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The Ruth Generation


We have heard about the Moses Generation, the Joshua Generation and the Esther Generation.
 
But have you ever heard about the Ruth Generation? I searched the Internet and found very few new articles written on the life of Ruth. Why? Because we are living in an age where we seek glamour, fame, money, success and power. Ruth is almost the exact opposite.
 
What is the Ruth Generation?
 
Before we even discuss about Ruth, we need to know what generation we are now in. Like the sons of Issachar who understood their times, we need to know and understand the times we are living in today.
 
The Church entered into the Joshua Generation about AD 2000. Thus I believe we are now in the Judges Generation.
 
                         Moses >> Joshua >> Judges >> Ruth >> Samuel >> Kings

What is the Judges Generation? It is a generation where everyone does what is right in his own eyes.

Judges 17:6
In those days there was no king in Israel;
everyone did what was right in his own eyes.

Judges 21:25
In those days there was no king in Israel;
everyone did what was right in his own eyes.

Yes, the King is coming but He is not here yet. As there is no King in our midst, everyone does what is right in his own eyes.

What happens in the Judges Generation?

Ruth 1:1
Now it came to pass,
in the days when the judges ruled,
that there was a famine in the land.

Yes, there is a famine in the Judges Generation. What kind of famine is it?

Amos 8:11-12
“Behold, the days are coming,”
says the Lord God,
“That I will send a famine on the land,
Not a famine of bread,
Nor a thirst for water,
But of hearing the words of the Lord.

They shall wander from sea to sea,
And from north to east;
They shall run to and fro,
seeking the word of the Lord,
But shall not find it.”

The Judges Generation will be a generation where everyone will do their own things. Many churches in many nations have become marketplaces where buying and selling take place.
 
Some pastors even charge exorbitant school fees to train and groom their members to become successful business men and women so that they can in turn bring in more money to build bigger churches and ministries. Inside and outside the walls of the churches, all kinds of transactions take place. Everyone does what is right in his own eyes.
 
Very few churches are preaching the Word of God. Many hungry Christians run to and fro, in and out of meetings after meetings, seeking the Word of God. But they will not find it. Always hungry because they are not properly fed.
 
Why? It is because very few pastors and preachers are sharing the Bread of Life in their pulpits. They are sharing about how to get rich, famous, powerful, anointed and influential! They are preaching building projects, business ventures and church activities. And they are promoting show business and rock concerts.
 
From signs and wonders to angel feathers to gold dust to heavenly gems and stones to anointing oils - loaded with lots of "prophetic" acts and "apostolic" activities. In fact, we have become very professional prophetic actors and actresses, acting out under the "anointed" directorships of our “prophets” and “apostles”, and carrying out their instructions and commands. Everyone does what is right in his own eyes.
 
But we have a terrible famine - a famine of hearing the words of God. Yes, the Judges Generation will be living in the times when God judges the Church! This is the worst displeasure of God! His heaviest judgement is a famine of hearing the words of God! His words cannot be heard in the lands.

Isaiah 47:8-10
“Therefore hear this now,
you who are given to pleasures,
Who dwell securely,
Who say in your heart,
‘I am, and there is no one else besides me;
I shall not sit as a widow,
Nor shall I know the loss of children’;
But these two things shall come to you
In a moment, in one day:
The loss of children, and widowhood.

They shall come upon you in their fullness
Because of the multitude of your sorceries,
For the great abundance of your enchantments.

“For you have trusted in your wickedness;
You have said, ‘No one sees me’;
Your wisdom and your knowledge have warped you;
And you have said in your heart,
‘I am, and there is no one else besides me.’

In one day the people suffered these two things - the loss of children and widowhood because they trusted in their own wisdom and wickedness, indulging themselves in worldly pleasures and pagan sorceries.

But thanks be to God - the Ruth Generation is coming.
 
Why is the Ruth Generation important? Simply because Ruth was a simple young woman of Moab. Though she was once a widow but she eventually became the great-grandmother of King David, the man after the heart of God!
 
Between the times of Judges and the times of Kings, we have an awesome love story unfolded – so beautifully written and orchestrated only by the Lord God Almighty Himself. A love that triumphed over the dark hours of famine, death and widowhood. A love that transcended the logic of human wisdom and understanding. A tale of three widows. 
 
During the time of the judges, there was a famine. An Israelite family from Bethlehem migrated to a nearby country, Moab. The man was Elimelech, his wife Naomi, and their two sons Mahlon and Chilion.
 
