We are told that the book of Ruth should be read in connection with the first half of the book of Judges, as it is a picture of life in Israel at that time. The book offers us a beautiful type of the church taken from among the Gentiles through Christ, the Behtlehemite, who became our next of kin and therefore was able to redeem us, Hebrews 2:14, 16.
The normal Christian experience is well illustrated by the example of Ruth. It has been outlines as follows:
Ch.1. Ruth deciding.
Ch.2. Ruth serving.
Ch.3. Ruth resisting.
Ch.4. Ruth rewarded.
Ruth was a Moabite. She was a young widow whose husband when young had moved into her country with his parents and a brother from Bethlehem in the land of Canaan. The father and his two sons died and the mother Naomi decided she would return home to her people. She called Ruth and Orpah, her two daughters-in laws to bid them good-by, both clung to her, but Orpah finally turned and went back to her own people. Ruth would not yield to the persuasion to follow her example but decided to go forth with Naomi, her mother-in-law. She made a complete break with her past and said, “Thy people shall be my people, and thy God shall be my God.” Such is the step we must all take if we would really do the whole will of God.
The story goes on to tell how Ruth went forth as a gleaner to help support herself and Naomi. On that day, she gleaned in the field of Boaz who was near of kin to Naomi’s family. This man took special notice of Ruth and treated her kindly because of the sacrifice she had made in leaving her home and in standing by Naomi in her old age. Boaz gave her the privilege of sitting beside the reapers at noon when she had her lunch. Someone has said that though Ruth was just a gleaner she was allowed a place of equal honor with those who reaped, and that it may be likened to those who glean in personal work but whose labors are counted of the same value as those who are allowed to figure more prominently as great reapers. Ruth was told by Boaz to spend all her time in his fields, and Naomi advised her the same way. In Ch.2: 23, we read that she kept fast by the maidens of Boaz to clean unto the end of the harvest.
Ruth was instructed by her mother-in-law to boldly ask of Boaz his help as a kinsman. According to the custom of the times it meant that he should purchase the property, which belonged to her dead husband, and take her to be his wife. Boaz responded kindly to the appeal but explained that there was a nearer kinsman than he whom he would interview on the subject. Ruth made the matter known to Naomi who advised her to rest and wait, as she felt sure that Boaz would not stop until everything was settled. How like Christ our Kinsman, who having begun a good work in us will perform it unto that day when He shall return. Thus Ruth rested in faith while Boaz worked for her.
According to custom Boaz called the other kinsman before the elders of the city and asked if he would buy the parcel of land, which Naomi was offering for sale. The man agreed to do it, but when he learned that in so doing he must take Ruth the Moabite wife, he refused to close the deal. Boaz was then automatically given the right to redeem and therefore married Ruth. A son was born to them whom they named Obed. He later became the father of Jesse, who was the father of David, of whom, after the flesh, Christ sprang. Thus we see how God chose a lowly Moabite to join the royal line of the coming King of Kings.