Posted by: biblestudyseattle | August 18, 2013

Ruth 1

Ruth is one of the greatest women in the Bible, one of only two with an entire book named in her honor (the other is Esther). Ruth is the origin of our word ‘ruthless’. To be ruthless is to be the opposite of Ruth. Naomi had two sons who married. Her husband and both sons died, and they were left destitute, Naomi with her two daughters-in-law. Orpah went her own way but not Ruth. Ruth demonstrates the most tenacious faithfulness and loyalty to Naomi.

“But Ruth replied, “Don’t urge me to leave you or to turn back from you. Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God. Where you die I will die, and there I will be buried. May the Lord deal with me, be it ever so severely, if even death separates you and me.” When Naomi realized that Ruth was determined to go with her, she stopped urging her.” Ruth 1:16-18

From the beginning of Ruth, we learn that Naomi’s sons married Moabite women. Why? This illustrates that the bride of Christ will largely come from the Gentiles. Ruth represents the church, or bride of Christ. Notice another detail:

“In the days when the judges ruled, there was a famine in the land. So a man from Bethlehem in Judah, together with his wife and two sons, went to live for a while in the country of Moab. The man’s name was Elimelek, his wife’s name was Naomi, and the names of his two sons were Mahlon and Kilion. They were Ephrathites from Bethlehem, Judah. And they went to Moab and lived there.

Now Elimelek, Naomi’s husband, died, and she was left with her two sons. They married Moabite women, one named Orpah and the other Ruth. After they had lived there about ten years, both Mahlon and Kilion also died, and Naomi was left without her two sons and her husband.” Ruth 1:1-5

They were Ephrathites from Bethlehem, Judah. A little Messianic? Remember the Lion of the Tribe of Judah. And, “But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are small among the clans of Judah, out of you will come for me one who will be ruler over Israel, whose origins are from of old, from ancient times.” Micah 5:2 Ephraim was the son of Joseph, who is also Messianic. Here is Jacob’s blessing to Joseph:

“Joseph is a fruitful vine,
a fruitful vine near a spring,
whose branches climb over a wall.
With bitterness archers attacked him;
they shot at him with hostility.
But his bow remained steady,
his strong arms stayed limber,
because of the hand of the Mighty One of Jacob,
because of the Shepherd, the Rock of Israel,
because of your father’s God, who helps you,
because of the Almighty, who blesses you
with blessings of the skies above,
blessings of the deep springs below,
blessings of the breast and womb.
Your father’s blessings are greater
than the blessings of the ancient mountains,
than the bounty of the age-old hills.
Let all these rest on the head of Joseph,
on the brow of the prince among his brothers.” Genesis 49:22-26

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