My goal in writing reflections from the book of Ruth are the following: First, to encourage you the reader that if you will pay attention to the words on the page and listen carefully you will mine a lot of truth for life without the need of a commentary or any secondary source. That is, “take up and read” to enrich your soul Christian.
Second, I write to give you a model of how observations can be done in scripture that do not read into the text something foreign to the author’s intent. This will help you experience the joy of discovery and increase your confidence in your ability to comprehend God’s word.
Third, by doing the above my hope is that you will be able to hear God’s voice all the more clearly because it is the word of God that is forever settled in heaven, and not our subjective impressions however valid they may be. That is, we have a more sure word of prophecy according to Peter—meaning the inscripturated word of God—then a glorious experience we may claim to have (2 Peter 1:16-21). Too often we Christians have bizarre ideas of what “God” is supposedly speaking to us and when it contradicts the Bible, be assured we are not hearing his voice.
REDEMPTIVE HISTORY UNFOLDING
This is a beautiful story of redemptive history. The relationship that ensues between Naomi and Ruth comes from loss upon loss. First, there’s a famine in the land and death is knocking at the door (1:1).
Second, Naomi loses her husband and sons to death (1:2-13) and is now in a precarious position without the help of men to protect and to provide for her.
Third, Naomi is ready to go back with to Bethlehem in Israel alone, but of her two daughter in-laws, Ruth alone is the one who leaves her country, customs and gods (1:14-22) and confesses:
“Your people shall be my people and your God my God. Where you die I will die, and there I will be buried…” (1:16-17)
Ruth eventually becomes the mother of Obed whose son is Jesse, whose son is David and whose son eventually is the Messiah—Christ Jesus the LORD!
God in his hidden plans converts Ruth, but not Oprah, both of which were Moabite—non-covenant pagans. As God did with Abraham and Moses, He does with Ruth. When He chooses a person for His redemptive purposes, previous upbringing is no match for Divine providence and mercy.
This reminds me to look to Him who is always at work even when the present “reality” seems so bleak. God of wonders, blessed be your name forever!