Ruth Commentaries

RUTH RESOURCES
Commentaries, Sermons, Illustrations, Devotionals

For Ruth Resources part 2/2 (Devotionals) click here.

RUTH: GOD PROVIDES
A KINSMAN-REDEEMER

Ruth 1 Ruth 2 Ruth 3 Ruth 4
Ruth's Choice Ruth's Service Ruth's Claim Ruth's Marriage
Naomi and Ruth
Mutual Grief
Ruth and Naomi and Boaz
Mutual Pursuit
Boaz and Ruth
Mutual Love
Ruth's Decision:
Return with Naomi
Ruth's Devotion:
Provide for Naomi
Ruth's Request:
Redemption by Boaz
Ruth's Reward:
Relative of Messiah
Ruth
and Naomi
Ruth
and Boaz
Death of
Naomi's Family
Ruth Cares
for Naomi
Boaz Cares
for Ruth
God Blesses
with New Birth
Grief Loneliness Companionship Rejoicing
Location:
Plains
of Moab
Location:
Fields
of Bethlehem
Location:
Threshing floor
of Bethlehem
Location:
Little town
of Bethlehem
Time Lapsed:
About 30 Years
See Timeline
Setting:
Ru 1:1 Now it came about in the days when the judges governed
Jdg 21:25 In those days there was no king in Israel; everyone did what was right in his own eyes.

Key Verses: Ruth 1:16, Ruth 3:11-12

Theme: God Provides Redemption for those who trust Him in hard times. "Ruth shows how God’s people can experience his sovereignty, wisdom, and covenant kindness. These often come in hard circumstances and are expressed through the kindness of others." (ESV Intro)

Key Words:

  • Redeem - Ruth 3:13, 4:4, 4:6, 4:14),
  • Rest - Ru 1:9, 3:18, 4:15, Ru 3:1 = root of "security" is rest)
  • Relative, Close relative (Hebrew = Ga'al/Goel (see goel/ga'al) ~ Kinsman Redeemer) - Ruth 2:20, 3:9, 12, 4:1, 4:3, 4:6, 4:8
  • See discussion of Kinsman Redeemer}

Introduction/Overview:


Outline of Book of Ruth

I. A Famine - Ruth 1

A. A Disturbed Family - Ruth 1:1-5
B. A Decided Future - Ruth 1:6-14
C. A Declared Faith Ruth 1:15-22

II. A Field - Ruth 2

A. Expecting Grace Ruth 2:1-3
B. Experiencing grace Ruth 2:4-17
C. Expressing grace Ruth 2:18-23

III. A Floor - Ruth 3

A. Preparation Ruth 3:1-5
B. Presentation Ruth 3:6-13
C. Proclamation Ruth 3:14-18

IV. A Family - Ruth 4

A. Arrangements (redeemed) Ruth 4:1-8
B. Announcements (respected) Ruth 4:9-17
C. Accomplishments (related) Ruth 4:18-22

RUTH COMMENTARY — VERSE BY VERSE
Commentary notes onsite

 

 

 

PAUL APPLE
Commentary on Ruth
Recommended

Excerpts- This commentary is from a modern writer and is well done. 

BACKGROUND NOTES

Malick: Purposes of the Book of Ruth:

A. To provide a biographical sketch of the pious ancestors of David the King (which the books of Samuel do not provide)

B. To contrast the reproach brought upon Bethlehem in Judges 17--21 with the account of the righteous in Bethlehem

C. To emphasize the fulfillment of God’s covenant promises through Judah at a time when the nation Israel had lost her first king--Saul from the line of Benjamin

D. To demonstrate how YHWH supplies for the enormous needs of his people bothindividually and nationally in accordance with his covenant promises

Brian Bill: Many people have said that the Book of Ruth is the most beautiful short story ever written. It’s an account of anxiety, fear, love, and commitment that inflames the imagination and soothes the soul. It begins with despair and ends with delight. (See his sermon - Ruth- A Loyal Love Story)

Biblical.com: Redemption is a key concept throughout the account; the Hebrew word in its various forms occurs 23 times. The book is primarily a story of Naomi’s transformation from despair to happiness through the selfless, God-blessed acts of Ruth and Boaz. She moves from emptiness to fullness (Ruth 1:21; 3:17; see notes on Ruth 1:1,3,5–6,12,21–22; 3:17; 4:15), from destitution (Ruth 1:1–5) to security and hope (Ruth 4:13–17). Similarly, Israel was transformed from national desperation at the death of Eli (1Sa 4:18) to peace and prosperity in the early days of Solomon (1Ki 4:20–34; 5:4) through the selfless devotion of David, a true descendant of Ruth and Boaz. The author thus reminded Israel that the reign of the house of David, as the means of God’s benevolent rule in Israel, held the prospect of God’s promised peace and rest. But this rest would continue only so long as those who participated in the kingdom—prince and people alike—reflected in their daily lives the selfless love exemplified by Ruth and Boaz. In Jesus, the great “son of David” (Mt 1:1), and his redemptive work, the promised blessings of the kingdom of God find their fulfillment

Roy Hession: “I went out full, and the Lord hath brought me home again empty." -- The first chapter of the book of Ruth is a very important one. Every preacher knows, or should know, he has to begin by awakening a sense of need in his hearers. He cannot plunge in too quickly with the positive side of his message. He must first convince the people that they are in just that state of need which requires the provision he proposes to speak about. So it is, before we are introduced to the subject of redemption in the book of Ruth, we have brought before us a story of trouble and loss which occasions the need for one who can redeem. 

Overview of Ruth – Gospel Love Story

- Focuses on the Redemption of Ruth

– inclusion of the Gentiles - Focuses on the Redeemer – Boaz and the Royal Line leading to King David and the ultimate Son of David, the Messiah

I. Ruth’s Background – Loyal Commitment as a Converted Gentile

II. Ruth’s Backbreaking Labor – Learning Lessons About the Providence of God

III. Ruth’s Boldness – Looking to Boaz for Redemption

IV. Ruth’s Blessing – Love Consummated – Redemption and Marriage

  • Difficult trials test the loyalty of our commitment to God’s lovingkindness

Excerpts from notes on Ruth 1...

Oswald Chambers: The majority of us begin with the bigger problems outside and forget the one inside.

Wiersbe: How do you walk by faith? By claiming the promises of God and obeying the Word of God, in spite of what you see, how you feel, or what may happen. It means committing yourself to the Lord and relying wholly on Him to meet the need. When we live by faith, it glorifies God, witnesses to a lost world, and builds Christian character into our lives.

Watson: Elimelech, seeing his possessions melt away, has decided to leave Judah for a time so as to save what remains to him till the famine is over, and he chooses the nearest refuge, the watered field of Moab beyond the Salt Sea. It was not far; he could imagine himself returning soon to resume the accustomed life in the old home.

Block: It seems, however, that Elimelech designed his own solution instead of calling on God for mercy and repenting of the sins that plagued the nation during the dark days of the judges. How did the Israelites feel about the Moabites??

1) contemptible origins in the incestuous relationship of Lot and his daughter (Gen 19:30-38)

2) their resistance to Israelite passage through their territory when they came from Egypt (Numbers 22-24)

3) Moabite women’s seduction of the Israelites and the latter’s subsequent punishment (Nu 25:1-9)

4) Israel’s constitutional exclusion of Moab from the assembly of the Lord (Deut. 23:3-6)

5) the recent oppression of the Israelites by Eglon the king of Moab (Judges 3:15-30)

Block: to be buried in an unclean foreign land was considered the ultimate punishment (Amos 7:17)

Wiersbe: a family makes a bad decision and exchanges one famine for three funerals.

Block: hesed (Ruth 1:8, 2:20, 3:10 - see in depth definition of hesed/chesed/heced) is a covenant term, wrapping up in itself all the positive attributes of God: love, covenant faithfulness, mercy, grace kindness, loyalty. In short, it refers to acts of devotion and lovingkindness that go beyond the requirements of duty. Divine acts of hesed would bring the opposite of the pain and grief these women have all been experiencing for more than a decade. Specifically it could involve the application of the covenant blessings specified in Lev 26:3-13 and Deut 28:1-14.

How are we going to face the trials the Lord brings our way?

  • Running away – like Elimelech – experiencing the sad consequences of sinful choices
  • Becoming bitter – like Naomi
  • Embracing them and using them as opportunities for new beginnings in experiencing God’s mercy and grace – beautiful love story of Ruth in the midst of the dark days of the judges

Block: Ruth’s pledge involves four significant elements:

1) an appeal to resist all pressures to break the relationship

2) a commitment to the other person for life

3) the adoption of the other person’s family and faith as one’s own and the abandonment of prior allegiances [leaving and cleaving]

4) an awareness that God is a witness to all the promises we make

Wiersbe: The Book of Ruth is a harvest story as well as a love story. During this dark time in Israel’s history, God was seeking a bride and reaping a harvest. . . Five women in the genealogy of Jesus Christ in Matthew 4 – four of whom have very questionable credentials: Tamar committed incest with her father-in-law (Gen. 38:3); Rahab was a Gentile harlot (Josh. 2:5); Ruth was an outcast Gentile Moabitess (Ruth 1:5); and the wife of Uriah was an adulteress (2 Sam. 11:6) . . . It was barley harvest when the two widows arrived in Bethlehem, a time when the community expressed joy and praise to God for His goodness. It was spring, a time of new life and new beginning.

Jeff Strite: Total Commitment – Illustration: A college man walked into a photography studio with a framed picture of his girlfriend. He wanted the picture duplicated. This involved removing it from the frame. In doing this, the studio owner noticed the inscription on the back of the photograph: “My dearest Tom, I love you with all my heart. I love you more and more each day. I will love you forever and ever. I am yours for all eternity.” It was signed "Helen,” and it contained a P.S.: “If we ever break up, I want this picture back.” www.sermoncentral.com

Victor Yap: It is Well With My Soul – Illustration:

A friend sent me an e-mail with the subject “An Everyday Survival Kit.” However, this survival kit does not have a flashlight, a blanket, food, or the normal emergency-preparedness stuff. Here are its contents:

  1. Toothpick - to remind you to pick out the good qualities in others…Matt. 7:1
  2. Rubber band - to remind you to be flexible, things might not always go the way you want, but it will work out…Rom. 8:28
  3. Band Aid - to remind you to heal hurt feelings, yours or someone else’s…Col. 3:12-14
  4. Pencil - to remind you to list your blessings everyday…Eph. 1:3
  5. Eraser - to remind you that everyone makes mistakes, and it’s okay…Gen. 50:15-21
  6. Chewing gum - to remind you to stick with it and you can accomplish anything…Phil. 4:13
  7. Mint - to remind you that you are worth a mint to your God…John 3:16-17
  8. Candy kiss - to remind you that everyone needs a kiss or a hug everyday…1 John 4:7
  9. Tea bag - to remind you to relax daily and go over that list of God’s blessing’s…1 Thess. 5:18

Darren Ethier: The Velcro Effect – Illustration:

In 1948, a Swiss mountaineer named George de Mestral was walking through the woods and was very frustrated by the burs that clung to his clothes. While picking them off, he realized that it may be possible to use this principle to make a fastener to compete with the zipper. (Taken from the Useless Information Site, "ZIPPERS & VELCRO")Velcro was inspired by the natural sticking properties of burrs. If you look at a velcro strip, you’ll notice that it has two parts to it: a strip that has a web of tiny hooks; and a strip that has a web of tiny interwoven hoops. These two strips are a match for each other and when you join them together the hooks "catch" the loops and they become meshed together in a very strong bond.

The Velcro Effect is a term that I believe describes the relationship between God’s Faithfulness to us and our need for Him. We can understand this concept better when we look at Ruth 1. Here we learn of God’s covenant faithfulness, which still operates today in the life of believers. www.sermoncentral.com

Excerpts from notes on Ruth 2

Bruce Waltke – Finding the Will of God – one of the ways that God directs us is through His kind Providence – directing the circumstances of our lives; We need to start with a biblical orientation – Charlie reminded us last week of our need to be in the Word of God – receive it humbly, act on it, and share it; we need to trust God to use the desires of our heart as we continue to grow closer to Him; we must seek godly counsel; we must respond to our circumstances – the outworking of divine providence (understanding that an open door does not always mean we should walk through it); use sound judgment Application: Don’t forget this week to have your eyes open to those divine appointments that God brings your way – one of the surprising aspects of the Kind Providence of God

Huey: A vivid idiom describes her faith: “under whose wings you have come to take refuge.” It pictures a tiny bird snuggling under the wings of its mother (cf. Deut 32:11). The word for “wing” is also the word for the “skirt” or “robe” of a man (cf. 3:9, where it is so used). Figuratively the idiom symbolizes God as the Protector (Ps 36:7; 57:1; 91:4). Boaz at this point did not know that God was going to use him to be the fulfillment of these prayers

Illustration: message from Voddie Baucham: 4 qualities of a suitor: Priest, Prophet, Provider, Protector

Wiersbe: It is encouraging to see the changes that have taken place in Naomi because of what Ruth did. God used Ruth to turn Naomi’s bitterness into gratitude, her unbelief into faith, and her despair into hope. One person, trusting the Lord and obeying His will, can change a situation from defeat to victory.

Deffinbaugh: What advice do I believe Ruth or Boaz would give to those who are single and hoping for marriage? Let me suggest several things. (See Deffinbaugh's lengthy answer to his question - very interesting sermon title - Can eHarmony Beat This?).

Tom Shepard: God Cares For You – Illustration:

Did you know that on 9-11 the New York State Lottery’s evening number game, popped up the numbers: 9-1-1?

Did you know that a news paper in Oregon on June 28, 2000 printed the pick 4 winning numbers in advance of the drawing? Actually, the news paper’s computers had crashed. In a scramble to re-create a news page, the copyeditor accidentally included Virginia’s Pick 4 numbers, which turned out to be the exact numbers that Oregon was about to draw.

Here is a really odd one. Did you know that in Psalm 46 of the King James Bible was published in the same year that Shakespeare turned 46 and that the 46th word from the beginning of the chapter is “shake”. But that’s not all the 46th word from the end of the chapter is “spear”? Is that an accident, luck or some odd coincidence? (What amazes me about the 46th Psalm is that someone should even notice that.)

Odd things happen in our world all the time. Strange occurrences happen every day. These types of events make me question: “What drives our world? Are we in a world that is nothing more then random circumstances? Or are we in a world that has a plan and a purpose – a destination and a goal?”

ALBERT BARNES
Commentary on Ruth

ART IN THE BIBLE
on Ruth

JOSEPH BENSON
Commentary on Ruth

RICHARD BERNARD
Commentary on Ruth

Delivered In Several Sermons

BRIAN BELL
Sermons on Ruth

BIBLE.ORG RESOURCES
Resources that Reference Ruth

BIBLICAL ILLUSTRATOR
Joseph Exell, Editor

Commentary, Sermons, Homilies on Ruth

EDWARD BOONE
Commentary on Ruth

ALAN CARR
Sermons on Ruth

CAMBRIDGE BIBLE FOR SCHOOLS AND COLLEGES
Commentary on Ruth

RICH CATHERS
Sermon Notes on Ruth

  • Ruth 1-2
    Excerpts - John Wesley wrote, “She loved Naomi, but she did not love her so well, as to quit her country for her sake. Thus many have a value for Christ, and yet come short of salvation by him, because they cannot find in their hearts, to forsake other things for him. They love him, and yet leave him, because they do not love him enough, but love other things better.”

