The Book of Ruth

The Bible Monthly vol. 3



We now see Naomi seeking the welfare of Ruth. She would desire to marry Ruth to Boaz, if it were possible; and there is, in the step she took, and in the advice which she gave to Ruth, what is well worth our consideration. Naomi desires that Ruth should come into the most intimate relationship with Boaz. It is the desire of the Lord to bring us into the most intimate relationship with Himself,

In verse 3 she instructs Ruth to wash herself. The believer must be free from sin if he is to have fellowship with Boaz (Christ).

She is to uncover his feet and lie down by them. This suggests the thought that the believer must be able to see the feet of the Lord, i.e., to see how He walked here so perfectly to the glory of God, and should lie down, that is to take the place of one who desires to follow humbly in His steps. To such an one, the Lord can reveal Himself, and come out in all His fulness, and bring that one consciously into the most blessed fellowship with Himself.

Ruth obeys. Oh, that we would always respond to the Spirit’s leading when He points out to us what is the path way here, in which we may most fully know the fellowship of Christ. Oh, that we would always uncover His feet and see where He goes, and humbly follow. What blessed, happy communion might be known by us, if we were always in this attitude of soul.

Boaz awakes, and finds Ruth at his feet. She asks that he will spread his skirt over her, i.e., attach her to Him self, and give her his name and protection. He is most willing to do this if he can.

The believer who is in appreciation of Christ, desires to be covered with Christ as his righteousness, and permanently to be associated with His Name. The Lord delights to answer to this desire. But there is a difficulty.

The Two Kinsmen

Boaz is near of kin, but there is a nearer kinsman, who has a prior right to redeem. Boaz, in the grace and kindness of his heart, promises to take the matter up with the nearer relation who answers typically to the law. The two meet, and the matter is opened up. The nearer kinsman is willing to buy the land, but not to take Ruth and make her his wife. Such an act would spoil his own inheritance. If he spent his money to buy the land, and then had a son by Ruth, the land would have to go to that son; this would mean that he had impoverished his own inheritance to give a portion to the son of Ruth. He is not willing to do this, and Boaz, who could not be compelled to take up the matter at all, acting in the kindness of his heart towards Ruth, takes up all the responsibilities and redeems the land and takes Ruth to himself to wife.

This is a most beautiful picture. Christ has come in in grace, and taken up all the responsibilities of the sinner and met all the demands of the law and satisfied them. He is able to come out and act in all the grace and love of His heart. The inheritance of the law is lost souls. If the law redeemed a soul it would spoil its own inheritance, which it is not willing to do. Christ, however, has in free grace taken up our case, and having satisfied God as to the question of sin, is now able to bring us into the most blessed relationship with Himself.

Boaz marries Ruth. No longer is it ‘‘Ruth the Moabitess,’’ but ‘‘ Ruth the wife of Boaz.’’ No longer is it an unsaved sinner, but a believer in the Lord Jesus Christ, She bears his name; we bear the Name of Christ. His position, wealth and character are hers. God has associated us as believers with all that Christ has in the glory.

Boaz gave Ruth his name, to bear it in all the honour that it had. Christ gives us His Name, that we may carry it honourably through this world as He did. It must not be connected with anything that is contrary to His character. We must not dishonour it in any way. He entrusts us with His honour, and His reputation, as we pass through this scene. How, my beloved brethren, are we responding to this trust?

Is the world thinking lightly of Christ because of our walk? Is the Name of Christ in our lives associated with that which even an unbeliever can see to be inconsistent with the faith of Christ? If so, beloved, let us humble ourselves before God, and seek to be restored, that we may so walk before Him that out of our lives may go forth a sweet savour of that Blessed One, who has linked us to Himself in the closest, deepest bond of His Divine love.

J. B. R.