2004 06 20

Ruth 路得记

Good Morning dear brothers and sisters. 亲爱的弟兄姐妹,早上好。

This morning we are to consider the first of our daily readings. We have now finished reading the book of Judges and are in the book of Ruth. It is from Ruth that I hope to draw our exhortation today. 今天早上我们按照阅读表来看第一部分。我们已经读完了士师记,现在到了路得记。今天的劝勉词就来自路得记。

In our exhortation today we will consider the faith of this wonderful woman Ruth. This is unusual in the Bible. Most of the time we are looking at male characters and learning lessons from their life, today we have an exhortation that will be particularly relevant to the sisters! 今天劝勉词的主题是奇妙的女人路得的信仰。在旧约圣经里,有名的女人并不多。大部分的时候我们看到的是男人的故事,从他们的生活去学到教训。而今天我们会学一个和姐妹特别有关的劝勉。

To understand the power of this beautiful woman's character we need to understand a little about the background of the book. We are told in chapter 1v1 that the story takes place in the days when the judges ruled. The final verse of the Judges gives us a summary of the times of the judges. In Judges 21v25 it says that "in those days there was no king in Israel, every man did that which was right in his own eyes". We know from our readings of the last few days what horrific things the men of Israel did "because it was right in their own eyes". This phrase is also repeated 17v6 and 18v1 where the story is told about a man who left Bethlehem Judah and went to establish false worship in the tribe of Dan. It also occurs in 19v1 where we read of a concubine from Bethlehem Judah who left her husband and became a prostitute back in Bethlehem. 如果我们要了解美好的女人的品性,我们需要了解路得记的背景。第一章第一节告诉我们时间是在士师秉政的时候。士师记最后的一节21章25节说“那时,以色列中没有王,各人任意而行。”给了我们一个总结。我们通过上几个礼拜阅读士师记知道以色列人的确任意而行。这句话“任意而行”也是在士师记17:6和18:1出现过。这两个地方讲的故事是有个利未人离开犹大的伯利恒去在但支派那里建立假的崇拜(士17:3雕刻一个像)。在士19:1我们也读到有一个利未人的妾从犹大伯利恒离开丈夫行淫。

So the background of the book of Ruth is a horrible picture of a nation that has forgotten their God, and Bethlehem is a town that is typical of the state of the nation. 所以路得记的背景是以色列人忘记了神的糟糕的景象。伯利恒也是这个国家典型的城市。

The story begins with a husband and wife leaving Bethlehem and travelling to Moab to seek an easier life. In Moab the husband dies and the two boys marry wives from Moab. God's hand falls then upon the boys and they also die. So Naomi is left with only her two daughter-in-laws in a strange and Godless land. Our purpose this morning is to learn from the developing faith of Ruth and so we will not go into detail on the other characters in the story. This is a good thing to do in your own time if you wish. 在路得记的开始,有一个人和他的妻子离开伯利恒到摩押去寻求更容易的生活。在摩押,这个丈夫去世了,他的两个儿子娶了两个摩押女子为妻。两个儿子也死了。所以拿俄米和她的两个儿媳留在了一个陌生而不认识神的地方。我们今天早上的目的是通过路得信仰的发展学一些教训。所以我们不去详细看故事里其他的人。但如果你们愿意在空闲的时间去看详细的内容也是很好的。

The first time we really see the character of Ruth in the record is in 1v14. Naomi has decided to move back to the land of Israel and the 2 daughters in law have chosen to follow her. Naomi tries to discourage them telling them there is no hope for them to be part of her family if they return. We may think this is unusual. Why wouldn't Naomi encourage as many as possible to go from Godless Moab to join God's people? 我们第一次能真正的看到路得的性格是在1:14。拿俄米开始让她的两个儿媳各人回她们娘家去。这个对我们来说是比较奇怪的事。拿俄米为什么不劝她们离开不认识上帝的地方去以色列成为上帝百姓的一部分?

