Ruth of Moab.
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I want to title this little talk this morning, as I teach it, trying to bring a faith to you of redemption and what it is and how to receive it, I want to title it: “The Kinsman Redeemer.” Now, to redeem anything is to bring it back. Something that's been lost, like put in a pawnshop. And you go down and redeem that, it's redeemed by a price. Then it's your personal property, after you have redeemed it. But the law of redemption in Israel, had to be a kinsman to redeem a property or something that had been lost.
Our story starts out in the time of the rulers of Israel which was the judges, after the death of Joshua. And to find a very beautiful picture of this, read about the first five or six chapters of I Samuel, and you will get the real story of it.
Now many people look at this book of Ruth, as they say, “It's a love story of the Bible.” The Bible is a love story. The whole Bible is a love story. Not only is it a love story, but it's a prophet. Not only is it a prophet, but it's also a history. Not only is it a love story, a history, a prophet, it's God Himself. Because, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” So the Word is God on print. That ought to settle it, brethren. God on print. Jehovah printed on a book. And there's none of it just some kind of a fiction tale, but it's all absolutely the truth; every phase of it, hang your soul. It's there, it's the truth. And God will back His Word up.
And this story was written.... And all the old manuscripts, when they were segregating the Bible (the holy men), when they were trying to put it together in the Old Testament, this book of Ruth was one of the outstanding books that they accepted. Why? If it's just a love story, why would the writers and ancient sages accept this book as inspired? Because there's a hidden revelation in it. And in this hidden revelation, you catch the real meaning, and it'll bring you real close to God. And I pray my whole soul this morning, that God will catch every heart so spellbound, till He'll reveal Hisself, just what He is, in this story-what He is to you, how to accept Him. And when you once see it, it's so simple you wonder how you ever went over the top of it. But it can only be revealed by the Holy Spirit.
Now, this story starts out something on that manner; as a lovable, sweet woman, her name was Naomi. Naomi means “pleasant.” Elimelech, was her husband, means “worship.” Pleasant worship was her family. They had a son Mahlon, that means “sickness.” And Chilion, the other one, meant “weary, gloomy, sadness.” There was the family. And they ... come a famine in the land of Israel. And the first mistake a Jew ever makes is leave that land. God gave them that land. When Abraham was given that land, God told him not to leave that land. And he made a mistake when he went down into Gerar, got in trouble. A Jew is never to leave Palestine. That's his allotted place. And they have been drove out all over the world, and now they are returning back again.
Now, I want to liken, this morning, Naomi, the elder lady, to the Orthodox church, the Jewish Orthodox church. Ruth, the Moabite, a Gentile, being the Christian church, the new church. And I want to approach it from four different phases: Ruth (I got it wrote here), Ruth deciding, making her decision; Ruth serving; Ruth resting; Ruth rewarded. As we come back, Ruth making the decision; Ruth, after she made her decision, then Ruth is serving; then Ruth is resting; then Ruth is rewarded.
Ruth making a decision. Now, Ruth serving under her decision. (Now watch just a minute.) Now, she goes into the field to glean. Now, her mother told her (which, the Old Testament telling the New, you know), her mother told her, said, “We've got a kinsman, and his name is Boaz. He's a rich man. And He's a near kinsman. You go to his field and perhaps.... Don't you go to another field, go to his field.” How the Holy Spirit tells us not to get off in some kind of a church book, some kind of a catechism, but go to God's field, the Old Testament, the Bible. Don't say, “Well, we'll say this. And we'll say this for a prayer. We'll have this.” Stay right with the field. Go right in it because He's a near kinsman.
God's Word, the Old Testament, is a near kinsman to the New. The old church is a mother to the new church (see), the Christian, a believer. “Don't go to another field. Stay right in his field. And maybe someday you might find grace with him.” And one day while she was out in the field, this rich young man by the name of Boaz, a ruler, a wealthy man, came by and he saw her. Oh! when he saw her, he fell in love with her. He thought she was a wonderful woman. He liked her character. You remember he said, “I know, and the people know, that thou art a virtuous woman.” Made her decision clean and clear. Come right back over and live just exactly what she said she'd do.
In otherwise, today they'd say, “We know that you're a Christian. We know that thou art a man of God, because no man could do these miracles except God be with him.” That's what Nicodemus said to Jesus, said, “Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God: no man can do the things that you do, except God be with him”; when he could see Him sit there and discern the very thoughts of their heart. A woman touched His garment, turned around and said, “Who touched me?” All of them denied it. And looked back out in the audience, and said, “You, with a blood issue, there. Your faith has made you well.” Said, “No man can do that except God be with him! We know you come from God. We can't accept you, because we'll be kicked out of the church.” See, that grafted vine, Brother West, as we was talking last night. They'll kick you out. “But down in our hearts we know you come from the original vine.” Christ is the vine, we are the branches. “We know, because we see the same life that is in God, that's in you.” That's what Boaz had seen in Ruth, that clean-cut decision, that virtue of woman standing there. And he fell in love with her.
