SALVATION IS OF THE JEWS
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First let's get something clear about erroneous notions of Paul and his founding a new religion, which he didn't. True, the halakhah of his Judaism switched from the Pharisaic oral law to the Ruach Hakodesh, but his religion was still one of the Judaisms of the time, not a new non-Judaism Gentile religion.
Neither Edgar Allan Poe nor any other modern writer formulated
the short story as we know it. It was invented by G-d long
before. Ruth is a short story, though of course, its material is
history and not fiction.
Judges and Ruth are so different in tone that it is amazing that
they take place during the same time period. In contrast to the
murder and lust of Judges, there is the wonder of how much Ruth
endeared herself to people who should have been strangers. A
miracle quietly transpires in this story, and people who might
have considered Ruth an enemy because of her Moabite ancestry,
were instead drawn to her by the cords of G-d's love. Love is a
wonderful thing. The story of Ruth is saying, look how G-d's
love binds people together, with a bond that even death cannot
sever, for G-d is the G-d of the living, and even the dead are
not beyond his protective, loving hand.
Look at Ruth's story. Ruth's husband Mahlon is dead, he left her
no son, Naomi he left no grandchildren. Mahlon's property is
languishing untilled in Bethlehem, and all seems hopelessly lost.
Who can help her? Who can reclaim the land and bring a harvest
of prosperity again? Who can redeem the dead? No one, it seems.
The land has seen famine, the dead are gone.
But is anything too hard for G-d? Read the story and watch G-d
go into action! Watch him redeem the lost property and put the
deed of ownership back into the name of the deceased. All right,
you say, G-d can redeem the land perhaps. But can G-d redeem the
dead? Can the dead live again? Can a corpse have a child?
Again we ask, is anything too hard for the L-rd? Look at this
true story, recorded in the annals of the history of King David!
In this true story, the dead man's widow even conceives the dead
man's child, giving us a foreglimpse of Isaiah's virgin in Isaiah
7:14! And what a child! The child that is on the way in this
story is the Davidic King of Judah, even the Moshiach! Now, the
story is saying, after all that, you, reader, should believe that
G-d is the G-d of the living, who can redeem the world and the
land and who can make alive even the dead.
Ruth had neither a Jewish mother nor a Jewish father! But she
has entered Ideal Israel (Y'shuron Yisroel, meaning "upright one
or "law-upholding one", a poetic name for the true Israel of G-d
--see Isaiah 44:2; Deut. 32:15; 33:26; 33:5) by faith alone (Gal.
2:15-21), by an individual choice to turn away from the former
heathenish direction she was going and by making a personal
decision to turn back and join the people of G-d and to take
their G-d as her God in true teshuva (1:16-17). (Moab symbolizes
for Naomi a heathenish neglect of G-d's people and G-d's House,
because Bethlehem means "House of Bread," and she has felt the
covenant curses of famine, death, and childlessness as a result
of her moving in a heathenish direction that neglects G-d's
House--Deut. 28:18, 21, 24). But Ruth has become a "supernatural
Jew" through the new birth and has entered "Upright" Israel by
what alone made her upright, that is, emunah (Hab. 2:4; Gen.
15:6; Psalm 106:31; Gal. 2:16), and Ruth has entered Upright
Israel ahead of those who say they are Jews but are still
spiritually uncircumcised, still heathen at heart, as Naomi seems
to be until she comes back to Bethlehem and begins to see G-d
bless one of the Gentiles, her daughter-in-law Ruth (contrast
Ruth 1:15 and Ruth 2:20). Ruth's regenerated, circumcised heart
made her part of the true circumcision, the true Israel of G-d,
and we who are regenerated in the Brit Chadasha kehillah have
also entered Israel with Ruth the Moabitess and with Rahab.
The point that the story is leading to is how great G-d's
blessing is on this Gentile woman--more than she could ever see
in her lifetime. (G-d has also similarly blessed us more than we
can see in our lifetime.) She became a direct ancestor of King
David and, through him, Ruth became a direct ancestor of the
promised Moshiach Himself! The irony of G-d's hand on Ruth's
life is a theme of the story. His providential care for her, the
way her footsteps are literally ordered by the L-rd (Psalm
37:23), the gracious way her faith is answered by his provision
--these are all highlighted by the fact that she is an outsider,
alone, a widow, a non-Jew, a foreigner, a member of the excluded,
(cursed by the Law--Deut. 23:3) Moabite people, a pagan who had
known only death and a false religion and was now poor and
helpless in a strange land.