The answer is simple. It is like the way we preach to others. We invite all people to come to the truth, but we do not baptise all the people we invite, do we? First the people we invite need to come to a very clear understanding of the Bible, of the Gospel and of the responsibilities which a servant of Christ has. Once this is understood we are delighted for them to be baptised and join our ecclesia. 答案很简单。就像我们传福音一样。我们邀请所有的人认识真理,但不是所有的人会受洗,对吗?首先,我们邀请的人需要明确的明白圣经,福音和作为基督的仆人的责任。一旦他们明白这些,我们会高兴的欢迎他们受洗成为教会的一份子。

This is what Naomi is doing here. She is making it clear that there is no fleshly reason for the girls to return to Israel. They will not be rich, they will not have husbands and their life would be difficult. She made the decision clear. They had to choose between the easy, comfortable life they were used to in Moab with all their Moabite friends and family, or a life of poverty living dedicated to the ways of the God of Israel. 拿俄米也是这样做的。她让她们知道按着肉体来说她们去以色列没有什么好处。她们不会富有,她们不会有丈夫,生活也会很艰难。她给她们一个明确的选择。她们必须在容易,舒服,熟悉的摩押和她们的朋友家人生活,或者按着上帝的道在以色列过着贫穷的生活之间做一个选择。

This is the same choice that we have all made. We have chosen to leave the easy life in the world with whatever wealth was there. We have chosen to leave behind our friends and our family and dedicate our lives to serving the God of Israel. This does not mean we do not still see our friends and love our family, but we now have a more important person in our lives, the Lord Jesus Christ. 我们都已经做了一样的选择。我们选择离开容易的,富裕的属世的生活。我们选择离开我们的朋友,家人而把我们的生命奉献给以色列的神。这当然不是说我们不爱我们的家人和朋友,而是说我们的生活里有了一个更重要的人,就是主耶稣基督。

When Naomi set this choice out clearly, Orpah decided to go back to her land but Ruth was very different. She thought carefully about the choice and even when her sister in law left she stayed with Naomi. 当拿俄米给她们这个选择的时候,俄珥巴选择了回摩押,但路得做了一个完全不同的选择。她仔细的考虑了这个选择,连她的嫂子离开的时候她仍然和拿俄米在一起。

What does this teach us about Ruth? It shows that she was a woman who had a very strong belief in the God of Israel. She had no reason to believe she would ever marry again. She had no reason to ever believe she would become rich in Israel. Even so she wanted to be part of the people of the God of Israel. And to want this she must have understood who He was. 这个告诉了我们路得的什么呢?这显示了路得对以色列的神有一个强烈的信仰。她没有理由相信她会在以色列再次结婚。她也没有理由她会在以色列会过上富裕的生活。反正她却想变成以色列的神的百姓的一份子。如果路得这样想,她一定能了解神是谁。

Naomi must have talked to Ruth about God. These discussions would have been about all the greatness of God and the way he had chosen Israel to be His special people. They also would have spoken about God's attitude to the Moabites. How that in Numbers 25 they had caused Israel to sin and were cursed. She would have believed however that the God of Israel as revealed in Ex 34v6-7 was merciful and gracious. She believed that he was able to save even a Moabite! 当然拿俄米一定已经和拿俄米谈论过神。这些谈论应该包括神的伟大和神已拣选以色列成为他特别的百姓。她们定神对摩押人的态度。包括民数记25章,摩押人因以色列犯罪而被咒诅。反正路得相信神是一个有恩典和慈爱的神,像在出埃及记34:6,7说的一样。路得也相信神能够拯救一个摩押人。

She had faith very similar to Abraham the father of Israel who left his home and family to join to the God of Israel. In Hebrews 11v15-16 we find a quote which although written about Abraham, Isaac and Jacob applies perfectly to Ruth. She like Abraham "if she had been thinking of the country from whence they came out as her reward, they might have had opportunity to have returned. But she with them now desires a better country, better that Moab or Ur. They together in faith are looking for a heavenly country. 这样路得的信仰就非常像以色列的祖先亚伯拉罕的信仰。亚伯拉罕也为了去神让他去的地方离开了家。希伯来书11:15,16我们能看到写的关于亚伯拉罕,以撒,雅各的经节,也同样适用于路得。她像亚伯拉罕一样,也是“若想念所离开的家乡,还有可以回去的机会。”但路得像他们一样却羡慕一个更美的家乡,比摩押,吾珥更美的地方,就是在天上的。(希腊文是“从天上而来的”)。