Then a tragedy began. Elimelech died. Naomi became a widow. The two sons married two Moabite women. Mahlon married Ruth, and Chilion married Orpah. They lived there in Moab for about 10 years.
 
Then the two sons of Naomi also died. Ruth and Orpah became widows.

There were now three widows in the same house filled with mourning, weeping, sorrow and pain. Imagine three widows living under the same roof, facing each other 24/7. Day and night, soaking in tears and self-pity.
 
Then Naomi decided to return to Bethlehem. She told her two daughters-in-law to return to their own mothers, and to remarry. After much persuasion, Orpah left Naomi and returned to her own people and her gods.
 
However, Ruth clung unto Naomi. Her famous words were recorded for us to follow suit:

Ruth 1:16-17
“Entreat me not to leave you,
Or to turn back from following after you;
For wherever you go, I will go;
And wherever you lodge, I will lodge;
Your people shall be my people,
And your God, my God.

Where you die, I will die,
And there will I be buried.

The Lord do so to me, and more also,
If anything but death parts you and me.”

These two widows returned to Bethlehem. One was a Jew, and the other a Gentile. Their future was full of uncertainties. But their hearts were courageous to face the unknown adventure ahead. Where you die, I will die, and there will I be buried. Till death parts you and me!

It was the beginning of the barley harvest upon their arrival in Bethlehem. In order to support her mother-in-law and herself, Ruth went to the fields to glean.

Ruth was willing to be the tail, and not the head. She was tailing others as she picked up the stalks of grain left behind by anyone who was kind enough to let her do so. She was humble. She did not quarrel or fight with the people there. She was a Moabite woman working among a Jewish community.
 
The harvest fields she went to belonged to a man named Boaz. Boaz was a close relative of Naomi's husband's family. He was kind to Ruth after hearing of her loyalty and faithfulness to her mother-in-law.
 
Boaz warned the young men working in the fields not to treat Ruth roughly. And he also asked her to help herself to the water they had drawn from the well whenever she was thirsty.
 
Ruth fell at his feet and thanked him warmly. “What have I done to deserve such kindness?” she asked. “I am only a foreigner.”
 
When Ruth returned home, she told her mother-in-law of Boaz's kindness. She continued to glean in Boaz's fields till the end of the harvest season.
 
As the love story continued, Naomi sent Ruth to the threshing floor at night, and told her to "uncover the feet" of the sleeping Boaz.
 
Ruth did accordingly but she woke Boaz up. He asked, "Who are you?"
 
Ruth identified herself, and then asked Boaz to spread his cloak over her. This phrase "spread your cloak" was a woman's way of asking for marriage.

Ezekiel 16:8  
Later I passed by,
and when I looked at you
and saw that you were old enough for love,
I spread the corner of My garment over you
and covered your naked body.

I gave you My solemn oath
and entered into a covenant with you,
declares the Sovereign Lord,
and you became Mine.

For a man to spread his cloak over a woman showed that he had agreed to marry the woman.
 
In fact, Boaz was obliged by the Levirate law to marry Ruth, the widow of his relative Mahlon, so that the family line of Mahlon would be carried on.
 
Boaz was willing to redeem Ruth via marriage. But there was another male relative who had the first right of redemption. There were two items for redemption: the land for Naomi and the marriage for Ruth. Both must be redeemed together.
 
The next morning, Boaz discussed the issue with the other male relative before the town elders. This other man was unwilling to marry Ruth. Thus he relinquished his right of redemption, allowing Boaz to redeem the land, and also to marry Ruth.
 
Now in those days it was the custom in Israel for anyone transferring a right of redemption to remove his sandal and hand it to the other party. This publicly validated the transaction. So the other family redeemer drew off his sandal as he said to Boaz, “You buy the land.”
 
Boaz and Ruth got married and had a son named Obed. Obed was the father of Jesse. And Jesse was the father of David. Thus Ruth was the great-grandmother of King David!
 
The King of kings is coming! But who will prepare the way of His Coming? Who will be humble enough to be a "widow", and to follow another "widow"? Who will be willing to leave her land, and go into another foreign land and be a foreigner?

We are not dealing with romancing Israel here. When false romance hits cold reality, many will give up along the way like Orpah. This is for true seekers who know what is in store for them. Ruth was a Moabite. The Jewish people could have despised and rejected her. Thus there is a very rough and difficult road ahead. But the rewards are worth it all.
 
