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The Book of Ruth, The Man with a Shoe Loose and The Marriage of the Bride! Chapter 4

(Ver 1.1)  We are now in chapter 4 of the book of Ruth.  If you have not been reading this series from the beginning you should go back and start with “Part 1“.  As you read chapter 3 of Ruth you should have noticed that Boaz tells Ruth that there is a closer relative than himself and he will have to see if the closer relative is willing to fulfill the law and marry her.  You should remember that the law gave a specific order of precedence for the fulfillment of the requirement of the law.  The order went from the closest or nearest relative to the most distant relative and always included the oldest male first down to the youngest male.  So Boaz was not the first in the line of living relatives to marry Ruth according to the law of Moses.  Therefore, Boaz in chapter 4 goes to the city gate and finds the nearer relative to discuss the situation with him.   Boaz at this point must already know his intentions because Boaz has gathered the elders of the city to witness the discussion between himself and this closer relative.

Rth 4:3  And he said unto the kinsman, Naomi, that is come again out of the country of Moab, selleth a parcel of land, which was our brother Elimelech’s:

Boaz starts with the good news first.  Naomi the widow of our dead brother, is come back and she is selling his property.  So far this is a deal for any man that has money to buy it.   To own land is a sign of wealth and to own a lot of land is a sign of great wealth.  But, that was the good news and not the complete picture so here goes Boaz to explain what else is required.

Rth 4:4  And I thought to advertise thee, saying, Buy it before the inhabitants, and before the elders of my people. If thou wilt redeem it, redeem it: but if thou wilt not redeem it, then tell me, that I may know: for there is none to redeem it beside thee; and I am after thee. And he said, I will redeem it.

So Boaz before the witnesses of the elders of the city informs this relative that it is his responsibility and his decision to make.   He then informs him that besides them,  there are no other relatives that are able to redeem the land of Naomi.  This means that they are all either dead or there were just no other living male relatives born in the family.

Rth 4:5  Then said Boaz, What day thou buyest the field of the hand of Naomi, thou must buy it also of Ruth the Moabitess, the wife of the dead, to raise up the name of the dead upon his inheritance.

Now Boaz starts in with the potential bad news.  I guess it depends upon your point of view, but it is either good or bad based upon how it will affect you personally.  Since Boaz was the younger brother in this relationship, it affects him differently than the older brother.   Let’s think about this and how it affects each man.  Boaz says that by buying the land from Naomi, they must also buy it from Ruth since she was married to the son of their brother.  According to the law of Moses, this involves marrying the widow of the dead so that the family name is not removed from the face of the earth.  Whatever son that Ruth and the redeemer has, becomes the heir of Elimelech ‘s land.   You see it starts to get a little complicated at this point, since the future heir is now the owner of the dead family’s property, the relative that married the widow has no family or heir.  I know this is not technically correct, but yet this is the way that these people viewed the situation.  You can see that by the reaction of the closer relative to the news of marrying the widow Ruth.

Rth 4:6  And the kinsman said, I cannot redeem it for myself, lest I mar mine own inheritance: redeem thou my right to thyself; for I cannot redeem it.

Did you see what the nearer kinsman said?   He told Boaz I can’t redeem this land or marry the widow, because it will mess up my inheritance.  In other words everything that he is in line for and everything his heirs are in line for will revert to the dead brother’s family and he would end up with nothing, so he thinks.  So the nearer kinsman tells Boaz, I won’t redeem it, so you redeem it.  This is of course what Boaz wanted to hear happen, yet the process had to be followed in the law and the procedures must be satisfied in the eyes of God and all legal actions satisfied with the elders of the city who were the witnesses.

Rth 4:7  Now this was the manner in former time in Israel concerning redeeming and concerning changing, for to confirm all things; a man plucked off his shoe, and gave it to his neighbour: and this was a testimony in Israel.

Rth 4:8  Therefore the kinsman said unto Boaz, Buy it for thee. So he drew off his shoe.

As you can see, the nearer relative’s house is now called “the house of him who has his shoe loosed”.  In the eyes of the law, Boaz has satisfied all requirements and responsibilities and is now free to legally marry Ruth.  Boaz tells the elders and the people of the city that they are all witnesses to the fact that he has bought the property of Naomi and Ruth.

It might help you to understand what just happened based upon another story found in the Bible.  In Genesis chapter 38 there is a story of another family who is directly related to our story.  The story of the son of Israel named Judah.  He has three sons and the firstborn is named, Er.  When Er grows up big enough to marry, Judah gets him a wife named Tamar.  Remember Tamar?  The Bible says that Er was wicked in the eyes of God and so he died very young.  Judah then told Er’s brother to take the dead brother’s wife and have an heir for his dead brother, the firstborn Er.  But, the Bible says that Onan knew if he had sex with Tamar and had a child that it would be for his brother and he would not get anything.  So Onan basically refused to fulfill his requirements and the Bible says that he was found to be evil in the eyes of the Lord and he also died young.  So far not a good story, but yet this is how those in the Bible dealt with these matters.  Judah tells the widow Tamar to wait for the third and last son to grow up and she would become his wife and then that son would raise up an heir for the dead firstborn.  In the process of time, Tamar waits, but nothing happens.  Apparently Judah was not a man of his word.  Judah’s wife died and one day he went up to the city to do some business.  Tamar hears about this and takes off her widow garments and dresses up like a prostitute, covers her face and waits for Judah to come by.  She deceives Judah into having sex with her and she becomes pregnant.   Judah did not have the payment for the sex, so he left her his signet ring, a bracelet and his staff as collateral security until the agreed payment could be sent to her.

Tamar was not there for the sex or the payment that was promised to her.  She was there because Judah had not fulfilled what he had spoken to her and her dead husband, Judah’s firstborn had no heir to continue the family name.  So even though her methods were not very admirable her intentions before God were highly commendable.  So Judah eventually sends the payment back for the harlot that he could get back his collateral, but they could not find any prostitutes to pay.

Then time passes and three months later Judah is informed that Tamar has played the harlot and has become pregnant by harlotry.   Judah is outraged and tells them to get her and she will be killed for her error.  So she appears before Judah and tells him that before you do anything, I am guilty of nothing.  Here is the father of my child and she shows him, his signet, bracelet and staff.  Judah’s reaction is shock and immediately says she has been more righteous than him, because he had not given her to his younger son to be his wife.  Like I said, this is not a great or a highly positive moral standard Bible story that you want to teach your children in Sunday School, yet it has great significance to the story in the book of Ruth.  It helps to explain the dilemma that the nearer relative was experiencing.  Tamar is also a name mentioned in the Genealogy of Jesus so it must have some relevance to something we need to know.  If you search the Bible, you will discover that the term “daughter-in-law” is not widely used.  In fact Tamar and Ruth are only two of four women in the Bible called by this title.  So they are directly related and tied together meaning they share some commonalities that are very distinctive.   As we continue through Ruth chapter 4 you will see why I went over this story.