    John Wesley on 1:18 - “See the power of resolution! Those who are half-resolved, are like a door a-jar, which invites a thief. But resolution shuts and bolts he door, and then the devil flees from us.”

    ILLUSTRATION - The elderly couple had been married for 50 years -- 50 full years of misery. They had fought every day of their marriage. It was the typical standoff: she said she would change when he did, and he said he would change when she did.

    The couple’s children threw a 50th wedding anniversary party for them. After the celebration had ended and the guests were gone, the wife turned to her husband and said, “We’ve lived together for 50 years, but its been miserable. We’ve fought every day.”

    She paused. “Now I think it’s time to change. In fact, I’ve been praying that things would change. I’ve been praying that the Lord would take one of us home. And when he answers my prayer...I’m going to go live with my sister in Grand Rapids!”

    ILLUSTRATION - An old missionary couple had been working in Africa for years and were returning to New York to retire. They had no pension; their health was broken; they were defeated, discouraged, and afraid. They discovered they were booked on the same ship as President Teddy Roosevelt, who was returning from one of his big-game hunting expeditions.

    No one paid any attention to them. They watched the fanfare that accompanied the President’s entourage, with passengers trying to catch a glimpse of the great man.

    As the ship moved across the ocean, the old missionary said to his wife, “Something is wrong. Why should we have given our lives in faithful service for God in Africa all these many years and have no one care a thing about us? Here this man comes back from a hunting trip and everybody makes much over him, but nobody gives two hoots about us.”

    “Dear, you shouldn’t feel that way,” his wife said.

    “I can’t help it; it doesn’t seem right.”

    When the ship docked in New York, a band was waiting to greet the President. The mayor and other dignitaries were there. The papers were full of the President’s arrival, but no one noticed this missionary couple. They slipped off the ship and found a cheap flat on the East Side, hoping the next day to see what they could do to make a living in the city.

    That night the man’s spirit broke. He said to his wife, “I can’t take this; God is not treating us fairly.”

    His wife replied, “Why don’t you go in the bedroom and tell that to the Lord?”

    A short time later he came out from the bedroom, but now his face was completely different. His wife asked, “Dear, what happened?”

    “The Lord settled it with me,” he said. “I told him how bitter I was that the President should receive this tremendous homecoming, when no one met us as we returned home. And when I finished, it seemed as though the Lord put his hand on my shoulder and simply said, ‘But you’re not home yet!’” -- Ray Stedman, Talking to My Father
     

    ILLUSTRATION Don’t give up. Naomi doesn’t see it right now. All she sees is the devastation that has occurred to her family. She doesn’t realize that she has a treasure right under her nose.Danny Sampson used a hand-me-down Colt .45 to rob a bank in Canada, getting away with $6,000. When the Mounties caught up with him, they confiscated the gun and sent it to their laboratory, where it was recognized as a collector’s item. Danny discovered that he didn’t have to rob a bank; his gun was worth $100,000. Hang in there. Wait until the end of the story.

    ILLUSTRATION - Ruth 2:3 - FATHERHOOD

    Four expectant fathers were in a hospital waiting room while their wives were in labor. The nurse arrived and announced to the first man, “Congratulations sir! You’re the father of twins.” “What a coincidence!” the man said with some obvious pride. “I work for the Minnesota Twins baseball team.” The nurse returned in a little while and turned to the second man, “You, sir, are the father of triplets.” “Wow! That’s really an incredible coincidence,” he answered. “I work for 3M. My buddies will never let me live this one down.” An hour later, while the other two men were passing cigars around, the nurse came back. This time she turned to the third man, who had been very quiet in the corner. She announced that his wife had just given birth to quadruplets. Stunned, he barely could reply. “Don’t tell me, another coincidence?” asked the nurse. After finally regaining his composure, he said, “I don’t believe it. I work for the Four Seasons Hotel.” After hearing this, everybody’s attention turned to the fourth guy, who had just fainted, flat out on the floor. The nurse rushed to his side and after some time, he slowly gained consciousness. When he was finally able to speak, you could hear him whispering the same phrase over and over again: “I should have never taken that job at 7-Up. I should have never taken that job at 7-Up. I should have never taken that job at 7-Up...”

  • Ruth 1:1-18
    Excerpts - Commitment in marriage. Verses 16-17 are sometimes used in wedding ceremonies, and for good reason.

    ILLUSTRATION - Author and business leader Fred Smith writes: One of my treasured memories comes from a doughnut shop in Grand Saline, Texas. There was a young farm couple sitting at the table next to mine. He was wearing overalls and she a gingham dress. After finishing their doughnuts, he got up to pay the bill, and I noticed she didn’t get up to follow him. But then he came back and stood in front of her. She put her arms around his neck, and he lifted her up, revealing that she was wearing a full-body brace. He lifted her out of her chair and backed out the front door to the pickup truck, with her hanging from his neck. As he gently put her into the truck, everyone in the shop watched. No one said anything until a waitress remarked, almost reverently, “He took his vows seriously.” That’s the way God expects us to commit to our marriage.

    ILLUSTRATION Ru 1:18 -  Senator John McCain writes, “In the final years of our imprisonment, the North Vietnamese moved us from small cells with one or two prisoners to large rooms with as many as 30-40 men to a room. We preferred this situation for the companionship and strength we could draw from our fellow prisoners. In addition to moving us to new quarters, our captors also let us receive packages and letters from home. Many men received word from their families for the first time in several years. The improved conditions were a result of public pressure put on the North Vietnamese by the American public.

    “In our cell was one Navy officer, Lt. Commander Mike Christian. Over a period of time Mike had gathered bits and pieces of red and white cloth from various packages. Using a piece of bamboo he had fashioned into a needle, Mike sewed a United States flag on the inside of his shirt, one of the blue pajama tops we all wore. “Every night in our cell, Mike would put his shirt on the wall, and we would say the pledge of allegiance. I know that the pledge of allegiance may not be the most important aspect of our day now, but I can tell you that at the time it was the most important aspect of our lives. “This had been going on for some time until on of the guards came in as we were reciting our pledge. They ripped the flag off the wall and dragged Mike out. He was beaten for several hours and then thrown back into the cell. “Later that night, as we were settling down to sleep on the concrete slabs that we our beds, I looked over to the spot where the guards had thrown Mike. There, under the solitary light bulb hanging from the ceiling, I saw Mike. Still bloody and his face swollen beyond recognition, Mike was gathering bits and pieces of cloth together. He was sewing a new American flag.”

  • Ruth 3-4
    ILLUSTRATION - The Real 50-50 Marriage - A young man saw an elderly couple sitting down to lunch at McDonald’s. He noticed that they had ordered one meal, and an extra drink cup. As he watched, the gentleman carefully divided the hamburger in half, then counted out the fries, one for him, one for her, until each had half of them. Then he poured half of the soft drink into the extra cup and set that in front of his wife. The old man then began to eat, and his wife sat watching, with her hands folded in her lap. The young man decided to ask if they would allow him to purchase another meal for them so that they didn’t have to split theirs. The old gentleman said, “Oh no. We’ve been married 50 years, and everything has always been and will always be shared, 50-50.” The young man then asked the wife if she was going to eat, and she replied, “Not yet. It’s his turn with the teeth.”
     

    You won’t make a name by playing it safe, Sometimes you have to risk a little.  Sometimes you have to step out of your comfort zone.

    ILLUSTRATION - When the army of Israel was being threatened by a nine-foot tall giant named Goliath, a call went out for someone to go head-to-head in battle.  For forty days the challenge was made, and no one stepped forward.  Until the day when a young man came to visit his brothers.  When he found out about the challenge, he jumped at the chance.  What was his name?  David.  Why do we know his name?  Because he didn’t play it safe.

    ILLUSTRATION - “It is not the critic who counts, not the person who points out where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the person who is actually in the arena; whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs and comes up short again and again; who knows the great enthusiasms, the devotions, and spends himself or herself in a worthy cause; who at best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement; and at the worst, at least fails while daring greatly; so that his or her place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory or defeat.” -Theodore Roosevelt

    ILLUSTRATION - A beggar stopped a lawyer on the street in a large southern city and asked him for a quarter.  Taking a long, hard look into the man’s unshaven face, the attorney asked, “Don’t I know you from somewhere?” “You should,” came the reply.  “I’m your former classmate.  Remember, second floor, old Main Hall?”  “Why Sam, of course I know you!” Without further question the lawyer wrote a check for $100.  “Here, take this and get a new start.  I don’t care what’s happened in the past, it’s the future that counts.” And with that he hurried on. Tears welled up in the man’s eyes as he walked to a bank nearby. Stopping at the door, he saw through the glass well-dressed tellers and the spotlessly clean interior.  Then he looked at his filthy rags. “They won’t take this from me. They’ll swear that I forged it,” he muttered as he turned away. The next day the two men met again. “Why Sam, what did you do with my check?  Gamble it away?  Drink it up?”  “No,” said the beggar as he pulled it out of his dirty shirt pocket and told why he hadn’t cashed it.  “Listen, friend,” said the lawyer.  “What makes that check good is not your clothes or appearance, but my signature.  Go on, cash it!” When it comes to redemption, it’s not up to us to be good enough to be forgiven.  It’s up to Jesus having enough to pay our debt.

  • Ruth 4:1-10

    ILLUSTRATION - Jesus thinks YOU are a treasure. He purchased the whole world with His blood in order to get you. There is a story of a father and son who worked for months to build a toy sailboat. Every night when he came home from work the man and his boy would disappear into the garage for hours. It was a labor of love—love for each other and for the thing they were creating. The wooden hull was painted bright red and it was trimmed with gleaming white sails. When it was finished, they traveled to a nearby lake for the boat’s trial run. Before launching it the father tied a string to its stern to keep it from sailing too far. The boat performed beautifully, but before long a motorboat crossing the lake cut the string, and the sailboat drifted out of sight on the large lake. Attempts to find it were fruitless, and both father and son wept over its loss. A few weeks later as the boy was walking home from school he passed his favorite toy store and was amazed to see a toy sailboat in the window—his sailboat! He ran inside to claim the boat, telling the proprietor about his experience on the lake. The store owner explained that he had found the boat while on a fishing trip. “You may be its maker,” he said, “but as a finder I am its legal owner. You may have it back—for fifty dollars.” The boy was stunned at how much it would cost him to regain his boat, but since it was so precious to him he quickly set about earning the money to buy it back. Months later he joyfully walked into the toy store and handed the owner fifty dollars in exchange for his sailboat. It was the happiest day of his life. As he left the store he held the boat up to the sunlight. Its colors gleamed as though newly painted. “I made you, but I lost you,” he said. “Now I’ve bought you back. That makes you twice mine, and twice mine is mine forever.”--James S. Hewett, Illustrations Unlimited (Wheaton: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc, 1988) pp. 37-38.

ADAM CLARKE
Commentary on Ruth

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CENTURY BIBLE
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THOMAS CONSTABLE
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RON DANIEL
Sermon Notes on Ruth

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Commentary Notes on Ruth

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Short videos emphasizing life principles

  • Ruth; Principle #1; Ruth 1:1-4;  Pagan Influences: Parents should do all they can to help children make decisions based on biblical values. Video
  • Ruth; Principle #2; Ruth 1:4-9;  Maintaining Hope: When we face devastating tragedies, we are to focus on our glorious hope for the future. Video
  • Ruth; Principle #3; Ruth 1:10-15;  Subtle Idolatry: We must be careful not to incorporate false God's into our belief system in order to compensate for serious losses in our lives. Video
  • Ruth; Principle #4; Ruth 1:16-22;  Strength in Weakness: Even when we are weak spiritually and psychologically, we should remember that God can still use us to impact others. Video
  • Ruth; Principle #5; Ruth 2:1-3;  Demonstrating God's Character: We are to reflect God's character in our lives in order to encourage others to walk in God's will. Video
  • Ruth; Principle #6; Ruth 2:4-23;  A Godly Businessman: Regardless of the godless values that permeate the secular community, we are to continue to practice biblical values in all of our relationships. Video
  • Ruth; Principle #7; Ruth 3:1-4;  Family Care: We are to do whatever we can to help meet the valid needs of others within our family relationships. Video
  • Ruth; Principle #8; Ruth 3:5-11;  Moral Purity: Regardless of the non-biblical values that permeate many cultures today, we are to be committed to moral purity prior to marriage. Video
  • Ruth; Principle #9; Ruth 3:12-4:10;  Family Redeemer: To reflect noble character, we are to demonstrate respect and concern for one another. Video
  • Ruth; Principle #10; Ruth 4:11-12; Marital Commitments: When entering a marriage relationship, we should plan a public ceremony to demonstrate our lifelong commitment. Video
  • Ruth; Principle #11; Ruth 4:13-22; The Family of God: We should use this beautiful love story to remind ourselves that through faith in Jesus Christ, we become spiritual brothers and sisters. Video

JOHN GILL
Commentary on Ruth

GOTQUESTIONS
Book of Ruth

L M GRANT
Commentary on Ruth

DAVE GUZIK
Commentary on Ruth

Well done modern commentary with brief helpful notes.

JAMES HASTINGS
Great Texts of the Bible
From Ruth

ROBERT HAWKER
Commentary on Ruth

SUSIE HAWKINS
Study on Ruth

Primarily Audio. See Audio Links on Right side of Page

MATTHEW HENRY
Commentary on Ruth

WILLIAM HESLOP
Commentary on Ruth

SELWYN HUGHES
Devotional Commentary
Ruth

RUTH 2

RUTH 3

RUTH 4

ALFRED HUNT
Ruth the Moabitess
A Short Commentary, Critical and Expository,
on the Book of Ruth
1884

JAMIESON, FAUSSET, BROWN
Commentary on Ruth

UNABRIDGED VERSION

KEIL AND DELITZSCH
Commentary on Ruth

James Rosscup writes "Keil, C. F. and Franz Delitzsch. Commentary on the Old Testament. 25 volumes. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1950. This is the best older, overall treatment of a critical nature on the Old Testament Hebrew text verse by verse and is a good standard work to buy. The student can buy parts or the whole of this series. Sometimes it is evangelical, at other times liberal ideas enter." (Commentaries for Biblical Expositors: An Annotated Bibliography of Selected Works)

JOHN KITTO
Studies on Ruth
The Pictorial Bible on the Old Testament

Spurgeon comments - "Exceeding meritorious. Refer to it frequently....They are not exactly a commentary, but what marvelous expositions you have there! You have reading more interesting than any novel that was ever written, and as instructive as the heaviest theology. The matter is quite attractive and fascinating, and yet so weighty, that the man who shall study these volumes thoroughly, will not fail to read his Bible intelligently and with growing interest."

WOODROW KROLL
Lessons on Living:
From the book of Ruth

PAUL KRETZMANN
Ruth Commentary

LANGE'S COMMENTARY
Ruth Commentary

DAVID LEGGE
Sermons on
Book of Ruth

J VERNON MCGEE
Thru the Bible Commentary
Ruth Commentary on Mp3

F B MEYER
Ruth
Devotionals

F B MEYER
Ruth
Through the Bible Commentary

MISCELLANEOUS RESOURCES
on the Book of Ruth
Conservative, Evangelical

THE THEOLOGICAL JOURNAL LIBRARY on Galaxie.com

An annual $50 or monthly $5 subscription (click here) is required to view the entire article but will give you access to literally thousands of conservative articles. Click the following links to search by topic, author, or bible reference.

