Joseph Prince - Rest And Receive At Jesus' Feet
Let's dive right into the Word of God. We are continuing on the book of Ruth. We ended at this point in Ruth 2, verse 20, "Naomi said to her daughter-in-law Ruth, all right, 'This man'", because remember she came back with the blessing from Boaz. Of an ephah of barley, Ephah is a measurement, a Jewish measurement, all right, that speaks of ten days supply, an ephah of barley. So, she brought all this supply back, all right? The mother-in-law took one look and she says, "Who is the one that gave you all this goodness and kindness"?
All right, and she mentioned the name of Boaz. You know, ladies are amazing. They have this intuition about them, they can tell. This Naomi can tell that Boaz, by the kindness and the generosity he showed Ruth, he's in love with her. And Naomi taught Ruth how to propose to Boaz because Boaz might be thinking, "You know, she's a young girl. And you know, although I'm a bachelor, maybe I'm imposing on her, you know"? He can have a lot of thoughts, whatever. He's slow, okay? And she slept at his feet. Okay, it's a public place, so there's nothing untoward. It's a custom of the day to ask someone, "You're my close relative, redeem me, all right? As well as marry me". And then let's follow the story. "At midnight, the man was startled, and turned himself; and there, a woman was lying at his feet".
Now, you'd be startled if the middle of the night you wake up, there's a woman lying down, at the feet down there, right? So now, notice the word "at his feet". Great things happen. Don’t forget Boaz is a picture of our Lord Jesus Christ. Being at Jesus's feet means you make him so big, so high, and yourself so small. It's an act of worship. And do you know that every time you read the gospels, every time someone falls at Jesus's feet, they receive their miracle? They receive his redeeming power. Whether they're unhealthy, they have a disease, their disease will have to go. Amen?
So, she was in the right place at his feet. So he asked, "Who are you"? "I am Ruth, your maidservant. Take your maidservant under your wing, for you are a close relative, you are a near kinsman". Now she says, "Take me under your wing". Let me show you what's the wing all right? In the Hebrew Bible, you will find this in the book of Numbers, God says to have, this is called the tallit, the prayer shawl of Jewish people. All right, they cover themselves with this, okay? Now Jesus, this is what the people touched. Jesus's tallit has one difference. The Bible says, "Until the Son of my righteousness will arise with healing in his wings", they call this wings.
All right, healing in his wings. When the Messiah comes, all right, he will have healing in his wings. That's why the Bible says as many as touched the border of his garments, this is the border, they were healed. Plus, that woman who was suffering for 12 years from the issue of blood, the moment she touched, she was healed. So, what is this a picture of? This is more important, what is this a picture of? Righteousness, amen. When you touch his righteousness, not your righteousness, not your works righteousness, but his faith righteousness, amen, that's the time your bleeding stops. Can I have a good amen?
So, what happened is that the Jewish man, every Jewish man has this prayer shawl, all right? Now, Boaz obviously has one, he's a single man. He always have this and he probably sleeps in it. Okay, so when he woke up, Ruth was at his feet. And Ruth says, "Take your mantle and cover me". You know what it means or not? Marry me. Because when they get married, the Jewish man gives his prayer shawl to his bride. All right, it's a picture of whatever it covers, it redeems as yours.
So, when she says, "Take your wings", all right, this one, "and cover me", she's actually proposing to him. "Redeem me. Do the part of a redeemer. Buy the lost property back and marry me". Boaz says to her, "Blessed are you of the Lord, my daughter! You have shown more kindness at the end than at the beginning". Look at verse 11, "Now my daughter, do not fear. I'll do for you all that you request, for all the people of my town know that you're a virtuous woman".
Amen, from Boaz's lips are that she's a virtuous woman. Verse 12, "Now it's true that I'm a close relative, however, there is a relative closer than I". He says, "There's a relative closer than I". We'll look at that afterwards, okay? So, in other words he says, "I want to redeem you now, but there's a relative that’s closer than I. He must go first, all right? He has to perform it first. Stay this night, and in the morning it shall be that if he will perform the duty of a close relative for you, good, let him do it. But if he doesn’t want to perform the duty for you, I'll perform the duty for you, as the Lord lives. Lie down until morning".