Rth 4:10  Moreover Ruth the Moabitess, the wife of Mahlon, have I purchased to be my wife, to raise up the name of the dead upon his inheritance, that the name of the dead be not cut off from among his brethren, and from the gate of his place: ye are witnesses this day.

Boaz tells everyone to be witnesses to the fact that he has bought the land of the dead husband and he will marry the widow wife to raise up the name of the dead.

Rth 4:12  And let thy house be like the house of Pharez, whom Tamar bare unto Judah, of the seed which the LORD shall give thee of this young woman.

The people of the city now speak a blessing on the actions of Boaz.  Did you notice the name of Tamar being mentioned?  You see if it was not for the illicit actions of Tamar there would be no Bethlehem or people to witness these deeds of Boaz.  There would be no elders of the city, there would be no Elimilech, in fact there would be no Boaz.  Everyone present was a descendant of the house of Judah whom Tamar his daughter-in-law bore to him.   All of these people recognized that they would not be present if it were not for Tamar and they could foresee that down the road in the future there would be many people born on this planet who would be grateful that Ruth was there to raise up and continue the family name of the tribe of Judah.  In fact looking at the genealogy found in the Bible, if not for Ruth and Boaz, there would have been no King David and eventually no Jesus Christ.

Rth 4:15  And he shall be unto thee a restorer of thy life, and a nourisher of thine old age: for thy daughter in law, which loveth thee, which is better to thee than seven sons, hath born him.

Boaz fulfills the requirements of the law and marries one of the few women in the Bible that get mentioned by name in the genealogy of Jesus our Savior.  Boaz is called the redeemer, the restorer of life. and a nourisher.    These are all terms that could describe Jesus to us today.  The story of Ruth is different than what many people think of when thinking of Jesus and the church.  Yet it has many natural patterns in it that are very significant to this spiritual reality.  In my next blog I will try to explore more of these patterns given to us in the Book of Ruth.

You can continue reading this series, by going to “Part 5“.

The Book of Ruth, The Marriage Proposal! Chapter 3

(Ver 1.1)  We have already seen in chapter 2 where Ruth has found favor in the eyes of Boaz her potential kinsmen redeemer and she has even eaten with him in resemblance to a covenant type meal where they have shared bread.  We can tell that Boaz likes this woman and grants her grace beyond all others.  Naomi, Ruth’s mother-in-law knows the law and has recognized who Boaz is.   In this next chapter we will see that God has orchestrated the answer to Ruth’s problems because of Ruth’s faith.  God has answered her confidence in Him beyond her wildest imagination.   It is amazing what trusting God a little can do.  If you have not read the first part of this series I would suggest that you go back and start with “Part 1“.  Now, let’s now look at chapter 3:

Rth 3:2  And now is not Boaz of our kindred, with whose maidens thou wast? Behold, he winnoweth barley to night in the threshingfloor.

Apparently, Naomi has some inside scoop on what Boaz is up to.  Either Naomi is very nosy or Boaz has been dropping some clever clues in some obvious places.  You figure out which one it is.  Naomi knows that tonight Boaz will be working late in the threshing floor with the harvest.  Of course all of this is symbolic and has meaning.    Threshing in the Bible times was the harvest time activity by which the grain was removed from the husk.   The husk represented the tares (or false grain) when it was separated from the actual usable good pieces of the plant.  It really does not matter how this is done for this story, just the fact that it is being done is the part that is significant to what we need to know.  If you study the words of Jesus you find that there is another coming harvest of people in the world in Matthew 13.  Jesus informs us that the world is the field and that the wheat is the children of the kingdom of God.  The tares are the children of the evil one.  So we can see the Book of Ruth is prophetic in nature and speaking of something, an event that is coming soon.  You should go and read Matthew 13 and find out the pattern of things to come.  Then you will better understand the shadows contained in the book of Ruth.

Rth 3:3  Wash thyself therefore, and anoint thee, and put thy raiment upon thee, and get thee down to the floor: but make not thyself known unto the man, until he shall have done eating and drinking.

Obviously Naomi knows the law of Moses and tells Ruth to clean up herself really good and dress in her best garments and then to go to the threshing floor to meet Boaz.  You can see that this is the picture of the church given to us in Revelation 19:7 where it says “his wife has made herself ready”.   But, she tells her not to do anything until after he has eaten and finished drinking.  It almost sounds like wait until the party is over and then do the following:

Rth 3:4  And it shall be, when he lieth down, that thou shalt mark the place where he shall lie, and thou shalt go in, and uncover his feet, and lay thee down; and he will tell thee what thou shalt do.

Here is where it gets complicated to understand.   Maybe Naomi knows something I don’t, but Ruth is instructed to uncover Boaz’s feet and then to lay down and wait for him to wake up or return to a sober state and see what he has to say and then do what he says.  The best that I have been able to figure out is that in Leviticus 18 God tells people not to uncover and make nude certain relatives for sexual purposes.  God gives us a long list of individuals including your children and your grand children and says the reason why is if you see them naked, it is your nakedness that you are looking at because they came from you.  What we can deduce from this, is that the practice of uncovering someone even partially is for sexual reasons and it is only OK for the husband and the wife.  So in effect, Ruth is saying you are my husband, I have seen you naked.  I know she only uncovered his feet, but it is a symbolic gesture that he realizes when he wakes to find her there at his feet.

Rth 3:7  And when Boaz had eaten and drunk, and his heart was merry, he went to lie down at the end of the heap of corn: and she came softly, and uncovered his feet, and laid her down.

So Ruth told Naomi that she will do what she has spoken and that is exactly what she does.   Remember Naomi is the one that knows the law and Boaz is the one that is suppose to follow the law and fulfill his obligation to the dead.  So Naomi is in effect speeding up the process and making it happen.  It would appear that Boaz is either dragging his feet (figuratively speaking) and not doing what he is required or there is more to the story than we know right now.

Rth 3:8  And it came to pass at midnight, that the man was afraid, and turned himself: and, behold, a woman lay at his feet.

Now midnight comes around and we can assume it has been at least a couple of hours.  Ruth must have went to sleep also at the feet of Boaz waiting for him to wakeup.  Midnight is a very specific hour.  It is the 6th hour of the night, the beginning of the 3rd watch of the night and represents the middle of the darkness.  It is interesting to note that this is the hour when people are easily frightened and become scared.   It was around midnight when the death angel visited in Egypt and killed the firstborn who did not have the blood of the lamb on the doorposts.  It is also interesting to note that in Matthew 25, Jesus tells the parable of the 10 virgins.  It just so happens that the bridegroom shows up at midnight and 5 of the virgins had oil and 5 of the virgins did not and were called foolish.  So there is some significant parallels being given to us.  Jesus Christ is called the “bridegroom” and the church is His bride.  We can again see the connection between Jesus and the man called Boaz.