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BEST COMMENTARIES

CYRIL BARBER - The Minister's Library Volume 2 (OT) (NT),  The Minister's Library Volume 3 (OT) (NT)

  • Auld, A. Graeme. Joshua, Judges, and Ruth. Daily Study Bible. Philadelphia: Westminster Press, 1984. †Auld writes out of the conviction that these books are the Bible's prime witness to Israel's early history in Canaan. He expounds the text skillfully and incorporates important historical, linguistic, and archaeological information into his discussion.
  • Barber, Cyril John. Ruth: An Expositional Commentary. Chicago: Moody Press, 1983. "Emphasizes the theme of Ruth as exemplifying the grace of God. The author has given us an extremely satisfying exposition of this OT book.... [He] has deduced from it many lessons that are pertinent to us in our late twentieth century circumstances. The references in the appendix indicate the extent of his research and the breadth of his reading, and we are consequently his debtors. Here is a book that deserves to be read and then re-read. I wholeheartedly recommend it" (Frederick A. Tatford). 
  • James Rosscup, in his Commentaries for Biblical Expositors, wrote: “[This is] a well-organized conservative exposition arising out of much study and skill in showing how alive biblical passages are…. Barber uses captivating headlines for sections, a vivid flow, arousing descriptions, analogies, illustrations, and applications. He deals with many problems awarely, using notes that sometimes are lengthy and meaty…. He is competent, thought provoking, and often sharp in exposing the timeliness of the book for life today.”

  • Block, Daniel. Judges, Ruth. Vol. 6: New American Commentary. Nashville: Broadman & Holman, 1999. An exceedingly valuable exegetical and theological exposition. Based on the NIV, though Block gives evidence of working from the Hebrew text. Readers will find this a learned, discerning discussion that readily explains the meaning and message of these twin books. Recommended.
  • Bush, Frederic W. Ruth, Esther. Word Biblical Commentary. Dallas, TX: Word Books, 1996. The treatments accorded Ruth and Esther are of uneven length. More space is devoted to Ruth than to Esther (though Esther is three times longer). The critical data (authorship, date, etc.) raises more problems that it solves. Furthermore, the informed reader soon gains the impression that most conservative rebuttals to longstanding arguments by liberals, have been ignored. On the positive side, however, the exegetical comments are generally insightful, and Bush’s erudition is evident on every page. The bibliographies are very full, and scholars will find them valuable.
  • Campbell, Edward R, Jr. Ruth. The Anchor Bible. Garden City, N.Y: Doubleday and Co., 1975. A stimulating and exacting study. It is fully abreast of the latest MS evidence and makes appropriate use of comparative Semitic studies (particularly Ugaritic). Recommended.
  • Cox, Samuel, and Thomas Filler. The Book of Ruth. Minneapolis: Klock & Klock Christian Publishers, 1982. Combines Cox's devotional studies from The Expositor with Fuller's sermons on chapters 1-2 (see Ruth 1 Ruth 2). Includes useful appendixes on Christ as the menuchah of the World and Christ as the true goel of men. Excellent
  • Goslinga, C. J. Joshua, Judges, Ruth. Bible Students Commentary. Translated by R. Togtman. Grand Rapids: Regency Reference Library, 1987. Brief, perceptive comments on each verse of these canonical books. Adheres to the standard evangelical interpretation of major critical issues. In applying the text to life, Goslinga follows a typological approach. As a commentary, this work serves as a handy guide to laypeople studying these books for the first time. Pastors and lay preachers may find the outlines helpful.
  • Gray, John. Joshua, Judges, Ruth. New Century Bible. Revised ed. Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1986. Based upon the text of the RSV. This is a complete revision of the author's earlier commentary. In this work Gray incorporates some new conclusions which he has reached since his 1967 study appeared. He now includes a section in which he puts forth his thesis that there was a gradual growth on the part of the people of Israel from the militant core of worshippers of Yahweh which became localized in Ephraim, to a wider group including an underprivileged proletariat attracted by the social ethic of the "new faith." The fact that this thesis cannot be maintained from evidence within the books of Joshua and Judges does not stop Gray from presenting his ideas as if they were some new revelation

Ruth - Best Commentaries by Genre-Jim Rosscup

Detailed Exegetical

  • 1. F. Bush
  • 2. D. Block
  • 3. E. Campbell (Lib)
  • 4. A. Cundall/L. Morris
  • 5. D. Atkinson

Expositional Commentary

  • 1. Paul Enns
  • 2. J. J. Davis
  • 3. E. J. Hamlin
  • 4. R. Hubbard, Jr.
  • 5. A. B. Luter
  • 6. C. Goslinga
  • 7. J. Reed (Bible Knowledge Commentary)

Devotional Commentary

BIBLICAL TRAINING

CALVARY CHAPEL SWEETWATER

GOSPEL COALITION - Sermons and articles

GRACE GEMS

HENRY MORRIS

Defender's Study Bible- Excellent, conservative, literal study Bible notes from a leading creationist commentator, Dr Henry Morris. In the box labeled "All these words" type in the name of the book and the chapter number and click "Advance Search." Scroll down to see Dr Morris' notes.

  • Ruth 1:2 Ephrathites. Ephrata (meaning "fruitful") was the same town as Bethlehem (Genesis 35:19; Micah 5:2). In a spiritual analogy, one could note that the Messiah's home was both the house of bread and the field of the fruit of the vine, as the Messiah would become both "the bread of life" in His broken body and "the true vine" in his redeeming blood (John 6:48; 15:1). Bethlehem-Ephrata was thus an appropriate "place for the Lord, an habitation for the mighty God of Jacob. Lo, we heard of it at Ephrata; we found it in the fields of the wood" (Psalm 132:5, 6).
  • Moab. The country of Moab was the place of the Moabites, who were descendants of Lot, and such enemies of Israel that they had been banned from the "congregation of the Lord" (Deuteronomy 23:3). Yet, as a measure of God's grace, upon repentance and faith in the true God, Ruth the Moabitess not only found a place in the congregation of the Lord, but a place in His genealogy (Matthew 1:5).
  • Ruth 1:4 of the other Ruth
  • Ruth 1:8 deal kindly
  • Ruth 1:16 - thy God my God. Naomi was such a faithful witness and godly mother-in-law that both Moabite daughters-in-law, Orpah and Ruth, loved her dearly even after their husbands were dead. However, when Orpah had to choose, she returned to her pagan nature-gods (centered in Chemosh, "the subduer"). Ruth, evidenced true conversion to the God of creation, not only by taking God as her own Savior but by going with the people of God and entering the family of God's people.
  • Ruth 2:1 name was Boaz
  • Ruth 2:3 gleaned. The custom of gleaning (collecting what had been missed by the officially employed reapers) was a divinely ordained provision for the poor of the land (see Leviticus 19:9, 10; Deuteronomy 24:19).
  • hap. To outward appearances, Ruth just "happened" to glean in the field of Boaz, but the entire context makes it clear that this was God's providential leading. God is altogether sovereign; He is not a God of chance. A faithful believer, seeking honestly to know and do the will of God, especially in relation to His already revealed will in Scripture, can be confident that the circumstances around him are not dictated by the laws of probability but by the will and purpose of God (Romans 8:28).
  • Boaz. Boaz was considered a relative of Elimelech, the father of Ruth's first husband. This suggests that Boaz was old enough to be Ruth's father (see also Ruth 3:10). Both, however, were more concerned with having a God-honoring marriage than one based on physical considerations, so age was secondary.
  • Ruth 2:16 handfuls of purpose. The same Hebrew word, basically meaning "take a spoil," is used twice in this verse, once translated "let fall" and once as "of purpose." The word for "handfuls," used only this once in the Bible, evidently refers to a hand's grip. Boaz is saying in effect to his servants, "Grab from the bundles of sheaves as though you were taking a spoil for her, from the bundles of sheaves, but then leave them as a spoil for her." Ruth was not to know that this was Boaz' gift to her, so she could assume she was gleaning it all on her own.
  • she may glean them. Ruth, in gleaning the sheaves deliberately left by Boaz, becomes a type of the believer gleaning food for the soul in the fruitful field of Scripture. Our heavenly "Boaz" has paid the price to take the spoil for us. As we kneel down to glean each morsel, we "rejoice at thy word, as one that findeth great spoil" (Psalm 119:162).
  • Ruth 2:17
  • ephah. Compare Exodus 16:16, 36. An ephah was ten omers, and an omer of manna was adequate for the daily needs of one man. Boaz' generosity is measured by the fact that the "handfuls of purpose" he had left for Ruth were ten times her daily need.
  • Ruth 3:7 merry. There is no suggestion here that Ruth was taking advantage of Boaz in a drunken state. The term "merry" only suggests a feeling of satisfaction with a job well done, followed by a good meal and a sense of thankfulness for God's blessing.
  • laid her down. This was not an immoral act on the part of Ruth, but one in full accord with customs and procedures associated with the rights and obligations of the "kinsman-redeemer." A widow could request in this way the nearest kinsman of her deceased childless husband to perform the duty of marriage to the widow and raising up children to "the name of the dead upon his inheritance" (Ruth 4:5).
  • Ruth 3:9 thy skirt
  • Ruth 3:11 virtuous woman. Here Boaz adds his own testimony, based on personal knowledge, to the general awareness of all who knew her, that Ruth was, indeed, a virtuous woman; there had been nothing immoral about her approaching Boaz in the way she did. In fact, he considered it a blessing that she came to him instead of a younger man (Ruth 3:10).
  • Ruth 3:13  the kinsman's part. "The part of the kinsman" is described in Deuteronomy 25:5-10. Although specifically expressed in relation only to brothers, it apparently extended to other male relatives as well, when no living brothers were available to raise up children of the childless relative. Tamar (like Ruth an ancestor of the Messiah) was rewarded in requesting her father-in-law to be her kinsman-redeemer when no brothers were available (Genesis 38:11, 14, 26). Ruth went to Boaz when both sons and their father were dead. Although such a Levirate marriage (from the Latin levir, "brother") was not an actual requirement of the law, it was ordained by God as the honorable thing to do.
  • Ruth 3:18 Sit still. Sometimes, when a believer has done all he knows to do according to God's word, he must be content simply to "sit still," and wait for God to work (compare to Exodus 14:13; Isaiah 30:7).
    finished. Compare Genesis 2:1-3; John 19:30.
  • Ruth 4:1 to the gate
  • Ruth 4:5 buyest the field. The right of a kinsman-redeemer to redeem the property of a dead relative, thereby preventing it from passing outside the family, is set forth in Leviticus 25:25-34. These events described in the book of Ruth indicate that this right of property redemption was also directly linked to the responsibility of raising up children to preserve "the name of the dead upon his inheritance" (Ruth 4:10).
  • Ruth 4:6 cannot redeem it. The redeemer must not only be a kinsman (Leviticus 25:25), but must also be willing, free and have the necessary price. As our great Kinsman Redeemer, the Lord Jesus Christ indeed fulfills all the conditions (see notes on Revelation 5:1-10).
  • Ruth 4:8 drew off his shoe
  • Ruth 4:18 Pharez. Pharez was the son of Judah, so this genealogical summary clearly shows that David is descended from Judah, and thus able to fulfill Jacob's prophecy (Genesis 49:10) of the sceptre.
  • Ruth 4:20 Salmon. According to Matthew 1:5, Salmon married Rahab the converted harlot, sometime after the fall of Jericho, and therefore Boaz was their son. (See introductory notes concerning gaps that may have occurred between Salmon and Boaz.)
  • Ruth 4:22 David was evidently born near the end of the judges period and Salmon near the beginning. The four generations between Salmon and David thus seem to have spanned the entire period "when the judges ruled" (Ruth 1:1), although it is possible that there are gaps in this genealogy. Note also that ten names are listed in the genealogy from Pharez to David. Deuteronomy 23:2 says that an illegitimate son could "not enter into the congregation of the Lord" until "the tenth generation." Pharez, of course, was the illegitimate son of Judah and Tamar, but this genealogy indicates that David was free from this exclusion, even if there are no gaps in the genealogy.

HOLMAN PUBLISHING

STEVE KRELOFF - Jewish believer

JOHN MACARTHUR

KAY ARTHUR PRECEPT MINISTRIES INTERNATIONAL

HERMAN BAAR

KENNETH BOA

DAVID COLBURN - 7 day study of Ruth - notes, questions, applications

WILLIAM COWPER — (bio by john piper)

SUSAN CURRY

R DAWES

MARK DEVER

DICTIONARY ARTICLES ON THE GOEL

DICTIONARY ARTICLES RELATED TO RUTH

  • Thompson Chain Reference Ruth
  • American Tract Society Ruth
  • Bridgeway Bible Dictionary Ruth
  • Chabad Knowledge Base Ruth
  • Easton's Bible Dictionary Ruth the Book of Ruth
  • Fausset Bible Dictionary Ruth
  • Holman Bible Dictionary Ruth
  • Hitchcock Bible Names Ruth
  • Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible Ruth (Book of) Ruth
  • Hastings' Dictionary of the NT Ruth
  • Hawker's Poor Man's Dictionary Ruth
  • People's Dictionary of the Bible Ruth  Ruth (2)
  • Smith Bible Dictionary Ruth
  • Whyte's Bible Characters Ruth
  • Watson's Theological Dictionary Ruth
  • 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica Book of Ruth
  • International Standard Bible Encyclopedia Ruth
  • Kitto Biblical Cyclopedia Ruth
  • McClintock and Strong's Bible Encyclopedia Ruth
  • The Jewish Encyclopedia Ruth Rabbah

DISCOVERY HOUSE PUBLISHERS

RONALD ECKER


Ruth at Boaz's Feet

FOUNDERS MINISTRY

JAMES FREEMAN - HANDBOOK OF BIBLE MANNERS AND CUSTOMS

KEITH GREEN

A M HODGKIN

Out from the darkness we have been studying, ''in the days when the judges ruled,'' there shines forth the sweet story of Ruth. In the midst of war and lawlessness and idolatry, there were still those, both rich and poor, who feared God and lived virtuous and simple lives to His praise.

The family of Elimelech were evidently among these, though they took the backsliding step of going down into the Land of Moab for succour. The name Elimelech means ''My God is King''; and if his faith had been strong enough to depend upon his King, much trouble might have been spared. ''There was a famine in the land,'' even in Bethlehem, ''the House of Bread,'' and they went to Moab in search of food, and, as often happens, ''they continued there.'' Trouble upon trouble followed this downward step. Elimelech died, his two sons married Moabitish women, and then the sons died also.

After about ten years, Naomi heard ''that the Lord had visited His people in giving them bread,'' and she arose to return to her own land [1:6]. And then follows the memorable choice of Ruth to cleave unto her mother-in-law in following her to an unknown land, and to what seemed a life of privation and toil. When Naomi saw that she was ''steadfastly minded'' to go with her, she left speaking to her.

There must have been something very beautiful in Naomi's life thus to win the devotion and love of Ruth, first to herself and then to her God; and it has been well to keep her name, which means ''Pleasant,'' instead of substituting her suggestion of Mara [which means ''bitter''].

They arrived at Bethlehem at the beginning of barley harvest, and proved it to be the House of Bread once more. The calm poetry of those harvest fields of Bethlehem, the eager gleaner among the maidens, the reapers, the lord of the harvest-- have all lived in golden sunshine in our imagination from our childhood.

''Her hap was to light on a part of the field belonging to Boaz.'' Behind our lives there is a guiding Hand which causes even insignificant things to be fraught with mighty issues.

In Boaz, the kinsman of Elimelech, ''a mighty man of wealth,'' we have another beautiful character. The simplicity of his life, the courtesy of his behavior to all with whom he came in contact, his generosity, his regard for the Law, above all his constant reference of every event to God, stand out in striking contrast against the dark background of his time.