G-d's special providential care toward those on their way to
salvation is a theme of Ruth. Everywhere this Gentile widow
turns, she is blessed, because she has been given a heart to
bless G-d's people (Gen. 12:2). Just as she does not forget her
mother-in-law, G-d does not abandon his chesed (covenant-keeping
loving kindness) with Ruth and with the living and the dead (Ruth
2:20). G-d makes everything work together for good for Ruth,
even a famine, even the death of her husband (Romans 8:28). G-d
uses the famine in Israel to get Ruth's future mother-in-law
Naomi to move from Bethlehem to where Ruth could meet her in
Moab. G-d uses the death of her husband to free Ruth to begin a
wonderful, spiritual pilgrimage. G-d, who withdraws the rain,
now brings the early rain and the later rain to end the famine
and bless the land with the harvest, which is a reward for
covenant-obedience (Deut 28:4). But, here is where the wonder
really begins. G-d leads the widows back to Bethlehem for a
harvest greater than they could ever imagine, a world harvest led
by the Moshiach Himself, the world Harvester "to whom the nations
belong (Gen.49:10)." (Notice carefully the Goel redeemer son of
Judah at the threshing floor in Ruth 3:2). The World Harvester,
the Moshiach will be born there in Bethlehem a thousand years
later (see Micah 5:2).
G-d gives Ruth a strange and marvelous love. G-d gives Ruth a
love for her mother-in-law and for the people of G-d. G-d gives
her the courage to say good-bye to her heathen sister and to go
to Israel with her mother-in-law. Then G-d brings her to a very
special man, a man of substance, a man of destiny, the most
wonderful husband she could ever have dreamed of, in fact a
husband far beyond her imagination, an absolutely unique man of
royal blood, the only man in the world who was Ruth's
contemporary and was at the same time destined to become a direct
ancestor of King David and of the Moshiach Yehoshua. And the
wonder is that G-d led this Gentile woman Ruth to find favor in
his sight and become related to him in holy covenant love. For
this man (Boaz) from the Messianic tribe of Judah become Ruth's
kinsman Go'el (redeemer), protecting the family, the dead as well
as the living. This man from the tribe of the Moshiach married
Ruth and redeemed (bought back) the land of Ruth's dead husband
and raised up an heir to carry the dead man's name. So the dead
man's inheritance was not wiped out. G-d is the G-d who saves
the living and the dead through a Redeemer from the tribe of
Judah. Here it is important to remember that APOLUTROSEOS or
HAPEDUT (redemption) as in Romans 3:24 means release on payment
of ransom. Had Moshiach Yehoshua not paid the ransom of his
blood as our Go'el (redeemer) we could never have been bought
back from sin and death and judgment. Our plight would have been
more hopeless than Ruth and Naomi, these two tragic ALMANOT
In the Bible, G-d is also the protector of ALMANOT. In Bible
times, a woman without the covering of a husband was in danger of
exploitation or of sexual molestation or even being carried off.
Because of our sin nature and our sin practices, we were carried
off and on the slave market auction block of sin. We needed a
redeemer to buy us back. Moshiach Yehoshua is rich and can do
that because Moshiach Yehoshua is not in debt to HaSatan.
Moshiach Yehoshua has no sin nature and no sin practices. If we
humble ourselves like a poor widow and turn to him to redeem us,
he will put the wings of his garment over us and protect us from
all hurt and loss. Moshiach Yehoshua will be to us what Boaz was
to Ruth and Naomi. This book of the Bible is extremely important
because it shows the tribe of Judah and a coming redeemer of the
Jews and Gentiles, the Moshiach, who will fulfill Gen. 49:10.
The secret of Ruth's blessing was her faithfulness. She remained
where G-d placed her. She refused to leave her mother-in-law,
she remained with her in life and refused to leave her in death
(1:16-18). Ruth remained faithfully where G-d placed her. She
remained in Boaz's field. Boaz said, "Stay with my workers until
they finish harvesting all my grain" (2:21) and she obeyed him.