So, she lay at his feet until morning. Again, at his feet. Let me tell you this, you know what's Jesus's word to the church today? "Rest, rest at my feet. I will take care of you". God wants you to rest. Now, the next morning she got up, and the Bible tells us that he told his men, "Do not let it be known that the woman came to the threshing floor", all right? He protected her dignity. And he said, he said to Ruth in other words, "Bring the shawl that is on you and hold it". All right, so she has a veil.
Now, when he says to her, "Bring the shawl that is on you", in those days when a man asked a woman to unveil herself, that means he's marrying her. He's saying, "I accept your proposal", right? Beautiful, isn't it, custom? So, he unveiled, he asked her to unveil herself, all right, to bring the veil. So, she passed the veil to him. When she held it, he measured six ephahs of barley and laid it on her. Now, when she was gleaning, she had one ephah, which is ten days supply. Now, she has six ephahs, which is what? Sixty days supply.
Church, there are believers who work in the ministry of the Lord or the field of the Lord, they only get one ephah of blessing, okay? But there are those, instead of going for the ministry of the Lord, they go for the Lord of the ministry. Instead of going for his gifts, they go for the giver. Instead of going for healing, they go for the healer. And you know what they get? They get six times more, hallelujah. I wonder which are you. Amen, are you here to receive his healing, amen, his redeeming power? All that is fine, it's good. He wants to do it for you more than you know. But you know what? We are here for him. Okay, the stage is set. He's going to redeem her, but remember there's a relative that's closer than he. So, that relative must go first, all right?
Now, let's go to the story, praise God. Are you all learning? The last chapter now, where we will finish. All right, chapter 4, "Now Boaz went up to the gate and sat down there. And behold, the close relative of whom Boaz had spoken came by". Remember the close relative, right? His name is not given here. So, he must go first, right? Because he's closer. "So Boaz says to him, 'Come aside, friend, sit down here.' So he came and sat down". When he says, "Sit down", the man sat down.
Look at verse 2, "And he took ten men of the elders of the city, and said, 'Sit down here.' So they sat down". Why ten men? Why ten men? Because it's the number of the law, the Ten Commandments. So, the law will witness, the law is about to witness something. Jesus the redeemer, Jesus brings grace into our situations. And the law is a witness. You know, Romans chapter 3 tells us, Romans 3, "Now the righteousness of God apart from the law, apart from the law is revealed, being witnessed by the law and the prophets". The law and the prophets nodded their heads in agreement at the gift of righteousness that Jesus provided for you and I, amen? Eeven the law and the prophets, amen? Even the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ to all and on all who believe. Amen?
All right, ten men, ten elders of the city. "So he said to them, 'Sit down.' Then he said to the close relative, 'Naomi, who has come back from the country of Moab, sold the piece of land which belonged to our brother Elimelech'". Next, "And I thought to inform you, saying, 'Buy it back in the presence of the inhabitants and the elders of my people. If you will redeem it, redeem it'". So, he's going to give him the first choice. He's telling him, all right, "Redeem the land, the forfeited estate of Naomi. All right, you are the one who has the first go. All right, you are the closer relative. So, if you're going to redeem it, redeem it. All right, if not, then tell me, that I may know; for there is no one but you to redeem it, and I'm next after you".
You know what the guy says? "I will redeem it". Now, Boaz says just a little caveat, he says, "On the day you buy the field from the hand of Naomi, you must also buy it from Ruth the Moabitess, the wife of the dead, to perpetuate the name of the dead through his inheritance". In other words, "If the day you decide to buy the field, you must also marry Ruth". Look at what the guy said. The close relative says, "I cannot redeem it for myself, lest I ruin my own inheritance. You redeem my right of redemption for yourself, for I cannot redeem it". The moment Ruth was mentioned, he says, "I cannot redeem her".
Who is this close relative? He is Mr. Law. That's why the ten elders are there. And you know why he's a closer relative? Even though Jesus existed before the law, he is in the beginning with God and always was with God, but in terms of appearance to mankind, the law was given first on Mount Sinai. It was 1500 years after that Jesus Christ came with grace. So, law came first, all right, then Jesus came with grace. In other words, the manifestation to mankind was law first. Now, God in his wisdom gave law first. All right, you know why? Because after man tried to keep the law for 1500 years and not a single one of them can keep, okay, then they are desperate enough to cry out to Jesus for grace, amen.
