Traditionally, Ruth is the passage of Tanach, scriptures, read for the Feast of Weeks. But this traditional reading is even more beautiful as believers in Yeshua. If you haven’t read the book of Ruth in the Bible, stop now and go read it. (Follow this link to Ruth ). Ruth is a short book—only 4 chapters.
Ruth is a story of Sorrow, Love, Grace, Healing, Provision and above all Redemption. Boaz, the Kinsman Redeemer, sacrifices his wealth and reputation to buy back a deceased relative’s property and take the relative’s widow as wife to care for her and love her and give his relative an heir. That’s a beautiful story but it doesn’t stop there. The relative had died in disobedience having left his God given land to live in a foreign land and his sons married foreign women from a foreign people who God strictly warned with whom not to intermarry—The Moabites.
But here is the grace of God’s command and plan for redemption. We must ask, was God against the moabite people? Or was God against their false gods and pagan worship that would distract from true worship of him? Deuteronomy 7:3-4 reveals the answer: “For they will turn your sons away from following Me, to serve other gods;”.
Ruth might have been a moabite biologically, but her heart was knit to the God of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob—the God of Naomi her mother in law. It is from Ruth that so many weddings recite their vows “where you go, I will go. Your God will be my God and your people, My people.” And so Ruth left all she ever to knew to go to a land that wasn’t her birthright, but became her home. She left Moab a widow, and arrived to Israel as a foreigner, knowing no one except her mother in law Naomi and held to her faith in God. Boaz saw Ruth in the fields, gleaning wheat, working hard to survive and provide for Naomi, and was moved with love. Ruth was honored to become his wife. She was raised up from being a destitute nobody, widowed and an outsider, to becoming one with a man of Honor in the tribe of Judah, the kingly, messianic line provided for and cared for and LOVED.
Isn’t that God’s heart all along? To include all His creation? Yeshua spoke to the Samaritan woman in John 4:23-24 that soon there would be a day when true worshippers of God would “worship in spirit and in truth”, and by this he was alluding his ascension, the coming of the Holy Spirit and the destruction of the Temple in AD 70. But if God is the same yesterday, today and forever, we can rightly conclude that it was always God’s heart for humanity to worship him wholly in spirit and truth, and Ruth is a beautiful example of this. God wove her into the kingly Davidic line as the grandmother of King David, and ultimately in the messianic line as the distant relative of Yeshua. Ruth, a moabite, who in Deuteronomy 23:3 was told even her descendants to the 10th generation would not be allowed to worship in the temple, was honored by her faith to the True God of Israel and her great grandson Solomon (only 4 generations) ended up BUILDING the temple of God! Wow!
So how does this apply to us as believers in Yeshua? Ruth is a picture of what God was planning to do all along through His son. To bring the nations into his promises and inheritance with Israel (NOT replacing by any means) through the redemptive act of Yeshua on the Cross. See, Yeshua is our Kinsman Redeemer. Together, Jew and Gentile alike, He bought us back to be his eternal bride through His precious blood. It was a high price to pay for Love. I am honored to be called his Bride and live a life worthy of that title.
And so this Feast of Weeks, let us celebrate God’s beautiful plan of redemption and heart that ALL people would be saved (2 Peter 3:9 ). He has proven himself faithful with Israel, and proves Himself still with us.