LIFE-STUDY OF RUTH
AN INTRODUCTORY WORD
Scripture Reading: Ruth 1:1-5; 2:1-2; 3:1; 4:9-10, 13, 21-22; Matt. 1:5-6
In this message we will give a brief introductory word to the Life-study of Ruth.
I. RUTH BEING AN APPENDIX
TO THE BOOK OF JUDGES, CONTEMPORARY WITH
THE FIRST HALF OF JUDGES
Ruth is an appendix to the book of Judges, contemporary with the first half of Judges. Judges is a book of Israel’s miserable history, dark and stinking; Ruth is the record of a couple’s excellent story, bright and aromatic. The main role in this story is like a lily growing out of brambles and a bright star in the dark night.
- appendix /əˈpendɪks/ 附录
- contemporary /kənˈtempəreri/ 属于同时期的
- stinking /ˈstɪŋkɪŋ/ 腐臭
- aromatic /ˌærəˈmætɪk/ 芬芳
- main role 主角
- lily 百合花
- bramble /ˈbræmbl/ 荆棘
II. THE BOOK OF RUTH BEING AN IMPORTANT PART
OF THE GENEALOGY OF CHRIST
The book of Ruth is also an important part of the genealogy of Christ (Matt. 1:5), which is the record that concerns the incarnation of Christ.
- genealogy /ˌdʒiːniˈælədʒi/ 家谱
- concern 【动】关于
In the whole universe, there is nothing greater than the incarnation of Christ. After the eternal God created man, He was nearly silent for four thousand years. During that time no one knew what God was doing. The angels did not know, and the men in the Old Testament, such as Abraham, Moses, and David, did not know. Then the eternal God came out of eternity and entered into time. He came out of eternity with His divinity in order to enter into humanity to make Himself, the Divine, one with man, the human, to become a God-man. This is the greatest thing in the entire universe. The short book of Ruth, containing only four chapters, is related in a particular way to the incarnation of Christ.
- in a particular way 以特别的方式
III. THE WRITER
According to the contents of Ruth, its writer should be Samuel, as is the case also with the book of Judges.
IV. THE TIME
According to the word “Jesse begot David” (4:22), the time of writing must have been after the rule of the judges and in the time of the kings. The time of the history covered in this book comprises eleven years, from about 1322 B.C. (1:4) to about 1312 B.C. (4:13).
- Jesse /ˈdʒesi/ 耶西
- begot 生出
- rule 统治
V. THE PLACE
The history recorded in the book of Ruth took place in Moab and Judah (1:1, 22).
- Moab /ˈmoʊæb/ 摩押
VI. THE CONTENT
The content of this book concerns a Moabitess, Ruth. Ruth belonged to the tribe of Moab (v. 4). Moab was the son of Lot, the fruit of Lot’s incestuous union with his daughter (Gen. 19:30-38). According to Deuteronomy 23:3 the Moabites were forbidden to enter the congregation of the Lord, even to the tenth generation. Thus, as a Moabitess, Ruth was an excluded one. Nevertheless, she was brought into the holy elect of God and became an important ancestor of Christ through her marriage with Boaz, the great-grandfather of King David (Ruth 4:21-22; Matt. 1:5-6), which became a factor that ushered in the incarnation of Christ (Matt. 1:5-16). From this we see that Ruth became an important ancestor to bring Christ into humanity. This ushered in the marvelous incarnation, which made God one with man. This is the intrinsic significance of the content of the book of Ruth.
- Lot 罗得
- fruit 后裔
- incestuous /ɪnˈsestʃuəs/ 乱伦
- union 结合
- forbidden /fərˈbɪdn/ 禁止
- congregation /ˌkɑːŋɡrɪˈɡeɪʃn/ 集会
- excluded /ɪkˈskluːdɪd/ 排除在外的
VII. THE CENTRAL THOUGHT
The central thought of the book of Ruth is that a Gentile, even a Moabitess, could be joined to God’s holy elect and become an heir to partake of the holy inheritance through her union with the one of the holy elect who redeemed her. This is not merely a type but a complete prefigure of the Gentile sinners’ being brought, with Israel, God’s elect, into the divine inheritance through the redemption of Christ in their union with Him.
- be joined to 联结
- heir /er/ 后嗣
- inheritance /ɪnˈherɪtəns/ 产业
- prefigure /ˌpriːˈfɪɡjər/ 表号
VIII. THE SECTIONS
The book of Ruth has six sections.
A. Elimelech’s Swerving
from the Rest in God’s Economy
The first section (1:1-2) shows us that Elimelech, one of God’s elect, swerved from the rest in God’s economy.
- Elimelech 以利米勒
- swerve /swɜːrv/ 偏离
B. Naomi’s Returning
to the Rest in God’s Economy
The second section (1:3-7, 19-22) concerns Naomi’s returning to the rest in God’s economy. Whereas Elimelech swerved from this rest, Naomi returned to it.
- Naomi /neɪˈəʊmi/ 拿俄米
C. Ruth’s Choosing for Her Goal
Some expositors speak of Ruth’s resolution or determination. What we see in Ruth, however, is not just her resolution or her determination but her choosing for her goal. This is described in the third section of the book (1:8-18).
- resolution /ˌrezəˈluːʃn/ 决意
- determination /dɪˌtɜːrmɪˈneɪʃn/ 定意
D. Ruth’s Exercising of Her Right
The next section of this book (ch. 2) covers Ruth’s exercising of her right. After she made a choice regarding her goal, she exercised her right.
- exercise the right 使用权利
E. Ruth’s Seeking for Her Rest
The fifth section of this book (ch. 3) covers Ruth’s seeking for her rest. Once she exercised the right that came to her through her choosing for her goal, Ruth, in wisdom, sought for her rest.
F. Ruth’s Reward for God’s Economy
Because Ruth was absolute for God’s economy, she received a reward from God. Ruth’s reward for God’s economy is covered in chapter four, the last section of this book.