Vs. 23 – He said he was just a “voice”. A voice is nothing more than the instrument used to proclaim what the mind thinks. Christ is the real brain, I am to just be a instrument to proclaim what He wants to be proclaimed, His Word.
John the Baptist
Vs. 20 – He admitted he was not the Christ. They wanted to know who he (John the Baptist) was. This was his time to talk himself up, to build his reputation and make a name for himself, but he didn’t. Proverbs 20:6 says that “Most men will proclaim every one his own goodness: but a faithful man who can find?” We are all tempted to make a name for ourself, but John the Baptist just wanted to do what he was sent for, he was not the Christ.
Vs. 10-11 – Christ was in the world, the world was made by Him, but still did not know him. The world did not receive Him, there was no room for Him. Just as when He was born there was no room for Him, so today in our society and lives there is no room for Him. We have become so busy with “things” that we have no time for the ONE who made this world. I many times have so many things I need to do or have on my mind and do not put my priority of stopping and making time for the most important priority – the ONE who made this world, gave me life, and is always good to me.
Ruth 4 — The Nameless Wonder
Boaz wants to redeem Naomi and Ruth, but there is one more kinsman closer that has the right to do so. Boaz calls him over and tells him that he can redeem them. The man at first says, “I will redeem it” (vs. 5), but once he finds out that he has to take Ruth in the inheritance, he says, “I cannot redeem it for myself, lest I mar mine own inheritance” (vs. 6). The man is so worried about his own self that he doesn’t want to “mar” his own inheritance. This man remains nameless, or as vs. 1 calls him, “such a one”. Boaz later marries Ruth and she enters into the lineage of Christ… she was a blessing to Boaz, not a burden like this nameless man thought. Because he was unwilling to redeem her, he lost out on great blessings… and was nameless.
When we play it safe, don’t get involved, save our money and avoid getting too close or doing too much, we may save ourselves from a moment of heartache, but we will also be nameless in the lives of many who could be helped and know or grow in the Lord. May we not shy away but run to help.
Ruth 3 — A Wonderful Testimony
When Boaz speaks to Ruth, he tells her “all the city of my people doth know that thou art a virtuous woman” (vs. 11). He knows all that she had done for her mother-in-law, how she left her own father and mother and land to come with her mother-in-law (2:11). He knows that she “followedst not young men” (3:10). Ruth had a great reputation, a good name. She had a reputation of not being like the other girls and running after the guys, being a hard worker, being loyal to her mother-in-law, being dedicated, and a virtuous woman. She has such a good name that later the women of the city tell Naomi that Ruth is “better tto thee than sever sons” (4:15). This was a very strong statement in a age where women were counted as little worth and a man child was what really “counted”. Ruth’s reputation was excellent amongst “all the city”.
Proverbs 22:1 teaches that a good name is rather to be chosen that great riches. We should have such a work ethic, love for God, love for people, love for our family and the lost that all can know. Matthew 5:16 says that we should live so that all can see our good works. I Cor. 8:3 teaches that if we love God, we should be known by that love for God… others should see it. We should build a good name, have a good testimony, because it is greater than riches.
Ruth 2 — No Coincidences with God
“she went, and came, and gleaned in the field after the reapers: and her hap was to light on a part of the field belonging unto Boaz” (vs. 3). Naomi later rejoices and tells Ruth that “the man is near of kin unto us, one of our next kinsmen” (vs. 20). We know who Boaz is and how he ends up becoming the one who redeems Ruth, bringing her into the lineage of Christ. Boaz turns out to be God’s blessing for Ruth and “under whose wings thou art come to trust” (vs. 12). It was here with Boaz that he commands his workers to let “fall also some of the handfuls of purpose for her” (vs. 16). Coming on this field was going to be a place where she found protection, providence, and great blessings.
When Naomi and Ruth come back to Israel, they have no job, so Ruth goes to a field where she can work and gather some substance for her and Naomi to live. The amazing thing is that she just happens to arrive at Boaz’ field… no, she doesn’t just “happen” to arrive there, this was ordained by God.
There are no coincidences with God, it is His leading and guidance. God is sovereign and knows all and allows our steps to lead us to where He has plans. Yes we can choose differently and run from God, but loving the God of Naomi (the God of Israel who is the one and only true God), will permit you to be lead where the sovereign God holds His blessings. In my own life, I can give testimony that God so many times has lead me to where, at the moment I had no idea, He is holding blessings and has great lessons for me. I look back and see that arriving at certain churches was not an accident, they were partners to help me to get to Argentina. Meeting my Mindy was not just another girl in college, she became my lifelong friend and wife. Arriving to La Plata in Argentina was not just a city, it was where God was already putting pieces together to do a work. What seems coincidental could be part of God’s bigger plan.
Ruth 1 — Now that’s Dedication
Ruth, who is a Moabite living in Moab, has lost her husband, father-in-law and brother-in-law. Now her mother-in-law Naomi is leaving Moab to return to Israel. Ruth’s sister-in-law decides to stay when Naomi tells her to, but Ruth decides to go with her beloved mother-in-law. She tells her “Intreat me not to leave thee, or to return from following after thee: for whither thou goest, I will go; and where thou longest, I will lodge: thy people shall be my people and thy God my God; Where thou diest, will I die, and there will I be buried: the Lord do so to me, and more also, if ought but death part thee and me” (vs. 16-17). Ruth was so dedicated that when Naomi saw her dedication, “then she left speaking unto her” (vs. 18). Ruth was truly dedicated to her mother-in-law, she had no plans of leaving and proved that in her life, not just said measly words.
These are beautiful words that we sometimes use in wedding vows. What a great truth and words of dedication they are that a spouse can promise to his/her spouse while giving vows on that special day. But these should be refreshed in our mind frequently. The greatest union outside of Christ and the church is that of the marriage union. We are leaving and cleaving, we are promising to stick together until death do us part, we are wholly giving ourselves to each other. And as Ruth, these should not be measly words, these should be heart-felt words that will become our actions