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Friday, July 11, 2014

Ruth 1:16

And Ruth said, Intreat me not to leave thee, or to return from following after thee: for whither thou goest, I will go; and where thou lodgest, I will lodge: thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God:

For further reading - Ruth 1:1-16

The book of Ruth is one of the greatest love stories ever written. It is also the story of the "Kinsman Redeemer" which is a type of Christ, as it relates to our salvation. We'll have more on that subject in another devotional.

With these two themes there is also the record of Gentiles and Jews both in the line to the coming Messiah, Jesus Christ. This is a key component in our “journey through the Bible”, especially as it relates to Bible prophecy.

The Lord will use the love that Ruth had for her mother-in-law and the love that Boaz, the Kinsman, would develop for Ruth to teach us some very important concepts. The integration of Jews and Gentiles in the genealogy to Jesus is one. The other is how two peoples will become one people, through the person Jesus Christ.

I need to develop these thoughts for you by looking at the story line here in the first chapter of Ruth. The scene is a time of famine in Israel about 1,300 years before the birth of Jesus. The location is the little town of Bethlehem and the scene, a Jewish family that included two boys.

Elimelech, because of the famine, took his wife Naomi and their two sons, Mahlon and Chilion across the Jordan River, to the east, into the country of Moab, a Gentile nation. This Jewish family was assimilated into the Gentile culture as the two boys would fall in love with, and marry Gentile girls, Orpah and Ruth.

With the death of Naomi's husband and their two sons, there is a situation that Naomi must deal with as it relates to her daughter’s-in-law. Naomi offers them their freedom to return to their own families in Moab, the Gentile world from which they had come.

The one daughter-in-law, Orpah, did depart to return home but Ruth told Naomi, "where thou goest I will go; and where thou lodgest I will lodge."

Ruth then made a statement that has great prophetic significance. "Thy people shall be my people and thy God my God." The prophetic impact is two-fold.

The ancestral line from Abraham through Isaac and Jacob, which also includes King David is set in place and it includes a Gentile woman, Ruth. Ruth is the great grandmother of King David, Ruth 4:13-22, and in the genealogy to Jesus Christ, Matthew 1:5.

We also see how God will take two people who were at enmity with each other with a "wall of partition" between them and make "one". Out of these two people, being Gentile and Jew, God would make one “new man”, a Christian, out of this union, Ephesians 2:11-18.

The Bible teaches that God has a plan in the future for each of the three members of the human family, Gentile, Jew, and Christian. God has dealt in the past with these three, is dealing with them today and will deal with all three in the future.

The prophetic plan for each family member is now being played out, as foretold in Daniel, for the Gentile; in Ezekiel, for the Jews; and in Revelation, for the Christian. As we watch that plan unfold, we can recognize where we are in God's timeline for the End Times.

PRAYER THOT: Help me to see my part in God's plans for the future even as Ruth did.