2. "BEHOLD, I WILL DO A
NEW THING, NOW IT SHALL SPRING FORTH; SHALL YOU NOT KNOW IT? I WILL EVEN MAKE A
ROAD IN THE WILDERNESS, AND RIVERS IN THE DESERT."
THE ROAD TO
Our two part study uses
the thoughts found in Isaiah 43:18 & 19, and is based in the book of RUTH,
around the character of Naomi. The second study looks at Ruth 3 & 4.
1. WHAT IS THE PLACE OF
Restoration means to restore or bring back to a former or
original condition. When something is restored in the scriptures however it is
always increased, multiplied or improved so that it's latter state is
considerably better than its former state. To the Christian this means us
receiving the abundant life that we spoke about in part one, where we not only
receive a new type and quality of life, God's life, but also that we are able
to grow in it. Restoration is a time of fruitfulness, and reaping. As we allow
God through His Holy Spirit to fill us with His life, then we shall see that in
our Churches, and our communities, we are enabled to become agents of
restoration, as we take our God given places. Isaiah 61:1-4 will then start to
become a reality.
2.HOW DO WE GET
Naomi was not satisfied with the situation that they were in; she
knew that God wanted them to have their inheritance fully restored. She knew
the law which God had given them which said that the closest male relative, or
kinsman-redeemer was responsible for buying the property of a dead mans widow,
and also marrying her, so that she could have children, to continue the family
name. So knowing that Boaz was her kinsman-redeemer, she drew up a plan for
providing a future for Ruth, and securing their inheritance. Ruth 3:1 one day
Naomi her mother-in-law said to her, "My daughter, should I not try to find
a home for you, where you will be well provided for?" (NIV)
- 3:3 Wash yourself Ruth
had been working hard gleaning, she was probably tired and smelly! She
needed to wash. As Christians we need to take time to ensure that we are clean.
God wants to do a new thing in our lives, but we need to ensure we are in the
right place. First we are washed when we repent of any sin, and allow the blood
of Jesus to make us clean. I Jn 1:7 "The blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses
us from all sin." But also day-to-day living in the world affects us, and we
need to be washed clean. The Bible says that reading the Word is like washing.
Eph 5:25 & 26 "Just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her
to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word."
- 3:3 Anoint yourself
needed a new fragrance for a new season. Ruth had been in widowhood, but was
now moving into a season of inheritance. Anointing yourself with a mixture of
olive oil, mixed with perfumes, was a sign that the time of mourning was ended.
Isa 61:3 speaks of the oil of joy for mourning. As we move into the new thing
that God is doing, He wants to bring a new anointing of the Holy Spirit into
our lives. We need to allow the oil of joy, to replace the mourning, and death
that we received during the time of wilderness and desolation.
- 3:3 Put on your best garment
The garment that Ruth wore to work in the fields was not appropriate,
her widows garment was not appropriate, to secure her future the grief and
mourning had to be replaced. Isaiah 61:3 speaks about exchanging the garment of
praise for the spirit of heaviness. We need to take off heaviness,
hopelessness, despair, self pity, all those old clothes that are holding us
back and restricting us. We need to get our best garment, a garment of praise,
let's break through in the area of praise in our lives.
- 3:3 Go down to the threshing floor
That was the place that Boaz was. The threshing floor was the place
where the wheat and chaff were separated, or winnowed, but that work was
already completed. Here the threshing floor was the place of harvest, and the
place of feasting. If we are prepared to humble ourselves and allow God to
remove the chaff from our lives, (those things that are not part of His work in
our lives at this time) then we can also share in the harvest. Just as Ruth
went where Boaz was, we need to be where God is, and where He is working.
- Wait for God's timing
Naomi told Ruth to wait until Boaz had finished feasting, (3:3) and
stand back, and watch where he went, then she was to go and lay by his
feet.(3:4) God has appointed times and seasons for our lives, we do not always
understand why we have to wait for a certain prayer, or promise of God to come
to pass in our lives, but we can always trust God that His timing is right, and
we have to watch and see what He is doing in our situations.
3.MOVING INTO THE NEW
- At the feet of Jesus
lay at the feet of Boaz. (3:5) It is by submitting to God at the feet of Jesus
that we shall learn from Him, and receive His best for our lives.
- United with Jesus
asks Boaz to spread his garment over her Ruth 3:9 "Who are you?" he asked. "I
am your servant Ruth," she said. "Spread the corner of your garment over me."
(NIV) There was nothing immoral in Ruth's action, in Ruth's day she was saying
to him. "I need a redeemer. I am a widow, disgraced, with no inheritance. You
can take my shame, my poverty, the bleakness of my future and give me an
inheritance." John 14:23 "Jesus answered and said to him, "If anyone loves Me,
he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and
make Our home with him." When we are united with Christ we can receive all the
benefits of belonging to Him. He removes our shame, our poverty, and gives us
hope, and the promise of eternal life. He spreads His garment over us. A
garment of salvation, a robe of righteousness.
