Highlights In Today's Reading:
The Creator's plan for mankind preserves the bloodline from the unlikely Rahab to David and ultimately to Christ Jesus.
A severe famine existed in Bethlehem. Elimelech, his wife Naomi, and two sons left Bethlehem, which means "house of bread," and went to Moab in search of food and, hopefully, a better life. During the next 10 years Naomi's life was filled with bitterness, for it was during this time in Moab that she buried her husband and her two sons. In the meantime, Bethlehem became prosperous so Naomi decided to return. Ruth pleaded with Naomi: Intreat me not to leave thee, or to return from following after thee: for whither thou goest, I will go; and where thou lodgest, I will lodge: thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God (1:16).
Naomi and Ruth arrived in Bethlehem where Boaz, a type of Christ, assumed the right of “kinsman-redeemer.” He purchased the inheritance of Naomi and took Ruth as his wife. Ruth became the mother of Obed: he is the father of Jesse, the father of David (4:17).
The Book of Ruth highlights our Lord's loving-kindness to Gentiles in selecting Ruth, a Moabite woman, who became the great-grandmother of King David. For the third time God united both Jew and Gentile in the ancestry of David and of our Lord Jesus, the Messiah (Matthew 1:3,5; Luke 3:32-33). There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus. . . . and heirs according to the promise (Galatians 3:28-29).
The thrilling conclusion is that out of our most miserable failures, God will work something beautiful when we put our lives in His hands. Ruth's love for Naomi and for God overcame all the hostilities that existed between the Moabites and the Jews (Deuteronomy 23:3-4) and she became an ancestress of Christ.
Her story should give encouragement and hope to the most despondent, helpless, defeated person. One may be discouraged and know that he has left "his Bethlehem" and gone into the land of sin, and there buried all hope, but God can always bring something beautiful out of the most miserable circumstance when we turn to Him with our whole heart.
Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God (II Corinthians 7:1).
Thought for Today:
You are important to God. Are not five sparrows sold for two farthings, and not one of them is forgotten before God? . . . Fear not therefore: ye are of more value than many sparrows (Luke 12:6-7).
Through Bethlehem (Ruth 1:1), which means House of Bread. Jesus, the Bread of life, satisfies the spiritual hunger of all who come to Him. Then Jesus said unto them. . . . I am the Bread of Life: he that cometh to Me shall never hunger (John 6:32-35).
1:20 Mara =b> bitter; 2:3 her hap was to light =b> she happened to come; 2:8 fast by =b> close by; 4:1 the gate =b> the city's meeting place to transact business; 4:5 thou must buy it also of Ruth =b> in order to redeem the property, you must take Ruth as your wife.
Pray for English International Shortwave Radio Broadcasts sponsored by Dr. John A. Hash • Staff: Mary Kay Wagner • Government Officials: Rep. Dennis Cardoza (CA), Rep. Barney Frank (MA), Rep. Stephen Lynch (MA), and Sen. Patrick Leahy (VT) • Country: Ireland (3.7 million) off the coast of western Europe • Major languages: English and Irish (Gaelic) • Religious freedom • 92% Catholic; 3.7% Anglican; 1% Other Protestant; .2% Muslim; .1% Jewish; 2% Other; 1% None • Prayer Suggestion: Realize that your life is in God's hands, and ask Him to deliver you from all evil (Luke 11:4).
Optional Reading: Acts 1
Memory Verse for the Week: I Peter 1:23