Review of Judges:
Cycle of Apostasy
- Israelites would abandon God and worship idols.
- God would send them an oppressor to punish his people.
- The Israelites would cry out the the LORD for help.
- God would raise up a Judge to rescue his people.
- The Judge would drive out the oppressor and rescue God’s people.
- The Israelites would worship and serve the LORD only.
Each time the Israelites went around the cycle, their spiritual condition got worse and worse.
Summary of Judges:
Judges is a miserable book where the Israelites forget about God and do some terrible things.
The Book of Ruth
Ruth is the 8th book of the Bible and it tells just one story about a Moabite woman named Ruth. It’s one of the great romance stories in the Bible!
Story of Ruth
Ruth is a Moabite who married an Israelite who had moved to her country (Moab) because of a famine (no food) in Israel. Ruth’s husband dies in Moab and, Naomi’s, her mother-in-law, husband dies as well. Naomi decides to go back to Israel (her home country) and Ruth wants to go with her:
“Your people will be my people, and your God will be my God.”
Once they were back in Israel, Ruth went after the workers in the fields to pick up pieces of grain that had fallen to the ground. This process was called “gleaning.” Gleaning was a practice that was built into the nation of Israel that helped take care of the poor. Workers in the fields could not pick up grain that fell on the ground because that was to be left for those who were poor.
Ruth was working/gleaning in a field which was owned by a wealthy man named Boaz. Boaz was related to Naomi’s former husband. Boaz hears about how Ruth is taking care of her mother-in-law and what she has done in living in a land not her own. Boaz falls in love with Ruth. Boaz and Ruth get married and Boaz takes care of Naomi.
It’s an amazing story of love and sacrifice… especially amidst an environment like the Judges where all kinds of bad things were happening.
What’s the point?
Why is the story of Ruth in the Bible?
What does it have to do with God’s rescue plan?
- It is an example of redemption. Redemption means to save someone by paying their debt. Ruth and Naomi were in a terrible state and Boaz wanted to help them. In order to do that he had to buy the land of Naomi’s former husband in order to marry Ruth. Boaz redeemed them! The story of Ruth gives us hope that someone will pay our debt, too! We can be redeemed!
- Israel needs a king. Remember the story of Judges? Israel needs a king who will lead them well and represent God well. Where will this king come from? Ruth and Boaz get married and have a son named Obed. Obed eventually has a son named Jesse. Jesse has a son named David. David is the godly king Israel has been waiting for!
Summary of the book of Ruth:
“The book of Ruth tells us the story of the beginning of the godly family that would give Israel its godly king.” – Clive
Beyond David, the godly king Israel was waiting for, will come a redeemer in the kingly line of David that will pay the debt for all of humanity… JESUS.