Studies in the Book of Ruth

The Bible is a gradual unfolding of the character of God, and of His plan of redemption. For instance:

    Genesis is the book of beginnings—beginning of the universe, sin, judgment, man.

    Exodus is the book of redemption—first by blood (Passover), then by power (Red Sea).

    Leviticus is the book of worship.

    Numbers is the walk and warfare of the believer.

    Deuteronomy is the book of obedience—this is the most spiritual book of the Pentateuch, insisting on implicit obedience to Jehovah, His Word, and His laws.

    Joshua is the book of possession—entrance into and possession of the inheritance in the land of Canaan.

    Judges is the book of failure—disobedience always brings distress, doubt and death.

    Samuel is the book of the kingdom—united under Saul, David, and Solomon; then divided.

Between the books of failure and the books of the kingdom is the book of Ruth, which sets forth the marriage of Boaz and Ruth.

This has tremendous teaching in our day. The book of failure (Judges) represents Christendom. The books of the kingdom (Samuel) represent the Millennium. The book of Ruth, which depicts the marriage of Boaz (Christ) and Ruth (the Bride) is between the two.

This points us to the marriage of Christ and the Church which will take place after the age of failure and before the Millennial kingdom is set up.

Two books devoted to women: Ruth (Gentile), Esther (Jew).

The story begins in the beautiful little town of Bethlehem in Judah. The house of bread, the house of praise. This is where the Lord was born 1100 years later—Matthew 2:1.

Old Testament (Joshua-2 Kings)

Lesson 58: Joshua—Call And Commission
Joshua 1:1-18
Golden Text: Joshua, 1:9

We are now introduced to the new leader of Israel whose history we shall follow for the next eight lessons. I. His Preparation. He had a long period of preparation. This is true of all God’s servants. He must be faithful in the little things of life before he can be entrusted with the greater responsibilities. 1 Timothy 3:6, 10.

1. A courageous soldier; Exodus 17:13. Cp. 2 Timothy 2:3; 1 Timothy 6:11, 12.

2. A devoted servant; Exodus 24:3. He who would lead must first serve. Cp. 2 Kings 3:11; 1 Timothy 3:10; John 13:12-17; Proverbs 15:33; Mark 10:45.

3. A true worshipper; Exodus 33:11. Cp. John 4: 23, 24.

4. A faithful witness; Numbers 14:6-9. He stood out against the popular opinion and witnessed for God. Cp 2 Timothy 1:8-12; 4:1-5; Romans 1:14-16; Proverbs 14:25.

5. Taught in the Word; Exodus 17:14. Cp. 2 Timothy 2:15; Titus 1-9

6. Spirit filled; Numbers 27:18. Cp. Ephesians 1:13; 5:18; Gal 5:22-23.

7. Divinely appointed; Numbers 27:18-23. Cp. John 15:16, etc. Note his name—Joshua means “Jehovah, Saviour;” translated “Jesus.” Hebrews 4:8, and a wonderful type of Christ.

II. His Commission; Joshua 1:1-18.

1. The charge from God; Vs. 1-2.

2. The promise; Vs. 3-4. Note that personal appropriation was essential. They must possess their possessions. So with the Christian—he has “all things;” 1 Corinthians 3:21-23; and “all blessings,” Ephesians 1:3; but only enjoys that which he appropriates himself. See Genesis 14: 17, 18 “Arise and walk through the land.”

From The Editor’s Notebook: Historical Books, Ruth

From The Editor’s Notebook

W. Ross Rainey

Highlights From the Historical Books of the Bible

Ruth: The Book of Rest Through Redemption

Key words: Rest (1:9, 3:1) and Redeem (4:4, 6).

Message: Rest through redemption and union.

Key Verse: “Then she said, Sit still, my daughter, until thou know how the matter will fall: for the man will not be in rest, until he have finished the thing this day” (3:18).