Rth 3:9  And he said, Who art thou? And she answered, I am Ruth thine handmaid: spread therefore thy skirt over thine handmaid; for thou art a near kinsman.

The word that is interesting in this verse, is the word for “skirt”.  This word actually refers to the wing of a feathered bird like an eagle and is translated like that many places.  It is also used to refer to the hem of a garment or robe.  The priests were required to sew tassels on the hem of their garments.  Then there is this reference in Deuteronomy that seems to be in reference to an elicit sexual encounter.

Deu 22:30  A man shall not take his father’s wife, nor discover his father’s skirt.

You can see that the man’s father and his father’s wife are spoken of in terms of being one.   By the son uncovering his father’s wife he is said to uncover his father.  So obviously Ruth must have learned something about the law herself.  Boaz wakes up and is startled and asks who are you in the middle of the night.  Ruth tells him I am Ruth and you are my near kinsmen redeemer.  Now here is the other part that you miss reading the English part of the translation from the KJV Bible.  This word “skirt” also occurs in the previous chapter, but is translated in a completely different way:

Rth 2:12  The LORD recompense thy work, and a full reward be given thee of the LORD God of Israel, under whose wings thou art come to trust.

Reading this verse we can better understand what Ruth was trying to say to Boaz.  Ruth was telling Boaz you are God’s answer to my problem, spread your wings over me and I will put my trust in you.  If this is not a marriage proposal I do not know what you would call it.  Wings are spoken of as a covering, and a place of safety in the O.T. Bible like in the Psalms.   Many times this is God’s people under the wings of God’s protection.  This is the picture of Ruth and Boaz as well as the Church and Jesus.

Look at this verse in Ezekiel and see if this is not what the woman Ruth is saying for her Redeemer to do to her.

Eze 16:8  Now when I passed by thee, and looked upon thee, behold, thy time was the time of love; and I spread my skirt over thee, and covered thy nakedness: yea, I sware unto thee, and entered into a covenant with thee, saith the Lord GOD, and thou becamest mine.

God says to Israel, when I looked upon you I spread my skirt over you.  You can again see the reference to nakedness and being unclothed.   In association with these words God says I have entered into a covenant with you and you have become mine by marriage.   This is a very clear picture of Christ and the church.   If you recall in the N.T. the church is said to be clothed with Christ.  We wear Christ as a symbolic garment.  This is a covenant marriage description when the husband covers his bride.

 Rth 3:10  And he said, Blessed be thou of the LORD, my daughter: for thou hast shewed more kindness in the latter end than at the beginning, inasmuch as thou followedst not young men, whether poor or rich.

A reference to the kindness of Ruth is exemplified by Boaz.  She is also portrayed to be a woman of character and integrity who is not doing things just for her on good.  Her thoughtfulness and the fact that she followed her wiser mother-in-law’s instructions all proved that Ruth was a great candidate for a wife.  We do not know how old Boaz is, but by implications given he is not a young man.  Based upon him potentially being one of Elimilech’s brothers who has already died, we can assume that he is closer to Naomi’s age than to Ruth’s age.  Nevertheless, Ruth is commended for doing what she has done.

Rth 3:11  And now, my daughter, fear not; I will do to thee all that thou requirest: for all the city of my people doth know that thou art a virtuous woman.

Boaz says that the whole city knows that she is a virtuous woman.  Of course remember we are in Bethlehem, the future birthplace of Jesus.  The Hebrew word translated as “Bethlehem” means the House of Bread.  Another symbolic term for God’s spiritual house.  Boaz commits to Ruth to do whatever is  necessary to  accomplished what she needed to satisfy his Lawful duty.  Boaz has committed to do whatever is necessary to make her his wife.  This is a marriage commitment and a verbal contract.  Boaz has committed to redeem his dead brother’s debts and to raise up an heir for him, by marrying his dead brother’s son’s wife.  This is the law of God, but also the wisdom of God and a picture of Christ and the church.

If you would like to continue this series of lessons, you can go to “Part 4“.

The Book of Ruth, Introduction to the Redeemer! Chapter 2

(Ver 1.1)  In chapter one of Ruth we were introduced to many of the characters of the story of Ruth, but not all.  If you did not read Part 1 of this series I would suggest that you go back and read the foundation and introduction and all of the information that I covered in chapter 1.  I will not normally repeat myself so if you missed it, you just missed it.

So far we have seen that Naomi and Ruth have returned to Bethlehem during the time of the Barley Harvest and that they are in desperate shape financially.  All of the men in their family have died and they have great needs just to survive.  So let’s get into chapter 2 and the introduction of another primary character that will come to save the day.

Rth 2:1  And Naomi had a kinsman of her husband’s, a mighty man of wealth, of the family of Elimelech; and his name was Boaz.

We are immediately introduced to some new concepts and a new character in the very first verse of Chapter 2.  Boaz is described as a near relative of Elimelech, the dead husband of Naomi.  This is where it starts to become important to learn and know what the law says.  Because of God’s wisdom, the law provided for the situation that Naomi and Ruth now were facing.  The law says that if a man should die without leaving any heirs, that a brother or near relative of the dead man was required to marry the widow and to have a child by her to become the heir of whatever was owned by that man who died.  This would also mean that the dead man’s family name would not perish from the face of the earth.  One of the men that was qualified to fulfill this requirement was a man who just so happened to be a very wealthy man and his name was Boaz.  Here is the law of Moses that pertains to this matter:

Num 27:8  And thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel, saying, If a man die, and have no son, then ye shall cause his inheritance to pass unto his daughter.

Num 27:9  And if he have no daughter, then ye shall give his inheritance unto his brethren.

Num 27:10  And if he have no brethren, then ye shall give his inheritance unto his father’s brethren.

Num 27:11  And if his father have no brethren, then ye shall give his inheritance unto his kinsman that is next to him of his family, and he shall possess it: and it shall be unto the children of Israel a statute of judgment, as the LORD commanded Moses.

What we see is an order of precedence and responsibility being established by the law of God.  God declares a specific inheritance order when a man dies.  God does this by design and for a purpose, that I will not get into in this blog.  Let’s look at the order and analyze it, the order is always from the firstborn son, then the next born son, until the youngest son.  If the man who dies has no sons, then his daughters can inherit in the same order from the firstborn to youngest.  Next, if he has no living children, then the inheritance goes to the brothers of the man who died, again from the firstborn to youngest in that order.  If he has no living brothers you go up the family tree to your father’s brothers, from oldest to youngest.  The responsibility is thus passed to whomever is still living in the family from oldest to youngest,  to inherit the dead man’s possessions.  But, of course it is more complex than that.  You also get the man’s debts and you must pay off those debts and redeem them.  You just don’t get to take whatever he owned and make it yours, especially if his wife is still alive.  Because she was also his and by the law of marriage she was one with him.  So she has now also become your responsibility and there is more to it than that also.  Here is more of the Law concerning widows and the brothers obligations:

Deu 25:5  If brethren dwell together, and one of them die, and have no child, the wife of the dead shall not marry without unto a stranger: her husband’s brother shall go in unto her, and take her to him to wife, and perform the duty of an husband’s brother unto her.

