A Great Truth About Jesus (part 2)

“For where you go, I will go” – Ruth 1:16

Where you spend your time, and what you fill your mind with – that is what you are becoming.

Read Ruth 2.

The Moabites were detested by the Israelites. They were descended from an incestuous relationship and practiced child sacrifice. Ruth was a Moabite with a Jewish mother-in-law, Naomi. Naomi’s other daughter-in-law returned to her people after her husband (Naomi’s son) died, but her other daughter-in-law, Ruth, chose otherwise – she chose to go to Bethlehem, a widow, with no family, in a foreign land where her race was detested.

Orpah, the other daughter-in-law went back to her family. Family is important – but sometimes, family influences can be destructive, or simply not what God is calling you to do. Ruth went ahead to Bethlehem and became the great-grandmother of King David.

Ruth went to glean in Boaz’s field. Levitical law stated that they had to leave the edges or whatever fell so that people in need could glean. It was hard work, but the Lord instituted it to provide for the needy: “When you reap the harvest of your land, you are not to reap all the way to the edge of your field or gather the gleanings of your harvest. Leave them for the poor and the foreign resident; I am Yahweh your God.” (Leviticus 23:22)

Naomi is a picture of Israel; Ruth is a picture of us, the Gentiles. Boaz’s name means “in him is strength” – he is a picture of Jesus. When we come into relationship with Jesus, we’re picking around the edges of the field, gleaning, picking up the first bits of truth to be fed by. This is why it’s important to be in a good field!

A Great Truth About Jesus

Scripture for today: Ruth 2

Ruth was a Moabite, which was a group of people hated by the Israelites. Her mother-in-law, Naomi, was from Bethlehem. During this time, there was a famine in Israel, which is why Naomi’s husband had moved them to Moab, where their sons married Moabite women, which was not an approved thing to do if you were an Israelite. Ruth was a gleaner – gleaners were allowed to come into the fields and gather the bits of barley that were leftover after the harvesters had gone through.

Naomi was without a husband (bad) in a foreign land (also bad), so she decided to go back to Bethlehem. She sent Ruth and her other daughter-in-law back to their families. But Ruth refused to go back, and insisted on traveling to Bethlehem with Naomi.

Ruth is a picture of us – we are not Jewish, but Gentiles. By the law, she was not qualified to be there. But by grace, she was qualified. Boaz permitted her to be in his field, under his protection, just as Jesus brings us into His land and protection.

Boaz was a kinsman-redeemer, which means that if he had a relative (like Naomi) in hardship, he could bail them out. He had to be wealthy and willing to do so. He is a picture of Jesus.

Just like Ruth, we have a famine in our land. We can’t save ourselves. We have a debt we can’t repay. Just like Boaz, Ruth’s kinsman-redeemer, Jesus extends His grace to us when we come into His kingdom.

Upcoming Events

Please also see our “Events” page for the church calendar.

  • New Bible study group on Max Lucado’s “Experiencing the Heart of Jesus” will be starting Sept. 22 or Oct. 6. Group discussions will center around a workbook which is available at the Christian bookstore. The group will meet every other week (instead of weekly).
  • Ladies’ Night Out is next Sunday! Dinner will feature “comfort food.” Please let pastor’s wife know if you have a favorite comfort food you’d like to bring.
  • The “Anointed Transformed Redeemed” Bible study begins on Sept. 20, focusing on the life of David.

Prince or Pauper?

In 2 Samuel, we read about Mephibosheth, who was the son of Jonathan, who was the son of Saul, the first king of Israel. Saul and Jonathan were killed, and Mephibosheth’s nurse ran away with him to hide him. In 2 Samuel 9, Mephibosheth is an adult with lame feet, living as a pauper, in abject poverty. David, who was the king, has him brought before him. Mephibosheth was very afraid. But David said that what he wanted was to bless him, to give him land and servants, and to live near him (David) in Jerusalem, as one of his own sons.

Most people would argue that Mephibosheth would be foolish to turn down King David’s offer. Mephibosheth had to choose between physical riches. But the choice before us this morning is spiritual blessing and riches, those of the kingdom of heaven.

“Praise the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavens. For He chose us in Him, before the foundation of the world, to be holy and blameless in His sight. In love He predestined us to be adopted through Jesus Christ for Himself, according to His favor and will, to the praise of His glorious grace that He favored us with in the Beloved.” (Ephesians 1)

“Oh, the depth of the riches
both of the wisdom and the knowledge of God!
How unsearchable His judgments
and untraceable His ways!”
(Romans 11:33)

“3 His divine power has given us everything required for life and godliness through the knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and goodness. By these He has given us very great and precious promises, so that through them you may share in the divine nature, escaping the corruption that is in the world because of evil desires.” (2 Peter 1)

“1 Look at how great a love the Father has given us that we should be called God’s children. And we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it didn’t know Him.” (1 John 3)

To be children of the King is to be rich. As Jesus said, His kingdom is not of this world. God’s peace keeps and protects our hearts and souls regardless of what our circumstances are. He always causes us to triumph in Jesus Christ.

And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.” (Romans 5, KJV)

The phrase shed abroad is redundant. It means that His love has been poured out, double!

“Now thanks be to God who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and through us diffuses the fragrance of His knowledge in every place.” (2 Corinthians 2:14, NKJV)

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4)

Even in a very dark situation, we still have a choice. We can live in His peace, or we can listen to the enemy of our souls, worrying in turmoil. Which choice? To live as a spiritual prince, or spiritual pauper?

When satan talks to you, do what Jesus did: Talk back with scripture. Remember that even Jesus had to do this more than once – you must persist. Every time you face a crisis, you face a choice: prince, or pauper.