The Goel.

It was to this man that Naomi bade Ruth appeal to fulfil the kinsman's part. The word used [for kinsman] is Goel, the redeemer, the one whose right and duty it was according to the Law to redeem the inheritance of the deceased relative, and marry his widow (see Lev 25:25-31, 47-55; Dt 25:5-10). As these rights belonged to the next of kin, Goel came to mean the nearest kinsman. To fulfill these rights was his bounden duty according to the Law of God, and it was the fulfillment of this Law that Naomi sought to bring about [Ruth 3].

The reply of Boaz was: ''It is true that I am a goel (redeemer), but there is a goel nearer of kin than I. If he will redeem thee, well, let him redeem thee; but if he is not willing to redeem thee, then will I redeem thee, as the Lord liveth.''

Then follows the quiet rest of faith on the part of Naomi and her daughter, and the dignified carrying out of the Law in the presence of the elders in the gate of the city, on the part of Boaz.

The next of kin was willing to purchase the land that belonged to Naomi, but he was not willing for what that purchase involved, to take Ruth to be his wife, lest he should mar his own inheritance. This left Boaz free to carry out his gracious purpose; and he bought the inheritance of Elimelech, and he purchased Ruth the Moabitess to be his wife, ''to raise up the name of the dead upon his inheritance.''

The Royal Line.

''So Boaz took Ruth, and she became his wife; and she bare a son. And Naomi took the child, and laid it in her bosom, and became nurse unto it. And the women her neighbors gave it a name, saying, There is a son born to Naomi; and they called his name Obed: he is the father of Jesse, the father of David.''

The story shows how unselfish devotion to God and to duty is rewarded. Orpah, who was content with the outward profession of affection, and returned to her people and her gods [1:14,15], forfeited her place in Israel. The kinsman who failed to fulfill his duty because of his own interests has not even his name recorded in God's Book. Ruth, on the other hand, who gave up all to follow Naomi and Naomi's God, and Boaz, who unhesitatingly fulfilled the kinsman's part, have their names handed down to all time as worthy of praise, and as the ancestors, not only of David, but of David's greater Son [Mat 1:1-6].

The Precision of Prophecy.

One of the most marvelous proofs of the truth of the Bible is to be found in the prophecies concerning the birth of the Messiah. Every time prophecy predicts a fresh branch of the family as being the chosen one, a fresh risk, humanly speaking, is involved. But because God inspired the prophecies, the choice is made with unerring precision. Of Noah's sons, Shem is chosen; of Abraham's sons, Isaac; [of Isaac's sons, Jacob]; of Jacob's twelve sons, Judah is selected; and the promise is renewed to David. Again, Messiah must have a birthplace. Of three known continents Asia is chosen, and of its many countries, the Land of Promise. Of its three districts, Judea; and of its thousands of villages, Bethlehem is selected. ''The prophet puts his finger on one obscure village on the map of the world; but he speaks infallibly, for the Omniscient God was behind his utterances'' (Dr. Pierson).

The Kinsman Redeemer.

But the Key-note of the book of Ruth is The Kinsman Redeemer. In him, we see Christ, who has purchased the Church to be His Bride.

''Thirty times in this short book the word 'kinsman' is found, or 'redeemer,' 'near kinsman,' 'next of kin,' 'kindred,' --like words, all having reference to like things...

How plainly this book is intended to teach the doctrine concerning Redemption will be seen by examining Ruth 4:4-10. Here the word 'redemption' occurs five times in three verses; and in the tenth verse, Boaz declares that in redeeming the property he also purchases the widow of Mahlon to be his own wife. Nothing can explain the extreme minuteness of detail here, except a typical design on the part of the inspiring Spirit...

Our Lord Jesus had to become one with man in order to have the right to redeem. He is, therefore, our fellow-man; but if He had been involved in man's fall and identified with man's sin, He could not have acted as Redeemer. No sinner can redeem himself, much less can he redeem his brother (Psa 49:7). He is therefore, as the God-man, our Boaz [whose name means 'Strength' or 'Ability']; by that kinship and strength of ability, He is able to save to the uttermost all that come unto God by Him'' (Pierson). [Heb 7:25]

''The Church which He hath purchased with His own blood'' (Acts 20:28).

''Christ also loved the Church, and gave Himself for it; that He might present it to Himself a glorious Church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing'' [Eph 5:25-27].

The Christian Life.

For the individual believer, the book [of Ruth] is full of teaching.

- - First, the definite choice has to be made, the trust placed under the wings of the Lord God of Israel.

- - Then the diligent gleaning in the field, the beating out of the corn and the feeding upon it, which represents the diligent feeding of our souls upon the Word. The soul thus fed has food to pass on to others (Ruth 2:18).

- - The work in the harvest field is also a picture of the wider service of the ingathering of souls in God's great harvest field of the world [Mat 9:37,38], and we may well ask ourselves evening by evening, ''Where hast thou gleaned today?''

Union with Christ.

Though the union of Ruth with Boaz is typical of the Church as a whole, yet there is for the individual believer, the blessed experience of union with Christ set forth under so many figures, such as the abiding of the branch in the Vine [John 15]. If there has been in our lives any of the failure Israel experienced in Judges, a turning unto our own way, the remedy for us is to seek a closer union with Christ. Lest we be discouraged, God has placed the Book of Joshua and the Book of Ruth on each side of the Book of Judges, as if to show us that the Victory of Faith and the Rest of Faith is the experience we are to look for as followers of an Almighty Saviour.

HOMILIES ON RUTH

JODI HOOPER

ROBERT HUBBARD

HYMNS

DAVE KIEFFER - Audio sermons

DONALD LEGGETT

BILL MCRAE

MIDDLETOWN BIBLE

MONERGISM - Multiple Mp3's by Chapter - Ruth

G CAMPBELL MORGAN

WILLIAM NEWELL

ON SITE

PLYMOUTH BRETHREN

WIL POUNDS

PURITAN BOARD THEOLOGICAL JOURNAL

PRECEPTAUSTIN

RBC BOOKLETS

REFORMATION STUDY BIBLE

JOHN SCHULTZ

SERMON CENTRAL

NICOLE C SMITH

  • My Redeemer Lives - WATCH THIS GOD GLORIFYING VIDEO - YOU WILL WILL WANT TO WORSHIP OUR GREAT REDEEMER WHO IS ALIVE! If you can keep a dry eye at the 3 minute mark I will be amazed - and you'll love the end of the story! Hallelujah!

CHARLES STANLEY

I STEELE

W. T. P. WOLSTON

SERMONS ON
THE BOOK OF RUTH

J. G. BELLET

BRIAN BILL

ANDREW BONAR

IAIN CAMPBELL

CLOVIS G. CHAPPELL

BOB L. DEFFINBAUGH

BRUCE GOETTSCHE

GOSPEL COALITION

SCOTT GRANT

S LEWIS JOHNSON

JOHN MACARTHUR

ALEXANDER MACLAREN

HENRY MAHAN

ROBERT NEIGHBOUR

CHARLES ROLLS - 

SERMON CENTRAL - Illustrations and Sermons (most have transcripts)

RAY STEDMAN

J B STONEY

RICHARD L. STRAUSS

COMMENTARIES ON
THE BOOK OF RUTH

BRETT W AVANTS

EVAN BALTZ

ALISTAIR BEGG

BIBLOS

PAULUS CASSEL

His commentary is very original, fresh, suggestive, abounding in historical examples and parables . . . The grammatical notes on The Book of Ruth . . . will be found very valuable, and this part of the work . . . will be regarded as a rich treasure. (The Evangelical Repository and United Presbyterian Review)

GORDON CHURCHYARD

SAMUEL COX

This is a most admirable little treatise, full of thought and the results of research, communicated in the most pleasant and attractive guise. Mr. Cox's gifts in the way of exposition are very marked. Few men have a greater power of giving a complete and distinctive view, unembarrassed by minor references. In his treatment of the Book of Ruth no point of interest is missed . . . There is not a dull sentence in it. (British Quarterly Review)

WILLIAM BRADEN

Mr. Braden rightly judges that the true Gospel to men—the Lord—is that which ennobles the holiness of all relationships and of common things. He has made the Book Ruth the occasion of discoursings on the relations of family life, and the beauty of holiness of family affections, more especially of marriage. This he has done with much ingenuity, with neatness and felicity of illustration, and often with great intellectual beauty; while a gentle spirit of beautiful piety suffuses the whole. It is a very charming little book, and should be a household volume. (British Quarterly Review)

JOHN DUMMELOW

A C GAEBELEIN

L M GRANT

ROBERT HAWKER

ALFRED LEEDES HUNT

JOHN ANGELL JAMES - THE WIDOW DIRECTED TO THE WIDOW'S GOD

KEIL AND DELITZSCH

James Rosscup - "Keil, C. F. and Franz Delitzsch. Commentary on the Old Testament. 25 volumes. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1950. This is the best older, overall treatment of a critical nature on the Old Testament Hebrew text verse by verse and is a good standard work to buy. The student can buy parts or the whole of this series. Sometimes it is evangelical, at other times liberal ideas enter." (Commentaries for Biblical Expositors: An Annotated Bibliography of Selected Works)

KEIL AND DELITZSCH

WILLIAM KELLY

PAUL E KRETZMAN LUTHERAN PERSPECTIVE

JOHN MACGOWAN

The discourses are good reading.—Charles Spurgeon

MAY FIELD MCKEAN

A poetic interpretation of the Book of Ruth. In five short chapters, he offers readers a simple approach to this book of the Bible, while emphasizing the book’s essential theme: love. McKean illustrates the importance of not just loving, but being loveable and winning others to Christ through it.

JAMES NISBET CHURCH PULPIT COMMENTARY

PETER PETT

MATTHEW POOLE

AUBREY C PRICE

This volume is a compilation of seven lectures delivered to Rev. Aubrey Price’s congregation. It analyzes the lessons and events of the book of Ruth and shows how they apply to modern-day life and experiences. Each lecture focuses on a key character in Ruth and what they represent.

CHARLES J. ROLLS

HENRI ROSSIER

HAMILTON SMITH

JOHN STEVENSON- some nice tables

ROB SALVATO

ANDREW THOMSON

Thomson's aim is to “remove its obscurities, unravel its difficulties, to state some of the many lessons of religion, morality, and prudence that are scattered over it like its own rich harvest gleanings, and to show the manifold application of these to our own circumstances and times.”

T N TOLLER

JOHN TRAPP

DANIEL WHEDON

WILLARD WINTER - about 50 pages

LOUIS B WOLFENSON

RUTH 1 

RUTH DEVOTIONALS - VARIOUS SOURCES - 100's of devotionals - Our Daily Bread, Today in the Word, etc

MARK ADAMS

BRYN MACPHAIL

ROBERT NEIGHBOUR

J R MILLER

WILLIAM TAYLOR

BOB DEFFINBAUGH

THOMAS FULLER (1865)

ROBERT NEIGHBOUR

BRIAN BILL

JIM BOMKAMP

LELAND JOHNSON

W A CRISWELL

HORATIUS BONAR

CYRIL HOCKING

  • Ruth 1 - When the soul returns home, the harvest of plenty always immediately begins

ALEXANDER MACLAREN

JAMES SMITH, 1856

JONATHAN EDWARDS

DAVID HOLWICK

JOHN MACDUFF

SAMUEL RIDOUT

SERMONS BY VERSE

A Famine in the Land! H. A. Hall, B. D. Ruth 1:1
A Gentle Heroine, a Gentile Convert Alexander Maclaren Ruth 1:1
All Judges are Representatives and Interpreters of the Law W.M. Statham Ruth 1:1
Family Names Wm. Braden. Ruth 1:1
Famine, the Consequence of Sin R. Bernard. Ruth 1:1
That the Book of Ruth J.R. Thomson Ruth 1:1
The Famine in Bethlehem . Cox, D. D. Ruth 1:1
The Transition from Judges to Ruth R. A. Watson, M. A. Ruth 1:1
There are Worse Famines than This W.M. Statham Ruth 1:1
A Family of Bethlehem J.R. Thomson Ruth 1:12
Emigration J.R. Thomson Ruth 1:12
Famine and Impoverishment J.R. Thomson Ruth 1:12
Naomi is an Ancestral Pilgrim W.M. Statham Ruth 1:222:1-3
Cowardly Emigration J. Cumming, D. D. Ruth 1:2
Elimelech an Exile R. A. Watson, M. A. Ruth 1:2
Lessons from the Conduct of Elimelech and Naomi H. Hughes, B.D. Ruth 1:2
Moab Doomed C. F. Hall. Ruth 1:2
Spiritual Advantages Sacrificed to Worldly Gain Bp. Oxeuden. Ruth 1:2
The Godly Oppressed, While the Wicked have Abundance E. Topsell. Ruth 1:2
The Wanderers S. H. Tyng, D. D. Ruth 1:2
Comfort in Bereavement R. Bernard. Ruth 1:3
Elimelech's Departure and Death John Hughes. Ruth 1:3
Out of One Sorrow into Another E. Topsell. Ruth 1:3
The Death of Elimelech R. Bernard. Ruth 1:3
Widowhood J.R. Thomson Ruth 1:3
Alternation of Shadow and Sunshine in Life W. Braden. Ruth 1:4
In the Country of Moab H. A. Hall, B. D. Ruth 1:4
Marriage J.R. Thomson Ruth 1:4
Sinful Marriages S. Cox, D. D. Ruth 1:4
A Foreign Land W.M. Statham Ruth 1:45
Bereavement a Blessing H. A. Hall, B. D. Ruth 1:5
Double Desolation J.R. Thomson Ruth 1:5
Enormous Trials C. Ness. Ruth 1:5
A Woman of Character Joseph Ogle. Ruth 1:6
God's Dealings with His People R. Bernard. Ruth 1:6
Good News from the Far Country C. Ness. Ruth 1:6
Homeward Longings C. Ness. Ruth 1:6
Naomi's Undying Faith and Loyalty to Israel's God A. Thomson, D. D. Ruth 1:6
The Awakening S. H. Tyng, D. D. Ruth 1:6
Home Returning W.M. Statham Ruth 1:67
The Promising Commencement S. H. Tyng, . D. D. Ruth 1:7
Behaviour in the Light of Death G. Lawson. Ruth 1:8
Benedictions W.M. Statham Ruth 1:8
Kindness J.R. Thomson Ruth 1:8
Kindness to the Departed T. Fuller, B. D. Ruth 1:8
Naomi's Prayer for Her Daughters-In-Law R. Bernard. Ruth 1:8
Showing Kindness to the Dead A. Thomson, D. D. Ruth 1:8
The Benedictions of Life W. M. Statham. Ruth 1:8
The Lord Knows Best What Others have Been to Us W.M. Statham Ruth 1:8
Rest in Marriage G. Lawson. Ruth 1:9
The Rest of Marriage C. Ness. Ruth 1:9
Promise and Purpose to be Allied C. Ness. Ruth 1:10
Promises and Purposes John Macgowan. Ruth 1:10
The Failure of Good Impulses J. Cumming. Ruth 1:10
Separation J.R. Thomson Ruth 1:10-14
Naomi's Parting Address G. Lawson. Ruth 1:11-13
A Good Word for Orpah R. A. Watson, M. A. Ruth 1:14
Orpah; Or, the Mere Professor Aubrey C. Price, B. A. Ruth 1:14
Orpah's Defection R. Bernhard. Ruth 1:14
Backsliding C. Ness. Ruth 1:15
Orpah John Hughes. Ruth 1:15
Orpah and Ruth Homilist Ruth 1:15
The Danger of Religious Indifference J. H. Norton. Ruth 1:15
The Painful Separation S. H. Tyng, D. D. Ruth 1:15
The Parting-Place H. A. Hall, B. D. Ruth 1:15
Unto Her People, and unto Her Gods H. A. Hall, B. D. Ruth 1:15
A Good Resolution Essex Remembrancer Ruth 1:16-17
Conduct of Orpah and Ruth Contrasted Charles M. Southgate. Ruth 1:16-17
Entreaty May Prove Too Earnest W.M. Statham Ruth 1:1617
Influence E. Biscombe. Ruth 1:16-17
Religion a Powerful Bond C. Ness. Ruth 1:16-17
Ruth and Naomi Sermons by the Monday Club Ruth 1:16-17
Ruth Deciding for God Spurgeon, Charles Haddon Ruth 1:16-17
Ruth the True-Hearted C. H. Payne, D. D. Ruth 1:16-17
Ruth: Mind, its Purposes and Powers Homilist Ruth 1:16-17
Ruth; Or, Decision for God Aubrey C. Price, B. A. Ruth 1:16-17
Ruth's Choice Charles M. Southgate. Ruth 1:16-17
Ruth's Decision F. Ellaby, B. A. Ruth 1:16-17
Ruth's Spiritual Affinity with Naomi A. Thomson, D. D. Ruth 1:16-17
Ruth's Trial and Decision A. Thomson, D. D. Ruth 1:16-17
The Faithful Choice S. H. Tyng, D. D. Ruth 1:16-17
The Influence of Friends S. Cooke, D. D. Ruth 1:16-17
The Noble Choice T. De Witt Talmage. Ruth 1:16-17
The Power of Christian Character   Ruth 1:16-17
True Decision S.H.Tyng, D. D. Ruth 1:16-17
Trueheartedness and the Tests of True-Heartedness E. H. Chapin, D. D. Ruth 1:16-17
Constancy J.R. Thomson Ruth 1:16-18
Benefit of a Thorough Decision A. Thomson, D. D. Ruth 1:18
Decision a Safeguard W.M. Taylor, D. D. Ruth 1:18
Moral Steadfastness W.M. Statham Ruth 1:18
Trust After Testing T. Fuller, B. D. Ruth 1:18
Constancy B. Bernard. Ruth 1:19
Here is the Commencement and Close of a Pilgrimage W.M. Statham Ruth 1:19
Never Seemed There a Sadder Contrast W.M. Statham Ruth 1:19
The Backslider's Return S. H. Tyng, D. D. Ruth 1:19
The Changes of Life W. M. Statham. Ruth 1:19
The Changes Wrought by Time Wm. Braden. Ruth 1:19
True Friendship C. Ness. Ruth 1:19
Heart Wounds Reopened J.R. Thomson Ruth 1:19-21
Naomi John Hughes. Ruth 1:20
Naomi's Error A. Thomson Ruth 1:20
No Bitterness in God's Dealings W. M. Taylor, D. D. Ruth 1:20
The Different Effects of Affliction Spurgeon, Charles Haddon Ruth 1:20
Unfinished Providences not to be Rashly Judged A. Thomson Ruth 1:20
Love Makes Life Full W.M. Statham Ruth 1:21
The Gleaner J.R. Thomson Ruth 1:22
The Young Convert S. H. Tyng, D. D. Ruth 1:22