Deu 25:6  And it shall be, that the firstborn which she beareth shall succeed in the name of his brother which is dead, that his name be not put out of Israel.

Deu 25:7  And if the man like not to take his brother’s wife, then let his brother’s wife go up to the gate unto the elders, and say, My husband’s brother refuseth to raise up unto his brother a name in Israel, he will not perform the duty of my husband’s brother.

Deu 25:8  Then the elders of his city shall call him, and speak unto him: and if he stand to it, and say, I like not to take her;

Deu 25:9  Then shall his brother’s wife come unto him in the presence of the elders, and loose his shoe from off his foot, and spit in his face, and shall answer and say, So shall it be done unto that man that will not build up his brother’s house.

Deu 25:10  And his name shall be called in Israel, The house of him that hath his shoe loosed.

This is some very strange stuff, however as you continue to read in Ruth you see that they definitely follow these rules and protocols as the law of God dictates.   God says that if a woman is a widow it is up to her husband’s brother to marry her and raise up an heir for his dead older brother.  If you recall it was the eldest who inherited everything anyway and the younger son would have had to work for the older son because he would have inherited it all from their father.  This was just how it was in the Law.  By the younger son refusing to marry the older son’s wife they had legal recourse to take it to the elders and thus the reputation of the younger son who refuses to take his brother’s wife, his name would be disgraced and he would no longer be a person of any significance within the House of Israel.  They would change his name to “Him that has his shoe loosed”.  We will talk about this more later as we go through the rest of the chapters of Ruth.  For now let’s go to verse 2 of chapter two:

Rth 2:2  And Ruth the Moabitess said unto Naomi, Let me now go to the field, and glean ears of corn after him in whose sight I shall find grace. And she said unto her, Go, my daughter.

Obviously Ruth and Naomi are hungry and in need of food.  Ruth asks Naomi if she can go into the field and glean to find food for them to eat.  Fortunately for Ruth and Naomi God also provided for them in the law of Moses.  God wrote a commandment that establishes a principle that we should probably even be following today:

Lev 19:10  And thou shalt not glean thy vineyard, neither shalt thou gather every grape of thy vineyard; thou shalt leave them for the poor and stranger: I am the LORD your God.

God told the children of Israel not to pick their crops totally bare.  Harvest time was a time to go and reap the crops, but it was also a time to leave some for the poor to come and get also.  However, this was not a welfare system like a US government type of program.  God did not give anyone anything for free.  If the poor wanted to come and work and pick the crop to eat, they could eat, but if they wanted to have someone come and drop it off at their feet, they would go hungry.  We can clearly see that Ruth had to go into the field and work to gather their food supply.  Being a lone individual, she was unable to get rich from what she picked, but at least they could eat and not go hungry.  Ten times in chapter two, it speaks of Ruth going into the harvest field to glean.  Boaz happens to own the field that Ruth is working in and he sees her and asks his people who is this and they tell him Ruth the Moabitish who returned with Naomi from Moab.   Boaz makes some commands and grants Ruth some extreme favor and grace.   He commands his workers to help her gather and not to touch her.  She is granted the ability to rest in their facilities and to drink from their water pitchers.  This Gentile woman has found extreme favor with the right man and she does not even realize it yet.  However, Ruth has one quality that exemplifies her beyond any other that might also be gleaning, she is humble.  Humility is always the key to receiving grace. 

Rth 2:10  Then she fell on her face, and bowed herself to the ground, and said unto him, Why have I found grace in thine eyes, that thou shouldest take knowledge of me, seeing I am a stranger?

The Bible says “God resists the proud, but gives grace unto the humble” (James 4:6).   This is a Bible law and an established principle for receiving what you need.  Boaz speaks further to Ruth and tells her that she has done well to stay with her mother-in-law and to live with a people she did not know.  In other words Boaz was telling her that she had made the right choices:

Rth 2:12  The LORD recompense thy work, and a full reward be given thee of the LORD God of Israel, under whose wings thou art come to trust.

Boaz now tells Ruth that she is trusting in the God of Israel.  Because she has placed her confidence in the true God, God will reward her.   Another way to say this is there are benefits to trusting in God.   Ruth left her relatives and walked away from her old familiar life into a place she did not know and she has now found the favor with God.   What made Ruth different than the other hundreds of widows that were in the land at that time?   Ruth had faith, she trusted God.   I really have not discussed applications of any of these scriptures up until this point.  I have told you that the book of Ruth contains many significant types and shadows, which are natural examples of spiritual truths.  I guess you might have already noticed that Ruth appears to be a type of the church.  Those who have left their old lives and followed after the living God, trusting in His grace by faith.  Does this sound familiar?  It ought to if you are a Christian.

Rth 2:14  And Boaz said unto her, At mealtime come thou hither, and eat of the bread, and dip thy morsel in the vinegar. And she sat beside the reapers: and he reached her parched corn, and she did eat, and was sufficed, and left.

Continuing through the 2nd chapter we see another pattern being discussed.  Boaz invites Ruth to eat with him and gives her bread and vinegar.   Did you know that in Bible times you did not eat with someone casually, because by eating with them you were entering into a covenant with them.  Simply by sharing bread with someone a covenant is established.  If you do not understand covenants, this is not something you do with your enemies by accident or chance because it could cost you your life.  A covenant is a marriage in the eyes of God so that is why you do not enter into them by accident.  Boaz obviously likes Ruth a lot and has decided by this action to enter into a covenant with her, for her to become his wife.  After all of this Boaz commands his reapers to grant her even more favor and let her pick anywhere she wants, even from the parts they are working in.  The reapers are further ordered to leave handfuls on purpose for her to get easily.  I would say Boaz has a plan.

Ruth goes back to Naomi and tells her all the good news that she knows so far.  How she met a man named Boaz and what he had said to her.  Naomi becomes ecstatic and almost can’t contain herself and says the following:

Rth 2:20  And Naomi said unto her daughter in law, Blessed be he of the LORD, who hath not left off his kindness to the living and to the dead. And Naomi said unto her, The man is near of kin unto us, one of our next kinsmen.

