The LORD Himself, personally, and the laws He had mandated, officially, would be used to take care of Ruth and Naomi.
One of the laws provided for the poor with dignity. Ruth would take advantage of it and go out into the field, day by day, and glean after the reapers; she was willing to work and gather up the leftovers in order to have sufficient food for herself and Naomi.
Leviticus 19:10 (NKJV) “And you shall not glean your vineyard, nor shall you gather every grape of your vineyard; you shall leave them for the poor and the stranger: I am the LORD your God.”
Another law that would be a factor was the law of the Kinsman Redeemer. Got Questions explains, “The kinsman-redeemer is a male relative who, according to various laws of the Pentateuch, had the privilege or responsibility to act on behalf of a relative who was in trouble, danger, or need. The Hebrew term (go el) for kinsman-redeemer designates one who delivers or rescues (Genesis 48:16; Exodus 6:6) or redeems property or person (Leviticus 27:9–25, 25:47–55). The kinsman who redeems or vindicates a relative is illustrated most clearly in the book of Ruth, where the kinsman-redeemer is Boaz.” (click here for the full article)
We see in the end, how Boaz was willing to redeem the land, and with that land, the virtuous woman Ruth. It didn’t matter that she was Moabite, he was a noble and obedient man, who saw the genuine beauty of Ruth.
Another law was that of levirate marriage. This law was God’s way of providing for widows and carrying on the family name on behalf of the deceased. If a man died and had no children then his brother, or closest kinsman was obligated to marry the widow in order to produce offspring, who would one day take care of (honor) the parent.
Deuteronomy 25:5–6 (NKJV) “If brothers dwell together, and one of them dies and has no son, the widow of the dead man shall not be married to a stranger outside the family; her husband’s brother shall go in to her, take her as his wife, and perform the duty of a husband’s brother to her. 6 And it shall be that the firstborn son which she bears will succeed to the name of his dead brother, that his name may not be blotted out of Israel.”
It’s fascinating to see the civil laws of the Lord aptly applied, and the way they wisely took care of the community of people with dignity. It’s also beautiful to see the way Boaz and Ruth are a picture of Jesus (our Kinsman Redeemer) and the church – what a beautiful love story!
I’m blessed with the virtuous woman Ruth became, it was evident to Boaz and to all the rest.
Ruth 2:12 (NKJV) “The LORD repay your work, and a full reward be given you by the LORD God of Israel, under whose wings you have come for refuge.”
Ruth 3:11 (NKJV) “And now, my daughter, do not fear. I will do for you all that you request, for all the people of my town know that you are a virtuous woman.”
The prayer of the women of the town for Naomi, and her grandson, include an amazing commendation of her daughter in law – Ruth:
Ruth 4:15 (NKJV) “And may he be to you a restorer of life and a nourisher of your old age; for your daughter-in-law, who loves you, who is better to you than seven sons, has borne him.”
The LORD used Ruth to rekindle Naomi’s faith in God (Ruth 2:20) as Naomi caught the vision, and saw the hope in seeking security for her “daughter” – that it might be well with her.
What grace, that God would make Ruth (a Moabite) a part of the lineage of King David and eventually King Jesus (Ruth 4:17).
There’s much to glean from the book of Ruth, one of only two books in the Bible named after a woman (along with Esther).
When we consider the healing of the nobleman’s son, it’s a different sort of sign, in that Jesus didn’t have to be there physically to heal him. Jesus simply willed it – He spoke the word from close to twenty miles away and it was done, instantly. Distance is not an issue with the Divine. The nobleman verified the time the fever left him, and sure enough, it was the very moment Jesus spoke the word.
The nobleman believed for healing (John 4:50), which led to him to believe for salvation (John 4:53).
The “nobleman” was some sort of royal or government official…and we’ve seen – time and time again, that all it takes for an individual to be drawn to the Lord, is desperation for our children, after all, he wasn’t primarily a nobleman…he was a father.
When we contemplate Cana, the city at hand, isn’t it interesting that the first sign Jesus gave was at a wedding in Cana? And the second sign (again in Cana), is for the healing of a child? God cares for the family and it makes quite an impact. We read:
John 4:53b (NKJV) “…And he himself believed, and his whole household.”
Being the family-man that I am, this finds a special home in my heart. Thank You Jesus!
As the Psalmist continues his chronicle of Israel’s history, we pick it up at a time of world-wide famine, but no need to worry for God had “sent” Joseph ahead, sold as a slave, tested, tried and trained. When the time was right, Joseph would be raised up to rule, sent ultimately to save (a picture of Jesus).
When Joseph died, the nation of Israel became slaves in Egypt, but God sent Moses and Aaron as instruments for the deliverance of His people – signs and wonders were done to defeat all the gods of Egypt. Water to blood, light to darkness, frogs, flies, lice, fire, hail and in the end, the final blow was the death of the firstborn in all the land of Egypt. Imagine that…a bunch of slaves set free from the vise-grip of the most powerful nation on earth!
Israel would look back to these things – and praise the Lord, we do too. We can also look back to the time of Christ, and what He did to redeem us from the power and penalty of sin – and praise the Lord. And what about our personal story. Do you ever look back to see how He set you free? It’s good to do – and praise the Lord.
In almost any discussion about wisdom, the fear of the Lord is to be in the forefront.
The healthy holy fear of hell, the fear of God’s discipline, the fear of a loss of reward, the fear that God won’t answer our prayers – it really should change a person. Christians get consecrated, disciples draw near – and even as we read here – there is a strong confidence that blesses the family (Proverbs 14:26). His children will have a place of refuge, a sanctuary here, and a home in heaven. Ultimately Jesus is our refuge (Hebrews 6:18).
A 2016 Pew Research Center study found that those children raised in households in which both parents were believers, had a great chance of possessing that same faith in adulthood. 84% of those raised by two Protestant parents are still Protestant as adults. Similarly, those raised without that faith in Christ, are less apt to look for it as they grow older — that same Pew study found that 63% of people who grew up with two religiously unaffiliated parents were still nonreligious as adults.
Make no mistake about it, the fear of the LORD impacts the family!
Those who fear the Lord can drink from that fountain of life – turning them away, protecting them from the snares of death.
God help us to drink from this fountain and never stop!
Jeremiah 2:13 (NKJV) “For My people have committed two evils: they have forsaken Me, the fountain of living waters, and hewn themselves cisterns–broken cisterns that can hold no water.”
John 4:13-14 (NKJV) “Jesus answered and said to her, ‘Whoever drinks of this water will thirst again, but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life.’”
John 7:37-38 (NKJV) “On the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, ‘If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink. “He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.’”
If you have any questions or comments on today’s reading, or you’d like to share something the Lord showed you, feel free to leave a reply below. I’d love to hear from you as we grow forward in 2021.