RUTH 2

RUTH DEVOTIONALS - VARIOUS SOURCES - 100's of devotionals - Our Daily Bread, Today in the Word, etc

ON SITE

ROBERT MORGAN

THOMAS FULLER (1865)

BOB DEFFINBAUGH

JIM BOMKAMP

T. DE WITT TALMAGE

CHARLES KINGSLEY

J HUDSON TAYLOR

J R MILLER

SERMONS BY VERSE - older expositions on Ruth 2

A Kind Kinsman C. Ness. Ruth 2:1
Boaz a Yeoman W. M. Taylor, D. D. Ruth 2:1
The Rich Kinsman S. H. Tyng, D. D. Ruth 2:1
A Dutiful Daughter C. Ness. Ruth 2:2-4
Motive for Permitting the Poor to Glean T. Fuller, B. D. Ruth 2:2-4
The Gleaner S. H. Tyng, D. D. Ruth 2:2-4
The Young to Work for Their Parents G. Lawson. Ruth 2:2-4
Gleanings in the Field of Boaz T. De Witt Talmage. Ruth 2:3
Great Issues Out of Little Things A. Thomson, D. D. Ruth 2:3
Her Hap J.R. Thomson Ruth 2:3
The Stranger in the Harvest Field Bp. Oxenden. Ruth 2:3
A Good Master C. Ness. Ruth 2:4
Boaz the Farmer T. Guthrie, D. D. Ruth 2:4
Business to be Sanctified by Religion Aubrey C. Price, B. A. Ruth 2:4
Friendly Co-Operation Between Masters and Men T. De Witt Talmage. Ruth 2:4
On the Relations that Subsist Amongst the Different Classes of Society in General W. Arnot. Ruth 2:4
Piety with Courtesy J. Trapp. Ruth 2:4
Relations Between Employers and Employed R. A. Watson, M. A. Ruth 2:4
Religion in the Harvest Field E. Monro, M. A. Ruth 2:4
Salutation and Prayer R. Bernard. Ruth 2:4
Salutations J.R. Thomson Ruth 2:4
The Living Presence W.M. Statham Ruth 2:4
Ruth's Industry Prompted by Love G. Lawson. Ruth 2:5-7
The Welcome Reception S. H. Tyng, D. D. Ruth 2:5-7
Filial, Piety and Fidelity Recognized and Recompensed J.R. Thomson Ruth 2:5-14
There is Work for the Humblest to Do W.M. Statham Ruth 2:7
Harvest Lessons Urijah R. Thomas. Ruth 2:8-9
Loving-Kindness C. Ness. Ruth 2:8-9
Masters and Servants T. Fuller, B. D. Ruth 2:8-9
Ruth's Humility and Gratitude G. Lawson. Ruth 2:10
The Hebrews Were Kind to Strangers W.M. Statham Ruth 2:10
The Lowly Attitude of a Grateful Heart W. Baxendale. Ruth 2:10
A Full Reward J. Hudson Taylor Ruth 2:11
The Gracious Approbation S. H. Tyng, D. D. Ruth 2:11
The Praise of Virtue R. Bernard. Ruth 2:11
God's Reward   Ruth 2:12
Jehovah's Wings A. Thomson, D. D. Ruth 2:12
Ruth's Reward; Or, Cheer for Converts Spurgeon, Charles Haddon Ruth 2:12
The Wings of God T. De Witt Talmage. Ruth 2:12
The Lord Recompense Thy Work W.M. Statham Ruth 2:12, 13
Good from Encouraging Words A. Thomson, D. D. Ruth 2:13
Mealtime in the Cornfields Spurgeon, Charles Haddon Ruth 2:14
The Common Meal E. Price. Ruth 2:14
Combination of Strength and Gentleness in Boaz A. Thomson. D. D. Ruth 2:15-16
Spiritual Gleaning Spurgeon, Charles Haddon Ruth 2:15-16
The Benevolence of Boaz Lyman Abbott, D. D. Ruth 2:15-16
The Refining Art of Doing Good C. C. McCabe, D. D. Ruth 2:15-16
Liberality to the Poor J.R. Thomson Ruth 2:15-17
Labour S. B. Rees. Ruth 2:17
Persevering Labour C. Ness. Ruth 2:17
The Successful Gleaner Bp. Oxenden. Ruth 2:17
Careful of the Fruit of Labour G. Lawson. Ruth 2:18
Carry Home the Wheat H. Moorhouse. Ruth 2:18
A Charity Sermon R. Coleire, M. A. Ruth 2:19
A Good Day's Gleaning J. McNeill. Ruth 2:19
Confidence Between Kindred A. Thomson, D. D. Ruth 2:19
Gleaners in God's Harvest Field J. Spencer Kennard. Ruth 2:19
Gleaning T. Champness. Ruth 2:19
Where Hast Thou Gleaned To-Day? J. P. Allen, M. A. Ruth 2:19
Christ Typified by the Goel Under the Law H. Melvill, B. D. Ruth 2:20
God's Blessing E. Price. Ruth 2:20
Kindness to the Dead Wm. Braden. Ruth 2:20
Kindred and Kindness J.R. Thomson Ruth 2:20
Who Hath not Left Off His Kindness to the Living and the Dead J.R. Thomson Ruth 2:20
Gadding to be Discouraged A. Thomson, D. D. Ruth 2:22
Instruction from Elders G. Lawson. Ruth 2:22
The Acceptance of Favours G. Lawson. Ruth 2:22
Harvest-Time J.R. Thomson Ruth 2:23

RUTH 3

RUTH DEVOTIONALS - VARIOUS SOURCES - 100's of devotionals - Our Daily Bread, Today in the Word, etc

JIM BOMKAMP

SAMUEL COX

BOB DEFFINBAUGH

W A CRISWELL

SERMONS BY VERSE

Marriage, a Woman's Rest J.R. Thomson Ruth 3:1
Rest for Ruth J. Irons. Ruth 3:1
Thoughtful Love W.M. Statham Ruth 3:1
Diligence in Business J.R. Thomson Ruth 3:2
The Work of Winnowing W.M. Statham Ruth 3:2
Washed, Anointed, and Clothed C. F. Hall. Ruth 3:3
Doubtful Expedients A. Thomson, D. D. Ruth 3:4
Filial Obedience J.R. Thomson Ruth 3:5, 6
The Joy of Harvest J.R. Thomson Ruth 3:7
Benediction J.R. Thomson Ruth 3:10
Ruth the Virtuous T. Guthrie, D. D. Ruth 3:10-11
The First-Fruits of Grace S. H. Tyng, D. D. Ruth 3:10-11
A Virtuous Woman J.R. Thomson Ruth 3:11
Above Rubies W.M. Statham Ruth 3:11
A Woman's Influence W.M. Statham Ruth 3:12
Respect for Others' Rights J.R. Thomson Ruth 3:12, 13
Respect for Others' Rights J.R. Thomson
Exact Reckonings of Mercies C. Ness. Ruth 3:15-17
Generosity J.R. Thomson Ruth 3:15-17
Avoid Over-Haste in the Plans of Life J. McNeill. Ruth 3:18
Duty Done At the Right Time A. Thomson, D. D. Ruth 3:18
Sit Still! J.R. Thomson Ruth 3:18
Wailing Upon Providence C. Ness. Ruth 3:18

RUTH 4

RUTH DEVOTIONALS - VARIOUS SOURCES - 100's of devotionals - Our Daily Bread, Today in the Word, etc

J. G. BELLET

BOB DEFFINBAUGH

WIL POUNDS

W A CRISWELL

JIM BOMKAMP

SERMONS BY VERSE

A Primitive Council J.R. Thomson Ruth 4:12
Fair Dealing and Good Principle in Boaz A. Thomson, D. D. Ruth 4:1-5
Friends in Council W. Baxendale. Ruth 4:1-5
Judicious Methods of Attaining Our Ends C. Ness. Ruth 4:1-5
Redemption Proposed S. H. Tyng, D. D. Ruth 4:1-5
The Goel J.R. Thomson Ruth 4:3-8
Our Own Inheritance W.M. Statham Ruth 4:46
The Endangered Inheritance R. S. MacArthur, D. D. Ruth 4:6
Redemption Accomplished S. H. Tyng, D. D. Ruth 4:9
Honorable Conduct Honorably Witnessed J.R. Thomson Ruth 4:9-11
A Happy Marriage Bp. Oxenden. Ruth 4:10-11
The Marriage of Boaz and Ruth A. Thomson, D. D. Ruth 4:10-11
What a True Wife Ought to Be C. H. Parkhurst, D. D. Ruth 4:10-11
Good Wishes J.R. Thomson Ruth 4:1112
The Birth of a Son J.R. Thomson Ruth 4:13
The Birth-Hour W.M. Statham Ruth 4:13
The Benevolent Happiness of Old Age J.R. Thomson Ruth 4:14-17
Lessons from the Book of Ruth Abp. William Alexander. Ruth 4:17-22
Little Obed A. Thomson, D. D. Ruth 4:17-22
The Lineage of David J.R. Thomson Ruth 4:18-22

TOM NELSON
BOOK OF RUTH

Mp3 Sermon Series Book of Ruth

NET BIBLE NOTES
on the Book of Ruth

Recommended: NETBible notes are in the right panel. You can also select the tab for "Constable's Notes." As you scroll the Bible text in the left panel, the notes are synchronized and will scroll to the same passage. This is a very helpful feature. Also has a nice parallel Bible feature (see Tab = "Parallel"). Select a different Bible translation (see Tab = "Bible"). Open Greek/Hebrew tab. Mouse over shows corresponding English word and has short definition at bottom of right panel.

JAMES NISBET
CHURCH PULPIT COMMENTARY

Book of Ruth

OUR DAILY BREAD
Devotional Illustrations on Ruth

JOSEPH PARKER
The People's Bible
Ruth

Joseph Parker - People's Bible - Rosscup: This work, later called Preaching Through the Bible (Baker Book House), is rich in its applications and exhortations, though often not particularly helpful for the reader who is looking for exposition that stays right with the text. Treatment of the texts is sermonic. (Commentaries for Biblical Expositors: An annotated bibliography of selected works)

PASTOR LIFE
Sermons
Book of Ruth

Ruth - Introduction Ruth 1 Ruth Donald Cantrell
God of our Mothers Ruth 1:1-12 Mother; Women; Ruth David E. Owen
Facing Danger in Moab Ruth 1:1-5 Backsliding Donald Cantrell
Desertion in Moving to Moab Ruth 1:1-5 Backsliding; Disobedience; Worldliness Donald Cantrell
Depression in Naming a Name Ruth 1:19-22 Decisions; Will, God's Donald Cantrell
Desperation in Facing their Funerals Ruth 1:6-18 Death; Bereavement; Commitment Donald Cantrell
Landing in the Right Fold Ruth 2:10-23 God, Hand of; Will of God Donald Cantrell
Looking for the Right Field Ruth 2:1-9 Will of God; God, Leadership of; Purpose Donald Cantrell
The Mighty Boaz That Supplied Redemption Ruth 3:10-18 Redemption; Salvation, Price of; Boaz Donald Cantrell
The Moabitesh Beauty That Sought Redemption Ruth 3:1-9 Seeker; Redemption Donald Cantrell
The Big Finish of Boaz Ruth 4:1-13 Redeemer, Kinsman; Salvation, Price of Donald Cantrell
The Bright Future of Bethlehem Ruth 4:14-22 Heritage; Family, Christian Donald Cantrell
True Love Awaits Ruth 4:9 Love; Redeemer, Kinsman; Salvation Steve Wagers

PATH LIGHT
STUDY OF RUTH

Overview
     Study Guide | Leader's Notes

Ruth 1: The Return of Naomi
    Study Guide | Leader's Notes

Ruth 2: Ruth Finds Favor
     Study Guide | Leader's Notes

Ruth 3: The Threshing Floor
     Study Guide | Leader's Notes

Ruth 4:  Redemption
     Study Guide | Leader's Notes 

Ruth & Shavuot: Interpretation from a Jewish Perspective
     Study Guide | Leader's Notes

The Redeemer: Interpretation from Christian Perspective
     Study Guide | Leader's Notes

Naomi and Ruth: Interpretation from Messianic Perspective
     Study Guide Leader's Notes