Naomi realizes and knows the law of Moses and God.   She recognizes now that God has not forgotten them or their dead husbands.   It is important to note what Naomi says next about this man named Boaz.   She calls him a near kin.  That means he is not a distant relative.  It could place Boaz in the category of a brother to Elimilech.    She then calls him “one of our next kinsmen”.   It is interesting to note now that she does not say our next kinsmen, just one of the next kinsmen.   What’s the difference?  Remember God had a specific order of priority and the oldest always had first responsibility to fulfill the law first.  Now here is the introduction to one of the keywords found in the this Book of Ruth that you definitely need to know.  The word “Kinsmen” is a Hebrew word that means a “Redeemer”.

What is a “Redeemer”?   Obviously a Redeemer is someone who redeems?  So what does that mean?   It is often compared to someone who visits a modern pawn shop and sells a valuable item for cash.  The owner of the pawn shop usually pays them pennies on the dollar for their item in hopes of them not coming back to redeem their item.   To redeem your item means you pay the price to get your item back.  Does any of this sound familiar?  Jesus Christ is our Redeemer, he has paid the price for our sin and bought us back.  This is redemption by God from the fact that mankind sold themselves to Satan.

Isa 52:3  For thus saith the LORD, Ye have sold yourselves for nought; and ye shall be redeemed without money.

This is God’s message to the church.  God declares that we have sold ourselves for nothing and therefore we would be bought back without money.  In other words God was not going to pay any money to get us back, but that did not mean it didn’t cost anything.  You see Jesus Christ gave his blood and life to pay the price of our redemption and this was more valuable than any money, gold or natural wealth.

At the end of chapter two of Ruth, Ruth tells Naomi that Boaz asks her to only work his field until the time of the end of the harvest season.   I really do not know how you can read this story and not see the church and Christ throughout it.  Christ owns the harvest field and the church are the laborers that are working to bring in the harvest.   There is a coming time of the end of the harvest when it will be over.  Jesus said in the Gospels “the harvest is great, but the laborers are few”.   Jesus is not talking about a wheat or barley harvest or a natural crop.  I guess because the natural Jews do not know the New Testament, they do not see the types and shadows given to them so clearly.  It reminds me of a shadow portrait my son had done when he was young.  I could look at it and recognize his profile immediately even though it was just an outline and showed no facial details.  But, I could do this because I knew him and if you did not know him you would not know who it was a picture of.  This is how the Bible is to those who do not know Jesus Christ.   Because they do not know him personally, they do not recognize when they encounter a shadow that is projected and points you to him.

If you would like to continue reading this series, you can go to “Part 3“.

The Book of Ruth, An in Depth Study of the Church and Christ! Chapter 1

(Ver 1.1)  I like the book of Ruth a lot.  It is a very unique book of the Bible and a story full of types and shadows of the Messiah.  The Bible is full of complex hidden information and this book contains some of the keys to information found in other places of the Bible.   While the early church started with only Jewish believers and the disciples of Christ, today the church is widely considered to be a Gentile majority.   There certainly exists Jewish Messianic believers and they are very valuable in the church, but yet they are a clear minority.  These Jewish believers are called the “Remnant” in the book of Romans.   What makes the book of Ruth unique, is the fact that the book is primarily the story of a Gentile woman.  The life of a woman outside of the covenant of God’s Old Testament family.  Why would God put a story of a Gentile in the Jewish O.T. Bible?  Why is this significant?    What information does it convey and reveal to us?  Is the book of Ruth a prophetic statement on events to come?  I will be going through this book of the Bible chapter by chapter and then wrap it up with a study of the typologies and symbolism given to us in the book of Ruth.  In the entire Bible the name of Ruth only occurs 13 times in 13 total verses.  There are 12 times in the book of Ruth and once in the book of Matthew.  So other than the Book of Ruth itself, there is no direct references to Ruth, except in the genealogy of Jesus in Matthew.  God must have a special reason for naming this woman in the genealogy of Jesus our Savior.  You see in the Genealogy of Jesus in Matthew only 6 women are directly mentioned and only four by actual name.  One woman in the genealogy of Jesus is a symbolic spiritual reference.   These women are 1.) Tamar  2).  Rahab, 3). Ruth  4). the wife of Uriah (Bathsheba) 5). Babylon and 6).  Mary the mother of Jesus.  That is some very unique company, and a very honorable mention, isn’t it?  What does Ruth have in common with these other women that God included them all in the genealogy of Jesus?  I mean what a mixture of women they are, one is a deceiver Tamar who plays like she is a prostitute, 2) Rahab a woman who actually was a prostitute, 4) Bathsheba a woman who committed adultery with King David.   Babylon is called the Great Whore in Revelation.  Why mention any women and not all the women?  Why pick what seems like some of  the worst possible women to include in the Genealogy of Jesus?  Both Ruth and Mary seem like saints compared to the others.  You should really ask these kinds of questions, if you want to know the truth.  God does nothing by accident or chance in the Bible.  Every word, every name, every mention has a purpose and is designed to conceal or reveal information.  Obviously these women are all mothers, so they have that in common.  If it were possible and you could check the mitochondrial DNA of Jesus you would also see that Jesus’ DNA had signatures of each of the women encoded within His DNA.  It also appears on the surface that all of the women mentioned in the Genealogy of Jesus are also widows.  While it does not say that directly about Rahab, we can assume it.  It does call Tamar a widow, Ruth is a widow, Bathsheba became a widow.  Mary also became a widow.  These are interesting little points to keep in the back of your mind.  Perhaps we will get into more of the similarities between the women later, but for now let’s concentrate on just Ruth.

Let’s start by listing some of the characters found in the book of Ruth.  There is of course Ruth, but she is not mentioned at first.   What we discover is the underlying story is about a family from Bethlehem, the same city of the birth of Jesus.  We can already begin to see some implied meanings based upon the city of David being the originating place of residence.   The story starts with the mention of a famine being in the land around Bethlehem.   The book of Ruth mentions that this family of four is forced to move in order to look for food.  The head of the family is a man named “Elimelech” and his wife is called “Naomi”, and they have two sons, one is called “Mahlon” and the other is called “Chilion”.  The Elimelech family is a family who has descended from Judah, the fourth son of Jacob and Leah.  The book of Ruth starts by telling us that the story occurs during the time of the judges.  This would have been after the children of Israel had taken the promised land and before the appointment of Saul as their first King.  This would have occurred somewhere around 450 years after Jacob had his 12 sons.  We do know that Israel was in captivity in Egypt for approximately 400 years and they wandered in the wilderness for another 40 years.  So somewhere after that we can see that there came a famine in the land of Israel.