Now, I want you to notice, Naomi, the old church, begin to explain to Ruth all the laws about her religion; like the Old Testament is a shadow of the New. Now, I want you to get this story right here. Now, I want to show the shadows. The Old Testament explains the New, if you'll just read it, for it is a foreshadow of the New. Now if I was going towards that wall, and I had never seen myself, and I seen my shadow, I would know ... have some conception of what I'd look like. If you know what the New Testament is, read the Old and you'll see the shadow of it, see. And then when the New Testament comes in, you'll say, “Why, sure, this is it.” The book of Hebrews, going back, Paul explaining it.
Now, notice closely now, when Ruth said ... or, Naomi said to Ruth, said, “Now, he is our kinsman. And if you can find grace with him, you'll find rest.” (Oh, my!) “If you can find grace, you'll find rest.” Boaz represented Christ, the rich man, the heir of all things, the Lord of the harvest. Oh, my! How, as Boaz come riding out there in that carriage, looking around over the fields, and his eyes fell on Ruth. He was master. He was lord of the harvest. And she found grace in his sight. That's what the church does today. While the Lord of the harvest is going by, He ain't looking to big buildings, big steeples, well-trained choirs. He's looking for individuals! Men and women who are dedicated and made a clean-cut for Christ, consecrated themselves to His service: “God, I believe it! Every word of it. When Your Word says anything, I stay right with it. That's Your Word. I believe it, every word.” That's what He's looking for, the Lord of the harvest. That's what He wants to give-the Holy Spirit to those who are hungering and thirsting. “Blessed are ye that hunger and thirst: for ye shall be filled.” He's trying to find that church today.
Now then, Ruth was asked to do something that was disgraceful, but she was willing because she had made her decision. What a type of the believer. What a perfect type! Naomi, the old church, said, “Go down tonight, it's barley season.” Oh, what a beautiful thought we could hang on right there. Naomi and Ruth come in just at barley season. Barley season was bread season!- the season when fresh bread was being served. And the church in this last days, through two thousand years of pagan teaching and things, has come in at barley season, freshness of life, new bread, honey out of heaven. (Russell, talk about a honey-crust bread!) This is it! Bread from heaven. “I am the bread of life. Your fathers did eat manna and are dead. But I am the bread of life that comes from God out of heaven. If a man eats this bread he'll never die.” And the church in this last days here is brought in, right now, at barley season.
Ruth, a Gentile, excommunicated, run-off, has been brought in as (to be accepted as bride, Christ) come in just at barley season. He said, “Now, put thy garments upon thee”; not, “take thy garments off of thee.” How contrary to today. “Gird thy garments upon thee, when you go to meet him. He's going to winnow barley tonight. Go down and put your garments on you. Cover yourself up, to meet him.” Today, they want to uncover themselves. “Cover yourself. Go down because he winnows barley. And then mark the place where he lieth down.” Did you do it? On Golgotha! Many years ago, I marked in my heart where He laid down His life that He might take me. “Mark the place that he lieth down. Watch where he laid.” That's what every believer should do. Mark what He done for you. Last Sunday's message on “The Visit to Calvary.” Mark what He did for you.
She said, “Mark where he lieth down. Then when he lieth down to sleep (to rest), you go lie down by his feet.” Not his head; his feet!-unworthy. “And take the blanket that he was covered with, and pull it over you.” Do you see it? Oh, my! I know you may think I'm a fanatic, but that just suits me just right, that Spirit of God. Mark where He laid ... Calvary; where He laid down in the tomb; in Gethsemane. Mark, and crawl up to His feet, and lie down there and die to yourself, see. There you are. Cover yourself over with His skirt. She said, “the skirt,” she called it. And Ruth said, “What you say, that I'll do.” Oh, what a clear-cut decision for a believer! “What the Bible says, that I'll do. It says, 'Repent, and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ,' I'll do it. If it says, 'Go ye into all the world and preach the gospel,' I'll do it. If it says ... whatever it says, 'Jesus Christ the same, yesterday, today, forever,' what it says for me to do, I'll do it!” See, the church taking its orders from the Word. She laid down.
Now remember, that was a disgrace, for that young widow woman to be laying by the side of this man, at his feet. A disgrace to the outside world! Oh, can you stand it? Here it is. Look! Look, this is it! The church, the young women, the young men, the old or young, is asked to separate themselves from the world and come into a place, a kingdom of the Holy Ghost, that's disgraceful to the world. In their own heart they know what it's all about. But to the world they become a fanatic, they become a holy roller or something on that idea, some disgraceful name. But the church is asked to do it. Are you willing to mark the place, and lie down? Let the world call you anything they want to.
The old song used to say:
I've started to walk with Jesus alone (See?),
Have for a pillow, like Jacob, a stone;
And I'll take the way with the Lord's despised few,
I've started in with Jesus, and I'm going through.
Mark the place where He laid down. And lie down there with Him. Are you ready to go to Calvary this morning, as I said last Sunday? Have you marked the place in your life? Have you brought yourself to that place, where Jesus was crucified?
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Tarry this night, and it shall be in the morning, that if he will perform unto thee the part of a kinsman, well; let him do the kinsman's part: but if he will not do the part of a kinsman to thee, then will I do the part of a kinsman to thee, as the LORD liveth: lie down until the morning.