- Jesus our Kinsman
Redeemer Boaz explained that there was a closer relative than he,
(3:12&13) but when he approached him, although he was prepared to buy
Naomi's field, which she had sold, he was not prepared to marry Ruth. Boaz
however was willing to become their kinsman redeemer by buying the field and
marrying Ruth. This is a wonderful picture of Jesus, at the cross, shedding His
blood and dying, to redeem us from sin, death and the wrath of God. Jesus was
willing to pay the price for us. By doing this He fulfilled all the
requirements of the law, but He did not save us as a duty, nor because He had
to, but because He loved us and wanted us to belong to Him, and to come into a
personal relationship with Him. Jesus became our kinsman redeemer.
- A new name
marries Ruth, (4:13) and the desolation that Naomi and Ruth had endured is now
complete, and their inheritance is restored. Isa 62:2-5 "The Gentiles shall see
your righteousness, and all kings your glory. You shall be called by a new
name, which the mouth of the LORD will name. You shall also be a crown of glory
in the hand of the LORD, and a royal diadem in the hand of your God. You shall
no longer be termed Forsaken, nor shall your land any more be termed Desolate;
but you shall be called Hephzibah, and your land Beulah; for the LORD delights
in you, and your land shall be married. For as a young man marries a virgin, so
shall your sons marry you; and as the bridegroom rejoices over the bride, so
shall your God rejoice over you." God wants to call us by a new name, Beulah -
married, Hephzibah - restored to God's favour. Naomi begins to loose her
bitterness, and begins to move into her restored name - pleasantness & my
joy. Jesus is preparing the church to be His bride, without spot or wrinkle!
Eph 5:25-27 "Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church,
and gave himself for it; That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing
of water by the word, That he might present it to himself a glorious church,
not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and
- A new life
"So Boaz took Ruth and she became his wife; and when he went in to her, the
LORD gave her conception, and she bore a son. Then the women said to Naomi,
"Blessed be the LORD, who has not left you this day without a close relative;
and may his name be famous in Israel! And may he be to you a restorer of life
and a nourisher of your old age; for your daughter-in-law, who loves you, who
is better to you than seven sons, has borne him Then Naomi took the child and
laid him on her bosom, and became a nurse to him. Also the neighbour women gave
him a name, saying, "There is a son born to Naomi." And they called his name
Obed." What a wonderful picture of the new thing God wants to begin in our
lives. Naomi, the grandmother, had her inheritance completely restored, with
her grandson, the child Obed, on her lap. The women of Bethlehem share in
Naomi's joy. This was the ministry God had created her for! We need not be
fearful that God will ask of us something that He is not able to accomplish
through us, or that we shall not feel totally fulfilled in! So God will restore
completely to us, those things that have been lost and in desolation, let's
receive all He has for us!
- An agent of restoration
The book of Ruth however does not end there. It goes on to list the
genealogy of Obed, (4:17-22) and we soon realise that he became the grandfather
of Israel's greatest king, David, but not only that, the line continued, and he
also became a descendant of Jesus, born of David's line, in the same city of
Bethlehem. Through Jesus we too can receive that same restoration in our own
lives. So we see how by walking in step with God, Naomi was not only able to
receive personal blessing, but also become an agent of restoration for the
The road that goes
through the wilderness, and the river that flows through the desert (Isaiah
43:18&19) is Jesus. So we are not blessed and restored as an end in itself,
but just as the river brings life wherever it flows, Jesus wants us to take
that life, that abundant life, His blessings, His restoration and affect our
families, our communities, and our churches. James Robison says, "God
multiplies when He restores. And so in His restoration work today, God is not
simply restoring the church to the glory it displayed in New Testament times.
He is seeking to restore it to a state more powerful, majestic and glorious
than anything the world has yet seen."
have seen how Naomi was not content with a life of gleaning, she knew that she
was not walking in the fullness that God had for her, and so she drew up a
strategy. We can learn then, we need to be washed, and allow Jesus to cleanse
us from our sin. We need the anointing power of the Holy Spirit, a new
fragrance for a new season! And we need to put on our garments of praise. We
need to humble ourselves, and await God's timing. Then at the feet of Jesus we
can become united with Him, and He will become our kinsman redeemer, He will
give us a new name, and a new life, His restoration life, so that we can go,
and live the lives that He intended, unhindered by the past, and with all the
benefits of our inheritance with Jesus. We can then go on to become fruitful
agents of restoration ourselves.
Isa 43:18-19 "Do not
remember the former things, nor consider the things of old. Behold, I will do a
new thing, now it shall spring forth; shall you not know it? I will even make a
road in the wilderness and rivers in the desert."