Elimelech decides to up and move his family to the land of Moab, because they have heard reports of there being food there.  Now Moab is a region where the descendants of one of Lot’s sons lived, also named Moab.  If you recall the story of Lot, Abraham asks God to spare him from the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah and God did.  However, as they were leaving the cities, the wife of Lot looks back and turns into a pillar of salt.  Now that only leaves Lot with his two daughters.  So the story of Lot is that his two daughters get their father drunk so that he could have children or sons through them and their father’s name and family could continue.  Not a very good story is it?   It seems like the more you dig into the book of Ruth the more strange things you discover.  What you must realize is that if there was no incestuous relationship between Lot and his daughters there would be no story of Ruth.  So while I do not say incest is good, God can cause good to come from anything that man does, no matter how wrong.   So Ruth is a descendant of the incestuous relationship between Lot and his daughters.

The book of Ruth does not actually say how long they lived in Moab, but it implies that it was at least a little while, at the least many years.  We do see in Ruth 1:4 that after Elimilech died and the sons married that there was a span of 10 years mentioned.   We are not told how long it was before this or after this period of time is spoken of.   So Elimilech moves his family to Moab.   After a time there Elimilech dies and we do not know why.   After this his two son’s find themselves wives to marry from the women in Moab.   One wife is Ruth and the other wife is named Orpah and not Oprah!    It then declares that after another passage  of time, the sons also both die without having any children or heirs for the family.  All of this so far is the just the first 5 verses of the book of Ruth and it covers several years of information.

Let’s put into perspective the family of Elimilech and the given time frame of these events.  We know that Israel had departed from Egypt, being led by Moses and during this time period in the wilderness God gave Moses the Law.   God is establishing a covenant relationship with the natural nation of Israel.  God gives Moses the first 5 books of the Bible often times called the “Torah”.  We also know that during this time period of Ruth that it was during the time of the Judges.  So there were judges who ruled the people of Israel with the help of God’s prophets.   Judges represent a legal system that is based upon laws.  If anyone did wrong, they would face the judges.  Moses had been given patterns of the temple of God, the ark of the covenant, the inclusion of the Levitical priests and the origination of animal blood sacrifices.  So what do you think would happens if the covenant people of God would move away from all of this and go and live with a group of people who were not in covenant with God?  Could this be the reason they died?  I really do not know, but I can make logical assumptions based upon what happened, that it was at least related.

We know from reading the rest of the Book of Ruth that Naomi was familiar with the law of Moses.  So they did not move away in ignorance, they moved away knowing what they were doing.  However, since Elimilech was a descendant of Judah and not Levi, there were probably no more sacrifices being made for them.  Unless of course they traveled back to Jerusalem to the temple and there is no reference to this happening.  So Naomi, Ruth and Orpha are in a quandary.    A predicament of tremendous proportions.    Without any men left in the family they are doomed to a life of poverty and homelessness or either a life of prostitution.  Naomi of course is older and is in the worst situation.  Naomi tells her two “daughter-in-laws” to leave and go back to their families, thinking they have the best chance of finding new husbands with them.  Her daughter-in-law Orpah does that and returns to her family and to her previous gods.  However, Ruth demonstrates a different resolve, a different spirit of confidence.  Even after Naomi told her that she is too old to have any more sons for Ruth to marry, Ruth tells Naomi, “Where you go, I go, Where You Live I will Live, Your People will be my People, Your God will be My God”.  That if you do not realize it, is very strong covenant words for a lady who was not previously in covenant with the Almighty God.  Then Ruth makes this statement:

Rth 1:17  Where thou diest, will I die, and there will I be buried: the LORD do so to me, and more also, if ought but death part thee and me.

I made mention earlier that the book of Ruth contains clues to other events in the Bible and this is just one of them.  The mention of death as a separating force is the only natural force that is capable of breaking a human covenant relationship.  When a man marries a woman, in many ceremonies that I have attended, there is a clause in the vows that says something like “till death do you part”.   In this statement, the participants are vowing to remain committed to the marriage covenant until one of them dies.  Death is the only legal separation allowed from the law of marriage.  Once you have sex with someone of the opposite sex you are legally married in the eyes of God and you are not separated legally until one of you dies.  Because, Ruth’s husband had died, she was free from the law of marriage and is now able to legally marry another man.  She could have chosen to go back to her family and find another man, but she chose to trust the God of her mother-in-law “Naomi” and the results of her faith was tremendously greater than she could have imagined.  Ruth was also married to the older firstborn son of Elimilech, meaning she has a significant advantage over the other daughter-in-law.  For Orpah to gain the same benefits as Ruth, would not have been possible according to the law, but we will get into that more later.

Let me briefly talk you through the law of marriage.  The law of marriage is given to us first in the book of Genesis, chapter 2.  God creates woman, a wife for the man Adam.  God makes the woman’s body from parts of the man’s body.  Adam saw Eve and said “She is now bone of my bone and flesh of my flesh”.  In other words Eve was the body of Adam in a different form.  God then declares “that for this reason, shall a man leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall be one flesh”.  That is the law of marriage covenants, between a husband and a wife.  Ruth was joined to her husband and the covenant of God, becoming one flesh with him.  Ruth was technically under the law by marriage.  However, since her husband died she was freed from the law.

Because Naomi had heard that God had visited the people of Israel and that there was again bread in the city of Bethlehem, they return back to Naomi’s former home city.  Upon arriving, the people still remember her and are excited to see her, but she is really down and depressed that she left full and came back empty with nothing and very little hope.  Naomi changes here name to “Mara” and tells people to call her that because it means “I’m bitter”.    It is funny how people will accuse God of doing something that was of their own making.  I never read anywhere that God told them to leave Bethlehem, so just because the circumstances didn’t look like they should stay, that did not mean they were suppose to leave.  Did you understand what I just said?

So this is some of the basics found in chapter 1 of Ruth.  Naomi and Ruth have returned to Bethlehem and it is in the time of the beginning of the Barley Harvest.  So we know that Naomi had returned in or around the time of Passover, which can occur somewhere near March or April.  In my next blog, I’ll talk more about the other primary character of Ruth that I have not introduced you to yet.  This character is named Boaz and he is called the “kinsman redeemer” and we will discuss why this is also.

If you would like to continue reading this series you can continue with “Part 2” where we talk about chapter two, the introduction to the Redeemer.

The True Identity of the Woman in Revelation 12! Pt 7 The Book of Ruth

(Ver 1.1)  This is now my seventh blog on this subject and I hope you have been following it from the beginning.  If not go to the beginning and start with Part 1, before you try to read this blog.  It will make much more sense if you take them in order.  In my last blog I scripturally pursued evidence for if the Bible says anywhere that Jesus could be a spiritual father and have spiritual children.  You see if it says in the Bible anywhere that Jesus doesn’t have children or simply does not say, then we would have no basis for the woman in Revelation 12 being the church.  I believe I showed you a few good scriptures in my last blog that Jesus can and does have a spiritual family and that this spiritual family can have spiritual children.  One of these scriptures was a popular Christmas card verse  about Jesus being called the “Everlasting Father” in Isaiah 9:6.  I then brought up this point.  Why would God need to qualify the noun “father” with the adjective “everlasting”?  Here we have a noun (father) being modified using an adjective called “everlasting”.  I thought God the Father was the Everlasting Father?  Everlasting means eternal or the one that lasts forever.  The implication from that qualification is that God the Father is not the Eternal Father, Jesus is.  I don’t know everything, I just read and study the best that I know how.  I stay open to God and if He wants to teach me something about a verse I just try to listen.  So I try to stay open and pay close attention to every word that is written. 

