[CF Devotionals] 2008-08-11 - Ruth

Installment 4 ~ The Jewish Perspective

  1. The Jewish Perspective

    What I always find sad, is how close the Jewish scholar can come to the truth, without ever hitting the mark. Take, for example, the words of Scherman:" - The closing tragedies of the Book of Judges: the concubine in Giv'ah and the Idol of Michah, were - indelibly inscribed in Jewish though because they are more than tales. They are expressions of what can occur when 'there is no king in Israel, every man does what is right in his own eyes.' As such, they are timeless and eternal. The Jew in every age must know what his fate can become if he refuses to accept authority and leadership. Ruth is of a piece with those other illustrations of what can happen when there is no vested authority in Israel. Megillas Ruth, too, begins with a cryptic phrase 'in the days when the Judges judged.' The prophet, in three Hebrew words captures the attitude of an era. As the Talmud interprets, it indicates that the people judged, criticized, flouted their judges. Under such conditions authority breaks down. When that happens, there is famine ... physical and spiritual.

    When that happens, even so great a man as Elimelech - learned, honored, wealthy - can cast off his responsibility to his people and flee to the fields of Moab. Seen in this light, the story of Ruth as the background of - the kingship of the House of David takes on a new perspective. Ruth, princess of Moah, might never even have seen a Jew, much less married one, had it not been for the lapse of Elimelech and the Jewish people. Because there was relative anarchy, a family from Bethlehem went to Moab and set in motion a chain of events that resulted in a princess from Moab becoming - the mother of Jewish royalty, matriarch of the family that produced David, bearer of God's glory on earth, and will ultimately produce Mashiach who will lead Israel and all mankind to the spiritual splendor intended by God when He said - "let there be light!'" 1
    So near, and yet so far.
    All hail, King Jesus!
    All hail Emmanuel,
    King of Kings,
    Lord of lords,
    Bright Morning Star.
    And throughout eternity
    I'll sing Your praises,
    And I'll reign with You
    throughout eternity. 2

Comments or Questions?

[email geoff] GKragen@aol.com

Additional studies by Geoff
Podcasts of Studies in Matthew can be found at www.GKragen.com

  1. Zlotowitz, p. xxi-xxii.
  2. Moody, Dave, "All Hail, King Jesus," Maranatha Music Praise Chorus Book, 3rd Edition, Word, Inc., Nashville, TN, 1993, #1.