The Book of Ruth is the history of a Jewish family, who, like the prodigal son of Luke fifteen, went into the far country of Moab and "there began to be in want." Through the backsliding of a Jew (typified by Naomi) the poor gentile(Ruth) is brought into the land of blessing. There Ruth meets the rich Jew Boaz and later be-comes his bride. Paul brings out this truth in (Romans 11:11) "I say then, Have they stumbled that they should fall? God forbid: but rather through their fall salvation is come unto the Gentiles, for to provoke them to jealousy." This same scenario will take place when we the gentiles, (who are saved) will meet the Lord Jesus Christ, as Ruth meet Boaz, and some day we shall be united with the New Testament Boaz. At that time the blessings return to the Jews as they did unto Naomi. Israel will like Aaron's rod, bud and blossom (typical of resurrection). The Jews will be raised out of every graveyard of nations and return to Palestine. Let us began with three things.
1. DISOBEDIENCE- When Israel would disobey God would send chastisement.
2. DEFEAT- When they disobeyed, He would send some nation to defeat, destroy their properties, crops and cities, in return they would repent and turn to God.
3. DISGRACE- Judges 19 describes Israel's condition at this time, fighting against each other, low standard of living, where there is no leadership and folk are left to themselves there will be a disgrace.
Again we have something else to be noticed, a dispensational change, from law to grace as being described in the Book of Ruth. Through the marvelous working of the Lord Jesus Christ we are now recipients of His wonderful grace. Let's look further into Ruth and find three things.
a.) We have six family members, Elimelech-("God is my king), Naomi-"my pleasant one, later to Marah (bitter one), Mahlon-(sickly), Chilion-(consumptive), Orpah-(portion of the neck and back) and Ruth-(my satisfied one) Moab didn't make her happy nor Naomi or in Bethlehem-judah, but in Boaz (which again pictures Christ). We must remember the number six rep-resents man in his fallen condition and helpless state, it is one short of di-vine perfection and completeness thus showing that fallen man is unable to make it to heaven on his own.
b.) But we must not fail to mention the seventh character named in this book, that of Boaz-(in him is strength), a type of the Lord Jesus who came to complete fallen man. (Col. 2:10) "And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power:" Seven again the number of per-fection or dispensational completeness as seen in this book.
a.) In the first verse we read, "Now it came to pass in the days when the judges ruled, that there was a famine in the land. And a certain man of Bethlehem-judah went to sojourn in the country of Moab, he, and his wife, and his two sons."
b.) It is significant because of it's name- which means "the house of bread", later to be the birthplace of the "Bread of Heaven". And Judah means "Praise the Lord" so here we would have bread and worship, all that was needed to sustain them and us.
c.) There should have been plenty here but when we find famine related to Israel is usually means God is having to chasten them. Like many today they should be finding satisfaction in the House of God and the God of the House they are looking to Moab, a place of formalism and deadness.
d.) Famine also reminds us of three things"
1.) God's Vigilance- (Lev. 26:1-12) because of disobedience
a.) Refrain from Idols
b.) Regard the Sabbath
c.) Reverence His House
d.) Respect His law
But if they obeyed there would be: (6-12)
a.) Plentiful Rain
b.) Peaceful Rest
c.) Powerful Victories
d.) Prosperous Supply
e.) Place of Worship
f.) Pleasant Communion
2.) God's Visitation- disobedience brings a visit from God, here it was in the form of a famine, and later in the form of death, but always justice.
3.) God's Voice- a call to repentance- why are we not enjoying the rainfall and why are we having to endure a famine? Because many have backslide on God, given up the fellowship of the brethren, and their usefulness for service, neglected the bible, the prayer closet, and refused to repent, how can we expect anything other than a famine? Repent and get right before God once again has to chasten.
3. THE FAILURE- "went to sojourn in the country of Moab'
a.) Egypt- pictures the lost in bondage, incurable as leprosy without God.
b.) Babylon- pictures the backsliden and apostate, left without a song, without joy, without any bliss, in a state of weeping and wanting as he remembers the days of old.