Ruth 3

What is going on in Ruth 3? Is there a moral lesson for us? How about this;

  1. Do what is asked of you.
  2. Be submissive, yielded, willing, and take direction.
  3. Put yourself into action and submit, do as Ruth did, and Naomi did, and as Boaz did.

Again though, that is putting you and me at the centre of this, making us the main character in this story, and essentially we’re then saying that the Bible is really about us. But, we know it’s not, don’t we?

So, where is Jesus in this?

Well, Ruth called out to be saved in v.9,

So she went down to the threshing floor and did just as her mother-in-law had commanded her. And when Boaz had eaten and drunk, and his heart was merry, he went to lie down at the end of the heap of grain. Then she came softly and uncovered his feet and lay down. At midnight the man was startled and turned over, and behold, a woman lay at his feet! He said, “Who are you?” And she answered, “I am Ruth, your servant. Spread your wings over your servant, for you are a redeemer.”

Ruth 3.6-9

Ruth here then is living out the truth that redemption is found under the protection of the wings, being in the care of, submitting to, the redeemer. This brings safety, security, and salvation.

This has been a consistent message from Genesis to Revelation, maybe it is easier to see in some places than others, but that’s ok, more light is shone on this as we move along the bigger picture of the Bible. But, at the core, the truth has always been the same – call on the name of the Lord to be saved; call out, ask, seek, knock, trust.

One place that it is really clear and that helps us understand what Ruth has done here, and what you can do, is in the book of Joel, one of the Minor Prophets.

In Joel, we are reading a prophesy, a future prediction about the Day of the Lord. Joel writes on a couple of variations of it, ready?; 

  • The day is past, being experienced in a plague of locusts and in a natural drought and famine in 1.2-12
  • The day is current or imminent, the day was to be carried out by an enemy military force in 2.1-11
  • The day is future: immediately in the salvation of Jerusalem from current problems, long term, in the giving of the Spirit of God on all people and the deliverance of all who call on the name of the Lord, and ultimate in the eternal holiness of Jerusalem, protected from its enemies in 2.28-32 and 3.

In the future day of great judgement (end of the world type stuff) God says to His people Israel look, 

return to me with all your heart,

with fasting, with weeping, and with mourning;

and rend your hearts and not your garments.”

Return to the LORD your God,

for he is gracious and merciful,

slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love;

and he relents over disaster.

Later in ch.2 we read that at this time of universal judgement, those Spirit-empowered, faith-filled, Redeemer-trusting people will be saved, will be redeemed. Now, Joel 2 is not a blanket truth; we don’t need to pretend we are the people of Joel 2, because we are not the people of Israel, are we, but, the principle within that pledge is so applicable and true; 

call on the name of the Lord to be saved, ask, seek, knock, 

as Ruth said, “Spread your wings over your servant, for you are a redeemer.” 

See, no matter how much evil there is in the world, no matter how far from God we think we may be, no matter how desperate the situation may be in which we find ourselves, no matter if we are childless widows from a different country, no matter the current state of the world or your life, God has already provided the solution, God has already provided a way out.

This solution came, He lived, He died, He rose again, and He ascended, at which time He sent another solution, another solution of the same kind. The Holy Spirit comes alongside us, to abide in us, to walk with us.

Ruth called out and said

Spread your wings over your servant, for you are a redeemer. 

Joel says to God’s people of the OT

The sunlight will be turned to darkness

and the moon to the colour of blood,

before the day of the LORD comes–

that great and terrible day! 

It will so happen that

everyone who calls on the name of the LORD will be delivered.

Paul says to the believers in Rome

…if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 

… because…

“everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”

I’m saying to you today, now, that the same God who redeemed Ruth from a desperate and dire situation through the person and work of Boaz, is the same God who Joel says promises to redeem His people who call out to Him on the future Day of the Lord, is the same God who Paul is saying will answer the prayer of salvation from the believers in Rome, and is the same God that stands ready to redeem you if you call on His Name and take refuge in Him through faith in the person and work of Jesus. 


