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Prophecy - Signs
Wednesday, January 17, 2018
Wendy Wippel

Most of us interested in Bible prophecy recognize that there are different levels of prophecy in the Scriptures. Meaning that there is outright prophecy, and then there is a more subtle prophecy, a kind of  hidden prophecy, often in the form of foreshadowing. And the motherload of prophecy in the form of foreshadowing has got to be the book of Ruth.

Foreshadowing is defined as literary device that provides to the reader an advance sign or warning of what is to come in the future. If you have read the book of Ruth through, you probably remember that it’s a nice little story about a mother in law and daughter in law, one a child of Abraham (Naomi) and one not (Ruth). Eventually all the menfolk die and the two women end up emigrating together from Moab (where Ruth was born) back to Bethlehem, where Naomi was from.

Upon their return to Israel, Naomi makes sure that Ruth is introduced to one of her relatives, Boaz and as a relative of Boaz, acquires permission to let Ruth glean in his fields. Boaz comes to appreciate Ruth’s character (and quite possibly other things about her), and eventually they get hitched.

(Why do I suddenly sound like Andy Griffith explaining Romeo and Juliet? I don’t know.) Back to the point of foreshadowing.

When you really dig into the little book of Ruth the prophetic outline hidden in the lines is amazing! Let’s get the players in place:

Boaz acts as the kinsman redeemer for Naomi. Soo...Boaz is a foreshadowing of the Messiah.  Naomi is a Jewish widow, foreshadowing of the Jewish nation that rejected Christ. Ruth is a gentile, introduced to the Messiah by an unnamed servant, just as the Holy spirit, an un-named servant, calls us to the Messiah as well.

After many years of exile in Moab, Naomi returns to her native land is actually introduced to the Kinsman redeemer by Ruth, the Gentile, and after thousands of years of exile from Israel,  the Jewish survivors of the Holocaust and other Jews scattered around the world have been  introduced to their Messiah by Gentiles.

Did you catch all the parallels?  All the foreshadowings?

It doesn’t get any better (or anymore irrefutable) than that, does it?

But I saved the best for last.  The book of Ruth  finishes the analogy for us, although in a subtle way.

Ruth’s Redemption Assured

. . .then Naomi her mother-in-law said to her, “My daughter, shall I not seek security for you, that it may be well with you? Now Boaz, whose young women you were with, is he not our relative? In fact, he is winnowing barley tonight at the threshing floor. Therefore wash yourself and anoint yourself, put on your best garment and go down to the threshing floor; but do not make yourself known to the man until he has finished eating and drinking. Then it shall be, when he lies down, that you shall notice the place where he lies; and you shall go in, uncover his feet, and lie down; and he will tell you what you should do.”

And she said to her, “All that you say to me I will do.” So she went down to the threshing floor and did according to all that her mother-in-law instructed her. And after Boaz had eaten and drunk, and his heart was cheerful, he went to lie down at the end of the heap of grain; and she came softly, uncovered his feet, and lay down. Now it happened at midnight that the man was startled, and turned himself; and there, a woman was lying at his feet. And he said, “Who are you?” So she answered, “I am Ruth, your maidservant. Take your maidservant under your wing." Ruth 3:1-11

Did you notice the subtitle for this section of Scripure? “Ruth’s redemption assured”. That was twenty lines ahead of any mention of her being a virtuous woman. So her virtue probably didn’t have anything to do with her redemption being assured. Her assurance of redemption was stuck sneakily into verse ten.

Blessed are you of the Lord, my daughter! For you have shown more kindness at the end than at the beginning, in that you did not go after young men, whether poor or rich.

In other words, out of all the other options, you chose me. Boaz says those words on the threshing floor.

And the gentile bride – to be is safe in the arms of her Savior. Safe and sound.

Don’t get no better than that, right!??

About Wendy Wippel

Last week: Nothing at All



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