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By: Larry Shaffer
The book of Ruth
“For the Lord takes pleasure in His people; He will beautify the afflicted ones with salvation.” Psalms 149:4
In our studies this week, we are transitioning from Genesis and the Abrahamic Covenant to the story of Ruth and Boaz. Not only is Ruth and Boaz an epic love story but it’s a story that places the continuance of God to fulfill the Abrahamic Covenant on a pedestal. It’s all connected. The essence of the Old Testament is the perseverance of God to fulfill the Abrahamic Covenant over many centuries leading to the inauguration of the New Covenant through our Messiah, Jesus.
The wonder of Ruth and Boaz not only shows the work of God to fulfill His covenant, but it reveals the nature of God. In other words, it shows the manner of “How” God goes does what He does and reveals His nature and attributes. How does God go about the work of fulfilling the Abrahamic Covenant? See our verse for the day from Psalms 149:4; “For the Lord takes pleasure in His people; He will beautify the afflicted ones with salvation.” To beautify is to clothe. To remove ragged, soiled garments and clothe with the wardrobe of royalty. The Lord led me to this Psalm this morning as I was randomly doing some cross referencing on another study. It jumped out at me and seized me with the realization that this verse describes the theme of Ruth beautifully. Psalm 149:4 describes the story of Ruth and it describes my life as well as yours. He “beautifies the afflicted ones with salvation.”
Keep it pure!
One would think that fulfilling the Abrahamic Covenant would include keeping the seed of the blood-line pure from Abraham to Jesus. In the succession of royalty, a pure, noble blood-line is important. The Old Testament reveals that God does in fact keep it pure and noble but not in the usual manner. Abraham was the father of the Jewish nation. So, one would think that God would keep the line of heritage noble and pure by insuring that only noble Jews marry noble Jews and therefore, their children are noble Jews that then marry only noble Jews, etc. But God doesn’t do it that way.
In Ruth, we will see God insert an Amorite harlot into the bloodline; a son of harlot; and an idol-worshipping Moabitess widow. The nation of Moabite was initiated through incest. Their bloodline was corrupt from day one. Yuk!!!
How does He do it?
So, how does God insert these corrupted people into the Messianic bloodline without corrupting it? He does it by “beautifying the afflicted with the garments of salvation.” He takes the un-pure and makes them pure. He replaces filthy rags with robes of royalty. He transforms the poor and afflicted into the rich and famous (spiritually). He redeems the sinner with righteousness. This is the story of Ruth and by God’s grace, when you put your faith in Jesus, it is your story too! Amen!
Please forward this to others who might be blessed by studying Ruth along with us. We’ll begin tomorrow.