The Ruth Generation is about Gentile believers who know and understand that they are facing a famine. They are sick and tired of playing spiritual games. They are now mourning and weeping. They are now in great sorrow and pain. Because there is a famine of hearing the words of God. 

They are willing to lay down their lives and follow another widow. Yes, another older widow. Israel is an old widow, without a husband for thousands of years! But her time has come for her to shine brightly and her salvation has come! The Bridegroom is coming again!

Isaiah 62:1-5
For Zion’s sake I will not hold My peace,
And for Jerusalem’s sake I will not rest,
Until her righteousness goes forth as brightness,
And her salvation as a lamp that burns.

The Gentiles shall see your righteousness,
And all kings your glory.

You shall be called by a new name,
Which the mouth of the Lord will name.

You shall also be a crown of glory
In the hand of the Lord,
And a royal diadem
In the hand of your God.

You shall no longer be termed Forsaken,
Nor shall your land any more be termed Desolate;
But you shall be called Hephzibah, and your land Beulah;
For the Lord delights in you,
And your land shall be married.

For as a young man marries a virgin,
So shall your sons marry you;
And as the bridegroom rejoices over the bride,
So shall your God rejoice over you.

The Ruth Generation is a generation that moves from knowing the will of God to doing His will. Too much of head knowledge puffs us up, making us very arrogant, soaked and drunk in spiritual pride.
 
The Ruth Generation is a humble generation that is willing to be the tail first before becoming the head. Ruth was willing to pick up what others had left over so that she could eventually become the wife of the owner of the fields.
 
Victory comes through faith in God, being truly faithful and obedient to His Word. It does not come through human wisdom, military might or numerical superiority. Ruth forsook all her pagan ways and embraced the true God of Israel. Your people, my people. Your God, my God! Till death parts us!
 
This is the hour that the Church needs to identify herself with Israel, like Ruth clinging to Naomi. Replacement Theology and Anti-Semitism need to be rooted out, pulled down, destroyed and thrown down. This is the time for the Jews and Gentiles to build and plant together the kingdom of love.
 
Again, the foundation of all the successful national and spiritual life is built on our faithfulness and commitment to the covenant God had made with Abraham.

Genesis 12:1-3
Now the Lord had said to Abram:
“Get out of your country,
From your family
And from your father’s house,
To a land that I will show you.

I will make you a great nation;
I will bless you
And make your name great;
And you shall be a blessing.

I will bless those who bless you,
And I will curse him who curses you;
And in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”

Just as Abraham left his own country from his family and from his father’s house, Ruth did the same. And God showed them a land flowing with milk and honey!
 
The Ruth Generation is willing to be a part of this Abrahamic Covenant. Not talking about it but actually doing it!
 
And this is not another prophetic act. The days for prophetic acting are over. Now is the time for true worshippers to worship the Father in spirit and in truth by godly living and giving! Live the life. Living epistles! No more acting!
 
The Ruth Generation is not for the faint-hearted and the feeble-minded. It is for those who have heard the call of God, and are willing to make a difference for themselves and Israel.
 
I personally know of some dedicated and devoted Christians who have sold their homes and are moving to Israel, not knowing what is ahead. Just trusting and obeying the Lord.
 
I am not asking or suggesting all of us to do the same. But I am asking that we become involved in the business of the Father. His Son is coming back, and He is landing on Mount Olives, Israel.

What is our role in preparing the way of His Coming? I cannot answer that for you. Please ask Him yourself. We need to seek God. Wherever You go, I will go. Wherever You lodge, I will lodge. Your people my people. Your God my God!

A good way to begin this journey is to read our Bible, feed on the Bread of Life, praise and worship Him, pray and seek His face daily. As we do so, we will find His purpose and plan in these exciting times we are living in. Also remember to pray for the peace of Jerusalem.
 
There is another widow. Orpah. What happened to her? Maybe she got married. Maybe she became super-rich as she worshipped the gods of glamour, mammon, prosperity, fame and power. Maybe she became a superstar in some talk shows or entertainment arenas. Maybe. But she missed the great opportunity of becoming the great grandmother of King David!
 
The King is coming. And we are now moving away from the Judges Generation.
 
When there was no king in Israel, everyone did what was right in his own eyes.
 
But when there is a King in Israel, everyone will do what is right in His eyes!

 

Written on 22 September 2012