Ruth didn't go to the field of someone else where she might have
been harmed (2:22). The passage says "she stayed close to the
servant girls of Boaz to glean until the barley and wheat
harvests were finished. And she lived with her mother-in-law"
Naomi (2:23). Ruth remained with the people of G-d, and she kept
her heart loyal to her L-rd and His people. She is a chayil
isha "noble woman" (see Ruth 3:11; compare same exact words in
Notice how G-d leads Ruth out of her heathen past into a future
place of blessing with G-d's people. G-d leads her to just the
right field, one that G-d can eternally redeem with new life and
an abundant harvest, a field that will become Ruth's own,
allotted for her before time ever was, her portion, signifying
eternal life (see Romans 9:6-11).
In the Bible, your land signifies your eternal inheritance in
G-d, your allotted portion forever. There are two kinds of
people in the world! Those who despise their birthright of
Chayyei Olam (Eternal Life) and neglect the House of G-d, and
those who love the people of G-d and the courts of G-d's Beis
Hamikdash. There's no redemption, no redeemer, no hope for the
land or the dead in "Moab."
Notice, on this field of the Redeemer of Judah, G-d gives Ruth
true Menucha (security--1:9; 3:1). He sustains Ruth with food
and a home and a husband and even makes her the great grandmother
of the great King (see Ruth 4:21-22). Judges 21:17 says that
marriage was given to get an heir to avoid extinction, to avoid
being wiped out. But the ultimate heir that Ruth will be given
is the Moshiach, the One that will burst out of the grave and
wipe out death itself.
Those with heathen hearts are still back in Moab. Ruth has come
to the Promised Land and she has had her heathen heart cleansed
and reborn in G-d's love, and she has come to hope in the G-d who
raises the dead. Her hope has cleansed her, too, as it says,
"every man who hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as
He is pure (I Yochanan 3:3)."
Then Ruth, who was humble enough to do any chore, any task, no
matter how menial--so great was her love for G-d's people--then
Ruth faithfully abides in G-d's love, and G-d makes Ruth's name
great. And in the story, all this providential blessing is
introduced so subtly that the reader barely see it as he reads.
Yet at the end of the story, G-d's grace becomes overwhelmingly
wonderful, just as when the believer reflects on the providential
care of the L-rd on his own life. Like Ruth, we find that G-d
was subtly blessing us all along, even before we knew him.
When going to the Jewish people, it is essential to identify with
them as Ruth did. When a Jewish person asks you about your
faith, if your deeds and your lips say, "My faith is Jewish.
These are my people," your sincere love and seriousness will get
a definite reaction from the Jewish people, as it did for Ruth.
The Go'el is introduced in the book of Ruth. Look at 3:9. The
Go'el is the kinsman-redeemer who shows kindness to the living
and to the dead, and redeems the inheritance of those who have
died. This is what the Moshiach does, and Boaz, the son of Judah
(Gen. 49:10) who takes the Gentile bride, is a picture of the
Go'el Moshiach Yehoshua, who rose from the dead to redeem the
Brit Chadasha kehillah.
Naomi had to be made empty in order that G-d could lead her back
to Him and fill her with blessing. There is a kind of chiasmus
in the fact that the land of Israel is empty when Naomi goes out
of it full, and the land is full when she comes back to it empty.
She had to leave a place called Beit-Lechem ("House of Bread")
and return marah ("bitter") to it. The name Naomi means
"pleasant", but life's blows make her bitter until G-d starts to
open her eyes as she sees a Gentile "daughter" blessing her and
being blessed by G-d with Israel's blessings, a Rom. 10:19;
11:13-14 fact which provokes Naomi to jealousy to come back to
G-d in her own heart. Only when things get as bad as they could
be in a heathen land, and all of her loved ones were dying, only
then did Naomi, bitter Naomi, turn around and repent of the
heathen direction of her life, and start heading back to G-d's
House and G-d's people. Then G-d blesses her through her return
to G-d's people. It's important to remember that the child in
the story, Obed, is called "Naomi's son." (See Ruth 4:17.)
Naomi's unredeemed property has to be purchased and it belongs to
her husband and her son Mahlon (both deceased) and the son Obed
also belongs to them and to Naomi. The child would be known as
Obed son of Mahlon son of Elimelech. The son would be Naomi's
protector and the heir of the land, insuring that it would stay
in the family. So G-d is making it evident to Naomi that He is
redeeming her life because she has returned to him. This is a
solemn warning to the backslider, but it has a loving expression
in this beautiful little book.
Though it is true that I am a kinsman-redeemer, there is a
kinsman-redeemer nearer than I. [i.e. Moshiach]
Isn't it time to come back to your spiritual home?
PRAY THIS PRAYER AND THEN PRAY THIS PRAYER.
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