ARTHUR PEAKE
Commentary on Ruth

PETER PETT
Commentary on Ruth

JOHN PIPER
Sermons on Ruth

MATTHEW POOLE
Commentary on Ruth

PRECEPT MINISTRY INTERNATIONAL
Ruth

Material below is from the Louisiana Precept affiliate

Lesson One - The Setting of Ruth, Understanding "Redeemer", Promise of "Redemption"

Lesson Two - Redemption-OT; Redemption-NT

Lesson Three - Redemption- 2nd Coming; Blood Avenger (OT & NT)

PREACHER'S HOMILETICAL COMMENTARY
Ruth
Walter Baxendale, 1892

Ruth 1 Critical and Exegetical Notes

Scroll Down the preceding link for homilies below

  • Ruth 1:1 The Famine and Exile
  • Ruth 1:1 The Beginning of Sorrows
  • Ruth 1:1 The Departure from Home
  • Ruth 1:1 Family Changes
  • Ruth 1:2 Man Proposing, God Disposing
  • Ruth 1:2 The Sojourn in Moab
  • Ruth 1:3 The First Breach in the Family Circle
  • Ruth 1:3 And She Was Left with her two sons
  • Ruth 1:4 Marriage in Moab
  • Ruth 1:5 The Second Great Bereavement
  • Ruth 1:6 The Awakening in Moab
  • Ruth 1:7 The Homeward Pilgrimage
  • Ruth 1:8 The First Trial of Affection
  • Ruth 1:8-9 A Benediction and a Valediction
  • Ruth 1:9 And they lifted up their voices and wept
  • Ruth 1:10 The Promising Commencement
  • Ruth 1:11-13 The Second Trial of Affection
  • Ruth 1:8-9 A Benediction and a Valediction
  • Ruth 1:9 And they lifted up their voices and wept
  • Ruth 1:10 The Promising Commencement
  • Ruth 1:13 Resignation in Suffering
  • Ruth 1:14 The Crisis and the Contrast Once Again
  • Ruth 1:14 The Failure of a Merely Earthly Affection
  • Ruth 1:14 Orpah or the Mere Professor
  • Ruth 1:14 The Constancy of a Divinely Kindled Love
  • Ruth 1:15 The Third and Last Trial of Affection
  • Ruth 1:16-17 Sacred Moments and Solemn Vows
  • Ruth 1:16-17 The Choice of Youth
  • Ruth 1:19 Steadfast-Mindedness
  • Ruth 1:19 Companionship in Progress
  • Ruth 1:19 A City in Astonishment
  • Ruth 1:20 Spiritual Despondency and Depression
  • Ruth 1:21 Painful Remembrances
  • Ruth 1:22 The Wanderer Home Again

Ruth 2 Critical and Exegetical Notes

Scroll Down the preceding link for homilies below

  • Ruth 2:1 The Claims of the Weak Upon the Strong
  • Ruth 2:2 Humble Toil...
  • Ruth 2:3 Seeming Chances, Real Providences
  • Ruth 2:3 The Gleaner
  • Ruth 2:4 The Right Relationship Between Masters and Servants
  • Ruth 2:5-7 Attention to the Stranger at the Gate
  • Ruth 2:5-7 Introduction to a Future Wife
  • Ruth 2:8-9 Care for the Stranger at the Gate
  • Ruth 2:10 The Lowly Attitude of a Grateful Heart
  • Ruth 2:11 The Second Gracious Approval
  • Ruth 2:12 The Recompense of Reward
  • Ruth 2:12 The Wings of the Almighty
  • Ruth 2:12 The Sheltering Wing
  • Ruth 2:12 The Habit of Holy Communion
  • Ruth 2:13 The Heart Realizing a Ministry of Love
  • Ruth 2:13 The Outward Proof of Divine Reward
  • Ruth 2:14 Provision for the Stranger at the Gate
  • Ruth 2:15-16 Liberal Giving, Like God's
  • Ruth 2:17 Labor Until the Evening
  • Ruth 2:18 The Bread-Winner and Her Precious Burden
  • Ruth 2:19 Home Confidences, Mutual Confessions, and Enquiries
  • Ruth 2:20 Kindness to the Living and the Dead
  • Ruth 2:20, 21 Kinship the Ground of Redemption
  • Ruth 2:22 Constancy at Home and Abroad

Ruth 3:1-6 Critical and Exegetical Notes

Scroll Down the preceding link for homilies below

  • Ruth 3:1 One Seeking Rest for Another
  • Ruth 3:2-4 An Important Reminder
  • Ruth 3:5-6 Obedience in Innocence
  • Ruth 3:7-14 A Delicate Mission Defended
  • Ruth 3:9 A Cry for Shelter and a Claim for Help
  • Ruth 3:10, 11 Virtue Recognized and Blessed
  • Ruth 3:12-13 Care for the Claims of Others
  • Ruth 3:14 Caring for a Good Name
  • Ruth 3:18 Rest in Ourselves and Rest in Another

Ruth 4:1-10 Critical and Exegetical Notes

Scroll Down the preceding link for homilies below

  • Ruth 4:1-5 Friends in Council
  • Ruth 4:6 A Shortsighted Policy and its Merited Oblivion
  • Ruth 4:9 The Kinsman Redeemer
  • Ruth 4:10 The Bridegroom Redeemer
  • Ruth 4:11-13 Prayers for Posterity and Prosperity
  • Ruth 4:11 Manliness, its Fit and Proper Sphere
  • Ruth 4:14-15 Congratulations and Good Wishes
  • Ruth 4:15-16 Youth and Age
  • Ruth 4:19-22 Links in the Chain Christward

PULPIT COMMENTARY
on Ruth
Edited by H D M Spence and Joseph Exell

Ruth 1:1-5 Exposition (scroll down for homilies or see alternate source below)

Ruth 1:6-14 Exposition (scroll down for homilies or see alternate source below)

Ruth 1:15-22 Exposition (scroll down for homilies or see alternate source below)

Ruth 2:1-9 Exposition (scroll down for homilies or see alternate source below)

Ruth 2:10-17 Exposition (scroll down for homilies or see alternate source below)

Ruth 2:18-23 Exposition (scroll down for homilies or see alternate source below)

Ruth 3:1-18 Exposition (scroll down for homilies or see alternate source below)

Ruth 4:1-22 Exposition (scroll down for homilies or see alternate source below)

ROBERT RAYBURN
Sermons on the
Book of Ruth

GRANT RICHISON
Verse by Verse Commentary on Ruth

DON ROBINSON
Studies in Ruth

RAYMOND SAXE
RUTH SERMONS

  • Introduction to Ruth (pdf)
  • Introduction to Boaz (pdf)
  • Ruth 1:1-5 (pdf)
  • Ruth 1:19-22 (pdf)
  • Ruth 2:1-7 (pdf)
  • Ruth 2:8-13 (pdf)
  • Ruth 2:14-23 (pdf)
  • Ruth 3:1-6 (pdf)
  • Ruth 3:6-13 (pdf)
  • Ruth 3:14-18 (pdf)
  • Ruth 4:1-6 (pdf)
  • Ruth 4:7-12 (pdf)
  • Ruth 4:13-22 (pdf)

Matt Postiff also from Fellowship Bible Church

SERMONS VERSE BY VERSE
Sermons on Ruth

Note: The links below are to the first verse in each chapter. Click the arrow to go to the next set of sermons. These are from the Biblical Illustrator.

SERMON BIBLE COMMENTARY
Commentary on Ruth

SPEAKER'S COMMENTARY
on Ruth

CHARLES SIMEON
Sermons on Ruth

NOTE: If you are not familiar with the great saint Charles Simeon see Dr John Piper's discussion of Simeon's life - you will want to read Simeon's sermons after meeting him! - click Brothers We Must Not Mind a Little Suffering (Mp3 even better)

CHUCK SMITH
Ruth Commentary

R C SPROUL
DEVOTIONALS
RUTH

C. H. SPURGEON
All His Sermons on Ruth

C. H. SPURGEON
Devotionals on Ruth
Morning and Evening

JOHN STEVENSON
Ruth - Sermons

JOSEPH SUTCLIFFE
Commentary on Ruth

JOE TEMPLE
Sermons on Ruth
Abilene Bible Church

Related Topics

THIRD MILLENNIUM
STUDY NOTES
BOOK OF RUTH

Ruth 1

Ruth 2

Ruth 3

Ruth 4

DEREK THOMAS
Sermons on Ruth

GEOFF THOMAS
Sermons on Ruth
Alfred Place Baptist Church

T N TOLER
Expository Discourses on
The Book of Ruth
1848

JOHN TRAPP
Commentary on Ruth

R A WATSON
The Expositor's Bible Commentary
Ruth Commentary
(1900)

TODAY IN THE WORD
Devotionals on Ruth
Moody Bible Institute

PAUL VAN GORDER
on Ruth
The Old Testament Presents...
Reflections of Christ

The book of Ruth provides a postscript to the Judges. The story occurred during this time of strife and bloodshed. A famine swept through the land. Even Bethlehem, the most fertile of places, was affected. This beautiful narrative, involving a family, is a graphic picture of the gospel story-- the redemption provided in Christ Jesus.

Chapter 1:
 
The family, having left the ''house of bread,'' is in a far country.
They long to return.
Two words characterize chapter 1-- yearning and returning.
Chapter 2: Ruth is in a field, seeking and serving.
Chapter 3: Ruth is at the door. She has been received.
Chapter 4: What better place could Ruth be, than within the house,
chosen and rewarded?

Old Testament names often have great significance. The Hebrew language puts much importance upon names, both those of men and those of God. Following are the principal characters of Ruth and the meanings of their names. For further study, associate the meanings with the story and note the typology.

Elimelech... ''My God is King''
Bethlehem.. ''House of Bread''
Moab......... ''Under the Curse''
Naomi....... [''Pleasant'']
Mahlon..... ''Sick''
Chilion...... ''Pining''
Orpah....... ''Fawn''
Ruth........... ''Friendship,'' or ''Beauty''
Mara.......... ''Bitter''
Boaz......... ''Strength''

Ruth was a Moabitess, not an Israelite. God had commanded, ''[A] Moabite shall not enter into the congregation of the Lord'' (Dt 23:3). Moabites were cut off from the covenant relationship Israel had with God. This is also the position of Gentiles by nature, and it describes us before we were saved by grace. Paul wrote, ''That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world'' (Eph 2:12). Moab was under the curse of God.

Ruth Deciding (Ruth 1).Poignant words of Ruth to Naomi appear in verse 16, ''Entreat me not to leave thee, or to turn away from following thee; for where thou goest, I will go; and where thou lodgest, I will lodge: thy people shall be my people, and thy God, my God.'' This is like the believing sinner's experience as stated in Romans 10:9,10, ''That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.''

Ruth Serving (Ruth 2).- Ruth went out into the field to glean ears of grain. Having made her decision to go with the people of God to Bethlehem, the ''house of bread,'' she now takes the place of service. Romans 6:22 says, ''But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life.'' The apostle Paul declared to the believers at Corinth, ''For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord, and ourselves your servants for Jesus' sake'' (2Cor 4;5).

Ruth Resting (Ruth 3). - What a beautiful scene! Ruth lay at the feet of Boaz, as was the Eastern custom. She was assured that he would do for her all that she needed. We read in Hebrews 4:10, ''For he that is entered into his rest, he also hath ceased from his works, as God did from His.''

Ruth Rewarded (Ruth 4) What an amazing story of grace! Boaz took Ruth unto himself as his wife, but when he did, all the inheritance he had purchased became hers. From that precious union came children and much blessing. The New Testament picture? ''Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ, according as He hath chosen us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him, in love'' (Eph 1:3,4).

Naomi's words to Ruth are striking. ''Sit still, my daughter, until thou know how the matter will fall; for the man will not be in rest, until he have finished the thing this day'' (Ruth 3:18).

Every Christian has this assurance from God's Word: ''Being confident of this very thing, that He who hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ'' (Php 1:6). Ruth already had some measures of barley that were proof and pledge of the fullness that was to come.

The author of Hebrews said, ''Whom the Lord loveth He chasteneth'' [Heb 12:6]. Naomi, who with her family had gone into the far country away from the ''house of bread,'' comes home, driven by loneliness and hunger. ''She had heard in the country of Moab how the Lord had visited His people in giving them food'' (Ruth 1:6). We are told that ''they came to Bethlehem in the beginning of barley harvest'' (Ruth 1:22). In the far country, she had lost her husband in death. Her two sons became ill and died. How often God allows heartache, tragedy, and trouble to beset the path of His children who have strayed! He uses chastisement to bring them back to Himself.

It helps to become thoroughly familiar with the principles that were applied when Boaz redeemed the land that had belonged to Elimelech and restored it to Naomi and Ruth. I suggest that you read carefully the ''law of the kinsman-redeemer'' as stated in Leviticus 25.

The following observations are significant:

  • ''Free from the law, O happy condition;
  • Jesus has died and there is remission.
  • Cursed by the law and bruised by the fall,
  • Christ has redeemed us, once for all!''
  • RUTH
  • OUTLINE OF THE BOOK--
  • THE NAMES IN RUTH--
  • Let us now turn to a study of the typical teaching of this tender Old Testament story.
  • I. RUTH: A Portrayal of the Believing Sinner--
  • II. RUTH: A Picture of Christian Experience--
  • Review the brief chapter outline with the following scriptural corroboration in mind:
  • III. RUTH: A Portrait of the Fullness of Redemption--
  • Three great words may be placed over this brief Old Testament story: Pardoned! Purchased! Placed!
  • IV. NAOMI: An Example of Comfort for Backslidden Saints--
  • V. BOAZ: Picture of Christ, our Kinsman-Redeemer--
    1. Kinsman-redemption involved both person and inheritance. - The levitical law stated, ''After he is sold he may be redeemed again; one of his brethren may redeem him'' (Lev 25:48). We read tremendous news in Galatians 4:4,5, ''But, when the fullness of the time was come, God sent forth His Son, made of a woman, made under the law, to redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons.'' Boaz redeemed the parcel of land so that he might restore it to Naomi. He also removed all of the encumbrances that were necessarily upon her and Ruth.

    2. The redeemer had to be a relative. - ''Any that is near of kin unto him of his family may redeem him'' (Lev 25:49). The Lord Jesus took our nature upon Himself to redeem us. Although He is called ''the last Adam'' [1Cor 15:45], He was not tainted by Adam's transgression in any way. He had no sin in Himself, for He was ''holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners'' (Heb 7:26). Yet, He ''made Himself of no reputation, and took upon Him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men'' (Php 2:7).

    3. The redeemer had to be able to redeem. - The law not only required the redemption of the property but also included the obligation to raise up seed to the deceased. As the kinsman-redeemer, Boaz was not only to buy back the property, but he was also to take Ruth as his wife so that she might bear children. In Ruth's case, the first one in line to do this was unable to redeem. [But Boaz, whose name means 'strength,' was able. In our case, the first Adam could not redeem us.] But there is One! ''Their Redeemer is strong, the Lord of hosts is His name'' (Jer 50:34). Here is what our great Kinsman-Redeemer said in John 10:11, ''I am the good shepherd; the good shepherd giveth His life for the sheep.'' Look also at Jn 10:18, ''No man taketh it from Me, but I lay it down of Myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again.'' Our Redeemer is able to redeem!

    4. The kinsman-redeemer had to pay the price in full.

We can only skim the surface [in this brief overview]. Christ is seen prominently in the book of Ruth as the Kinsman-Redeemer. In the words of one biblical commentator, ''Add a Ruth postscript to the living epistle of your life; make Jesus your Lord, and rest in Him.''

