Wayne Hutchison - Ruth as the Bride - 1998

Ruth 4:9, “Ye are witnesses this day, that I have bought all that was Elimelech’s and all that was Chilion’s and Mahlon’s of the hand of Naomi. Moreover Ruth the Moabitess, the wife of Mahlon, have I purchased to be by wife, to raise up the name of the dead upon his inheritance, that the name of the dead feed not cut off from among his brethren and from the gate of his place; ye are witnesses this day. V13 So Boaz took Ruth and she was his wife.”

This is speaking about the wedding day of Boaz and Ruth. Sometimes it has been our privilege to attend a wedding ceremony. In our country, we were invited to a wedding last summer, and the one officiating at the wedding, he came to the place where he said, "Does anyone here know any reason why this couple shall not be wedded together?" There was an awful silence for a few minutes and then he continued with the wedding. There were 100 witnesses and not one person could think of one reason why they should not be united together. This speaks about witnesses at this wedding, but more important to us is the marriage supper of the Lamb, when the Bridegroom Christ, is going to be wedded for eternity with the bride of Christ, and we want to be part of the bride of Christ. Is there an unlawful reason why the couples should not be wedded? The enemy of our soul, Satan, one time had access before God, and accused of brethren day and night, brought forth reasons why the bride was not worthy. He accuses them day and night, but he has no more voice in heaven today, no more access to heaven. It is a wonderful thing to know he has no more voice in heaven and no more access to heaven, he is not going to be invited to the wedding. It is a wonderful thing we can look to a day of redemption, and that has taken away any reason why we should not leave the bride of Christ. The lawful and unlawful thing that stood between us and our Bridegroom, because Jesus has died on the cross, those reasons are all taken away. When we stand before Him on the wedding day, no one can stand before us and accuse us of not being worthy.

There are three bear witness on earth: the spirit, the water and the blood. There are three that bear record in heaven: the Father, the Word and the Holy Ghost; and these three are one. And there are three that bear witness in the earth: the spirit, the water and the blood, and these three agree in one. But if we arrive and you and I have been willing for the cleansing of the water, you and I have been willing for the cleansing of the blood, and you and I have been willing for the cleansing of the Holy Spirit, there will be nothing that will be able to witness against us in that day. That is what we are seeking to do these days, make ourselves ready and we want to be sure we are willing for all Jesus was willing for and all Jesus was willing to do so that we could be ready and we could be clothed in the garments of the Bride that we were hearing about. Made white in the blood of the Lamb and to be with our Redeemer for eternity.

There are a lot of things that go into getting ready for a marriage. Some of you know more about it than we do and everything that has to go in to getting ready for the wedding. There was a lady who said there is only time to do the things absolutely necessary to get ready for the wedding. It would be lovely if we had our priorities in our life that would make us realise getting ready for the wedding is the most important thing in our life.

How do you get ready for a wedding? Sometimes young folk ask us a little about that. We cannot speak from experience, but there are a few things we have mentioned and one thing in particular, is before you get married and commit yourself, make sure you get to know each other and there is a true love there. Isn’t that how we get ready for the wedding supper of the Lamb? We spend time with the Bridegroom and get to know Him better and better and the more we know Him, the more we love Him and the more we want to be ready for that day. Sad if it came to eternity and we did not know Him, simply because we didn’t take enough time to spend with Him in our life time to get to know Him, and have time to get ready to be with Him.

There was a time in Ruth’s life when she was not ready. Her first husband was still living, she was not ready because she was a Moabite and a curse was put on her to the 10th generation for ever. This was at most a second-generation after that curse was placed on the Moabites. In chapter 3, there was another close kinsman, someone stood between her and her Bridegroom. She didn’t even know him, but all those things were taken care of, not one could witness anything against her, because the Redeemer had paid the price. “Ye are witnesses this day, that I have purchased her to be my wife.” We can never be too thankful Jesus loved us so much and wanted us as His Bride, He was willing to pay the price for us, He took care of everything that stood between us that we might be the Bride of Christ.

Ruth took time to be ready for the wedding. She took time to be with the Bridegroom before that time came. There are three very distinct places where she got to know her Bridegroom and spent time with him, and those three places are where we need to get to know Him, in the field of service doing His will and keeping in the boundary of what God asked of us day by day, getting to know Him at the table, sitting down together with the reapers and feeding on the Bread of Life; getting to know Him in the secret place, the threshing floor, getting alone with Him in the secret place of prayer. The more time we spend in these three places, the more we will be ready to be with the Bride of Christ.