Today, I want to take a turn and explore this subject from a completely different angle.  So many times God when he answers prayer He does so in a way that we were not expecting.  God gives us the answer to the prayer, but usually in a way that was different than what we would have done, or the way that we would have like it to be done.  This is a lot of the time, the trouble with our Bible study techniques.  Instead of studying a subject from God’s perspective we want the Bible to fit our idea of the way it should be.  But, we soon discover that God if he wanted us to know everything clearly could have written the Bible that way.  However, since God wrote the Bible in a concealed manner we must learn to work with what He has given to us.  In doing this we soon learn that we need to change how we think.  God is not like us, His ways are not our ways, His thoughts are not our thoughts.  But that does not mean that we cannot change to learn His ways and think His thoughts.  It just takes a renewing of our mind to know and understand the things of God.

 I will start this blog by saying that the child in Revelation 12 is God.  Every male child in the family of God is always God.  Every female in the family of God is always the people in covenant with God.  So if a spiritual woman has a spiritual male child it can only be God.  I just gave you some very basic concepts of spiritual things that I know I did not explain scripturally.  Right now you will have to trust that I know what I’m talking about.  If you keep reading my blogs we will eventually get there but it will take time.

So today I want to explore the Book of Ruth.  The book of Ruth in the Old Testament has some absolutely fascinating information given to us in it.  If you have never read this book perhaps you should do that now, before you continue with my blog.  It is a short book, only 4 chapters so it will not take long to read through it and to gain a quick overview of it.  To those who have read it and think they know what it is about, let me briefly recap.  The primary subject of the book is a woman named Ruth.  This woman is a gentile woman, not in covenant with God, not born into or of the nation of Israel.   A gentile woman not in covenant with God, this is very important to understand.  The book of Ruth starts with the story of a family from Bethlehem.  Already we can see some parallels being developed.  Where was Jesus born?  Jesus was of course born in Bethlehem.   The story of Ruth starts with this family from Bethlehem leaving their home because of a famine.    Famine is a state of or the absence of natural food to eat. Natural food parallels spiritual food and gives us insight into a greater spiritual problem, but I won’t go there right now.  Any way this family consisted of the following family members:

  1. Elimelech, the father
  2. Naomi, the mother
  3. Mahlon,  a son
  4. Chilon, a son

This family of four members, rises up and moves to a place called Moab and settles down.  There in that land the father dies and the two sons marry gentile women and they also die.  Now we have a family that consists of nothing but three women who are left alone.  A Jewish mother with two daughter-in-laws.  One of the daughter-in-laws leaves and goes back to her family, but the other daughter-in-law made a wiser choice.  This woman named Ruth said to her Jewish mother-in-law, where you go I will go, where you live I will live and your people shall be my people and your God will be my God.  Ruth made a great choice and God honored her decision tremendously, by allowing her to become a great-great-grandmother of King David.  There are only 4 women directly mentioned by name in the genealogy of Jesus in Matthew 1 and Ruth is one of them.  God bestowed a great honor upon this woman Ruth for trusting in His Word.

We can see a great story unfolding of a gentile woman not in covenant with God, speaking covenant words to be joined into the family of God.  These words spoken are a pattern of another spiritual woman to come.  In fact, all of these characters in this story I believe represent an allegory of a much higher spiritual reality.  God is giving us a look into the spiritual realm by analyzing this story.  This story is primarily about a gentile woman named Ruth and this woman is a type or pattern of the church.  Her mother-in-law Naomi is a type or pattern of the Nation of Israel.  Her Father-in-law is a type or pattern of God.  Earlier I told you that males in a family always represent God, females represent women in covenant with God.  In this story of Ruth, we see that the father as well as the sons all die.  When Jesus died on the cross who really knew what this meant?  Obviously Satan didn’t know.    I do want to explore this subject, but I cannot do that without a huge study that would cause me to get off of our current subject, so I have to leave that for a future blog.

Now let me go into what Ruth is primarily about.  You see everything that I said up until this point is just the introduction to the main subject found in Ruth.  The main story line concerns the law of the kinsman redeemer.  If you read chapter one of Ruth you saw Naomi make a statement to Ruth that she was too old to have children for Ruth to wait around and marry.  You see in Jewish families if a son married a wife and died without children it was the responsibility of the nearest relative, a brother to marry the widow to raise up heirs for his dead brother.  This is the foundational basis of the story of Ruth.  What hope does Ruth have by hanging around her mother-in-law?  Where does Ruth place her trust in for her destiny and future?  Ruth is placing all of her trust in the law of God.  God’s Word declared that a relative was responsible to come into the picture and marry the widow to have children.  Notice what I just said?  The reason for the marriage was to have children.  This is so significant that you cannot even begin to image what it all means.  Ruth is a type of the church, Boaz the kinsman redeemer is a type of Jesus Christ, our redeemer.  Boaz takes Ruth the gentile to be his wife with a covenant of marriage for the purpose of having children and they become the great-great-grand-parents to King David.  This is amazing stuff if you are understanding the implications.  All of these concepts are found in the law in the book of Numbers and if you read through them closely you should begin to understand some of the spiritual implications to these words:

Num 27:6  And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,

Num 27:7  The daughters of Zelophehad speak right: thou shalt surely give them a possession of an inheritance among their father’s brethren; and thou shalt cause the inheritance of their father to pass unto them.

Num 27:8  And thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel, saying, If a man die, and have no son, then ye shall cause his inheritance to pass unto his daughter.

Num 27:9  And if he have no daughter, then ye shall give his inheritance unto his brethren.

Num 27:10  And if he have no brethren, then ye shall give his inheritance unto his father’s brethren.

Num 27:11  And if his father have no brethren, then ye shall give his inheritance unto his kinsman that is next to him of his family, and he shall possess it: and it shall be unto the children of Israel a statute of judgment, as the LORD commanded Moses.

You see God goes through a long discourse of how to distribute the inheritance of a family when the father dies.  Who is our spiritual Father?  Oh well I am sure I will have some say God the Father cannot die and I will not argue with you.  You either see it or reject it, you choose.  Any way in the law, if the father dies the inheritance begins to go to the children starting with the firstborn.  Then if there are no children it is interesting to note that we start with the nearest relatives, uncles and then cousins.  We can see a hierarchical order of inheritance being established.  God is establishing a law of precedence in the natural realm to demonstrate how He will do something later in the spirit realm.  I would like to ask those skeptics out there this question.  Did you ever notice in the New Testament that  we, the church are called the joint heirs with Christ?  What is an heir?  An heir is someone who inherits after someone else died.  Get it?  Uh oh?  Who died to leave us an inheritance?  What was that, which we inherited?  How did this inheritance follow the law in Numbers that we just read.  There are just so many questions to think about, isn’t there?