[By God's grace, Ruth became a link in the line through which our Kinsman-Redeemer entered the world (Ruth 4:13-22; Mat 1:1-6).]

DANIEL WHEDON
Commentary on Ruth

STEVE ZEISLER
Sermons on Ruth
Peninsula Bible Church

Handfuls on Purpose
by James Smith, 1943
RUTH

RUTH, THE DECIDED PILGRIM. Chapter 1.

"Choose this day."

The book of Ruth, like the Song of Solomon, is full of grace and truth. It evidently belongs to the times of the Judges, perhaps to the early days of Gideon, when the Midianites prevailed and "destroyed the increase of the earth," thereby causing a "famine in the land" (Judges 6:1-6), which constrained this "certain man" to sojourn in Moab (Ruth 1:1).

Ruth 1:2, "And they came into the country of Moab, and continued there." Famine drove them there, and Moabitish connection kept them there. "In the days of adversity consider"—for adversity will either drive a Christian nearer his God or nearer the world. If faith does not cling to Him the flesh will drag from Him. Did ever any believer make anything of going to Egypt for help? What did Lot make? or the Prodigal, or Elimelech? Naomi lost both her husband and sons through her journey to Moab. It was all right to go to Egypt for help when Joseph was there, because there was corn in Egypt; but now the true Joseph has been exalted to Heaven, and woe must come upon them that seek help apart from Him. Those who go to the world for help instead of to Him are likely to come back like Naomi a weeping widow bereft of all, or like the Prodigal, repentant in shameful rags.

"Then she arose" (Ruth 1:6). The Prodigal also remembered his father's house in the far country, and said, "I will arise." "Naomi heard that the Lord had visited His people, and given them bread," and this was gospel to the afflicted wanderer. She believed the tidings, and her faith brought her back. She heard, she believed, she acted. "Faith comes by hearing." The Gospel of God is good news from a far country. Man has wandered far from God. The good news has reached the world, that God has visited the people in the person of His Son, and given them bread—"The Bread of Life." Oh! that the weary, famished, broken-hearted wanderers who have heard the good tidings would, like Naomi, "Arise." Many have heard this blessed Gospel in the far country of alienation, but how few have believed the report; the majority seem content to dwell in Moab, and feed on the husks that the swine do eat.

"She went forth OUT of the place" (Ruth 1:7). There cannot be a returning without a separation. "Come out from among them, and be you separate" (2 Corinthians 6:17). If Heaven would be gained the world must be shunned; if you would eat at the Father's table the swine-troughs must be forsaken. "You cannot serve God and mammon" (Luke 16:13). Choose whom you will serve. "If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in Him" (1 John 2:15).

"Surely we will return with you unto your people" (Ruth 1:10). This is the language of Ruth and Orpah, and seemingly both alike earnest. But those who would follow the religion of Jesus Christ must endure trial, and to stand must be decided. There are many Orpahs who, through adversity or excitement, run well for a time, but by and by they forsake, like Demas, because they love the world, and not infrequently do such sever themselves, like Orpah, with the kiss of pretended friendship. Rest, in the Moab of this present evil world, is what rebel man would like; but Matthew 11:28 is God's way.

"And Naomi said, Why will you go with me?" (Ruth 1:11).

The motives of every professed disciple must be tested. No earthly inducement is offered. No worldly preferment can be gained. "I am too old to have an husband." Undying love alone to the Person of Jesus will spurn every worldly temptation and go forward.

"Behold your sister has gone back" (Ruth 1:15). Why? Was not Bethlehem in her eye? Ah, yes! but Moab was in her heart. "Remember Lot's wife." There is no neutral standing; it must be either back to your people and your gods, or "your people shall be my people, and your God my God." It becomes those who name the Name of Jesus to depart from all iniquity. There may be mouth profession where there is heart division, and to trust in profession is to lean on a shadow.

In Ruth 1:7 Orpah went out; in Ruth 1:15 we see her gone back. The going back of one will always prove an additional trial to another; but see how Ruth overcomes the temptation. She said: "Entreat me not to leave you." What decision there is in the words and tone of her reply, and why so decided, and why did Naomi cease to try her? Because she was "steadfastly-minded" (Ruth 1:18). The double-minded are unstable. Her heart was fixed. Would that all the disciples of Jesus were like-minded. She could truly say: "One thing I do, forgetting the things that are behind, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling" (Philippians 3:14). And did she not gain the prize of the high calling when she was made the wife of the wealthy Boaz? "Let no man take your crown" (Rev. 3:11).

Every true believer in Jesus can use the language of Ruth in a deeper spiritual sense. They can say: "Where You go I will go, where You lodge I will lodge; Your people shall be my people, Your God my God." They can also add: "Where You die I have died, and there have I been buried (but now risen again, and nothing shall part You and me. Neither life not death, nor any other creature shall be able." Every Gospel hearer makes their choice either to go "out" or "to go back." What is your choice? "Will you go with this man?" was asked of Rebekah. Her reply was, "I will go." In Luke 14 they began to make excuse; in 2 Chronicles 30:10, "they laughed them to scorn."

"So they two went until they came to Bethlehem" (Ruth 1:19). Can two walk together except they be agreed? Here we are reminded of the two on their way to Emmaus. Naomi and Ruth walking together is a beautiful picture of our fellowship one with another on our way to the heavenly Bethlehem (house of bread) with the mutual understanding that naught but death can part us; but our walk with the Lord Jesus death cannot even interrupt. "Because I live, you shall live also" (John 14:19).

Bethlehem may represent the Church; so we read, when they came to Bethlehem all the city was moved about them. There was joy in the house when the Prodigal came back: there is joy among the angels when one sinner repents. This joy is real, because the Church is a family in nature as well as in name.

But they say in astonishment: "Is this Naomi?" (Ruth 1:19). What a change, few perhaps can recognize her. Ah! the far country experience is generally a sad one, the pleasant is turned into bitterness, plenty transformed into poverty, fullness gives place to emptiness. She has to confess, "I went out full, and the Lord has brought me home again empty" (Ruth 1:21). So with the Prodigal. He gathered all together, but he came home empty, and if the servants did not know him, the father did, and that too a long way off. You remember how the man came back that went down to Jericho and fell among thieves.

If a Christian backslides down into the world, how can he escape being robbed of all he possesses, robbed of his peace, his joy, and his testimony, and when the Lord brings him back (for the Lord will bring him back), it will be in sorrow, shame, and in bitterness of soul, but yet Ruth may be with him, a child of the far country, an experience that will be a blessing to him in the future.

Now, Naomi in reviewing her willful wanderings, has to acknowledge that "the Lord has testified against me" (v. 21). He testifies against every backslider. Are you as near the Lord as you used to be? Is He testifying against you? Return, O wanderer, to your home!"

OUTLINE OF CHAPTER I.

I. A God-Dishonoring Choice (Ruth 1:1, 2). Elimelech means, "My God is King." Why, then, should he go to Moab, and come under Chemosh, the fire-God of the heathen? When we fail to trust the true God we come under the power of the God of this world.

II. A Miserable Experience (Ruth 1:3-5). Naomi lost her husband and two sons in the far country. Forsaking God for worldly advantages and material prosperity will surely bring soul misery.

III. A Soul-Moving Story (Ruth 1:6). "the Lord had visited, and given them bread." Such is the Gospel, the story of Divine supply for the needy.

IV. A Testing Time (Ruth 1:7-13). "She went forth." Faith leads to definite action. Her action powerfully influences others. Ruth and Orpah are both deeply moved. "They, seeing your good works" (Matthew 5:16).

V. A Final Decision (Ruth 1:14-18). The one follows no more, the other clings as for very life. The unstable kiss and go back. The steadfastly minded leave all and press on.

VI. A Humbling Confession (Ruth 1:21). "I went out full, but come back empty." Yes, we need to be emptied that we might be restored to faith in God. But, thank God, the way back is still open.

VII. A Hearty Welcome (Ruth 1:19). "All the city was moved." To come back to a life of simple trust in God is to come into the warmth of a home. Such a back coming is always seasonable (Ruth 1:22)—the beginning of harvest.

RUTH, THE HUMBLE SEEKER. Ruth 2:1-12.

"Seek and you shall find."

"Naomi had a kinsman, a mighty man of wealth" (Ruth 2:1). Then why did she go to Moab instead of coming to her wealthy kinsman? Why do many in the time of trial forsake the Fountain of living water and go to broken cisterns? Boaz means strength. What foolishness it is then in the hour of weakness to forget the friend that is strong. Our kinsman Redeemer is a mighty man of wealth, and if I speak of strength, lo! He is strong.

Perhaps the spirit of independence and self-will restrained Elimelech and his wife from asking help from Boaz. They would shift for themselves rather than bow to beg; but what disappointment it brought, what a sorrowful failure it proved. It is always so if we are too proud to let our requests be made known unto God. He may allow us to follow our own stubborn way until we have spent all the strength and energy we had. Then shall we be glad to come back in our emptiness, and be thankful for the gleanings from the fields of our rich kinsman. "You have not, because you ask not" (James 4:2).

Ruth said to Naomi, "Let me go to the field and glean" (Ruth 2:2). Ruth may here represent an anxious soul in search of the truth. She has forsaken her old companions and her gods. "Left all," but she has not yet found rest to her soul; but like an earnest seeker, she is not ashamed to gird herself with the gleaner's apron. Those who are ashamed of the truth of God's Word are those who don't know its sacred worth. Many would be glad to get the corn of the heavenly Bethlehem for their souls, but they are ashamed to confess their anxiety by appearing as a gleaner or a seeker. Rather than seek they starve. They deem it prudent that no one should know their need. Ruth did not need to be driven to it, or even persuaded; she went because she desired to go. When any one is really anxious about their souls they will not need to be compelled to search the Scriptures.

Notice also that Ruth knew where to go to glean. "Among the reapers" (Ruth 2:3). This is the most likely place to find. Where is a troubled honest seeker most likely to find the needed blessing? Is it not by following after the ministry of those who are "reapers," those who know what to bring in, and what to leave out. As in Leviticus 19:19 some, heedless of this command, gather in all, they don't rightly divide the Word.

"Her hap was to light on a part of the field belonging to Boaz;... and behold Boaz came" (Ruth 2:3, 4). "The steps of a good man are ordered of the Lord" (Psalm 37:23). Many a seeker has been constrained to use language like this. "They happened just to light on a part of Scripture that talked about Jesus, and as they went on, wondrous revelations were made." Behold the Master comes and talks with them. While Ruth was gleaning Boaz appeared, and after saluting his servants (for there is mutual love and confidence between Boaz and his workers; he comes with grace in his heart and a blessing on his lips, and his servants bless him; so is it with the willing servants of Jesus, mutual confidence and mutual blessing) he inquires, "Whose damsel is this?" (Ruth 2:5) "The Master is come and calls for you" (John 11:28). His compassionate eye rests kindly on the anxious stranger. He draws near, he speaks, "Hear you not, my daughter" (Ruth 2:8). It is quite possible for one to be so busy seeking that they do not at first hear the voice of the Master. His words to the seeker are full of grace. "Go not to glean in another field, but abide here."

The law allowed her to glean (Leviticus 19:9+), but only grace would say, ."Abide here." Here the Master has found the seeking one. The Good Shepherd seeks until He finds. When a seeking sinner is earnestly following the "reapers" and searching the field of revelation the Master is sure to meet him, and bless him with that grace that fills His heart, and constantly flows from His lips. His grace is good news to the weary gleaner. Grace came to Ruth by Boaz. He knows how to speak a word to the weary.

"Go not to glean in another field" (Ruth 2:8). The field of carnal reason will offer you only chaff and stubble. If you abide in Me, you shall ask what you will, and it shall be done unto you. Grace brought to Ruth far above what she could ask or think. Not only "liberty," but "protection." "He charged them not to touch her" (v. 9). Such is the privilege of all those who share this grace "wherein we stand."

Now, what effect had this manifestation of grace upon Ruth, did it make her self-confident and boastful? Oh, no!

"She fell on her face, and bowed herself to the ground" (Ruth 2:10). When a weary, heavy laden soul sees the exceeding riches of His grace self is bowed to the ground. When Saul met the Lord he fell to the earth. It is not the wrath of God that leads us to repentance, but His goodness. The hammer of the law may break the icy heart in pieces, only grace can melt it, but it is easiest melted when broken. After being bowed down with a mighty sense of unworthiness, she asks, "Why have I found grace in your eye, I a poor stranger, you a mighty man of wealth" (Ruth 2:10). "Grace," and oh, such grace! "Why?" Just because He is gracious. It is a sure sign that grace is received and enjoyed when this question is so spontaneously asked, "Why have I?" There is astonishment that such unworthiness should be so highly favored. These are the first feelings of the new born soul. "Herein is love" (1 John 3:1).

And Boaz said, "It has been fully showed me all that you have done unto your mother" (Ruth 2:11). "I know your works" (Rev. 2:2). It has been fully showed Him (Jesus) all we, have done, whether good or bad. "Inasmuch as you did it unto these, you did it unto Me" (Matthew 25:40). Naomi was the friend of Boaz. Is it not comforting to remember that He knows all the little deeds of kindness we do, no matter how much the blinded world may misjudge our acts?

"Where He may lead I'll follow,
My trust in Him repose; 
And every hour in perfect peace, 
I'll sing He knows. He knows."
 

OUTLINE OF CHAPTER 2:1-12.

I. Her Great Humility (Ruth 2:2). In desiring to become a gleaner she shows her willingness to take the place of a poor one. But she would rather do that than go back to Moab. Her separation from her old life was complete. She is not ashamed to take the place of a seeker.

II. Her Good Fortune. "Her hap was" (Ruth 2:3). She may have gone out trembling, but the guiding Spirit of God was with her, as He is ever with those who have turned their backs upon the far country and its gods. It was while she was seeking that she met the mighty man of wealth.

III. Her Character Searched Out (Ruth 2:5-7). The master considers her case. Nothing is hid from him. "It has been fully showed me," he said. "I know your works, and labor of love."

IV. Her Path Made Plain (Ruth 2:8). "Go not, abide here." All fear is now dispelled by the assurance of his grace. Truth-seekers in the field of His Word will find grace upon grace.

V. Her Grateful Acknowledgment. "She fell, and bowed, and said," etc. (Ruth 2:10) "Why have I?" Just because he is gracious. She could not plead that she deserved such grace, but she thankfully acknowledged it.

VI. Her Heart Comforted. (1) Comforted with the assurance that he knows all about her (Ruth 2:11). (2) Comforted with the assurance that he is in full sympathy with her (Ruth 2:12). He desired for her refuge and rest under the wings of Jehovah. All this our heavenly Boaz (Jesus) gives to them that trust Him (Matthew 23:37).

RUTH, THE SUCCESSFUL GLEANER. Ruth 2:13-23.

"Grace reigns."

It now becomes the subject of grace to acknowledge the blessing received. Ruth said, "You have comforted me, You have spoken friendly (to the heart—margin) unto your handmaid" (Ruth 2:13). When the Master speaks He speaks home to the heart. He well knows the trouble is there; He came to bind up the broken-hearted. Ruth's confession of grace received just opened the channel wider for the outflow of grace, for Boaz said unto her, "At mealtime come you hither, and eat of the bread" (Ruth 2:14), the bread provided by Him for His servants. She now enjoys the privilege of the servant sitting at the Master's table, eating the Master's bread in fellowship with the Master's servants.

