son is given? His name shall be called Counsellor. Dear child of God, have you not learned the truth of the prophet of old, “And all thy children shall be taught of the Lord.” And Jesus himself refers to this prophecy and says, “It is written in the prophets, and they shall be all taught of God.” John 6:45. Notice the number of names he has: “Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.” Is there any peace outside of Jesus? “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you.” John 14:27. How agreeable are the words of Simeon of old. “Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, according to thy word: For mine eyes have seen thy salvation.” Luke 2:29-30. Is it not true that we find peace every time we are enabled by the spirit of God to embrace this little son (Jesus)? It; is then we can behold him in his beauty and holiness. We will now return to the law, which Paul says is “a shadower of good things to come.” Remember, dear reader, that a shadow is not the reality of anything, but if you will follow it you will come to the substance. May I again quote the words in the fourth chapter and 13th verse, “So Boaz took Ruth, and she was his wife.” How beautifully Ruth portrays the church in the gospel dispensation. She is now married to another, this “near kinsman”, “a mighty man of wealth”. Even Boaz. This little son is born, who is the legal heir of all this vast estate that his father possessed in Bethlehem Judah, which I believe is a faint type of heaven, and all that he purchased in the country of Moab which is a type of the earth. So this Son, Jesus, became heir to all that his Father possessed. Heaven is his throne, the earth his footstool and the cattle upon a thousand hills are his. When this little son was born, the women of the city invoked their blessings upon him, “that his name may be famous in Israel.” Can we conceive of any name that will compare with the name of Jesus, except the church? “And this is his name whereby he shall be called, the Lord our righteousness.” “And this is the name whereby she shall be called, the Lord our righteousness.” Inasmuch as the bride takes the name of the bridegroom., just so the church takes the name of her husband. And inasmuch as Naomi and Ruth looked to his son, Obed, for their natural sustenance, do we not look to Jesus for the jolt of our salvation? Idiom. true are the words of Peter, “For there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be salted.” Acts 4:12. And the apostle Paul in his epistle to the Philippian brethren said, “Wherefore Good also hath highly exalted him and given him a name which is above every name,” (Phil. 2:9) that in all we do in word or deed, do in the name of Jesus. The women of the city also said to Naomi, “And he shall be unto thee a restorer of thy life.” To find the true meaning of these words, we will only look back in our experience and see that we are not restored back to our former state, for that was a life of toil and labor, as we have before pointed out in the life of Naomi, in her journey from the country of Tomb to Bethlehem Judah. But she is now a partaker of that bread on which she has bestowed no labor. See how this word restore compares with the experience of David. “Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation.” David did not ask for salvation, but he wanted the joy of it again. He, Obed, shall be a “nourisher of thine old age.” That is, Naomi and Ruth have the full assurance that this little son will unquestionably, out of the abundance of his vast amount of wealth, supply them with all the necessities and comforts of life. What a consoling thought, notwithstanding the fact that she is old and decrepit and going down the steps of old age, she has something to look forward to. This little son will care for me. “Naomi took the child, and laid it in her bosom.” May I repeat the words? “And he shall be unto thee a restorer of thy life, and a nourisher of thine old age.” How beautifully this son typifies the son of God, and listen to his own words: “(For the Lord thy God is a merciful God;) he will not forsake thee, neither destroy thee, nor forget the covenant of thy fathers which he sware unto them.” Deut. 4:31. She has now ceased from her labors and entered into rest. How does this compare with your experience, when Jesus Christ was formed in you the hope of glory, and spake peace to your troubled soul in a feeling sense in words and said, that sins which are many are all forgiven thee, go and sin no more? Now you are no more under the law, but under grace, for the law of the spirit of life which is in Christ Jesus has made you free from the law of sin and death. In bringing this to a close, may I quote the language of the apostle Paul, “For he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.” Heb. 13:5. Again Paul said, “My God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” Phil. 4:19. The apostle did not say he shall supply all your needs, but he shall supply all your need. When we are clothed and in our right mind, how fully we realize that we need Him every moment and every hour.

Elder T. Floyd Adams
Willows Spring, N.C.

Signs of the Times
Volume 113, No. 4
April 1945