Sunday, March 2, 2014

The Book of Ruth Series - Preparations - Lesson 17

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“Therefore wash yourself and anoint yourself, put on your best garment and go down to the threshing floor…” (Ruth 3:3)

Naomi desired security for Ruth and following these detailed instructions may just help her find it. However the Hebrew word translated security, manowach (pronounced maw-no’-akh), can also mean a settled spot or (place of) rest. Having the security of a home, a husband and children would give Ruth rest, but not rest from work altogether. It would be rest from laboring to provide food and shelter and living life on her own.

Now, since Ruth represents the church, can you see the spiritual side of this rest.

Jesus says, “Come to me all you who labor…and I will give you rest.” Our rest is salvation and ultimately, heaven. Because Hebrews 4:9-11 exhorts us to be “…diligent to enter that rest…” and some versions declare, “…labor therefore…” it almost seems like an oxymoron. However, Scripture never says believers will cease working. In fact, God prepared work for us to do before our salvation. Our labor is to deny self, take up our cross, follow Christ, preach the gospel and make disciples. Our life, work and rest in Christ are akin to how the Jews inhabited the Promised Land.  They worked hard and fought many battles before obtaining their rest.

Therefore, we all must follow Naomi’s instructions.

Ruth was to wash. For us, this would be repentance. 
David Schwartz - www.clker.com

When we confess our sins, Scripture assures God is faithful and just to forgive and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. By shedding His blood and dying on the cross, Jesus demonstrated His love. In so doing, He gave us the option of choosing repentance and life in Him. When we do, He sanctifies and cleanses us with the washing of water by the word. Though our sins are like scarlet, He makes them white as snow.

Next, Naomi told Ruth to anoint herself possibly with fragrant oil. In Scripture, oil represents God’s Holy Spirit. Therefore, Ruth’s anointing pictures the indwelling Holy Spirit.

When the prophet Samuel anointed David as king of Israel, he used a horn filled with oil. When the oil oozed from David’s head striping his face, Scripture says,”…the Spirit of the Lord came upon David from that day forward…” II Corinthians 1:21-22 assures, Now He who establishes us with you in Christ and has anointed us is God, who also has sealed us and given us the Spirit in our hearts as a guarantee.”

Bible illustrations by Sweet Media
Naomi’s last instruction was for Ruth to dress in her best garment. For us this would be our garment of salvation, our robe of righteousness.

These are the preparations for the Bride of Christ who “…has made herself ready. And to her it was granted to be arrayed in fine linen, clean and bright, for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints.”

However, our righteous acts are contingent upon Jesus, for He is
           THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS.


Ruth was prepared to do all that Naomi instructed. Are you?

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