When Ruth came back from the land of Moab, she might have felt, "There is really no sense in coming back, a curse has been put on my nation, there is too much against me." But she came back with the hope of a Redeemer and with that hope in her heart. You can see them walking together. Naomi would tell her about the provision of the redemption under the law of the Lord, and encourage her to take steps back to the Promised Land. No matter who we are, where and what we are, I am so thankful for redemption that has given us every hope of being the Bride of Christ. Ruth is one of the five outstanding women found in the genealogy in Matthew one, that genealogy covers 5000 years and five women are found there. Tamar, Ruth, Rahab, Bathsheba, and Mary. People of different backgrounds; they might have despaired they would ever be found in that wonderful genealogy, but they are there because of redemption. The reason we are here is because of redemption and not anything in us naturally, but because of Jesus who paid the price for us. How much we have in Christ. Every one of us can be found a part of the Bride of Christ at the end of time.

First of all, Ruth got to know her Bridegroom in the field. She started working in the field, gleaning in the field before she got to know her Bridegroom. She had a right to glean the field because she was a stranger and in the law of the Lord, when a man would harvest his field, he would not harvest right to the corners. He would leave the grain growing there and that would be for the stranger and for the widow and that was her right. Leviticus 19:9, it is written in the law of the Lord. I am working according to what is written in the scripture. If they would harvest that field and it happened a sheaf of wheat fell on the ground, because that was for the stranger and for the widow they were not to go back again to fetch it, they were to leave it there. Deuteronomy 24:19, there was a provision there and she began to glean and gather after the reapers and the Bridegroom of her soul took notice of that, he saw that she was doing.

Ruth 2:8, a wonderful thing in her experience when the Bridegroom spoke to her for the first time. Most of us look back to when our Bridegroom spoke to us for the first time, and when we became aware He was very interested in our lives, and having us as His bride and we are very thankful to day He spoke to us. He looked to her as she was in the field. She didn’t know him yet, but she was beginning to glean in the field, to do what was written in the Scriptures. The Lord looking on the earth for those who are in the field, just doing what is in the scripture and in mercy He speaks to them, because He wants us His bride.

Boaz began to speak to her, “Go not to glean in another field, but abide here fast by my maidens; let the line eyes be on the field that they do reap, and go thou after them.” She might have thought that was quite limiting, thinking of a stranger and they had the right to go to a field and to gather after the reapers. They gathered the grains of barley after the reapers and when they had finished one field, they would go to another field and eventually they would have enough to make up loaf of bread. Boaz said, "Go not to glean in another field and you are to abide here fast to my maidens." Used a right within this field and you will have plenty. When people look on our lives, they feel we are quite limited.

One time my companion and I were having meetings where none of our friends were living, and we were in a caravan and someone asked us, "What do you do with all your time?" He thought of all the things we didn’t do, and he wondered how we could fill in our time with what we were doing. If we are putting our lives in God’s use, He will fill our time. We speak to people of this world and we tell them we just read one book, and that seem so limited to people. If we pour ourselves into this will of God, He will fill our time and we will never have any want, all wonder if there is still something to feed our souls. God will fill our lives and will show us what is my place and where is the field of service. May be we should spend a lifetime figuring out where the borders are, and what is the border between us and those who are responsible for us in the kingdom, and what is the border between us and what belongs to God. A lot of effort sometimes is spent outside the border, being concerned about things that belong to others.

One time, I was very concerned about a certain thing, so someone kindly said to me, "Has anyone asked you to be concerned about that?" No. I didn’t need to be concerned about that and it was outside my border, something for the older workers to decide. Am I going to submit to whatever the decision is regardless of what it is? That was inside my border. I tried to nurture that a little more. If we understand what is inside our border, we will save ourselves a lot of distress and needless worry. A man said, "Once I have seen a lot of trouble, and most of it never happened." Sometimes we can be very distressed outside the borders of what God wants us to be concerned about. Jesus said at 33 years of age, "I have finished the work which Thou gavest Me to do." He never once stepped outside the border or concerned Himself about things outside the will of God. Always kept inside the borders all the days of His life and had the testimony none of us will ever have. "I have finished the work which Thou gavest me to do." We are very glad for that today.

From this point on, not just a matter of reading the scripture and being in the field, but now it was a direct communion with her Bridegroom, not because she had to find a verse she had the living touch of the spirit in her life. Now she had direction to help her understand in a fuller measure how to get ready to be with the Bridegroom. "Let thine eyes be on the field that they do reap." 2:11 gives us a nice picture of how she served in the field and what had led up to that experience. “It hath been fully shewed me, all that thou hast done unto thy mother in law suit the death of thine husband and art come unto all people which thou knowest not heretofore.”

