Satisfaction and Rest

rest

Ruth

Having reached the moment when Ruth is found at the feet of Boaz the story is naturally more concerned with what Boaz does. He works to satisfy the desires that his love and grace have raised, but he will also work for the satisfaction of his own heart. All this brings before us the far deeper mystery of Christ and His desires for His Church. Nothing will satisfy His heart but having His saints with Him and like Him. His love must have the company of His loved ones. We are going to heaven because love wants us there. It did not satisfy the heart of the father to remove the rags from the prodigal son and meet his needs: he must have him in his own company suited to his presence, with the best robe, the shoes on his feet, and the ring on his hand. Nor does it satisfy the heart of Christ to deliver us from judgment and clear us from our sins, but He must have us with Him and like Him.

  • It was with this end He gathered souls around Him as He passed through this world, for when He called the twelve it was, first of all that they should be "with Him" (Mk. 3:14).
  • It was for this He prayed when He said, "Father I will that they also whom Thou hast give Me be with Me where I am."
  • It was for this He died, that "whether we wake or sleep we should live together with Him" (1 Th. 5:10).
  • It is with this end that He serves His people today, washing our feet that we might have part with Him.
  • It is this end that He has in view when He puts one of His saints to sleep, to depart and be "with Christ."
  • And when at last the Lord comes into the clouds to call us home, it is to receive us unto Himself that where He is we might be also, "for ever with the Lord."

This then is the blessed truth that we learn at His feet. Not only that we want Him, but that He wants us. Small wonder that we should want Him, but an everlasting wonder that He should want us. Many learn at His feet that He can dispense with all our service but He cannot do without ourselves. "I am my Beloved’s and His desire is toward me," is the great and glorious truth that we learn at His feet. And so Ruth tells us of this same truth, for at the feet of Boaz she learned not only that she longed for Boaz but that Boaz longed for her. And having learned this she can "sit still" and wait for Boaz to finish the thing (v.18).

Deeply significant is the way that Boaz takes to secure rest and satisfaction for his own heart and the heart of Ruth. There is what he does with Ruth, followed by the work He does for Ruth. In chapter 2 he wins her affection; in chapter 3 he gives her holy boldness to gratify the affection he has won.

First, having refused all others and followed Boaz, she is assured of blessing, "Blessed be thou" (v.10). Second, he removes every trace of fear from her heart, saying, "Fear not" (v. 11). Then she is assured that every hindrance to the fulfillment of all his purpose will be overcome (vv.12-13). In the meantime he richly supplies all her need. He gives her six measures of barley. When she sought her own blessing she obtained one measure of barley (2:17); when she sought Boaz himself she gets "six measures of barley." But still it is only "six" not seven, the complete number. No amount of barley can give complete satisfaction.

Thus it is that the Lord acts with His own today. Is there not a special blessing for those who have learned the great secret that the Lord wants us for Himself? Does not this remove all fear, give us holy boldness, and assure our hearts that no hindrance can stand in the way of the fulfillment of His purpose for us? In the meantime He meets our every need and thus enables us, like Ruth to "sit still" in the knowledge that He will not be in rest until He has finished that which He has begun. "He which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ" (Phil. 1:6).


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