Her quiet and yet determined words to Naomi are a lesson to us all and especially our sisters. In Ruth 1v16-18 we read her beautiful speech of faith. She is gentle with her mother in law and not at all presumptuous, but is very clear she wants to forsake all her old life and friends and be joined to the people of Naomi. More importantly she is definite she wants to be joined to the God of Naomi. Just because sisters are asked to be in subjection in the ecclesia does not mean they cannot be very firm in their own belief. It is the way they express their belief which identifies them as a woman like Ruth. 路得给拿俄米安静而有决心的话对我们所有的人,特别是我们的姐妹是一个很好的教训。在路得记1:16-18我们读到她有信仰的美好的话。她对她婆婆特别温柔,一点也不傲慢,但却特别明确的表达了她要离开她的旧的生活和朋友们,要加入拿俄米的百姓。更重要的是路得是特别明确她要跟拿俄米的神有关系。姐妹是要“沉静学道,一味地顺服”(提前3:11),这个意思不是说姐妹不要有一个有决心的信仰她们要像路得那样来表达她们的信仰。

Her true depth of understanding of the gospel is seen in the last comment in verse 17. She says "may the Lord do so to me and more also if even death parts me from you" Ruth believed that even death would not be able to separate her from Naomi. This means she must have had a clear understanding of the resurrection. We can take great comfort in the fact that even death will not separate us from our brethren and sisters because in the resurrection we will see them all again. What a wonderful day it will be when Ruth comes out of the grave to see that her faith has been rewarded and she can spend eternity with Naomi! 路得关于福音的深刻了解是在第一章17节能够看到。她说 “你在哪里死,我也在哪里死,也葬在那里。除非死能使你我相离,不然,愿耶和华重重地降罚与我。”路得说她也要埋在拿俄米那里是因为她知道以色列有复活的指望。我们也可以有很大的安慰,因为死亡也不能把我们和弟兄姐妹分开。在复活的日子,我们能再次看见他们。这是多么奇妙的日子啊,当路得再次从坟墓中出来看到她信仰的报答,拥有永生与拿俄米在一起。

As we continue on in the life of Ruth we are taught another of her wonderful characteristics. She was a worker for others and she cared lovingly for those in need. In chapter 2v2 we find that she is asking her mother in law to allow her to go and work hard to provide food for her. She was prepared to humble herself and diligently glean from the fields of others for her family. Gleaning was allowed for the very poorest of the people. Ruth was not too proud to work for others. This is a very good lesson for us. We must never be too proud to help someone else, even if it requires us doing something which is not easy. If there is need for a meal in the ecclesia we must never be too proud to help. If there is a brother who needs help cleaning his home, never let us be too proud to help him. 当我们继续看路得的生活,我们能够学习她另外的美好的品性。她为了别人工作,照顾那些有需要的人。在得2:2,我们看到她的婆婆让她去为拿俄米找食物而工作。路得已经准备好谦卑自己去到田间,在收割的人身后,为家里拾取麦穗。拾取麦穗是最穷的人所允许的。路得一点都不骄傲而为别人工作。这对我们来说是一个很好的教训。我们也不应该太骄傲而应该去帮助别人,哪怕去做一些我们不喜欢的工作。例如说,如果教会需要做饭,我们不应该骄傲,而去帮助。或者,如果有弟兄或姐妹需要人帮助打扫房间,我们也不应该骄傲,而应该去帮助他们。

We find that in God's care he made sure that Ruth was gleaning in the field of Boaz. This was the man who was to become her redeemer and husband. In the record Boaz is a type of the Lord Jesus Christ. So Ruth the Gentile was working for her mother in the field of her saviour. 上帝照顾了路得,所以他安排路得在波阿斯的田间拾取麦穗。这个人变成了她的救赎人和丈夫。在路得记波阿斯是主耶稣的预表。所以外帮人路得是在她的救赎主为她的婆婆工作。