There are three things mentioned there that we should have in our own experience every day of our life. There are three things we consider good service in the field since the death of thine husband. That which stood between her and being wedded to her Bridegroom. We have our firstborn nature; it is not a matter of dying to it and that is something we must be doing every day of our life. From the time of the death of her husband, Ruth began to take an interest in her mother-in-law's land. Our Bridegroom is very hopeful of us being as strangers, if we are living a dying life and taking steps away from that which is of ourselves and to that which is of God. That was in the field, there are a lot of thoughts in these verses on how to rightfully serve in the field and within God’s will.

2:14, at the table and at mealtime, she sat beside the reapers, it is a wonderful privilege we have these days to eat of the bread of heaven. He is so abundantly sharing with us, sitting with the reapers. I feel it is such a privilege to come to your country. One of the things we enjoy so much as we share with our fellow labourers and sit beside those who have gone further than we have, sitting beside them. All of us have the privilege of coming here and enjoying this to the full. Who was enjoying these things the most? Who was enjoying this provision the most? Who enjoyed the privilege of the most that day? Was it not those who had put most into their service in the field? May be the one who came to that meal feeling I cannot take another step. The one who came feeling most weary and tired and hungry and they would be the one who would get the most out of sitting at the table after labouring in the field. The more we labour there, the more we enjoy our gathering together in the meetings. Wonderful when we are enjoying this more and more and enjoying speaking together and loving it more and more.

There are things they partook of at the table that day, " eat of the bread and dip thy morsel into the vinegar." That is the right order and that would feed and nourish and refresh. Later on, Boaz spoke to them and they partook of his wisdom, he told how they would go back to the field, and how they should be when they go to the field. The Lord speaks first in correction and direction, but it is to heal, refresh, and strengthen and feed our hearts. When we get refreshed, He can speak to us and give us new direction and correct us and help us to understand. The first part is a real burden to me of having Bread.

After the meal that day, at a certain time, Boaz stood up and I enjoyed thinking that was the counsel he gave and it was so necessary. No one could say any person brought bread from the very greatest to the least, all have that comfort, "maybe I had a little part in bringing bread to the table." The most important part of the meeting is to bring the spirit that feeds our soul. Every person in this gathering has a wonderful privilege of having a little part in bringing bread to our gathering together. If our hearts are refreshed and fed, and if that spirit is a we would take counsel and the correction and direction in and we are encouraged and filled.

2:14, “And he reached her parched corn, and she did eat and was sufficed and left.” Sitting at the table with her Bridegroom and then the hand of the Bridegroom reached out and picked up something and handed that to her and saying, "This is for you." We all have had that experience, haven’t we, of enjoying everything said and then we feel our Bridegroom touching us and saying this is for you. It would be nice just to trust, however distasteful it would seem or how difficult it would be, and we would just trust that is for me. If it is what the Bridegroom is wanting to give to me, it would be a help me to be a prepared bride of Christ, I will eat it.

She rose up to glean. We read of those people who sat down to eat and drink and rose up to play. Life is not play. The Lord would like us to understand the reason we are sitting here is so we can go back to the field and serve in a better way, like we have not served before. We all have that in our hearts as we are sitting here, we are looking forward to getting back to that place where we have been negligent before, and going to try and do a little better this year.

I think that was not all Boaz did, we mentioned about leaving some in the corner of the field. You could be walking by a man’s field and you could tell a lot about that man by how much is left in the corners of the field. Boaz left a lot in the corners. No one leaves more in the corners than Jesus, holding out mercy to the stranger. It was not that the strangers would live the rest of their life on what he found in the corners, but so we could live until someone would come and redeem him, and he could be established again. Mercy is the opportunity of laying hold of our salvation. How do we work in the corner of our field? How much are we leaving in the corners?

If we don’t show mercy, we won’t have the mercy of God. You and I will share these privileges with those at home. In a way, you and I should expect more of ourselves than of those who would not have this privilege. Leave some in the corners for those who are not having the privilege as we do. The Pharisees left nothing in the corners, only the more in black-and-white and no compassion and no mercy. Nice if we can have a little of that towards our brethren and the same attitude towards others as our Bridegroom has had towards us.

2:15, Boaz told the reapers, "Leave her glean even among the sheaves and reproach her not leave for some of the handfuls of purpose, rebuke her not." Isn’t that wonderful? Before that in the morning, if they had dropped a sheaf, they would not go back and pick it up, but everyone in the will of God can drop a sheaf for the stranger or for the under-privileged. Now you are refreshed, you take a little of my nature with you when you go back to your field of service. It would be wonderful if we went back to our place of service to continue to serve not as we did before. But remember a person who doesn’t have too much fellowship, or someone who doesn’t have a car and can’t go to the store. Write to a person who is alone, and do it with a little more of the nature of the Bridegroom who mean so much to us. Those who served with the nature of the Bridegroom, the best nature we could take away is a little more of the nature of the One who loved us. That was at the mealtime that Ruth got opportunity to know her bridegroom.

