The book of Ruth is intended as a story of redemption, one based in a very Jewish sense of love. And woven into that story of redemption is a prophecy of the redemption of all Mankind.
We start with Naomi, who flees the land with her husband and two sons in the midst of a famine, just as Israel was driven from the land in the midst of a famine “of hearing the words of the Lord” (Amos 8:11). Naomi loses her husband and sons and is left with only her two Gentile (Moabite) daughters-in-law, Ruth and Orpah. At first, both resolve to travel with Naomi back to Israel, but only Ruth follows through. Ruth’s determination to trust in and commit herself to God and move to Israel with her mother-in-law offered a glimpse of hope, and it is that determination that God blessed
“Bread” in Scripture is associated with the Word of God. Ruth sets about gleaning bread (wheat) in the fields of Boaz, who sees her, inquires about her, and is taken by this Moabitess’ care of an Israelite woman. Because of her association with Naomi, he orders that extra wheat be dropped for her use. When Naomi hears of it, she instructs Ruth on what to do. In the same way, when the Gentiles were introduced to Jesus through the Apostles’ teachings, it would be the faithful Jews in their city who would instruct them further.
Ruth does as she has promised Naomi, and observes where Boaz is feasting, the Feast of Shavuot (Pentecost). Having feasted to his satisfaction, Boaz retires to one end of the heap of grain and falls asleep. Ruth then uncovers him and lays down beside him. Ruth lay herself at Boaz’s feet to ask for his protection, just as we must lay at Jesus’ feet and receive His protection. Ruth, in asking Boaz to throw his cover over her, was signifying her desire to marry him.
It turns out that there was a nearer kinsman at the time (someone closer in relation who had a greater right to marry her) that was unable to carry it out due to his own self-interest. So Boaz secures from him the surrender of the redemption rights, just as Jesus secures from us our own redemption rights. Boaz affirmed Ruth and wanted to redeem her. Kinsman – Redeemer, a Pictoral layout
Boaz exercised extreme caution when he urged Ruth to leave early in the morning. By leaving early, no one would see her and wrongly assume sexual misconduct between her and Boaz. Boaz was careful to protect her reputation. What a gentleman he was!! Ladies, not only are we learning about a story of redemption in this book, but we’re learning qualities of a gentleman!
Boaz gives Ruth enough food to see her and Naomi through until he returns and goes away to make the arrangements to redeem them together, just as Jesus gives us the Spirit and the Word to see us through while He is away making the arrangements for our redemption.
In the end, Boaz returns, marries Ruth (which joins Naomi to him as well) and redeems Naomi’s land, just as Jesus shall return, marry His Bride, and redeem the Land–and not only the Land, but the whole earth! It is only through the marriage to Ruth that Naomi and her land are redeemed, just as there are numerous prophecies that only through the “cleaving” of the Gentiles to the Jesus Christ will Israel be redeemed.
Ruth was a Moabitess and through her love of Naomi and marriage to Boaz, Ruth was adopted into Israel as a full citizen. In the same way, the great mystery of the Gospel to the Apostles was not that salvation is by grace but rather that the Gentiles were adopted, or grafted-in (Rom. 11) into Israel as full citizens and fellow heirs.
God mercifully blessed Ruth with a son, and this son Obed, was to be the grandfather to King David.
The book of Ruth reveals a lot about the plan of God. But it also contributes greatly to our understanding of how God deals with people. One of the characteristics of God’s dealings with people is His willingness and His preference to work with and through individuals. And He patiently deals with people, providing blessings to any who trust and obey Him.
Psalm 37:3 ” Trust in the LORD, and do good; Dwell in the land, and feed on His faithfulness. “