So the story of Ruth is a natural pattern to a much greater spiritual truth.  We can see Ruth, who is the pattern of the church, marries the redeemer Boaz a pattern of Messiah in order to raise up children for the dead husband and father.  Let me briefly give you some scriptures in Ruth that may help you to understand this story better:

Rth 4:3  And he said unto the kinsman, Naomi, that is come again out of the country of Moab, selleth a parcel of land, which was our brother Elimelech’s:

Rth 4:4  And I thought to advertise thee, saying, Buy it before the inhabitants, and before the elders of my people. If thou wilt redeem it, redeem it: but if thou wilt not redeem it, then tell me, that I may know: for there is none to redeem it beside thee; and I am after thee. And he said, I will redeem it.

It was the responsibility of the nearest relative to buy back the land that belonged to their family.  In this verse, Boaz approaches a nearer relative to ask him to buy the land of their brother Elimelech.  But as you read down you find this relative refuses, because it would mean that it would ruin his inheritance.  You can see in verse 4 that Boaz tells this other relative that if he didn’t buy the land that he would do it, because there are no other relatives that can legally do it.  But, did you notice the term “redeem”.  “Redemption” is a New Testament term and work of Christ. 

Rth 4:5  Then said Boaz, What day thou buyest the field of the hand of Naomi, thou must buy it also of Ruth the Moabitess, the wife of the dead, to raise up the name of the dead upon his inheritance.

You can see in this verse of Ruth the problem that the other relative is faced with.  In order to redeem the land of Naomi, you must marry the gentile woman Ruth and have an heir for the dead relatives.  This is the law of God given to the nation of Israel and it is very significant to the story of Jesus and the church.

So how does all of this relate to other scriptures in the Bible?  I’ll end this blog with this related reference found in the New Testament:

Rom 7:1  Know ye not, brethren, (for I speak to them that know the law,) how that the law hath dominion over a man as long as he liveth?

Rom 7:2  For the woman which hath an husband is bound by the law to her husband so long as he liveth; but if the husband be dead, she is loosed from the law of her husband.

Rom 7:3  So then if, while her husband liveth, she be married to another man, she shall be called an adulteress: but if her husband be dead, she is free from that law; so that she is no adulteress, though she be married to another man.

Rom 7:4  Wherefore, my brethren, ye also are become dead to the law by the body of Christ; that ye should be married to another, even to him who is raised from the dead, that we should bring forth fruit unto God.

Here we have a passage related to the law of marriage.  These verses have widespread spiritual implications written all over them.  Did you notice who they were written to?  Paul writes these verses to those under the law.  He actually says those that “know” the law (Rom 7:1).  To “know” something is a statement related to a covenant relationship.  I’ll try to do a blog in the future explaining that statement in more depth.   We can see that Paul is writing these verses to his natural brothers of the nation of Israel.  So while the book of Romans was written to the church, these verses pertain only to the natural Jews.  It is very important to see this.  The law stated that a woman who was married could not be married to another man as long as the first husband was alive or she would be called an adulteress.  But, the woman whose husband is dead is free to marry another (Rom 7:3).  So what does God say to those who were under the law?  God told them that they are now free to marry another, and this one that they should marry is the one that God raised from the dead, Jesus Christ.  Are you following the reasoning and logic of these statements?  Because Jesus Christ was crucified, these verses claim that their former husband was killed or died.  That is what Romans 7:4 is telling them.  The crucifixion of Jesus now freed them from the law to be in covenant with the risen man Jesus Christ, the Son of God.  A marriage to the Son and not the Father.  We can clearly see that these verses do not apply to gentile believers because they were never under the law  or in covenant with God.  The gentiles were never in or under the law and therefore were free to be married to whomever they choose.  However, the natural nation of Israel was given the law on Mt Sinai through Moses and this law established many boundaries that they are forced to abide with as long as they refuse to accept their Messiah.   Let me briefly go back to the book of Ruth and tell you about a statement that Ruth makes that reveals to us the principal of these statements in Romans 7:

Rth 1:17  Where thou diest, will I die, and there will I be buried: the LORD do so to me, and more also, if ought but death part thee and me.

Ruth makes a statement of truth that has widespread implications.  You can see from the statement that death represents a dividing line.  Death causes a separation of one connected person from another person.  Only death can separate us, Ruth said.  This is an incredible revelation if you apply it correctly and understand it fully.  Ruth gives us a secret to how God will separate himself from Satan.  Only by his death will the wife be freed from the law of her husband.  Death represents a division between two connected individuals.  Through death a legal separation occurs between two people who are in a marriage covenant.  It is important to know that God does all things in a legal, orderly manner.

There is so much more that we could discuss about these verses, but I wanted to show you another set of verses that speak about God experiencing death for us.  The death of Jesus has so much more meaning than we have ever imagined.  That means we have an inheritance that must be distributed according to the law.  Ruth is a story that has so many great truths in it, that I did not get to them all in this blog.  Hopefully you will continue to study the book and see the other details that God reveals to us.   For example, Boaz must go to a closer relative and ask him if he wants to marry the gentile woman.  The closer relative refuses to marry Ruth because it will mess up his inheritance, so he thinks.  Who is this closer relative representative of in the spiritual realm.  How does this pattern fit into the redemptive work of Christ?  Then there is this fact found again in the genealogy of Jesus.  I told you earlier this list only contains the names of 3 or 4 women and they all have significance and meaning to Jesus.  Boaz was a type of Jesus.  Who is Boaz’s mother?  Boaz is the son of Rahab the harlot.  That is also significant in the typology analysis.  Who was Jesus born of?  Israel is also called a harlot in Old Testament books like Hosea.  There are so many more things to consider.  If you dig really deep you can find so many valuable truths.

So I have attempted to give you scriptures that show why the woman in Revelation 12 is pregnant and who this child is and why He must be delivered.  The child in Revelation 12 has widely been taught to be Jesus Christ, but the typology and symbolism in the rest of the chapter does not fit the natural birth of the Messiah.  So we have to look for spiritual truths and spiritual reasons to identify the male child and hopefully I have pointed you in the right direction.  I know I did not cover everything in its entirety and I know there is absolutely no way that I could do that even if I wanted to.   Only God knows everything and we only see things through a glass darkly and only truly understand what God wants us to understand, when He wants us to understand it.  I believe that we have so much more to learn.

If you would like to continue reading this series of lessons, please go to “Part 8“.