As I continue to study with Lisa Harper & Annie Downs, using their Bible Study Believing Jesus, we dive into the Story of Ruth.
If you have not read this story, I encourage you to take a few minutes (it’s a short book!) to hear the story for yourself. Ruth is one of two books in scripture named after a faithful woman. Esther is the other.
We are told that Ruth and her Mother-in-Law Naomi have both lost their husbands -along with Naomi’s second son.
Deciding to go back to her homeland Bethlehem, Naomi urges her daughter-in-laws to remain in the land of Moab where they are from.
Full of love, honor, and grace, Ruth refuses to leave Naomi.
“Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God.” -Ruth
Naomi, wrought with grief and discouragement then names herself “bitter.” (Mara)
“Do not call me Naomi; call me Mara, for the Almighty has dealt very bitterly with me.”
We can be swallowed up in our grief, like Naomi, unable to see any provision or grace extended to us.
Ruth was bearing her own grief, and could have easily chosen to stay in Moab, but that’s not what she did… willingly…even LOVINGLY, she sticks to Naomi like glue. Leaving her hometown and everything she had known to go on a journey of UNKNOWNS…with her bitter Mother-in-Law? Seriously? Who would do that?
Ruth…for she was rooted in love, faithfulness, & grace.
What unfolds in the following chapters is a glimpse and fortelling of the Redeemer God would give to us all.
Below is a great article on Ruth-based on John Piper’s book “A Sweet and Bitter Providence.” (A link to the article is at the bottom)
7 reasons to study the book of Ruth
1. Ruth is the Word of God.
The message of Ruth is unwaveringly true. It’s a rock to stand on when the terrain of ideas feels like quicksand. It’s an anchor to hold us when tides are ripping….
The message of Ruth is filled with God-inspired hope.
2. Ruth is a love story.
The way Ruth and Boaz find each other is the stuff of epics…. But the story is the flesh-and-blood experience of one family living the unexpected plan of God.
3. Ruth is a portrait of beautiful, noble manhood and womanhood.
In a day when movies and television and advertising and the Internet portray masculinity and femininity in the lowest ways, we are in great need of stories that elevate the magnificent meaning of manhood and womanhood….
Ruth and Boaz are extraordinary. Men and women today need heroes like this.
4. Ruth address racial and ethnic diversity and harmony.
Ruth is an “unclean” pagan Moabitess. But she is drawn into faith and into the lineage of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. Her marriage is an interracial marriage. There are lessons here that we need as much as ever today.
5. Ruth displays the sovereignty of God.
Is God’s bitter providence the last word?… Everywhere I look in the world today, whether near or far, the issue for real people in real life is, Can I trust and love the God who has dealt me this painful hand in life? That is the question the book of Ruth intends to answer.
6. Ruth displays radical acts of risk-taking love.
[The book of Ruth is in the Bible] to make you a new kind of person—a person who is able “to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God” (Micah 6:8).
7. Ruth displays the glory of Christ.
A thousand years before Christ, this book glorifies his saving work on the cross, as we will see. Ruth is about the work of God in the darkest times to prepare the world for the glories ot Jesus Christ.
This article can be found by clicking the link below
From the humble place of gleaning wheat, (picking up the left over discarded sheaths after harvest) God makes a way for Ruth, and for us all.
I love this quote from John Piper
“RADICAL ACTS OF RISK-TAKING LOVE”
LOVE is ALL about RISK. “Ascribing worth to another, at cost to oneself.” -Greg Boyd.
Bless you in your study and obedience to God.