So, the law must be shown because remember what Naomi says? All right, he is only one of our close relatives, right? One of our. Jesus cannot be one of your helpers, one of your redeemers, one of your saviors. He wants to be the only one. So, in order for that to happen, he will say, "You are trying to save yourself by efforts, you're trying to save yourself by morality, do your best to keep the law". But remember this, the law says, "You don’t keep me perfectly, I have no choice but to curse you". The law cannot bend, you know, for you. It cannot bend a bit for you. If it bend a bit, it's no more the law. It's perfect, amen.
Romans 7 tells us this, "Do you not know, brethren, I speak to those who know the law, that the law has dominion over a man as long as he lives? For the woman", this woman is you and I. We are always the woman, the one that’s loved, the object of love and romance and care. We are the one. We guys are so blessed, we get to be the groom and the woman in Jesus's life, amen. Amen? So, "The woman who has a husband is bound by the law to her rascal", sorry, "to her husband as long as he lives". Now, the idea here is this husband is a very demanding husband. He's actually Mr. Law, all right? "And if the husband dies, she is released from the law of her husband". Isn't it true?
All right, if your husband dies, then you are released from the law of your husband. Okay, "So then if, while her husband lives, she marries another man, she will be called an adulteress. But if her husband dies, she is free from the law, so that she is no adulteress, though she has married another man". Why is the Apostle Paul going through such a lengthy explanation? He's telling us once upon a time, we were all married to Mr. Law. Mr. Law was our husband. And he was a very demanding husband. He wants his coffee hot, but not burning his lips. You know, he wants his eggs just nice, all right, but the yolk cannot be broken, not even a drop. So, every morning when you do something wrong, he condemns.
Nothing wrong with Mr. Law, he is perfect, that's the problem. Amen. And Mr. Law cannot help you. Mr. Law cannot say, "Let me help you. You know, let me help the Moabite". Then he's no more Mr. Law. So, we are all married to Mr. Law, you understand? Now Jesus came along, and he's full of grace. Now, he is no less, all right, a man of high moral elevation and moral excellence, amen. His standards are very high, but whatever he demands, he does it for you. He makes his own hot coffee, he makes his own eggs, it's always perfect. And even makes it for you in bed, hallelujah. So, the problem is this. The problem is you are married to Mr. Law already. How can you be married to grace unless you die? If you die, then you can marry another husband. But you die, how to marry? Right, now you see.
So, even in this, Jesus Christ provided a death for the woman that he loved so that she's dead to Mr. Law. Next verse please. "Therefore, my brethren", talking to Christians now, "you also have become dead to the law through the body of Christ on that cross, that you should be married to another", to whom? "To Jesus who was raised from the dead". You are married to the one who was raised from the dead after he conquered death, grave, and hell. You were married to the resurrected Jesus Christ, amen. You know what's the result? That we should bear fruit to God. Ruth for ten years when she was with her first husband, Mahlon, whose name means sickness, she never had a child. For ten years, she never had a child. Mahlon was sick.
Now, when she married Boaz, let me tell you this, the Bible says she brought forth Obed, the baby called Obed. All right, later on, Obed brought forth Jesse. Jesse is the father of David, hallelujah. I'm getting ahead of myself already, but I'm getting excited, amen? Church, do you know who is Ruth or not? You and I. So, you know who's a nearer kinsman who didn't want to redeem Ruth? Mr. Law. Mr. Law cannot, Mr. Law says, "If I marry Ruth, I will ruin my reputation. I will mar my inheritance. I will no more be known as Mr. Law", you understand?
Now, if you say, "Pastor Prince, what's wrong with the law"? Read verse 5, "Wen we were in the flesh". In the flesh is synonymous with being under law. Being in the spirit is synonymous with being under grace. Okay, when we were in the flesh, the sinful passions, passions which were aroused by what? "By the law were at work in our members to bear fruit to death". Now we are married to Jesus, we bear fruit to God. But you try to keep Mr. Law, you bear fruit, you have results, but results to death. That's why you are depressed. That's why you feel lonely. That's why you feel frustrated. That's why there's a blah feeling.
