We continue with our study of our Friend the Holy Spirit as He navigated among the people of God in the Old Testament. The book of Ruth is rich in symbolism, historic significance and parallels. And although the Holy Spirit is not mentioned by name, you and I can definitely find Him symbolized in a way that point to His present work. In the New Covenant, the Holy Spirit is known as the Spirit of Adoption.
Romans 8:15-17 For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father.” 16 The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, 17 and if children, then heirs — heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ. NKJV
The Holy Spirit is the One who works with our Lord Jesus Christ in our hearts to do a work of regeneration and to immerse us into the body of Christ. In the book of Ruth, we see a parallel of the workings of the Holy Spirit. Though this story began with a family tragedy in which a father dies and his two married sons then die without having any children, it ends up with a beautiful love affair and marriage which brought forth children who were born into the genealogy of king David and of our Lord Jesus Christ.
If you read the book of Ruth, you’ll find that Naomi, who was left with her two Moabite daughters in law Ruth and Orpah decided to go back to her homeland in Israel. She did her best to convince the two girls to stay behind with their people but Ruth clung with her and decided to be a worshipper of Naomi’s God and belong to her people. (Ruth 1:16,18) This is a picture of one’s decision to accept Christ into his/her heart.
So Ruth and Naomi arrive in Bethlehem weary and poor. However according to the law, the poor and the foreigner were allowed to glean crops from the harvest fields. (See Leviticus 23:22). So Ruth finds herself harvesting in a field that belongs to a wealthy relative of her former husband, whose name is Boaz. Boaz takes notice of Ruth and makes her feel welcome instructing his young men to allow her to harvest inside the main field. He even instructs them to purposely drop crops for Ruth to pick up. Then later, Ruth under the instruction of her mother in law makes a bold move, which definitely meant she was asking Boaz to marry her. (See Ruth 3:2, 8-9) Naomi had pointed out that Boaz was a close relative. Because Ruth’s husband had died without having children, it was the responsibility of his brother to carry on his name by marrying and having children with Ruth. Unfortunately his brother had also died. So now the moral obligation fell on the next close male relative of Ruth’s father in law. In this move, Ruth was asking Boaz to take her under his wing and marry her so as to continue the name of her former husband.
Well, Boaz accepted the proposal and did all that was necessary to marry Ruth thereby becoming the kinsman-redeemer, a type of Jesus Christ. (See Ruth 3:10) Boaz and Ruth are married, Naomi receives grandchildren and the family name is redeemed. This is ultimately a story of redemption and kindness, acceptance and favor. Ruth, a foreigner who converted to Judaism married into the family of God.
Wherever you see a parallel of Christ, you will see a parallel of the Holy Spirit. You and I were lost and foreign to the kingdom of God. The Holy Spirit made us children of God and joined us to Jesus Christ. The Holy Spirit’s vital work of adoption is to get us to think and live according to our adopted state and bear fruit for our Master Jesus. He teaches and trains us to live according to our new identity in Christ. He is the One who assures you of your belonging. He is the One who enlightens the eyes of your understanding to take advantage of your inheritance.
Eph. 1:13-14 In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, 14 who is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of His glory. NKJV