Arlen L. Chitwood
1. ISRAEL AND THE CHURCH
2. FROM AMONG THE GENTILES
3. A DECISION
4. THE JOURNEY
5. GLEANING IN BOAZ’S FIELD (1)
6. GLEANING IN BOAZ’S FIELD (2)
7. PREPARATION FOR MEETING BOAZ
8. ON THE THRESHING FLOOR
9. REDEMPTION OF THE INHERITANCE
CROWNS BEFORE THE THRONE
THE COMPLETE OLD TESTAMENT WORD PICTURE
The book of Ruth contains a wealth of information concerning the Church. Israel, of necessity, is seen throughout the book as well; but the central focus is on Christ and the Church, not on God and Israel.
Chapters one and two, along with verses 1-5 of chapter three — within the typical structure of the book — relate the complete history of the Church throughout the present dispensation. Then, the latter part of chapter three and all of chapter four, relate that which will occur surrounding the Church following the present dispensation.
Chapter one centers on salvation by grace, the purpose for salvation, and two types of Christians (spiritual and carnal). Chapter two, continuing, centers on the activity in which Christians are to be engaged throughout the dispensation. Then chapter three reveals activity having to do more particularly with the judgment seat. This chapter centers on the manner in which Christians are to presently be preparing themselves for their future appearance before Christ at His judgment seat, along with events surrounding this appearance. And chapter four, bringing matters to a climax, has to do with Christ’s subsequent redemption of the inheritance and the bride previously revealed at the judgment seat becoming His wife, with the Messianic Era following.
In the preceding respect, Ruth presents a complete picture of Christ and the Church, from the time of the inception of the Church on the day of Pentecost in 33 A.D. to that future day when Christ and His consort queen exercise regal power in the Messianic kingdom.
The first part of the book (chapters 1-3a) would parallel that which is seen in the New Testament epistles; and the latter part of the book would parallel that which is seen both at the beginning and near the end of the book of Revelation (chapters 1-5, 19a), both immediately preceding and immediately following God completing His dealings with Israel during the final seven years of Daniel’s Seventy-Week prophecy (chapters 6-18).
Thus, the book of Ruth parallels Scripture seen throughout most of the New Testament. And, when studying either the book of Ruth or the New Testament epistles and the book of Revelation, to gain a proper understanding of either section, it is vitally important that Scripture be compared with Scripture. One section must be studied in the light of the other, along with other sections of Scripture containing related subject matter as well (both the Old Testament and the New Testament).
This is simply one of the ways in which God has structured His Word, necessitating comparing Scripture with Scripture in order to gain a correct understanding of that which has been revealed. God, through this means, has provided man with a complete revelation of Himself, His plans, and His purposes.
This complete revelation though can be seen only in one place — in the complete Word. And it can be properly seen and understood through one means alone — through comparing parts of this revelation with other parts of this revelation, through “comparing spiritual things with spiritual” (1 Corinthians 2:9:13), viewing and studying the whole of Scripture in this manner.
In this respect, the book of Ruth is an integral and vital link to seeing and understanding the complete word picture that God has provided. Not only must Ruth be viewed and studied in the light of related Scripture (e.g., Genesis, Exodus, Romans, Hebrews, Revelation, among numerous other books and places in Scripture) but related Scripture must be viewed and studied in the light of Ruth as well.
And the importance of the book of Ruth in this respect is self-evident. This book is about Christ and the Church, and understanding God’s dealings with the Church in this respect is a central key to understanding the whole of Scripture.
Understand the message of the book of Ruth (comparing Scripture with Scripture), and you can understand not only what the present dispensation is about but that which the future holds for both the Church and Israel as well. It was all foretold in the small book of Ruth over three millennia ago.