Chapter 7

(is not a good idea – things could get even worse)


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(Ruth 1:19-22)  So they two [Naomi and Ruth] went until they came to Bethlehem [house of bread; birthplace of Jesus (Mat 2:1), David (1 Sam 16:1), Obed  (Ruth 4:17), and Boaz (Ruth 2:1)]. And it came to pass, when they were come to Bethlehem, that all the city was moved [in an uproar, or agitated greatly (in controversy)] about them, and they said, Is this Naomi? And she said unto them, Call me not Naomi [pleasant], call me Mara [bitter (rebellious)]: for the Almighty hath dealt very bitterly with me. I went out full [rich of stuff (prideful)], and the LORD hath brought me home again empty [poor (humble – paralleling the prodigal son)]: why then call ye me Naomi, seeing the LORD hath testified against me, and the Almighty hath afflicted me? So Naomi returned, and Ruth the Moabitess [OUTWARDLY, a heathen, infidel, unbeliever, and a Gentile], her daughter in law, with her, which returned out of the country of Moab: and they came to Bethlehem in the beginning of barley harvest [the feast of Passover].

1.       Commentary: After enduring “a famine in the land” (Ruth 1:1) of Israel for an unspecified period of time, Naomi’s family sold the land that God had given Elimelech’s fathers, gathered up all their goods, and pridefully with a high hand (they had plenty now) they turned their back to God, and literally walked away from God, departing (escaping actually) from Israel, the covenant community. The departure of Elimelech’s family from the presence of God in Israel in at least one sense parallels the departure of Adam and Eve from the Garden of Eden. What happened to Adam and Eve after they left the blessings of God’s Garden? They lived under a curse (Gen 3:16-19). So too did Naomi and her family. Naomi’s name means “pleasant” in Hebrew, which was a proper application while she lived in the land of Israel, as evidenced by the surprised reaction of the people of the city of Bethlehem to the bitterness in Naomi’s heretofore pleasant personality upon her return. Naomi “pleasant” had become increasingly Mara “bitter” through experiencing one tragedy (loss) after another while living in the land of the unbelieving unsaved heathen Moabites.

2.       Commentary: At that time, the covenant community of Israel typified our present church in apostasy which is now suffering Great Tribulation. However, the ill-fated consequences of deciding to leave the godly covering of the covenant community (the church) and thereby becoming independent of God in an unsaved world (the prodigal son) are made vividly clear by the exceedingly unpleasant experiences of Naomi’s family. First Naomi’s husband Elimelech died, then Naomi’s two sons married foreign infidel women, then Naomi’s two sons each died childless. And all this happened within a ten year period of time during which Naomi became progressively a destitute impoverished old widow (as her riches were being stripped away). As did Adam and Eve, by their own actions Naomi’s family placed themselves under the covering of a curse. This teaching by example in the first chapter of the Book of Ruth stands in direct opposition to the current erroneous teachings of international commentator Mr. Harold Camping who teaches that in these last days of Great Tribulation true believers urgently need to come out of the church. Rather, the truth being taught in Ruth is that we who are “wise” (Mat 25:2) urgently need to stay in the boat (ship, church) regardless of the severity of the foul weather, “for your redemption draweth nigh” (Luke 21:28).

a.       (Mark 6:45-51)  And straightway he [Jesus] constrained [to necessitate; compel: of necessity (imperative – strongly urged)] his disciples to get into the ship [a type of the church, assembled of wooden (trees) priest-boards fitly joined together], and to the go to other side [a type of Heaven, the Promised Land west of the sea of Galilee] before unto Bethsaida, while he sent away the [unsaved] people. And when he had sent them away, he departed into a mountain to pray [a type of His ascension: Acts 1:9]. And when even was come, the ship was in the midst of the sea, and he alone on the land. And he saw them toiling [tortured:--pained, tormented, tossed, vexed (i.e. in Great Tribulation)] in rowing; for the wind was contrary [opposite; fig. antagonistic: against] unto them: and about the fourth watch of the night [3-6am (presumably dawn – He came from the east)] he cometh unto them, walking upon the sea [expressing Kingship and Lordship (Rev 19:16)): the sea is a biblical symbol of humanity], and would have passed by them [him whom He hath sent, him He also hath empowered]. But when they saw him walking upon the sea, they supposed it had been a spirit, and cried out [screamed]: For they all saw him, and were troubled [agitated, stirred up]. And immediately he talked with them, and saith unto them, Be of good cheer: it is I; be not afraid. And he went up unto them into the ship [a clear type of the Second Coming of Jesus Christ]; and the wind ceased: and they were sore amazed in themselves beyond measure, and wondered [John 6:21 “Then they willingly received him into the ship: and immediately the ship was at the land whither they went.”]

b.       (Luke 21:25-28)  And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars [“the sixth seal” Rev 6:12-14]; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring; Men's hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken. And then shall they see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh.

3.       Commentary: The fifth seal of Great Tribulation (Rev 6:9; 7:13,14) is for the cleansing and purification of the saints. Why may we identify the trials of Israel at that time with the Great Tribulation? Because there was “a famine in the land” (Ruth 1:1) symbolizing the absence of the Word of God. The presence of the Word of God commands “law and order whereas the absence of the Word of God symbolizes no law nor order, but allows “chaos which is certainly equivalent to Great Tribulation. Just because God is not actively talking – like the silent interval of over 400 years between the Old Testament and the New Testament, that does not mean THAT HE IS NOT THERE.

4.       Commentary: After Naomi’s family departed from God in Israel, severe afflictions beset the family for about “ten years” (Ruth 1:4). Those ten years are perhaps a symbol of the Ten Commandments of God written on “tables of stone” (Exo 24:12), i.e. symbolic of ten stones of correction (unheeded) beating down upon Naomi and her family for their continued sins. Stones were the favored instruments of punishment in the Old Testament. Unlike submissive sheep who comply with the shepherd’s will, the reaction of Naomi’s family to these stones of correction (frequently used by shepherds) was like that of goats (and Satan), bitterness and rebellion. During those ten years, manifestations of the “root of bitterness” (Heb 12:15) heretofore hidden deep in the heart of Naomi had risen to the surface, like hot (angry) bitumen in the slime pits of Sodom and Gomorrah, becoming quite apparent to all:

a.       (Ruth 1:19)  And it came to pass, when they were come to Bethlehem, that all the city was moved [in an uproar, or agitated greatly (in controversy)] about them, and they said, Is this Naomi?


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