The personal testimonies recorded in the Book of Ruth in the Old Testament described the chosen people during the age of darkness - if they lived according to the Word of God, they received the blessings promised by the Lord. Even through periods of adversity, danger turned into safety and bitterness into sweetness for them in the end. Through 3 blessings shown in the Book of Ruth, this writer wishes to share with everyone the grace that can be gained by the saints when following Jesus Christ.
¡§May the Lord repay you for what you have done. May you be richly rewarded by the Lord, the God of Israel, under whose wings you have come to take refuge.¡¨ (Ruth 2:12) The people counted as righteous by God in the Old Testament are often those who expressed their faith in God through their actions. From the Bible, we see that Naomi deeply loved her two daughters-in-law and looked after their interest at every turn. The Gentile woman Ruth was captivated by this love to return love for love, and determined to follow and serve her mother-in-law by going from Moab to Bethlehem in Judah. This action of leaving behind her homeland to relying whole-hearted on God earned her the blessing of the Lord. Because of poverty, she gleaned barley and wheat in the fields. But she continued to receive provision in her livelihood (Ruth 2:23), comfort (Ruth 2:13) and protection (Ruth 2:9). God blessed her through Boaz. Similarly, we Gentile believers have been exhorted by the Lord¡¦s love to abandon evil and crave righteousness, and turn to God through faith. So God bestowed all manner of grace upon us through His Son. As Paul said, ¡§This grace was given me: to preach to the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ.¡¨ (Ephesians 3:8) ¡§This mystery is that through the gospel the Gentiles are heirs together with Israel, members together of one body, and sharers together in the promise in Christ Jesus.¡¨ (Ephesians 3:6)
2. Patience and perseverance bring greater blessing in the end ¡V
¡§¡¦The Lord bless you, my daughter,¡¦ he (Boaz) replied. ¡¥This kindness is greater than that which you showed earlier: You have not run after the younger men, whether rich or poor.¡¦¡¨ (Ruth 3:10) In an age when people did as they pleased, the young widow Ruth must have had many opportunities and temptations after reaching the land of Canaan. Yet she did not run after any young man, whether rich or poor. She steadfastly followed Naomi and did what she said (Ruth 3:5). This provides a strong contrast when compared with the Israelites¡¦ rebellion against God¡¦s Laws and commandments (Exodus 24:7, Judges 2:1-2). In her patient and persevering following of God, Ruth showed her virtuous character. The result was that her blessing was greater in the end than before. Living on this earth, the saints will face many temptations brought on by the Enemy and seduction offered by the world. But if we can continue to bear patient witness for the Lord and hold fast to the true faith, the grace bestowed by the Lord will be greater in the end than before. ¡§You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what He has promised.¡¨ (Hebrews 10:36)
3. Be a blessing to others ¡V
¡§Then the elders and all those at the gate said, ¡¥We are witnesses. May the Lord make the woman who is coming into your home like Rachel and Leah, who together built up the house of Israel. May you have standing in Ephrathah and be famous in Bethlehem. Through the offspring the Lord gives you by this young woman, may your family be like that of Perez, whom Tamar bore to Judah.¡¦" (Ruth 4:11-12) The union of Boaz and Ruth was not from the passion of romance but from obedience to the Law and observance of God¡¦s righteousness (Ruth 3:13, 4:9-10). According to the folklore of Jewish rabbis, Ruth was 40 years old when she bore Obed, and Boaz was an old man of 80. The submission of the Gentile woman Ruth not only established the household of Boaz and gained him a reputation, it also made her a famous matriarch in the lineage of King David and Jesus Christ (Matthew 1:5). On this earth, the saints should not just care about gaining for themselves blessings in this life and the next, but also learn and submit to God¡¦s will so that others will receive from our own beings blessings from God as well.
¡§And through your offspring all nations on earth will be blessed, because you have obeyed me." (Genesis 22:18)
By: Daniel To