We notice the example of her very diligent work. We read in 2v7 that she worked all morning in the field and then in v14-15 she stopped for a short lunch break and then returned to labour until the evening v17. And then after the day's hard work gleaning she beat out the grain to take home to Naomi v17. 我们注意到了她辛勤工作的榜样。在得2:7,2:14,15,17我们看到她除了在屋里休息了一小会和午间吃饭从早晨一直工作到晚上。辛勤工作一整天后,她将所拾取的带回家给拿俄米。

There is a lesson in this hard work and its results for us. When we work for others it is no good if we can only do it for a short period of time and then we forget about their troubles. We must always work, and keep on working to help others, either through preaching the gospel, studying the Bible or helping in a practical way. It is also interesting to note that her real success came in the afternoon. It was in the afternoon that she was allowed to glean in the sheaves and handfuls of grain were specially left for her 2v15-16. If we begin working for God and when it gets hard and the sun starts to get hot we give up we will rarely get a result. It is by really continuing to work that God will bless us. We must remember that our labour, if it is for the Lord is never in vain. (1 Cor 15v58). It is how we have worked in the Lord's service for others that is the criteria we will be judged by at the Lord's return. The Lord in Matthew 25v31-46 makes this lesson clear. He says how we treat those in need is how we will be treated at the judgement for if we serve our brethren it is the same as serving Jesus himself! 在这辛苦的工作和它的结果我们学到了一课。当我们为别人工作的时候,如果我们只能做一小段时间就忘记了他们的麻烦是没有好处的。我们必须一直工作,一直帮助别人,也要通过传福音,学习圣经和在实际生活中帮助别人。很有意思的是我们要注意到路得在下午得到了她的报答。在下午,她被允许可以去捆中拾取麦穗,并从捆中抽出些来,专门留给她,得2:15,16。如果我们开始为神工作,当遇到困难,当太阳照耀得很炙热时,我们放弃的话,我们将得不到报答。只有持续的工作,神才会赐福给我们。我们必须记得我们的劳作,如果为主做工,就不是徒然的。(林前15:58)我们怎样在主的侍奉中为别人工作是一个主回来时审判我们的标准。主在马太福音25:31-46把这一课写的很清楚。他说我们怎样对待那些有需要的,我们在审判的时候也将被怎样对待。如果我们侍奉我们的弟兄,就好像我们在侍奉耶稣自己。

The final aspect of Ruth's faith we wish to consider this morning is the faith shown in waiting for Boaz to redeem and marry her. As the story continued and the harvest had been completed Naomi advised Ruth to go and rely on the mercy of Boaz to redeem her. 关于路得信心的最后一个方面我们希望今天早上能学习她的信心表现在她耐心的等待波阿斯救赎并娶了她。故事继续到收割结束,拿俄米建议路得去寻求和依靠波阿斯的怜悯和救赎。

Ruth had laboured diligently in the field of Boaz and now she came to rely on him to take care of her and protect her as her husband. The beautiful spirit of meekness is seen again in Ruth's approach to Boaz in chapter 3v7. She did not demand that he look after her. She came quietly and lay at his feet to show she was prepared to be his servant and minister unto him. Just as she had worked for Naomi gleaning the wheat she now wanted to minister to Boaz as his wife. Boaz here is a type of the Lord Jesus Christ. We all come to stand at his feet, to be his servants, and to seek the covering of our sins by his life. 路得已经辛勤的在波阿斯的田里工作过了,现在她去找他照顾自己,保护自己,并成为她的丈夫。路得这温柔而美丽的心灵在3:7她靠近波阿斯时又表现出来了。她没有要求他照顾她。她悄悄来到躺卧在波阿斯的脚边,准备成为他的仆人服侍他。就像她为拿俄米拾取麦穗,她现在想最为波阿斯的妻子服侍他。波阿斯在这里时主耶稣基督的预表。我们都来站在他的脚边,成为他的仆人,来通过他的生命来寻求遮盖我们的罪。

