The Book of Ruth is a link between the time of the judges and the time of the kings. In this book, we see a unique story of how God brings about provision for two widows.
Through this story, God is showing that his promise to reach all nations (Gen. 12:3) is being fulfilled.
Here is a great summary of the story.
- God is faithful even when we are not.
- The kinsman redeemer ensured that after a man died, his land would not remain outside the family (Lev. 25:23-28) and a childless widow could marry her deceased husband’s brother (Deut. 25:5-6) to provide an heir for the family.
- Never underestimate the power of family as it regards to one’s faith (Ru. 1:16-17).
- Women in the ancient Near East were dependent upon a husband or sons. There were no retirement accounts or sufficient work opportunities.
- Landowners were instructed not to harvest the corners of their fields to give the poor a place to obtain portions.
- Since the famine caused Naomi’s family to leave the promised land, she had no community to seek help once the men died.
- Ruth left her Moabite family to remain alongside Naomi.
- Ruth signs up to follow the God (Ru. 1:16) who afflicts (Ru. 1:13).
- In Naomi’s despair, she has taken for granted that the famine has been lifted, provision has been made, and a companion has been provided.
- Since God exists, coincidences cannot (Ru. 2:3; cf. Prov. 16:9).
- Ruth, the foreigner, receives underserved compassion (Ru. 2:8-9).
- Ruth’s noble actions stemmed from her faith in the Lord and he blessed her because of it (Ru. 2:12).
- To spread one’s garment over a person meant to claim that person for yourself. “Garment” same word for “wing” (Ru. 2:12; 3:9).
- Even among human compassion, never neglect divine providence (Ru. 4:14).
- The son born to Ruth “has been born to Naomi” (Ru. 4:17). God brings matchless faithfulness through our tragedies.
- In our greatest sorrow, God is laying the groundwork for our greatest joy.
- This kinsman redeemer is the great-grandfather of David leading us to the descendent who would be the promised Messiah – Jesus (Ru. 4:17; cf. Mt. 1:5).
Travis Agnew serves as the Lead Pastor of Rocky Creek Church in Greenville, SC. His most recent book is Just (About) Married.