For more on the Minor Prophets, check out this daily devotional walkthrough!

https://books.apple.com/gb/book/the-minor-prophets-day-by-day/id1519395811

Who Will Save Me?

Eliphaz continues his counsel and asks Job another question, something that we have all asked at some point,

Call now; is there anyone who will answer you?
To which of the holy ones will you turn?

Job 5.1

Having laid out his first batch of counsel for Job (4.2-21), Eliphaz asks this rather poignant question, is there anyone who will answer you? Job must have asked himself this whilst enduring the worst that earthly life can throw at him, who will save me?

If you have ever been through any of Job’s trials and tribulations you will no-doubt have asked yourself this question too, who is going to save me, who is going to make this better

It’s important to say here that God always saves. Period. Full stop. He promises to save you (John 3.16-18). It’s also really important to say that God promises to always deliver us through circumstances, but never promises to save us from our circumstances. A fine difference in language but a perspective-altering difference too.

The Lord never guarantees to rescue and deliver us from every situation that trials us. We are seeing here that Job is living through this trial, he is experiencing profound loss and grief. The Lord does, however, promise to rescue us in spite of them, to rescue us despite what is going on around us unto eternal life with Him.

Paul had the proper perspective here (2 Timothy 3.10-11), and believed in a God that can work miracles to deliver His people, but never guarantees it. Paul knew that even though he was in prison, even though he was awaiting execution, that the Lord would never leave nor forsake him, would always be an ever present help in times of need, and even if earthly circumstances seem to have defeated him, that his Lord and Saviour had overcome the world and had something far greater waiting on the other side. 

Is that something you know?

The prophet Joel knew this, didn’t he, when he wrote that everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved (2.32). This is where Job would be calling, this is where Job’s answer will come from, this is the Holy One to whom we all turn. Turn to Him today! 

The Gospel in Joel

Joel gives us both the bad news of Godʼs judgment and the good news of his promised deliverance, and there is plenty of tension between the two, isn’t there, they arefurious opposites.​

Both the judgment and the promise remind us of this balance, this tension, of our desperate need for Godʼs help. The judgment that our sins deserve is far worse than a plague of locusts referenced in chapter one, and the promise of the Holy Spirit reminds us that the help we need is nothing less than supernatural. We are so ill-equipped to take care of this ourselves that the help we need is supernatural, not man made.

Here is the Gospel in Joel – Through the ministry of Jesus Christ, the requirements of judgment and of supernatural provision have both been met

Jesus took upon himself the plague and place of judgment for our sins (2 Corinthians 5.21)and then promised (John 14.16) and provided (Acts 2) the gift of the Holy Spirit.

​How do we balance the good and evil, how do we balance the idea that God is righteous and holy and cannot tolerate sin and therefore take action with a God of mercy, of love, of forgiveness, or compassion, and of love? How do we balance the righteous requirements of justice and judgement with the deep desire to forgive and love that sparks this?

G.K. Chesterton said this,

Christianity got over the difficulty of combining furious opposites, by keeping them both, and keeping them both furious.  

See, no matter how much evil there is in the world, no matter how far from God we think we may be, no matter how desperate the situation may be in which we find ourselves, no matter the world-ending power that is encapsulated in the wrath of God, God has already provided the solution, God has already provided a way out, and He came, He lived, He died, He rose again, and He ascended, at which time He sent another, another helper, the Holy Spirit to come alongside us, to abide in us, to walk with us.

All of this is reconciled in the person and the work of Jesus.

He took upon Himself the sins of the entire world, we are not denying that sin or evil do not exist, that they are mere facets or our imagination, but we are saying that God loves you so much that He took action, personally, to redeem you from this, to save you from it, ultimately and eternally, that He struck the perfect balance in the person and work of Jesus.