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Julie Ferwerda Christian Blog and Commentary

OYB May 6

  • Julie Ferwerda
    Are you ready for change in 2009? Grab a One Year Bible (NLT), commit to reading it daily, and join Julie Ferwerda on an extraordinary adventure that will transform your life as you experience its relevance in a fresh, understandable way. In addition to 20+ years in Bible teaching ministry, Julie is a professional speaker and writer. Her works have appeared in publications such as Focus on the Family, Discipleship Journal, Christianity Today, Marriage Partnership, Brio, and Revolve Biblezines & Devotional Bible (for teens). She's also the author of "The Perfect Fit: Piecing Together True Love," and also the upcoming book, "One Million Arrows for God: Raising Your Children to Change the World." Learn more at www.JulieFerwerda.com.
  • 2009 May 06
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Today's One Year Bible Reading

Ruth

2:1 Now Naomi had a kinsman of her husband, a man of great wealth, of the family of Elimelech, whose name was Boaz. Boaz is a Christ type and a kinsman redeemer. Here's some commentary on Boaz from Truth for Today:

Boaz was a wealthy Bethlehemite of the tribe of Judah, who married Ruth (the Gentile bride). As the Goel (the Kinsman-Redeemer) I have no doubt that Boaz is a type of Christ, who became incarnate, springing from Judah too, in order to acquire for himself a bride from the Gentile nations.

Here's another cool piece of data from a Messianic site on the "coding" of Ruth:

  • Starting with the first ‘yod' in Ruth 1:1, and counting every 5th letter from right to left (that is how Hebrew is read) spells ‘Yeshua.'

  • In Ruth 1:1 starting with the ‘ayin' in the name of Yeshua and counting every 77th letter from right to left spells ‘Yeshua.'

  • From the same ‘ayin' and counting every 15th letter from right to left spells ‘Yoshia' which means ‘He will save.' Putting this together, in Ruth 1:1, we find the statement ‘Yeshua will save.'

  • Starting with the first mem and counting every 21st letter from L to R spells ‘Mashiach' (Messiah).

This same site has many more fascinating details about this amazing picture book. One observation I found on this site goes directly with some of the other things we've learned recently:

According to Bullinger, this was in 1326 BC, the year before the 2nd Jubilee 1325 - 1324 BC. If this is so, it is possible that the time of Ruth's marriage to Boaz was in the Jubilee year.

Remember how we learned last week that the Bible should be organized into 49 books pointing to the year of Jubilee (50th year)? Also, many Messianic Jews believe that Jesus will come to set up His Kingdom in the year of Jubilee, when there is great celebration, all debts are cancelled, slaves go free, God provides for His people, land is returned to the rightful owners, etc.

2:2 And Ruth the Moabitess said to Naomi, "Please let me go to the field and glean among the ears of grain after one in whose sight I may find favor." Usually gathering and gleaning is about working the harvest, but in this context, I think it means something different. Since Ruth is gathering grain for food, I believe it's symbolic for the grain that will become the Bread—or the Word. Boaz is affirming that the pure and undefiled Word can be found and gathered in the safety of Yeshua's field among His workers. We Gentiles can gather from their leftovers.

2:7 Thus she came and has remained from the morning until now... A demonstration of Ruth's faithful commitment to gathering the understanding of and sustaining power from the Word.

2:9 "Let your eyes be on the field which they reap, and go after them. ...When you are thirsty, go to the water jars and drink from what the servants draw." Again, Boaz exhorting Ruth to follow after his workers in the field to gather food and to drink the water they draw. Such a great reminder to follow after our Jewish friends for understanding and receiving the manna and the Living Water. Their understanding is immense!

2:10-11 Then she fell on her face, bowing to the ground and said to him, "Why have I found favor in your sight that you should take notice of me, since I am a foreigner?" Boaz replied to her, "All that you have done for your mother-in-law after the death of your husband has been fully reported to me, and how you left your father and your mother and the land of your birth, and came to a people that you did not previously know. Why did God choose to include the Gentiles in His plan of mercy? At least partly because we have shown kindness to His people Israel and we were willing to leave behind the system of the world to follow Him. Throughout this chapter we also see incredible impartiality from Jesus to His people, whether Jew or Gentile. He takes care of them all with kindness and generosity.

2:14 At mealtime Boaz said to her, "Come here, that you may eat of the bread and dip your piece of bread in the vinegar." Perhaps this is a shadow of the Gentiles being invited to communion. Not sure what vinegar stands for.

2:23 So she stayed close by the maids of Boaz in order to glean until the end of the barley harvest and the wheat harvest. And she lived with her mother-in-law. Considering the pictures of the harvests and the multi-layers of Scripture, I believe this is a profoundly prophetic verse that the elect or chosen Gentiles will work the barley and wheat harvests with Christ (barley before the first resurrection, wheat afterward during MK). And during at least part of this time, it will be during the Millennial reign and we will live with our "mother-in-law" Israel in Canaan—the Promised Land! It is also a beautiful picture that Naomi (Jews) led Ruth (Gentiles) to the Messiah! What an amazing picture Ruth is—I have honestly never read it like this before!

Chapter 3 is a beautiful portrayal of the end of the age when the bride is making herself ready for her groom, much like the parable of the ten virgins. Ruth has washed and put on her best clothes (holiness and righteousness) and comes to Boaz with the rest of the grain harvest. Boaz inquires as to who is there with him, and when Ruth tells him, he recognizes her. This is unlike the accounts in the Gospels where some who are faithless put on wedding clothes to try to get into the wedding and Jesus says that He didn't know them. Boaz makes plans to redeem Ruth. Don't forget the fact that Boaz was not only a Christ type, he is also in the lineage of Christ.

Psalm

105:19 Until the time came to fulfill his Word, the Lord tested Joseph's character. Ever feel like your life is one test after another? God is preparing you.