Of the book of Ruth, W. Graham Scroggie has helpfully said: “This is one of the only two books of the Bible which bear the name of a woman, and in many respects they present remarkable contrasts. The one is of a Gentile woman, Ruth, who was brought into the midst of Jews, among whom she henceforth lives her life; and the other is of a Jewish woman, Esther, who is taken into the midst of Gentiles, where, with equal fidelity and grace, she plays the part ordained for her by God. RUTH is a lovely pastoral idyll, the tale of a friendship between two women, and the grand climax up to which all is working is the birth of a baby. After reading JUDGES xvii.-xxi., RUTH is like a lovely lily in a stagnant pool. Here, instead of unfaithfulness, is loyalty, and instead of immorality, is purity. Here, instead of battlefields are harvest fields, and instead of the warriors shout is the harvester’s song.”1

Ruth 4

Naomi spoke the truth. Boaz would not rest until he should have completed the work that he in his kindness and energy had undertaken. He wanted the one he loved to find rest and that it might be well with her (Ruth 3: 1), and he knew that this could only be possible when united with himself. So it is with the Lord and us. His life on earth was a life of toil for our sakes crowned by the unspeakable "travail of His soul" on the cross. Thus He has fulfilled His promise, "I will give you rest."...

Ruth 3

Naomi, as we have said, presents us an example not only of experience, but also of intelligence. How fortunate for Ruth to find such a guide! Naomi commands, but her orders are in no way irksome, for they are the commandments of love. "My daughter, shall I not seek rest for thee, that it may be well with thee?" (v. 1). That which she directs she does in view of her beloved Ruth's well-being, but also because she knows the heart of Boaz: "Is not Boaz of our kindred?" Ruth, the woman of faith,...

Ruth 2

In chapter 1 we have seen the admirable expression of Ruth's faith. Indeed, it is admirable, for such is the character of all that comes from God. Did not Jesus Himself admire the centurion of Capernaum who through faith acknowledged his own unworthiness and the omnipotence of the Lord's word to heal his servant? Chapter 2 now shows us different characteristics of this faith and the blessings that grace brings to it. Up to this point Ruth's faith was resting on the work of grace which God...

Ruth 1

"And it came to pass in the days when the judges ruled, that there was a famine in the land" (v. 1). These words indicate the specific circumstances of the scene. We are in the days of the judges in the land of Israel. But there is a famine, this is a period when God's providential ways are operating in judgment on His people. "And a certain man went from Bethlehem-Judah, to sojourn in the country of Moab, he, and his wife, and his two sons." Bethlehem, the city which would become the Messia...


The events of the Book of Ruth take place during the sad conditions and circumstances characterizing the rule of the Judges; yet there is nothing in common between this account's train of thought and that of the account preceding it. The Book of Judges describes the ruin of the people of Israel left to their own responsibility. This ruin was without remedy despite the tender care of divine mercy which sought to restore the people and often succeeded in partially restoring them. In contrast t...


From: Lectures Introductory to the Earlier Historical Books of the Old Testament.

That the book of Ruth stands most fitly in the place where it is actually found must have been felt by the spiritual mind. Indeed it is apparent to every attentive reader of Scripture; for by outward marks it clearly belongs to the place where God has presented it to us. As to the time of what is brought before us, it belongs to the days of the Judges, as we are expressly told, and thus was clearly before the immense change which God was pleased to bring in and to have recorded for our instruction in 1 Samuel. Nevertheless, its character being singularly different from that which we find in Judges, none need wonder that it stands in a distinct book.


The Book of Ruth tells us also of the days of the judges, when there was no king in Israel; but it shews us the fair side of those days, in the operations of the grace of God, who (blessed be His name!) never failed to work in the midst of the evil, as also in the steady progress of events towards the fulfilment of His promises in the Messiah, whatever may have been the simultaneous progress of the general evil. Ruth, a stranger seeking shelter by faith under the wings of the God of Israe...
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