A0388_The Gentile Bride
Date: 8th June 2008 (Sunday AM) Ref: A0388
Place: Kambah P.S.
Title: The Gentile Bride
Text: & Ruth 4:9-10
Illust: Tomorrow is a public holiday, Queens Birthday, it is also a Jewish Feast day, one of the 3 feasts that the Jews were expected to gather at Jerusalem to celebrate – Shavuot, Feast of Weeks, Day of First Fruits, 50 days after Passover
I. Feast of Weeks
i. The Feast of Weeks tied to the harvest season of the barley & wheat harvest times. 50 days after Passover instituted by God ~ & Leviticus 23:1;
Passover, Unleavened Bread, Firstfruits, Weeks (Shavuot), Trumpets, Atonement, Tabernacles –
ii. Shavuot the middle feast of the seven Mosaic feasts. & Leviticus 23:15-16 ~ Prophetic picture; the first 3 feasts point to the first coming of Jesus, the last 3 are of the 2nd coming, Judgement & Atonement. Shavuot is in the middle & is prophetic of the church in more ways than one:
iii. End of the harvest period:
John 4:35 Do you not say, ‘There are still four months and then comes the harvest’? Behold, I say to you, lift up your eyes and look at the fields, for they are already white for harvest! (NKJV)
i. It is also when the Jews celebrate the giving of the Torah, the laws of God to the world on Mt Sinai.
ii. It is believed that it was 50 days after the Feast of Unleavened Bread, the flight from Egypt they assembled at Mt Sinai & God came down & revealed Himself / His Word to His people.
II. Why Ruth
A. A Gentile Bride
i. So why is our text a portion from the book of Ruth? – Interesting that the Jews have specific books that they read during different holidays. The book that is read aloud in the Synagogue at Shavuot is the book of Ruth. – Why:
ii. Love story that occurs during the barley harvest just before Shavuot where Ruth the young Moabitess, the gentile, is faithful to her mother in law Naomi & her people, her God. ~ & Ruth 1:16-17
iii. They come to Bethlehem but they are poor & have no means of support, they are in a hopeless situation. – Ruth goes to glean barley from the fields & meets Boaz the owner of the field. If you have read the story ever wonder how she can just go onto someones property & take what is left after the reapers have gone through?
Levitical command that the farmer was to leave the corners and not glean absolutely everything, a provision for the poor.
The first work for the dole scheme.
Where is this commandment found in Leviticus? – In the passage that commands the Feast of Weeks: ~ & Leviticus 23:22. – Years before she is born, before the Israelites have even entered the land, God is making provision for Ruth to meet Boaz.
B. Bride of Christ
i. The story continues, a romance begins between Boaz of the tribe of Judah & Ruth the gentile & we come to our & text. – Boaz redeems Naomi’s property & Ruth as his wife – He takes a Gentile bride.
ii. Some one thousand years later another man of the tribe of Judah, a direct descendant of Boaz & Ruth, claimed a Gentile bride. – The Church of Jesus Christ. – A picture of the church is as the Bride of Christ we find this in a number of places:
Luke 5:34-35 34 And He said to them, “Can you make the friends of the bridegroom fast while the bridegroom is with them? 35 But the days will come when the bridegroom will be taken away from them; then they will fast in those days.” (NKJV)
Ephesians 5:23 For the husband is head of the wife, as also Christ is head of the church; and He is the Savior of the body. (NKJV)
Revelation 19:7 Let us be glad and rejoice and give Him glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and His wife has made herself ready.” (NKJV)
iii. Paul explains that the church is the mercy of God made available to both Jew & Gentile;
Romans 10:12 For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek, for the same Lord over all is rich to all who call upon Him. (NKJV)
iv. But even though the church has Jewish roots, he goes on to lament that the Jews by & large had rejected their Messiah & His message, and that us Gentiles, the wild uncultivated olive had been grafted in to the fullness of God. – The church following the 1st century became predominantly Gentile. – Us – A Gentile Bride. – This is the prophetic picture of the book of Ruth.
A. Position of the Betrothed
i. Want to now look at this & get an understanding of the relative positions of the betrothed. Read an interesting exchange, one prominent speaker (We’ll call him Rick) was trying to justify his stance on why the church should be glorified:
At a wedding the bride is the main character, the center, the start of the show – everyone else is supporting cast, but the glory goes to the bride/ …The Bride of Christ – of which the church is its local expression around the world – deserves the focus, the credit and the glory for faithfully serving their communities year after year.
This was rebutted, rightly I believe, by another author (Joseph) who explained that
I believe Rick Warren is doing something he accuses others of doing: Interpreting the Bible through 21st century American eyes rather than through the eyes of the ancient Hebrew culture into which Jesus was born, lived, died and was resurrected. In no way was the bride the focus of the glory in a Jewish wedding back in those days and in that place. It was the bridegroom who was the focus of all the attention and revelry. Likewise, I reiterate, it will be the bridegroom – Jesus – who gets all the glory, and deserves all the glory, at his wedding.
ii. Important to understand this, the bridegroom asked for & received permission to marry the bride, from that time they were betrothed. – The bridegroom then went off to prepare the house for them both to dwell in. Then he returns for his bride: The focus of the marriage is on the groom.
iii. What was the role of the bride, what was she to do? ~ Keep herself pure, be ready to go with the groom when he returned – So to for us we are to pursue Holiness & to be ready
Luke 12:40 Therefore you also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.” (NKJV)
Ephesians 5:27 that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish. (NKJV)
i. The bride was effectively married to the groom, legally she was his. The church is legally Jesus Christs.
ii. When was the church birthed? – The Feast of Weeks was 50 days after the Feast of Unleavened bread, from that 50 days we get another name for this feast in the Greek; that is Pentecost. – The church was born on the Feast of Weeks, Pentecost, the Day of First fruits, we the Gentile Bride of the Lion of the tribe of Judah.
iii. Betrothed in power, sealed in power to the groom: & Acts 2:1-4 – The Holy Spirit given to the church to enable & empower you to live as Christ wants you to live.
iv. How do you live? The Bride was not to flirt with other young men in the village, she was not to go off & be away somewhere, she was to be focussed on the return of the Groom, to be ready & waiting for him. Making herself ready. – Are you focussed on living as Jesus wants you to live, on His plan & calling on your life. – Or is it all about you
IV. Altar Call