Boaz was delighted to find Ruth at his feet and we see from verse 10-11 that he was in love with her for her beautiful characteristics. He did not care that she was a Gentile, he knew she was a true servant of the God of Israel. And it is the same for us, we are Gentiles and yet Christ has been happy to bring us in to the hope of Israel and save us from death. 波阿斯很高兴的发现了路得在他的脚边,我们从10-11节看到他为路得美好的品性爱着她。他没有介意她时外帮人,他知道她是以色列的神的真正的仆人。这对我们来说也是一样的,我们是外帮人,基督也很高兴我们的给了我们以色列的希望,并把我们从死亡中拯救出来。

Even though these two loved each other and desired to be married there was an obstacle. One man was a nearer kinsman to Ruth than Boaz and could decide to marry her to get the land she possessed. Boaz was a just man and insisted that he first approach the nearer kinsman before taking Ruth to be his bride. 尽管那些相爱的人希望能建立婚姻,有时却会遇到阻碍。又一个比波阿斯和路得更近的亲属应该决定娶路得并得到她家的土地。波阿斯是个公义的人,他坚持在娶路得前要先找那个更亲的人。

Can we imagine how Ruth felt after she went home to Naomi and was told to "Sit still' in verse 18. She was in love with a wonderful man who was in love with her and desired to marry her, but she had to wait to hear if she could! Could we have sat still? Would we have wanted to try and work out a way to make sure the marriage could proceed? Would we curse the law that made it possible that she may have to marry someone she did not love? 我们能想象路得回到家后拿俄米要她“安坐等候”时的感受,18节。路得已爱上了这个爱着她,并想娶她的人,但是她不得不等待听候她的命运!我们能安坐等候吗?我们会去想办法保证婚姻能够进行吗?我们会咒诅这个律法吗?因它使她会去嫁给她并不爱的人。

Ruth does none of this. There is only one thing she could do- pray. What is our reaction to events out of our control? Do we have the faith to leave the result in God's hands and trust he will do what is best? Naomi's comforting words in verse 18 are an exhortation for us this morning. "Sit still my daughter, until you learn how the matter turns out, for the man will not rest, but will settle the matter today". 路得没有这样做。只有一件事她能做,那就是祷告。当遇到我们控制之外的事件的时候,我们的反应事什么呢?我们有信心仍把自己交在神的手中并相信他会做最好的安排吗?拿俄米在18节安慰的话语对我们今天早上是一个劝勉。“女儿啊,你只管安坐等候,看这事怎样成就,因为那人今日不办成这事必不休息。”

We meet this morning to remember our Lord, our bridegroom who is absent from us. Are we prepared to sit still, because we know that he will not rest until we are saved? We can be so confident that just as Ruth was rewarded for her quiet faith, so we will be rewarded if we can both hope and quietly wait on the Lord. Ruth's reward was so much more than just becoming part of Israel, she became great grandmother of King David and directly in the lineage of the Lord Jesus Christ. What a privilege this was! 我们今天早上聚集在一起是为了纪念我们的主,我们的新郎,因为他今天不在。我们不要工作,因为我们知道他不会休息,直到我们得救。我们能相信我们能收到我们的报答如果我们有希望和安静的等主,像路得那样有安静的信心。路得的报答不只是变成以色列的一份子,也是她能成为大卫王的曾曾祖母,也成为了耶稣的祖先。这是多大的恩惠!

The book of Ruth brings us to learn of the wonderful character of this beautiful sister. We are inspired by her faith in leaving her home to go and serve the God of Israel even if it meant poverty because she believed in the reward of resurrection and eternal life. We are shown how we must work always, all day and into the night to help our brethren and sisters. Ruth also gives us the example to wait on the Lord believing with all our heart that he will save us. 路得记给我们展现了美好的姐妹的品性。她因着信离开了她的家,服从了以色列的神,尽管这会是一个贫穷的生活,她信了复活报答和永生的盼望。这样的信仰应该能够劝勉我们。路得展现了我们必须整天一直工作到晚上帮助我们的弟兄姐妹。路得也给我们了一个榜样,要等待主,满心相信他能拯救我们。

So as we take the emblems this morning we should think of the fact that God will save us if we show the faith and character of Ruth. 所以我们今天早上掰饼喝酒的时候也要想到上帝会救我们,如果我们展现了和路得一样的信心和品性。