The studies contained in this book were given to the members and friends of the First Pilgrim Tabernacle in Grand Rapids, Michigan, during the forepart of 1935.
These messages were taken in shorthand and revised by my daughter, Miss Olive Boone, and Miss Marie Verdonk, members of the Tabernacle, to whom I am greatly indebted.
I feel grateful to the HOLY SPIRIT Who has revealed much truth to me in the months of study on the book. Throughout the study I have diligently and prayerfully sought to honor the Lord JESUS CHRIST, Who is so wonderfully pictured in the character "Boaz" -- the "redeemer." Besides this truth, much practical help may be found for the child of GOD who desires to be a "gleaner" in His Word. There is also a warning note to the backslider, who has wandered away from his Father's house, with the encouragement that there is a way home.
I am earnestly requesting the reader to study this book with his Bible open. If he will look up the verses quoted, he will have a better understanding of GOD's Word, GOD's plan, and GOD's SON.
I am sending this book forth on the wings of prayer, trusting that it will be a blessing and a help to those who desire to study the Book of Ruth, verse by verse. We trust that the reader will receive as much good in reading "Ruth's Romance of Redemption," as I have obtained in preparing it. May the blessing of the Lord, that maketh rich and addeth no sorrow, rest upon the efforts put forth, is my prayer.
- Edward Boone
THE STRUCTURE OF THE BOOK
There are two main divisions in the Book of Ruth, namely:
1. "Find Grace." Chapters 1 and 2
2. "Find Rest." Chapters 3 and 4
It is the plan of GOD that the Gentiles (as Ruth) should "Find Grace, "His unmerited favor," for this is the need of mankind. Ruth said to Naomi, "Let me now go to the field, and glean ears of corn after him in whose sight I shall Find Grace." (2:2). GOD's grace is so wonderful. His love so admirable, His mercy so enduring, and His fellowship so sweet that the Christian is made to ask with Ruth, "Why have I found grace in thine eyes?" (2:10).
It is also the plan of GOD that the Gentiles should "Find Rest." Naomi was so interested in Ruth that she wanted her to "Find Rest." (1:9, 3:1). The only place in the world for man to find rest is, as Ruth, at the feet of Boaz, who is a sevenfold type of CHRIST, as will be seen later in our study of the Book. GOD desires that all men should find His grace and should be delivered from the bondage of a sinful life, and then He plans for them the soul rest so clearly typified by Canaan's rest. Thus, we see that the two main divisions of the Book show what GOD has planned for the Church, which is composed mostly of Gentiles.
I have divided the book into seven studies which cover, verse by verse, the entire four chapters. These we have arranged with alliterated headings.
1. The Distress and the Removal -- 1:1-5
2. The Decision and the Return -- 1:6-18
3. The Damage and the Reception -- 1:19-22
4. The Damsel and the Relationship -- 2:1-14
5. The Demand and the Revelation -- 2:15-23
6. The Devotion and the Reward -- 3:1-18
7. David and the Redeemer -- 4:1-22
THE TITLE OF THE BOOK
The title of the book is "Ruth's Romance of Redemption." The main teaching of the Book of Ruth is that there is redemption by the kinsman redeemer for Ruth, the Moabitish Gentile. The Gentiles are here introduced, in type, to the Gospel of CHRIST. The burden of Paul's message contained this truth -- "That the Gentiles should be fellow-heirs, and of the same body, and partakers of his promise in Christ by the gospel" (Ephesians 3:6). The reader can readily understand how the plan of redemption for the Gentiles is taught in the book by the seven following words, which may be applied, respectively, to each of the seven studies in the book.
1. DEGRADATION -- 1:1-5
2. RENUNCIATION -- 1:6-18
3. REGENERATION -- 1:19-22
4. OCCUPATION -- 2:1-14
5. REMUNERATION -- 2:15-23
6. SANCTIFICATION -- 3:1-18
7. GLORIFICATION -- 4:1-22
What a contrast there is between degradation and glorification, between the miseries of Moab and the marriage of Boaz, but here is a picture of what GOD does for those who are willing to follow in the footsteps which lead into the pathway of redemption.
