3
June
2015

REVIEW OF THE BOOK OF RUTH

00:0000:00

In this lesson we will go through the whole book of Ruth at one time to get the big picture. 

1.          This is a story of pure love by a woman named Ruth for her mother in-law Naomi. Yet the word love is not in it

§  A romance that triumphs over racial and religious prejudices

2.          It also exalts women for the unique, miraculous role they play in God’s plan

§  Probably the book that best shows the strength of a woman’s character and purity of motive.  She exemplifies the Proverbs 31 woman

§  We see God’s care for women in the most desperate circumstances

§  A woman of great faith

3.          Most importantly it is a book about God’s purpose to redeem all those who will put their trust in Him

4.          It is a book that shows the Sovereignty of God

§  God will take a Moabite woman who is not even supposed to go into the temple of God until the 10th generation and will take her from that low position to the highest privilege of being in the line of the Messiah Jesus

5.       It starts out in Bethlehem and ends in Bethlehem, the birthplace of King David and ultimately the Lord Jesus

In spite of the fact that Elimelech, his wife Naomi, and his two sons (Mahlon and Kilion) are living according to the spirit of their day (“doing what is right in their own eyes”), two people (Ruth and Boaz) stand out as examples of those who live by faith in the God of Israel, and whose lives exemplify living in accordance with God’s Word. And one of these two – Ruth – is a Moabite, not an Israelite. In the dark shadows of the days of the judges, we find two individuals whose lives are truly lights in the darkness. Here is a story that not only warms our hearts, it encourages our faith by unveiling the providential hand of God in bringing salvation and blessing during one of the darkest periods in history.

Whereas the book illustrates the theological concept of redemption beautifully, its primary purpose appears to have been to reveal how God often providentially works behind the scenes to bring His will to pass. Twenty-three of its 89 verses mention God. Of these, only 1:6 and 4:13, which bracket the book, are the narrator's comments. All the rest appear in the characters' speeches. Contrast the Book of Esther, which also teaches the providence of God but does not mention God once.

"The scriptural message of the Book of Ruth may be summarized as follows: God cares for needy people like Naomi and Ruth; he is their ally in this chaotic world. He richly rewards people like Ruth and Boaz who demonstrate sacrificial love and in so doing become his instruments in helping the needy. God's rewards for those who sacrificially love others sometimes exceed their wildest imagination and transcend their lifetime." "The Ruth narrative provided a gratifying reminder that even in the darkest times God was at work in the hearts of His faithful remnant."