All right, every time you don't look to Jesus, you will end up in this death realm instead of the life realm. How many of you worshipped Jesus just now, you looked to Jesus, you felt life was flowing, man? Hallelujah, that's glory, that's life, that's health, that's wholeness, that's faith that everything's going to be all right, amen? Let me finish. "But now", say now, "we have been delivered from", what? "From the law, having died to what we were held by, so that we should serve in newness of the Spirit and not in the oldness of the letter". You keep on reading, he talks about the Ten Commandments. All right, the next few verses says that, "I had not known lust except the law had said thou shall not lust". So, here the law is not referring to ceremonial law, it's referring to the Ten Commandments in the context.
Okay, let's go back to Ruth in closing. How many close already? Okay, "Now this was the custom in former times. Now this was the custom in former times in Israel concerning redeeming and exchanging, to confirm anything: one man took off his sandal and gave it to another, and this was a confirmation in Israel". In other words, Mr. Law now, the close relative, he has to remove his sandal and give it to Boaz. Now, this is a custom in those days, which means what? Now, you have right, you have his right, in other words, he cannot walk all over your property. The law cannot walk all over the believer today, amen? Don't let anyone bring back the law in your life. The law has no more right to walk on your property. He has given his shoe to your heavenly Boaz, amen. His name is?
All right, let's finish, one more time finish. Verse 8, "Therefore the close relative said to Boaz, 'Buy it for yourself.' So he took off his sandal". All right, remember this, Mr. Law has no more right to walk all over your field, walk all over you to condemn you anymore, amen. He's got no more shoes, yo, no more shoes. "And Boaz said to the elders and all the people, 'You are witnesses this day I have bought all that was Elimelech's, all that was Chilion's and Mahlon's, from the hand of Naomi".
Oh, this is very beautiful. You know what Jesus did? The work of Jesus is shown here. What did he buy? He bought back the kingdom of God. Elimelech means my God is king. All right, my God, eli, my God is king. Once upon a time, Israel had the kingdom of God preached, but Israel forfeited by rejecting the Messiah. Well, he has bought that back for Israel. He has bought that back for us, amen. Another thing, he has also bought everything from all that was Chilion's and Mahlon's. Chilion's means wasting away. Mahlon means sickness. Jesus Christ has redeemed you from sickness, from wasting away, from dying, from pining, hallelujah. He's bought you out of sickness. Amen, by his stripes you are healed.
You have no right to always be constantly tired. He has bought you out of wasting away. He has bought you out of sickness, the slave market of sickness and disease. And finally, let me finish off, he married Ruth, okay? Married Ruth and Naomi had a grandson. She never dreamed one day, she will hold a baby because her two sons died. And look, drop down, "Naomi took the child", Obed. His name is you pronounce as Obed in Hebrew, Hebrew name. "Laid him on her bosom, and became a nurse to him. And the neighbor women gave him a name, saying, 'There is a son born to Naomi.' And they called his name Obed. He is the father of Jesse, the father of David".
Let me close with the last two verses of Ruth. "Boaz begot Obed. Obed begot Jesse. Jesse begot David". Now, there is nothing insignificant in the Bible, even names carry meanings. Watch, Boaz means in him is strength. Who is this one? Jesus. All right, Obed his son means serve. Jesse means wealth. Now, what is the meaning of David? You all know this, beloved, amen. So, there is a message here. Watch this, watch this, watch this. In him is strength to serve wealth to his beloved, all of you, hallelujah. In him is power, is strength to serve wealth.
Now, this wealth is not just money, okay? All right, some people always think of money all the time. Money is part of it, but wealth of his revelation, wealth of his resources, wealth of his wonderful person, amen. The wealth of knowing Jesus, that's the greatest wealth of all. All right, and the Lord, of course he will take care of you in terms of your provisions and all that. All that is in the word "wealth". In him is power and strength to serve wealth to his people, the same way he did for Ruth, gave her the bread. In an instant, from a widow to a blessed wife and a happy mother. From nothing to plenty. From lonely to his wonderful company for the rest of her life. This is our Lord Jesus Christ. Don't you love him?