Monday, June 25, 2018

What does he see in me?

The Word for today:
Ruth 1
The book of Ruth is a literary and spiritual gem.
It is, first of all, a love story. We would do well to transfer that phrase to the Bible itself, so let’s do it:
The Bible is, first of all, a love story. The day the Bible student comes to that understanding is the day he begins to understand his Bible.
Our reading schedule has given us only two days in the book of Ruth. We can’t begin do justice to this great romance in such a short time. Therefore we are going to borrow some time from our next book (1 Samuel) and extend Ruth to four days.
With so much truth and beauty to convey, we have developed a study guide that will touch upon many more of Ruth’s important topics than four of our customary single-themed articles ever could. We trust that you will bring your heart to these matters. If you do, your mind will gladly tag along.
Now it came to pass in the days when the judges ruled, that there was a famine in the land. And a certain man of Bethlehem in Judah went to sojourn in the country of Moab… (Ruth 1:1)
Out of the dark period of the judges comes the love story of redemption. It is an unwavering Biblical principle that darkness gives way to light:
And the earth was without form and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep…and God said, Let there be light… and the evening and the morning were the first day. (Genesis 1:2,3,5)
Ruth’s striking faithfulness stands in contrast to the dark backdrop of faithlessness in the days when the judges ruled.
Time frame. (cf. Matt. 1:5-6; Joshua 6:25; Heb. 11:31)
Boaz is the son of Rahab, the prostitute in Joshua (and a charter member of the Hall of Fame of Faith in Hebrews 11.)  Boaz and Ruth are the great-grandparents of King David.
Bethlehem (“house of bread”) is a small, nondescript village 5 miles south of Jerusalem. But it is one of the most significant locations in the Bible:
Jacob’s wife Rachel died there, giving birth to Benjamin. (Gen. 35:18-19)
Ruth and Boaz met there and became parents in the line of the Messiah.
David, their great-grandson, was born there. (1 Sam. 16:1)
Micah the prophet predicted that the Messiah would be born there. (Micah 5:2)
Matthew 2 and Luke 2 record the Christmas story, when the prophecy was fulfilled.
Salvation is a love affair…
We love him because he first loved us. (1 John 4:19)
I have been crucified with Christ, and it is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives within me. And the life I now live I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. I do not nullify the grace of God, for if justification were by the law, then Christ died in vain (Gal. 2:20-21).
In Ruth we see a man who is a kinsman-redeemer, but he doesn’t have to act in that capacity. Another, closer kinsman had the opportunity to take action, but he turned it down. He did not care for Ruth, but Boaz loved her. That made all the difference. God did not have to redeem us. If He did not, He would still be a just and holy God. But He loved us.
Boaz is a prophetic picture of Jesus Christ as our Kinsman-Redeemer. The kinsman redeemer did not act—he did not have to act—by statute of the law. He was, you see, in love…
The unsearchable heart of love… (What does He see in me?)
Then she fell on her face and bowed herself to the ground, and said unto him, Why have I found grace in thine eyes, that thou shouldest take knowledge of me, seeing I am a stranger? (2:10)
“What does he see in me?” is the wrong question -- for the answer is not in us, but in Him:
For you are a people holy to the LORD your God. The LORD your God has chosen you out of all the peoples on the face of the earth to be his people, his treasured possession. The LORD did not set his affection on you and choose you because you were more numerous than other peoples, for you were the fewest of all peoples. But it was because the LORD loved you and kept the oath he swore to your forefathers that he brought you out with a mighty hand and redeemed you from the land of slavery, from the power of Pharaoh king of Egypt. (Deuteronomy 7:6-8)

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