30th April - Learning From God's Word: Ruth
Following the triple tragedy of the deaths of Elimelech, Mahlon and Chilion (Ruth 1:3-5) and the departure of Orpah (Ruth 1:14), there was a new beginning for Naomi and Ruth. This new beginning came to them when "they came to Bethlehem" (Ruth 1:19). The town of Bethlehem marked a new beginning for them. It marks a new beginning for us. This was the place where our Saviour was born. "They happened to to enter Bethlehem just when the barley harvest began." The timing of their arrival turns our thoughts towards fruitfulness. We come to our Saviour - born at Bethlehem, and He makes us fruitful in His service. Without His help, we cannot even begin to see a harvest gathered in for Him. If we are to see the Lord's blessing on the work we do for Him, we must look to Him, putting our trust in Him.
This is the story of Ruth and Boaz. It is a story which leads on to David (Ruth 4:22) - and, beyond him, to Christ. In this story of love, we have the fulfilment of Naomi's words: "May the Lord bless him" (Ruth 2:20). It is a story which prompts the response: "Praise the Lord" (Ruth 4:14). It is a story which points beyond itself to the story of our Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ: the story of the greatest blessing of all - salvation; the story which inspires our worship, causing us to say, with heart and voice, "Praise the Lord." In this short story, we learn an important lesson: As we read the many stories told in Scripture, we must learn to see, in each of them, the story of our Saviour.