SCOPE, SUBJECT, AND SPIRITUAL ASSISTANCE
The Book of Ruth is the history of a Jewish family, who, like the prodigal of Luke fifteen, went into the far country of Moab and there "began to be in want." Through the backsliding of a Jew (typified by Naomi) the poor Gentile (Ruth) is brought into the land of blessing. There Ruth meets the rich Jew Boaz and later becomes his bride. Paul brings out this truth in Romans 11:11 where he writes, "I say then, Have they [the Jews] stumbled that they should fall? God forbid: but rather through their fall salvation is come unto the Gentiles." In the same way, we Gentiles, [who are saved] have met the Lord JESUS CHRIST, as Ruth met Boaz, and some day we shall be united in marriage to Him, the New Testament Boaz. At that time the blessings will return to the Jews as they did to Naomi. The blessing bestowed upon Naomi by the neighbors was, "Blessed be the Lord, which hath not left thee this day without a kinsman, that his name may be famous in Israel. And he shall be unto thee a restorer of thy life, and a nourisher of thine old age" (Ruth 4:14-15). So when the bride is married to the heavenly Boaz, the Jews will bud, blossom, and bring forth fruit as did Aaron's rod in Numbers 17:8, which is typical of resurrection. Then the Jews will be raised out of the graveyard of nations and go forth to their own land, Palestine.
The Book of Ruth may be studied in the following threefold manner: (1) Historically. This includes the history of Elimelech and his family, the departure of Ruth from Moab to the country of Bethlehem, and her marriage to Boaz. (2) Dispensationally. This has been described in the preceding lines where it tells how the Jew was set aside temporarily that the Gentile might receive salvation. (3) Typically. We are not distinctly told in the New Testament that Boaz is a type of JESUS CHRIST, yet we see in his relationship to Ruth, the Gentile, as a kinsman and redeemer how beautifully he foreshadows the Lord. When we study the Book in this light, it becomes full of typical teaching. In one study of the book I have described Ruth as a type of the sinner in a sevenfold aspect, which is as follows:
As a Sinner She Frequented His House.
As a Stranger She Found His Grace.
As a Daughter She Felt His Love.
As a Gleaner She Followed His Word.
As a Worshiper She Fell at His Feet.
As a Handmaiden She Fed at His Table.
As a Bride She Finished His Plan.
Those desiring to study the Book by chapters will find the following titles very helpful:
1. THE AFFLICTION OF NAOMI.
2. THE ACTIVITY OF RUTH.
3. THE ACKNOWLEDGEMENT OF BOAZ.
4. THE ALLIANCE OF THE BRIDEGROOM.
Historical incidents frequently contain various forms of truth which are hidden to the average student of the Word of GOD because he does not dig deep enough beneath the surface to find the rich things that are buried there. This historical setting may be considered in the following sevenfold manner:
HISTORICAL, disclosing the past.
DISPENSATIONAL, describing Jew and Gentile.
TYPICAL, unfolding GOD's plan.
EXPERIMENTAL, dwelling in grace.
DEVOTIONAL, edifying the saints.
PRACTICAL, living for CHRIST.
PROPHETICAL, revealing the future.
Ruth and Esther are the only two Books in the Bible named after women. It is extremely interesting to compare these two Books. We have no definite clue as to who is the human author of the Book of Ruth; some claim Samuel wrote it; this may be true. The chapters of the Book of Ruth might be named --
1. THE POVERTY OF NAOMI.
2. THE PROVISION OF GRACE.
3. THE PROMISE OF BOAZ.
4. THE PURCHASE OF RUTH.
In the last study of this book, I have described Boaz as a type of the Lord JESUS CHRIST in a sevenfold aspect, which is as follows:
1. THE REDEEMER KINSMAN -- 2:20
2. THE RESTORER OF LIFE -- 4:15
3. THE PROVIDER OF GRACE -- 2:10
4. THE GIVER OF REST -- 3:1-2
5. THE REWARDER OF SERVICE -- 2:15-16
6. THE BUYER AT THE GATE -- 4:9-10
7. THE LOVER IN MARRIAGE -- 4:13