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Vol. 35. No. 4 THE GATEPOST Oct. 2009 ______________________________________________________________________________
RUTH AT REST
So Boaz took Ruth, and she was his wife: and when he went in unto her , the Lord gave her conception., and she bare a son. And the women said unto Naomi, Blessed be the Lord which hath not left thee this day without a kinsman, that his name may be famous in Israel. And he shall be a restorer of thy life, and a nourisher of thine old age: for thy daughter in law which loveth thee is better to thee than seven son, hath born him. And Naomi took the child and laid it in her bosom and became nurse to 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 book of Ruth has, thus far, given us in an historical allegory seven crucial Christian doctrines:
In Elimelech, the doctrine of God. Likewise also in Elimelech, the doctrine of man. In Naomi, the doctrine of the Fall. In Mahlon and Chilion, the doctrine of depravity. In Orpah, the doctrine of apostasy. In Ruth, the doctrine of conversion and perseverance. In Boaz the Doctrine of Redemption and Rest in Christ.
The word "rest" as it is used and applied in the book of Ruth does not mean inactivity or cessation of motion. Rather, it is intended to express a cessation of struggle to get anything done. Naomi and Ruth have been widowed. Their husbands have died, rendering them desolate, with no one to support them and supply their needs. Furthermore, and more significant, they have no prospect of descendants. When they die, their names will, with their husbands, be erased from the human race.
But now, the grandmother, Naomi (not Ruth) is being congratulated for the birth of Obed. The reason for that is the necessity of preserving the lineage of the Messiah, He who has been promised to redeem the human race after its death in Adam (Genesis 3:15). The race again corrupted itself by sin and was destroyed by the Flood, the promised seed being preserved in Noah. After the Flood, the Messianic promise was renewed to Abraham and his descendants, Isaac and Jacob whose name was changed to Israel (Gen. 35:10).
"Ye are witnesses this day" (Ruth 4:9). Calvary is a world-wide fact. Over two thousand years the redemptive death of the Lord Jesus Christ on the Cross has withstood the enemies of Christianity unscathed. Christ's purchase of His church as His bride will forever be the most sublime moment of human history.
The Seed begotten by Boaz, the man of strength, is named "Obed" which means "serving." Jesus teaches us that His people will not be known by their power, strength and dominion, but by their humble servitude. The first Adam sold his posterity into slavery by his ambition to "be as God." The second Adam is Jesus Christ, typified by Boaz, the man of strength, delivered us from that slavery by undertaking to pay the sin debt incurred when the race fell in Adam.