The next time was getting to know him in the secret place. I hesitate to speak about this matter of prayer and my fellow labourers feel the same way about this matter, because we do not want to give the impression we know more about it that you do. When people get alone with the Bridegroom in the secret place, they get to know Him. Naomi pointed out that place to her and we are glad for those who point us to that place. Naomi said to her, "Wash thyself and anoint thee." How do we prepare ourselves to go into the secret place? It takes some preparation to get into the secret place. It is good when we go into the secret place to think God is listening, and when we are getting into this place to remember that this is a blood-bought privilege.

How do we get clean? There are two ways to get clean: the washing of water and the sprinkling of blood. Two ways of getting cleansed the washing of water - we are obedient to the word God speaks to us and makes the changes in our lives we can make. Some things are against us being the Bride of Christ. Things of our past that we wish we had never done, but we can overcome them by the blood of the Lamb.

Psalm 119:9, “Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? By taking heed there to according to thy word.” It is not the listening to the word the cleanses, it is taking heed and our obedience to with that cleanses us. These were things Ruth was doing before she went into that place. “Wash thyself, and anoint thee, and put my raiment upon thee.” Jesus said, “If you bring your gift to the altar and there remember thy brother.” There remember that we owe a great lot to our brother, an apology or different thing I became aware of was in debt to a certain person and I should have thanked them for something. I remember that I owed that person something, so I went to thank that person for what they had done and I felt free, washing of the water.

Sometime something happened in the past, it stands between us in getting close to our Bridegroom, we know the only way we can do that, is when we plead the blood of the Lamb and it opens up the way before us. “Put thy best raiment upon thee,” the raiment that the bride must have when getting into the secret place, the right raiment, clothed with the feeling of need, and clothed with humility and then we can and are into that place and find Him there. There are many things in this chapter that tells us what happened in the secret place. Verse 11, “Fear not I will do be all that thou requirest for all know that thou art of virtuous woman.” It is not all correction in the secret place and our Bridegroom likes to encourage us. There are some things about our life that are right. He won’t just correct and chastise, but to tell us there are things that are right and keep alive those things that are making you were the bride of Christ.

Verse 15, when she went out of that place he said, "Bring the veil that thou hast upon thee and hold it." And when she held it, it measured six measures of barley and laid in on her and went into the city. I like that thought - it was because of the preparation of how she went into the secret place that same veil she was able to hold out now and take something out of that place. The more we put into going into that place, the more we can find there and the more we can take out of the secret place. She came out of the secret place with six measures of meal. Whether in the field of service, or at the table or in the secret place of prayer, we can always bring something with us that can feed the heart of others. Naomi asked who she was. When out in the field of service Naomi asked her, "Where did you glean today?" She had something in her hand, she had read that showed she had been spending time with her bridegroom in the field of service. When we spend time with our Bridegroom in the secret place, there is something in our heart that will be bread to others, also.

It came to the end of the day and Boaz said, "Ruth the Moabitess I have purchased to be my wife." That is not the last time Ruth’s name is mentioned in the Bible, but the very last time the word Moabitess is attached to her. That name was never attached to her after the day of redemption, almost against her being a part of the bridegroom and part of Israel, the day of redemption took care of that and gave her access in the congregation of Israel. It cancelled all that out, nothing they could witness against her, it led her to have a part in that wonderful relationship with the bridegroom.

Verse 11, “All the people and the elders said we are witnesses. The Lord make the woman that is come into the house like Rachel and Leah.” She would feel that is such an impossibility to be like those wonderful women, and now people are thinking, "I can become like them. To think they think I can become like them." There was a wonderful door open to the future because the door was closed to the past. All the things in the past of her life that would limit her and cancel her being a fit bride, that door was closed and she was forgiven because of the redemption price paid on the part of her bridegroom. Because of that redemption now a wonderful door opened into the future and even the possibility she would become and she did become like Rachel and those wonderful women.

We are thankful as we think about these things and the wonderful privilege we have. We have hope of having a part in the marriage supper of the Lamb. To have that trust that in that day there will be no witnesses against us, but let us put our best into spending time in getting to know our Bridegroom better in the field of service, and at the table and in the secret place so we might be a part of that eternal bride in the last day.