"She sat beside the reapers" (Ruth 2:14). No doubt these were seasons of rest and times of refreshing (Isaiah 28:12) to this weary laborer; and, moreover, "He reached her parched corn, and she did eat, and was sufficed" (Ruth 2:14)

How sweet to get the bread fresh from the Master's hand. This is, indeed, soul-satisfying grace. Many get their bread at second-hand, and are rarely satisfied. Ruth's was a hand-to-mouth existence, but it was from His hand to her mouth, the hand of the mighty man of wealth.

What a lovely little picture is here of those memorable times of blessing wherein our Lord and Master refreshes the hearts of His servants while they are bearing the burden and heat of the day. When He invites them to "Come and dine" (John 21:12), and they sit down with Him, and receive from His own hand those things which He has provided for them, "My God shall supply all your need" (Philippians 4:19). Yet although Ruth had experienced great grace, there is still more to follow, for it is all of grace from beginning to end. Salvation by grace, and the life of faith, are beautifully manifested in this touching story. Ruth offers no excuse, but thankfully receives all He gives. She does not dishonor Him by thinking He is giving too much. Many Christians dishonor the mighty Son of God by living more like paupers than princes.

"All things work together for good" (Romans 8:28). While Ruth is busy gleaning, Boaz is busy planning for her comfort and success. "He goes before" (Matthew 28:7). Boaz commanded the young men, saying, "Let her glean even among the sheaves, and let fall also handfuls on purpose for her." What words of grace are these. Gleaning among the sheaves is the privilege of those who have found favor in the sight of the Master; and what rich sheaves of promise we have in the field of His Word! But only believers have the liberty to glean here (Ephesians 2:12), and according to your faith be it unto you. Those also who have found grace in His sight find many an unexpected handful that has been dropped on purpose for them. And notice, these handfuls did not fall by chance, they were each a gift of his grace. So our blessed Master does not leave His servants to the caprice of blind chance, or to pick up what joy and comfort they may; but many a rich handful He drops on purpose to comfort and cheer them in their work. Gleaning among the greedy and the selfish is most arduous, miserable work, and such is the worldling, seeking satisfaction in other fields. But how different in the field where grace reigns! There the handfuls are dropped on purpose. If you go to glean on other fields be sure the handfuls will cease. Jesus says, "Follow Me."

Now we read that she "beat out that she had gleaned, and took it up" (Ruth 2:17). While gleaning in the field of Revelation, among the thoughts of God, how apt we are to gather also the chaff and straw of the foolish thoughts of our own evil hearts. The chaff and straw may increase the bulk, but they will not increase the value of what we may have gleaned. The wheat is precious in proportion as it is pure. So there is much need for the beating out, and this can be best done where Ruth did it—in the field. If, like her, we are more anxious for quality than quantity, then by comparing Scripture with Scripture the truth of God will be clearly beaten out. This is the fine wheat, take it up, and let the chaff go to the wind and the straw to the fire. Preach the Word; if you can't eat the chaff yourself, don't give it to another.

It is also worthy of notice that "she brought forth, and gave her mother" (v. 18) not only what she had gleaned, but also the prepared corn which she had received direct from the hand of Boaz (Ruth 2:14). She had received it all through grace, and she kept nothing back. If Naomi represents "pure religion," why does it lack so much? Is it not because many of the gleaners keep back part of the price, laying up for themselves while the kindred of Jesus are in need?

Then Naomi said, "Where have you gleaned today?" (Ruth 2:19). Ah! she had been with the "mighty man of wealth," and in the fat pastures where the handfuls are dropped on purpose. Ruth answered, "The man's name is Boaz." (Ruth 2:19). That was enough. When servants come out from the presence of Jesus to speak of His Name they come as those bearing much precious seed; there is a heavenly beauty and freshness about them, so that some may be constrained to ask: Where have you gleaned today? But the answer immediately follows: We have been with Jesus, the mighty God, the Prince of Peace.

Ruth went home and told her friend what great things Boaz had done for her and promised to her. Those who value the grace and fellowship of Jesus will also value the privilege of telling others what His grace has done for them. "Come and hear, all you that fear God, and I will declare what He has done for my soul" (Psalm 66:16).

OUTLINE OF Ruth 2:13-23.

Ruth went out empty, but she came back laden with blessing and beaming with joy. So much so that Naomi was constrained to say, "Where have you gleaned today?" (Ruth 2:19). The secret of her success lay in this—

I. She had been with a mighty man of wealth (Ruth 2:1-19). Like Christ, Boaz had (1) a wealth of possessions; (2)a wealth of influence; (3) a wealth of grace.

II. She had been with a near kinsman (Ruth 2:20). She knew not of the near relationship, but he did. The kinsman had the right to avenge or redeem. Our Kinsman Redeemer came not to condemn, but to give His life a ransom for us.

III. She had been with one who understood her need. He spoke to her heart (Ruth 2:13, margin). This is always the manner of our Redeemer, for He knows what is in man.

IV. She had been with one who was not ashamed to acknowledge her publicly (v. 14). "She sat beside his reapers: and he reached her parched corn." He gave her a time of refreshing from his own presence. Ruth never says "No" to the gifts of his grace.

V. She had been with one who planned for her good. His eye was over all the field, and all were ready to do his bidding. So handfuls were dropped on purpose for her, "according to His will" (Romans 8:28). They are blessed indeed who come into touch with the unsearchable riches of Christ.

RUTH, THE RESTFUL BELIEVER. Chapter 3.

"Rest in the Lord."

Then Naomi said, "My daughter, shall I not seek rest for you?" (Ruth 3:1). Ruth had found favor in the sight of Boaz, and had tasted the exceeding riches of his grace, but she had not yet found the rest of unbroken fellowship. She was not yet in the yoke with Boaz by the marriage tie. "Take my yoke upon you, and you shall find rest unto your souls" (Matthew 11:29). This was the rest that now remained for Ruth. Union to the mighty man of wealth is the almighty remedy for her poverty. Are there not many timid believers who have rejoiced in the grace of Jesus but cannot yet call Him My Lord, My Shepherd?

The only way to abiding communion and uninterrupted fellowship is Ruth's way, "faith and obedience." She believed all that Boaz told her, and did all he bade her (v. 5).

"Behold he winnows barley tonight" (Ruth 3:2). This is not the reapers' work, they have gone to their rest. Now He comes whose fan is in His hand, He will thoroughly purge His floor. Every day's work has to be winnowed by the Master, and to the servants of Christ this is a source of comfort, for with the barley, if much labor, there is also much chaff. So they are glad to have this work purged before it reaches the garner, knowing that they are rewarded for the wheat, and not for the chaff, whose end is the fire because there is no life in it.

And Naomi said, "Wash yourself" (Ruth 3:3), and get you down to the floor. This advice given to Ruth was practical and common sense, for although she had experienced great grace at the hand of Boaz, yet in approaching him for higher favors still she must use every means possible to secure the blessing desired. And so should we in making our requests known unto Him. If we regard iniquity in our heart the Lord will not hear. First, be reconciled to your brother, "wash yourself," put away and incline your heart (Joshua. 24:23).

Naomi also said, "Mark the place where he shall lie" (Ruth 3:4), and lay you down at his feet, and he will tell you what you shall do. If we want to learn the will of our Master toward us we too must be willing to lie at His feet. Mark the promise He has given, for this is where the Master lies, and lay yourself down there and pull the skirt of His Word over you, and wait patiently for Him, for He will tell you what you shall do. Notice the three steps of Ruth to the feet of Boaz: (1) Washing. (2) Watching. (3) Waiting.

"When Boaz had eaten and drunk, and his heart was merry, he went to lie down" (Ruth 3:7). The master had sown the seed and carefully watched it from the blade to the ear. Now the harvest is past, the winnowing is over. His soul is satisfied, and he rests. Shall not our Divine Master also see of the travail of his soul, and be satisfied when He shall with the fan of judgment winnow the mixed mass on the floor of the world? Shall there not be enough to satisfy His longing soul and make glad the heart of Him who went out from the home of His glory, bearing precious seed, and who sowed in tears? (Luke 19:41). Shall He be sorry that the chaff has been blown away? He shall rejoice over His people with singing (Zephaniah 3:17).

"And it came to pass that at midnight he said, Who are you?" (Ruth 3:8). Though He tarry, wait for Him. His voice is often heard at midnight by the waiting one, while others, it may be, are all insensible to His presence. The special blessing is often received through special waiting.

OUTLINE OF CHAPTER 3.

Naomi had great faith in their Kinsman Redeemer. Now that Ruth had put her case into his hands, she is told to "Sit still, for the man will not be in rest until he have finished the thing" (Ruth 3:18). See how Ruth entered into that blessed rest.

I. She casts herself at his feet (Ruth 3:4-6). She had offered a request before (Ruth 2:7), but now she offers herself. It was in the darkest hour of the night that his voice was heard.

II. She claimed him as her kinsman (Ruth 3:9). She claims the fulfillment of his office as redeemer in her behalf. It was a great demand for a poor stranger to make, but the mighty man of grace looked upon it as an act of kindness showed Him (Ruth 3:10).

III. She received his promise (Ruth 3:10-13). There was no reluctance in Boaz to perform the part of a kinsman redeemer. She asks, and at once the promise is given. He is faithful who has promised. Ruth does not make him a liar by guilty doubt.

IV. She rests in his work. She sits still now, leaving him to do the redeeming work. What else could she do? The work was not hers, but his. She had his promise that he would finish the thing. So she rests in faith. Rest in the Lord. Trust also in Him, and He will bring it to pass. (Leviticus 16:30, 31).

RUTH, REDEEMED AND CLAIMED. Chapter 4.

"Then went Boaz up to the gate, and sat down there" (Ruth 4:1). What to do? To intercede for Ruth. And success is sure with such an intercessor, being "a mighty man of wealth." He is a man of mighty influence, and must prevail. Are we not reminded here of Him who has ascended up on high, and is set down at the Father's right hand to make intercession for us who have been found of Him? He who delights in mercy, and who is able to save to the uttermost (to the end) all that come unto God through Him, seeing He ever lives to make intercession for them.

And Boaz said to his kinsman, "Redeem, for there is none to redeem beside you; and I am after you" (Ruth 4:4). This kinsman, like the law, had the first claim, but not the ability to redeem. The law is our kinsman condemner; but Jesus, like Boaz, is our Kinsman Redeemer. By the law is the knowledge of sin, not the forgiveness of sin. This we can have through the precious Blood alone, the great redemption price. By the deeds of the law shall no flesh be justified. The answer this kinsman gave was, "I cannot redeem." But Boaz, the mighty man of wealth, is well able to redeem, therefore what the law could not do "in that it was weak" (Romans 8:3), abounding grace has accomplished, for "He has redeemed" (Galatians 3:13).

Boaz said, "What day you buy the field, buy (it) also of Ruth" (Ruth 4:5). Ruth, as emblematic of the Church, is the real treasure in the field. The field is the world; the treasure is the Church, as in Matthew 13:44. And our heavenly Boaz, who was rich, for our sakes became poor, because He sold all that He had and bought the field, that He might secure the hidden treasure.

"And Boaz said unto the elders and all the people, You are my witnesses that Ruth, the Moabitess, have I purchased to be my wife" (Ruth 4:10).

A few points are worthy of notice in connection with this Redemption.

I. He only could redeem. He had the right as kinsman; he had the power as a mighty man of wealth; he was also in the right condition to redeem, being alone; and now the redemption itself brings joy and satisfaction to his own soul. And shall not the redeemed Church be to the heart of her Redeemer a new source of eternal joy and satisfaction? He shall be satisfied. Christ only can redeem. His incarnation made Him our Kinsman, and gave Him the right to redeem. His divinity made Him mighty, and gave Him the power to redeem. We have redemption through His Blood (1 Peter 1:18, 19).

II. This was a Willing Redemption. Boaz did not grudge the redemption money. How could he when his heart was set on the purchase of Ruth? He willingly offered the full price, although that price included the gift of himself. So was it with Jesus, our princely Kinsman, who loved us and gave Himself for us, that He might give Himself to us. Nor did He hesitate to pay the awful price of sorrow, suffering, and blood, that He might redeem us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us.

III. This was a Gracious Redemption. Boaz was not ashamed to redeem Ruth, the poor stranger. The prince of wealth stoops to lift the poor helpless one, who cannot redeem herself. He has regarded the low estate of his handmaiden; he has shown strength with his arm; he has exalted them of low degree, he has filled the hungry soul with good things, and now the soul of Ruth shall magnify her lord.

The wealthy Prince of Heaven is ashamed of none who look to Him for redemption. He says, "Look unto Me, and be you saved." He invites the wretched, the miserable, the poor, the blind, and the naked to look to Him and trust in Him. Yes; He stoops in His redemption work to lift the helpless from the horrible pit on to the Rock of Strength, to lift the poor and the polluted from the dunghill, to rank among princes, and to be co-heirs with Himself. He is not ashamed to call them brethren. So the gleaner, through grace, becomes an heir of His glory.

IV. This was a Public Redemption. There were many witnesses to the fact that the price was paid; this thing was not done in a corner, but in the presence of the elders of all the people. When Moses smote the rock, it was in the presence of the elders. The Rock Christ was also publicly smitten, they put Him to an open shame. He suffered without the gate. As Boaz went up to the gate to finish the work in behalf of Ruth, in the sight of many witnesses, so Jesus went up to Calvary and finished the work the Father gave Him to do in behalf of His people. Afterwards, when the price was paid, He rose from the dead; and as Boaz, when the bargain was settled, "plucked off his shoe," Jesus plucked off the grave-clothes as a token that the covenant was sealed and the inheritance redeemed; and the apostles say, "We are witnesses." He was seen of many.

V. The Purpose of this Redemption. "That the name of the dead be not cut off" (Ruth 4:10). In Adam all have died unto God; but in Christ, through His redemption, all that believe are made alive unto God. Thus spiritual seed is raised, according to the gracious purpose of God. "Boaz did not redeem Ruth to be his slave." He says, "Ruth have I purchased to be my wife," to be part of himself. What more could he do for her than that he had done? Communion has now culminated in union. Her service henceforth shall be that loving, ready service which is the glad outflow from unity of heart, and purpose, and interest, and in the self-sacrificing spirit of those who abide in the Master's presence, and who know that He hates putting away. You are not your own, you are bought with a price; therefore glorify God in your bodies and spirits, which are His. It was the grace alone of Boaz that transformed the life and relationship of Ruth, and by faith she got access into this grace wherein she now stands and rejoices in hope.

VI. This was a Perfect Redemption. "Boaz took Ruth, and she became his wife" (Ruth 4:13). The prophecy of Naomi has now been fulfilled. "The man will not be at rest until he has finished the thing" (chapter 3:18). Our Kinsman Redeemer shall likewise come and finish the thing by taking His purchased Bride home to be with Himself, for where He is there shall we be also. The day that Boaz redeemed Ruth that same day he took her. The present dispensation is the day of salvation (redemption) to the Gentiles. At the close of this same day our Divine Kinsman shall appear, and take His redeemed Church to Himself. So shall she be forever with her Lord and Savior.

When Ruth knew that Boaz had purchased her to be his wife, would she not be anxiously looking for him every moment to come and take her to be with himself? Is not this the present position of the Church? Working, waiting, watching, until He come who has redeemed us by His own Blood, for the Lord Himself shall descend, and when He shall appear we shall be like Him, we shall see Him as He is, and dwell in the house of the Lord forever.

May the Lord direct your heart into the love of God, and into the patient waiting for Christ.

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